English Channel  2010

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Milvina spent the winter near Caen, which was the base for William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066, and one of the first targets for the D-Day landings in 1944.   It is a delightful small city, connected to the sea by a canal about 9 miles long.

Neil did the usual spring work, repainted the anti-fouling etc with some help from Michael towards the end.

We left Caen with a full ship, wondering whether to sail to the Channel islands, or to stop again in France.

First stop after leaving Caen was Omonville, at the NW corner of the Normandy peninsula.  It is a pleasant anchorage, with one bistro, but not particularly interesting.

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Next day we headed for Alderney, and had our first experience with Channel Island tides.  We hit about 11 knots passing the NW tip of the peninsula, but misjudged the tide and were carried several miles south in the Alderney Race, and had to wait till the tide turned and carried us back North to be able to enter Alderney.
The harbour entrance is "guarded" by abandoned fortifications built by the Germans, but never used, since the Allies simply by-passed the island in the invasion, leaving the garrison to rot and finally surrender.
Alderney is a popular retirement/holiday home island for Brits, partly because it is attractive, and partly because of very low income tax rates.

This fort from the Napoleonic era has been converted into a large private residence.

The ugly square block on the top of the hill was built by the German occupying army during the second world war.
After a few days enjoying the pubs and scenery we sailed South to Sark, getting the tide right this time.  

The harbour on Sark was built in 1595, and can be accessed from the island only through a tunnel cut in the cliffs. 

The original tunnel is on the left, and a more modern one has a white arched entrance.

The harbour is close to dry at low tide, and is not well sheltered, so we did not use it.
Sark is relatively undeveloped, and operates as a feudal state.  It has rugged coastline, with farmland on the gently rolling hills above.

We were the only boat in this anchorage, and one of only two boats on the East coast of Sark that day.  The West coast was untenable due to wind.

Weather was not great, and landing in the surf proved impracticable the second day so we moved on to Guernsey, six miles away.
Guernsey is much more developed than Alderney or Sark, with lots of international banks and tourist services.

Most of the roads are quite narrow, and many are well below the level of the fields for some reason.   A bike is better than a car for getting around much of the time.

We has mostly good weather in Guernsey, and a great dinner with old friends.

This is a shot of the small island of Herm, from Guernsey.

From Guernsey, we sailed overnight to Falmouth in SW  England, then on up the Irish Sea.
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