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Penguin Cruise to the Channel Islands and Brittany, 19th June to 3 July 2015


The first week comprised of a Channel crossing and cruising around the Channel Islands.  The second week encompassed sailing along the North Brittany coast and a return Channel crossing.  A partial crew change was organised for Fri 26th June at St Helier, Jersey.  Two boats were chartered; a Delphia 40, Ventis Secundis, from Liberty Yachts, Plymouth ( and a Bavaria 36, Phoebe, from Plymouth Sailing School ( 

Among the crews were several sailing with Penguin for the first time and some longstanding members returning to cruise with Penguin after a lapse of many years.  The cruise was centred on neap tides which suited the passage taken through the Plateau des Minquiers.


At anchor in SarkAt anchor off Sark


The ridge of high pressure extending N-S over the Atlantic, which had become established in the week before, persisted throughout the cruise and blocked frontal systems from crossing the Atlantic but for the penetration of some weak fronts. Apart from two dull and rainy days, the weather was fine and sunny, becoming hot in the second week. Winds were generally light and variable and the fleet frequently resorted to motor sailing in order to complete the day’s passage and to negotiate the several passages requiring careful pilotage and access through tidal gates. Possibly the best sailing day was when the fleet took advantage of a forecast east wind to sail from Paimpol to Treguier.

Fog patches were encountered.  Radiation fog was noticed coming off the land in the morning but was soon dispersed by the sun.  Of more consequence were the fog patches at sea; they were encountered on both the outbound and inbound Channel crossings.


Phoebe under sail

Phoebe under sail

When not crossing the Channel, the fleet generally overnighted in marinas but occasionally on moorings and once at anchor.  On most occasions, crew could generally avail themselves of onshore facilities.