Crossing The Channel, isn’t plain sailing

On the first Saturday of the holidays nine students travelled down to Poole to join the 72ft yacht ‘The James Laing’. At 11pm they set off to cross the channel at night. They arrived late the next afternoon and anchored in a sheltered bay on Sark, one of the Channel islands.

The following day they put in to St Peter Port in Guernsey for some shore leave and a chance to stand on dry land for the first time in 48 hours.

With the wind strengthening and veering to the West they decided not to go on to Normandy but to sail diagonally back across the channel to Cornwall. Another night crossing in rough seas and a force 7 ‘near gale’ saw everyone tested to the limit as each watch had to drop and lift sails at night as the bow of the yacht crashed through waves.

Finally all the students took control of the yacht and used their new skills to get back to Plymouth.

All students received Competent Crew Certificates and will have the opportunity this year to work towards their Day skipper.’