Channel Islands - Profile
- The Channel Islands are neither part of the European Union or the UK, however they are part of the British Isles, with the British Sovereign as their Head of State. The Bailiwick of Jersey comprises the largest island, Jersey, and its islets, while the Bailiwick of Guernsey includes Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark. The Bailiwicks have their own parliaments and are proud of their autonomy, which was granted to them by King John in 1204. In many ways the culture of the islands is closer to Normandy than the United Kingdom.
- The Channel Islands are a popular cruising destination both with French and British sailors, who find here some of the most hazardous sailing conditions in Europe, as well as a very special atmosphere ashore.
- There is complete shelter in St Peter Port in Guernsey and St Helier in Jersey. There are many good anchorages in offshore winds on all the islands and the smaller ones provide an interesting alternative to the busy main ports.
- Being the favourite offshore cruising area for British yachts as well as a traditional tax-free shopping destination for the French, the Channel Islands have made an effort to improve their yachting facilities. There are now several new marinas and facilities in the old ones have also been upgraded.
- As the Channel Islands are outside the VAT area, marinas in both Guernsey and Jersey are favourite wintering places for non-EU yachts as there are no restrictions on the length of time they are left there.
Summer weather is generally settled, but during the rest of the year it can change very quickly. The winds during summer alternate between NW and NE. At other times, SW winds are more frequent and this is also the direction of most gales. More than strong winds, the main danger in the islands is the extremely strong tidal streams, the notorious Alderney Race reaching 8 knots on occasions. Other hazards are concealed rocks and poor visibility.
Jersey Coastguard - VHF Ch 25 and Ch 82 - Shipping Forecast (and any gale or navigational warnings) at 06:45, 07:45, 08:45, 12:45, 18:45, 22:45. Gale Warnings, on receipt and at 03:07, 09:07, 15:07,21:07. Wind information (speed and gusts at St Helier Port Control) transmitted on VHF 18 every two minutes.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page