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ISSUE 13 ARCHIVE - PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Want to feel like you've gone abroad, but yet still at home? Although you probably won't be able to afford a house here, the Channel Islands make a fantastic dive holiday location, and all the better being a tax haven. This wonderful archipelago of islands under British dependency, is situated in The English Channel close to the French coast of Normandy. The islands offer some remarkable diving opportunities with historic wrecks and colourful reefs littered around the beautiful coves. Some of the diving cannot be for the faint-hearted as these islands experience some of the biggest tidal movements of the world, however, this brings rich nutrients to these waters and makes for some fantastic drift dives.
Halcyon Eclipse Infinity
Difficult Exit

Food & Booze


The Channel Islands take huge pride in their local produce. Markets, Michelin-Starred restaurants and simple cafes abound with potatoes and those lovely, fresh fishies that you've just been swimming around with.

If you're staying on Jersey, then you should really splash out one night and go to the Michelin starred Ocean Restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel. Tel: +44 (0)1534 744 101.

Grab a crab sandwich at one of the seaside cafes try Wayside Cafe in St Brelade's Bay or The Hungry Man in Rozel Harbour. The rich ice-creams are also a must.

For bacon butties and burgers in a great location Big Vern's at St Ouen's Bay.

Enjoy a drink down on the harbour, or find a cosy corner in the nooks and crannies of the Old Court House Inn, St Aubin's (Bergerac's favourite).

If you're staying on Guernsey, then The Pavilion Brasserie is renowned and offers traditional food that should fill those hungry post-dive bellies. Tel: +44 (0)1481 264 165.

Get those dirty dive t-shirts off and put on something a little more stylish and a decent pair of heels for the ladies, at The Farmhouse at St Saviours. Tel: +44 (0)1481 264 181.

Post dive drinks on Guernsey at The Swan Inn, St Peter Port.

A Good Night's Kip

Jersey

Beau Couperon Hotel Rozel Bay a converted Napoleonic fortress where the sea practically laps at the great walls and private access to the beach. Tel: +44 (0)1534 865 522.

La Bonne Vie St Helier a guesthouse with cottage-style rooms and free sherry available in the cosy parlour! Tel: +44 (0)1534 735 955.

Guernsey

St Peter Port, the long-established Old Government House known as OGH. Tel: +44 (0)1481 724921.

Alderney

Braye Beach Hotel Tel: +44 (0)1481 824 300.

Saye Campsite peg your tent behind the sand dunes. When you've got enough stuff to take with all the dive gear, you can hire tents even pre-erected. Tel: +44 (0)1481 822 556.

Out and About


Jersey

Get along to see Seasick Steve who will be headlining the Grassroots Music Festival this year (23rd July) along with a huge array of other artists. If pop is more your thing, then... hey... Olly Murs and Alexandra Burke of X Factor fame (no, I've not heard of them) will take to the stage in Howard Davis Park on 16th July.

Definitely one festival for you divers is the Jersey Fish Festival (Saturday 6th August) supporting local maritime and rescue charities. This event is based around the St Helier harbour, has music, entertainment, craft stalls and seafood cooking demonstrations. The fishing fleet will be decorated and there will be boat races and games to make for a fun day.

Take a moonlit guided walk or kayak over to Seymour Tower (or Jersey round tower), watch the incoming tide (which comes in at 9cm/minute) and have a sleepover at this remote location.
Travelling Diver

Guernsey

An opportunity to tour a brewery and drink beer... I can't really see too many divers turning away from. Randall's Brewery runs tours every Saturday from April to September (booking essential). Here they brew Breda lager and Patois cask conditioned ale at their state- of-the-art La Piette brewery. Tel: +44 (0)1481 720 134.

Alderney

Beaches, beaches, beaches and sandcastles. The Alderney International Sailing Regatta (July 13th-15th).

Sark

Sheep Racing Weekend 2011 A must... the ever-popular Sheep Racing Weekend (July 22nd to 24th). Friday night is Party Night with live music and a fancy dress parade.

If you like landscape art, then there are installations by artists like Anthony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy that really are worthwhile going to see and make for some really atmospheric photographs.

Local Dive Contacts

Bouley Bay Dive Centre PADI 5 star dive centre is located on the waters edge in the Parish of Trinity, on the North West corner of Jersey. The centre is fully equipped with the latest rental equipment available for hire. A state of the art air system, offering fills to 300 bar, in addition to Nitrox and Trimix. Equipment sales. Tel: +(44) 1534 866 990.

H2O Sports is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development centre based in St Helier, Jersey. Tel: +(44) 1534 880934.

Apnea PADI dive centre and dive shop on Jersey Tel: +44 (0)1534 876 621.

Dive Guernsey PADI and TDI dive centre with equipment sales, servicing, as well as air, Nitrox and Trimix fills. Tel: +44 (0)1481 714 525.

Sark Diving Services. The starfish of Sark is based at Creux Harbour. She is a fast ten metre dive charter boat with diver lift. Offering a one week dive package for a group booking of 10 Divers at 495 pp including: self catering cottage, travel with Condor fast ferries out to the Islands, six days diving two dives per day air and tanks supplied all inclusive. Tel: +44 (0)1481 832 565. Mobile: 07781 400 447.
Ocean Leisure

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