Best sources of information for the Channel Islands.
When planning any kayaking trip there are some key pieces of information we need to gather to help ensure we have a good day out. Below I am going to provide links to the sources of information I use to plan my kayaking trips.
The biggest factor here is planning for the wind. Jersey is hardly ever without wind from one direction or another. A factor of being located in the English Channel, exposed to the Atlantic and Arctic air streams. Luckily, being a small island, we can probably kayak more days of the year than most places. Because if its windy one side of the island, we go the other. There are two things worth noting. Our prevailing winds come from the South-West and wind direction the island can provide least protection from is North-East. This NE wind is also the direction for our coldest winds. Like any weather forecast, they are a predication and while they give you a good idea of what to except., they are never 100% accurate. So these are the best sources I have found to use.
Wind Guru I look at both the main forecast at the top and the 7km model for local detail. You can access both the website and a handy app which I have on my phone. I also like the fact you can change the wind units from Knots to Beaufort (and anything else) by tapping on the units at the left of the screen.
Jersey Met Shipping Forecast If you like the wider more traditional view, then you can’t beat the shipping forecast. The same website also has lots of more modern tools and visualizations to help you get a good idea of what weather to expect.
Both sources also gives you swell information, which is an important factor for our exposed coastlines and when planning to launch from Greve De Lecq. Its also important to check the swell forecast when planning to access North coast caves. An additional resource I sometime check for this is Magic Seaweed
The best source of tide date is Jersey Met Tide Times They automatically add the +1 hour for BST and so help you avoid the classic mistake of reading the tide time table in GMT and getting it wrong by an hour. An important factor when you have the 3rd highest tidal movements in the world!
Below are a couple of simplified sketches of which way the currents flow around the island on the flood and ebbing tides. These are simplified diagrams to help trip planning around the coast and like the actual situation is more complex. If you want the nitty gritty version or plan to go off shore then you should consult more detailed sources like chart tidal diamonds or a tidal atlas.
I hope you find this information useful to plan your own safe and fun trips. Happy Paddling!