The harbour has in recent years come under the administration of Jersey Heritage who has oversight for the whole of the historic site. A small launch can often be spotted making the short hop from the Port of St Helier into the little harbour with provisions for the café or ferrying staff or workmen to the islet.
The photograph that is published does not however, show the Elizabeth Castle harbour launch, but features my own small vessel on one of many visits to the islet for a picnic during the early evening in the summer months.
Earlier this year Jersey Harbours issued a General Direction (No 14. Dated: 28/10/14) stating that vessels under sail navigating in the area, without motorized propulsion, must comply with the regulation by obtaining prior permission before entering the Port of St Helier harbour limits. While one can understand the purpose of this requirement in today’s busy port environment it will in practice deter a small group of young sailors from entering the area for sail training.
For many years young sailors in their dinghies have aligned the transits into the harbour, (Archway inset into the inner wall of the harbour inline with outer jetty) to sail between the heads of rocks on either side. Then having entered the harbour, perform a 360 degrees turnabout and then sail out again between the rock heads. Performing the entry / exit in just over 7 metres of tide never failed to excite the young budding sailors as they tested their skill, often close tacking between the rocks.
Hopefully, the next generation of sailors will find places to practice these skills in their small lightweight dinghies before they have to demonstrate them while on a RYA practical course in an expensive 12-metre yacht.