After a very nice and peaceful sleep we got started to work in getting everything tidy and ship shape which we knew would leave us then to play radio pretty much exclusively. We were on the Island around 1300utc and gagging for a brew. The downstairs was filthy but it was dry which was the main thing and certainly better than a tent would be. The Minquiers are designated protected under the. Les Minquiers have been designated a Ramsar site. There are five islands in the Les Minquiers group, Maîtresse Île, Les Maisons, Le Niêsant, Les Faucheurs and La Haute Grune, Maitresse being the largest and the subject of this trip. Name The etymology of the name is disputed.
This additional help gave us a great head start; we would have a roof over our head and would be able to avoid using an expensive chartered boat, and side-step some obvious problems with the benefit of local knowledge. While some say that the name comes from the minihi meaning a sanctuary, others such as Victor Coysh, maintain it comes from minkier meaning a seller of fish. Indeed, our initial request to go to the Minkies was declined immediately. Recent activities have included Iceland 2005 , The Faroes 2006 and Svalbard 2007. It was decided that it would only be a casual affair and with no serious attempt in the Contest but nevertheless we did not want to come away embarrassed by a ridiculously low score. The most significant island is Maîtresse, which is about 50m long and 20m wide. This has drawn attention to the importance of the offshore reefs and yet, until recently, there remained a general lack of appreciation of their histories and natural histories, and an absence of coordinated study, management and monitoring.
Physical Geography, Oceanography and Sedimentology The general topography of Les Minquiers has probably changed little since the post-glacial sea level stabilised around 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. This was accelerated by the application of weed killer across the island in 1973 which removed an estimated 99% of all plant life. Stone was shipped to Jersey to build Fort Regent Today, you will see many lobster pot buoys which are useful markers to assess the speed and direction of the tide streams. After in 1066, the islands remained united to the Duchy until conquered mainland in 1204. It was a fair old climb up the jetty, far steeper than anticipated and hauling the two generators, eight petrol cans all full and the other gear was done in stages. That was it now for the 24 hours.
On Maîtresse Île these storms removed soil from the west of the island, damaged two of the seawalls and undermined the concrete area at the top of the slipway. It is probable that some soil erosion had occurred prior to this but quarrying may have accelerated the process. Our trip back wasn't uneventful either. At over 300 km2 the reef is larger than most British cities and is home to some of the most extraordinary scenery wildlife geology and archaeology anywhere in Europe. Some of these including thrift may have been permanently removed by the weed killer incident while others were possibly crowded out by the tree mallow which currently dominates the island.
A summary of physical and environmental change Presented below is a summary of key facts and conclusions relating to the current and historical environmental status of Les Minquiers. The largest of these is Maîtresse, which is about 50 m 55 yd long and 20 m 22 yd wide and has about ten stone cottages in various states of repair. The large hut at the north end of the islet was won by Bill Coom in a card game during the occupation after the owner was unable to pay his gambling debt. It was this knowledge gap that inspired a small team of amateur and professional naturalists to spend four years studying all aspects of Les Minquiers, from its history, archaeology and geology to its animal and plant life. It was peaceful, relaxing, very warm and the casual approach to operating worked out well.
This way of operating was the norm for the rest of the trip and as well as the q rate increasing, so was the love for the Island. When it comes to radio equipment, power supplies and linears are never light enough. The Minkies are close to both France and Jersey, but the waters around them are treacherous, and most mariners avoid the entire area, following an extensive network of buoys to avoid the possibility of running aground on the rocks. Hugo lived in both and Jersey at various points in his life, and so was familiar with local lore. Years ago fishermen would sink their boats in bad weather because the boats were safer on the seabed than bouncing about at anchor during a storm.
Getting Nigel on the air was a priority so we hastily erected the Comet H422 rotary dipole initially and mounted it on a tripod with an extended vertical pole which gave us about 18 to 20 feet. Thank you again, from all of us at Cambridge University Wireless Society, for dedicating so much of your time to supporting us. It actually turned out that this antenna performed better than any other that we took. However, they have no permanent inhabitants, though fishermen, seaweed used for fertilizer collectors, yachtsmen, radio amateurs and even sometimes kayakers make summer landfall. The upstairs was wooden floor and had nothing in it apart from an Airbed.
Further correspondence followed, and our plans were eventually accepted, having now explained our approach and willingness to treat the islands with care. The French fished in the waters, but exercised various administrative rights. Private group tours can be arranged on request. If you would like to see more photographs from the trip then please or navigate through the Menu above to the where many more images will be uploaded and if you have any comments good or bad, drop me a line or write into Guestbook which again is accessible via the Menu above. They appeared at some awful hours too. Photo by Glyn Young Over the past century a total of 26 plant species have at some point been recorded from Maîtresse Île. Acknowledgements We are indebted to Jersey Harbours, in particular to Peter Lawrence and Ian Lamy, whose advice alone before the trip was invaluable.
An obvious example is the large sandbank known as Le Gris Banc which, since the time of the first hydrographic surveys, has moved steadily eastwards into an adjacent channel. We also met two contemporary dance students who were staying in one of the other huts, and were kind enough to tolerate our intrusion before our departure, spare food and supplies were transferred to them. There are huge Caribbean blue lagoons, channels and enormous sand bars. Although visually remarkable and a nuisance to boaters and chart makers, sandbank movement is probably part of a natural cycle of accumulation and erosion within the reef. History Thousands of years ago, around the time of the , when sea level was lower, the were high ground on the plain connecting the European Continent and southern England. In this case, we felt it was best to persevere.
Landing is at the natural harbour to the east of Maîtresse Île. Only five sales have been recorded in 50 years. For this reason we were anxious to get on all bands as much as possible and now we tried 10M. We did calculate these items when considering how much water we had to bring across from the mainland. Despite him being confident and dismissing my opinions, he claimed that all the gear would fit in the car and thus, the smaller the car, the smaller the cost. They were contesting the issue as Britain had just declared war on the Falkland Islands. The reef holds around 20,000 individual rocks the oldest of which are at least 640 million years old.