Well, got that out of the way - a cross-channel weekend to test everything. Headed for Cherbourg from the Hamble, but the winds didn't work too well for a schooner, light and easterly, so ended up in Alderney. Flat sea both ways, and a beautiful midnight moonlight sail into Braye. Sunday saw us in Crabby Harbour for some fuel - we were a tight fit! Sunday also saw the beautiful Jolie Brise sail in and anchor.
Although I'd tested the radar before leaving and it was fine, it did have a wobbly moment. I remade the mast connector and it was fine. However, it did go down on the way back, and this time I think it's a circuit board issue. Lots of radial noise on screen in standby mode, and completely swamped when transmitting (and no sign of any targets). Tuning appears to have no effect. I have detailed circuit diagrams, and I'm wondering whether the noise filters are screwed, or maybe the tuning circuit. It's a Koden MD300 - superb tough piece of kit, but about 20 years old now. So, if you know of another one I can cannibalise then let me know!
I was last in Alderney in January 2009 before heading up to Cherbourg where I was snow-bound for a few days; then a brisk single-handed cross-channel to the Solent. Since then, Mainbrayce Marine has changed hands - the new owners are very helpful, and the range of stock has increased a lot.
Anyway, the first trip is done, though we had to motor all the way back.