The official website for the States of Alderney

Press Release - Visiting yachtsman praises Alderney - 28.06.2022

Media Release

Date: 28th June 2022

Issued at: 13:05


Marooned in paradise


When the engine of his yacht seized, Jonathan Penberthy's there-and-back excursion from Littlehampton to Alderney could have turned into a nightmare.

Instead, the Commodore of Arun Yacht Club and his three crew were awestruck at the way Islanders went out of their way to make an enforced four-day visit so memorable.

Engineers from Alderney's Mainbrayce chandlery told him his 28-ft Westerly Konsort, Reef Knot, would have to be lifted and spares brought over from the UK, leaving them stranded for at least a week. A temporary outboard motor would also take a week on order.

Leaving Reef Knot in Alderney harbour while they pondered their next move, the crew discovered Alderney hospitality.

First to the rescue was local sailor Hillius Pretorius who overheard Mr Penberthy's plight and offered to sell him his spare outboard motor. It was just possible that although Reef Knot would be underpowered, it might be enough for them to cross the Channel.

Meanwhile Mike and Faith at Mainbrayce set about adapting the yacht's transom to take the new engine and repair other equipment damaged in heavy seas during the initial crossing.

While the crew - Dima Malins, Rob Jenkins, Ayman Kamel and Commodore Penberthy - waited for the right conditions, they discovered Alderney's reputation for hospitality was not misplaced with a warm welcome from local staff, especially Jo Doardo at the Marais Hall and Petra Silva at the Braye Beach Hotel, together with a tour of the Island with A1 Taxis and frequent use of Callum Clark's harbour water taxi.

Getting back to the UK with a small 5hp outboard and a lack of wind was no mean feat. The engine required refuelling every hour and temporarily failed in the middle of the Channel shipping lane. After 29 hours at sea, Reef Knot limped into Littlehampton with just one litre of fuel remaining.

On his return, Mr Penberthy wrote to the States of Alderney: "Your residents went way beyond the call of customer service, and really made our misfortune into a pleasant and memorable experience." 

He added: "Our original plan was only to spend about eight hours on Alderney, but due to our misfortune we found it a truly lovely and welcoming place and stayed for a few days. Most importantly we will be back, with an intention of bringing a lot more yachtsmen with us!

"I have already mentioned it to our Yacht Club's Cruising Secretaries to get a cruise booked in for next season, and if time allows I may even return this year."

Annie Burgess, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, was delighted at the way Islanders helped out. "It's always good to hear of our Alderney community going that extra mile to help our welcome visitors," she said.


Note to editors: For separate jpegs, please contact Alistair Forrest,

Photo 1:Crew members Dima Malins and Rob Jenkins prepare to leave Littlehampton for their Alderney Adventure on board Reef Knot