The Jewish Chronicle - - Life / Travel -

MY S U N D A Y m o r n i n g s aren’t usu­ally cliffhang­ers, un­less I’m try­ing to re­mem­ber the night be­fore. I ’ m more at home drink­ing strong cof­fee in my lo­cal greasy spoon. But this par­tic­u­lar day, with the wind whip­ping my hair, sway­ing above the deep azure sea, I am ac­tu­ally cliff-hang­ing. On the edge of a cliff in north­ern Jer­sey.

They call this pas­time ‘coas­t­eer­ing’a mix­ture of cliff div­ing, free climb­ing along the cliffs, swim­ming and cav­ing. Clad in a wet­suit, a hel­met and six very fine look­ing in­struc­tors, I’m perched on the edge of a sharp jut­ting rock, above deep wa­ter. I’m ex­pected to jump off.

“The thing is,” I stut­ter to John Fox, the lead in­struc­tor, “this kinda feels like the sort of thing they warn teenagers NOT to do in Brighton. Isn’t it called, um, tomb­ston­ing?”

“It’s ex­actly like that,” he says, “but they’re idiots who don’t know where to jump. I do.” FLIGHTS: Blue Is­lands fly twice daily Mon­day to Fri­day and once on Sun­day from Lon­don City Air­port to Jer­sey from £96 (in­clu­sive) one way.

08456 20 21 22 WHERE TO STAY: At­lantic Ho­tel (see Ho­tel of the Week) of­fer a dou­ble room based on two shar­ing, with break­fast, from £250 a night. 01534 744101 AC­TIV­ITY: Go coas­t­eer­ing with Jer­sey Ad­ven­tures from £25 per per­son with all safety equip­ment in­cluded. Suit­able for age 8 and over. 01534 498636 “Right,” I say. Gulp. Fine. “Make sure you push your toes right over the edge, and jump for­ward, away from the rocks,” he says smil­ing.

Sure, fine. An­other gulp. I’m wor­ry­ing I might shortly be see­ing my ho­tel break­fast again.

I start think­ing wist­fully of my nor­mal Sun­day in my greasy spoon, even if it meant go­ing with­out the At­lantic ho­tel’s smoked salmon and scram­bled eggs.

It was time, as they say, to take the plunge. Hold­ing my nose and keep­ing my eyes sky­ward, I bomb down into the sea.

It’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing. The cold wa­ter hits and then I emerge, gasp­ing into bril­liant sun­shine. With such a vi­o­lent shot of adren­a­line, I’m soon clam­ber­ing up even higher peaks to jump down, swim­ming in deep wa­ter and com­ing to rest in lit­tle in­lets and hid­den beaches.

“The only way to get here is by coas­t­eer­ing or kayaking,” John says as we reach the cop­per-coloured, un­blem­ished sand of a tiny cove, sur­rounded by high cliffs. It’s a beau­ti­ful beach, per­fectly hid­den, and I’m ex­pect­ing

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