KARAME beacon lies off the south-east coast of the Island in the Ramsar wetlands site. Here, you’ll be more than a mile and a half from the nearest house and on the bottom of the sea. But there is no need to bring a mask and snorkel.
Normally, the white navigational mark is surrounded by the ocean. However, on the lowest tides of the year you can walk to what is literally the end of Jersey.
If you are not familiar with the tides, join a guided walk or go with a person who goes low-water fishing in this area. The latter should know their way around, though they’ll probably try to avoid showing you their favourite lobster holes!
This is not a place to get cut off by the tide, which can rise by up to three inches a minute three hours after low tide.
Start from Seymour slip around two hours before the lowest tides of the year, which allows time to reach Karamé – and get back – without becoming a rescue statistic.
Walk towards Seymour Tower (there may be time to go up onto the parapet on the way back). One hundred metres south-east of Seymour is a rock called Les Settes Samson, with the letter P carved on it. This marks the boundary of the ancient feudal land of the Payn family and granted them the right to gather vraic (seaweed) in the close season. It dates from 1747.
Nearby is a crescent of stones which may have been an ancient fish trap.
Expect to walk across rocks, sand and mud, and through water. Each has a huge range of marine life. Sandbanks appear as if they should be on a Caribbean island, and the water is usually crystal clear.
Near Karamé you’ll cross rivers as the water pours out of the ponds. The strength of the flow may come as a surprise. If you turn a rock over, you’ll discover a world of vivid colours and mini-beasts, but remember to turn the rock back, otherwise the creatures will die.
To your left, the sea-bed will still be under water, but within an hour this will be dry land. This is an excellent spot to catch shellfish, providing they are above the minimum legal sizes. The rocks are covered with purple Lithothammion, which may explain why the area is called the violet bank.
Of Karamé, a yachtsman once said; ‘It’s strange to be standing in a spot I normally sail around.’ Climbing up to the beacon is not recommended. Instead, observe the fantastic range of marine life before your visit is cut short as the tide returns to reclaim its territory.
Distance: Four miles
Time: Four hours
Terrain: Expect to walk over uneven and at times rocky terrain and to get wet, perhaps up to your knees. The walk must only be undertaken on the lowest tides of the year in good weather. Return at low tide. If fog is forecast, stay ashore. You are advised to go with an accredited guide.
Toilets: La Rocque Harbour. Otherwise look for a suitable rocky outcrop.
Refreshments: Café at La Rocque harbour, or the Seymour Inn.
Derek Hairon is the owner of Jersey Walk Adventures and organises day and night-time ‘moonwalks’ on the sea-bed in the Ramsar wetlands site.
Favourite view: From the bench on the Ecréhous looking back to Jersey.
Favourite beach: Saie Bay.
Favourite fascinating fact: On a big spring tide the sea will be rising by about two inches per minute three hours after low tide.
Telephone 07797 853033Download/print a PDF of the walking map