PASSAGE PLANNING IN THE BRISTOL CHANNEL

by Bob Hitchings


When sailing the Bristol channel all passage planning must be governed by the tides. Some trips are best made on neaps and some on springs others in between!

I am putting here some of my ideas for making day passages to various ports and harbours.

In my experience, many harbours are accessible from each other on one tide and since most of the harbours are drying or have tidal gates then planning is essential if you don't want to have to anchor and wait for several hours.

All sailors will have their preferences for making passages and these are purely my own. I have sailed all of the routes I am describing here and I give my reasons for the passage plan chosen. These are plans that I make for sailing in my Sadler 26. I have a 16hp Beta inboard and generally I aim to average 4.5 knots. I prefer to sail but I am not averse to motor sailing or motoring if it means the difference of making harbour and not! If you would like more information then email

rhitchings@btinternet.com

1. Watchet to Cardiff and return

2. Watchet to Ilfracombe and Watermouth Cove

3. Watchet to Swansea

4. Ilfracombe to Swansea

5. Ilfracombe to Tenby/Saundersfoot

6. Swansea to Tenby/Saundersfoot

7. Tenby/Saundersfoot to Milford Haven

8. Cardiff to Bristol/Portishead

9. Portishead to Sharpness/Gloucester

10. Swansea to Cardiff


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