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Old 27 May 2008, 17:50   #1
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Poole to Salcombe - Any advice

Heading down the coast in early July - anyone got any tips or advice ?
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Old 28 May 2008, 03:16   #2
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Keep the brown bit on your right.

How much tima have you got for the trip? Can you take a few days to explore, or do you just need to get there?

You could do any or all of Lulworth Cove, Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Exmouth, Teignmouth, Babbacombe, Torquay, Brixham, Dartmouth if you want to. Some of them have limited tidal access, but you would only be doing shortish passages between them.

At the other extreme (assuming you have fuel range) you can come past Swanage, keep close in to Portland Bill, then head straight across Lyme Bay to Start Point and Salcombe. As a variation you can take a slightly more northerly course and head for Torquay - this will give you some shelter in a south westerly and opens up your options if you decide not to go all the way to Salcombe in one hit. Access to Torquay is really easy if you're running out of energy, and Dartmouth is a fantastic place to visit by boat.

Whichever route you take, Lyme Bay is not much fun if the weather is bad so plan accordingly.

A copy of Mark Fishwick's "West Country Cruising Companion" is worth buying for anyone heading west, and there's a new edition out this year. Certainly make sure you are familiar with the approach to Salcombe as it's not obvious.

Have fun!

John
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Old 28 May 2008, 04:12   #3
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The only stuf I would add to John's excellant advice is:
-Lyme Bay is bloody boring. 45 nmiles of nothing.
-when John says keep close to Portland Bill he means keep CLOSE. This avoids all the drama of the overfalls that can run for 5 or so miles off the Bill.
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Old 28 May 2008, 07:39   #4
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-when John says keep close to Portland Bill he means keep CLOSE. This avoids all the drama of the overfalls that can run for 5 or so miles off the Bill.
How close is close? I heard it said that you should quite literally be able to throw a stone from the boat and hit the shore. Or is it obvious because there are waves to the left, land to the right, take the flat bit in the middle?
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Old 28 May 2008, 07:48   #5
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The Bill and Lyme Bay

Jonny

Can't stress enough that close means CLOSE at Portland. i.e.less than 60m off Pulpit Rock to avoid the race depending on your exact timings. Chart will show you how deep the water is close in, but there are a few isolated rocks to watch out for though they are very close in.

On the ebb, shape a course to take you close inshore well north of the Bill, then creep round the corner. But your better off timing your rounding when the race is slack if you want to be sure. Avoid springs if poss. Keep a very careful watch for (often submerged) pot buoys close in. I would suggest displacement speed for the rounding. Or, as others say, keep 4 miles off and you can admire the race from a distance!

Lyme Bay can be a pretty crappy bit of water, so a close rounding then inshore towards West Bay would give you shelter and options as long as you have the range. Poole-Dartmouth approx 72nm.

By the way, do you keep your boat on a versadock at a local marina?
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Old 28 May 2008, 07:52   #6
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How close is close? I heard it said that you should quite literally be able to throw a stone from the boat and hit the shore. Or is it obvious because there are waves to the left, land to the right, take the flat bit in the middle?
You do need to keep close in, but not necessarily within throwing distance although you could if you wanted to.

In Mark Fishwick's book he recommends keeping within 200m, but the overfalls and areas of calmer water should be fairly obvious. I've generally gone a bit closer than this.

As BassBoy says, the other option is to keep several miles offshore which is pretty dull.

John
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Old 28 May 2008, 07:54   #7
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Also

Jonny. I'm sure you already know, but also watch out for overfalls at Oldy Harry, Peverill ledge, Durlston and particulary StAldhelms. Usual rules aply........close in, or, far out!
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Old 28 May 2008, 07:56   #8
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Lyme Bay can be a pretty crappy bit of water, so a close rounding then inshore towards West Bay would give you shelter and options as long as you have the range. Poole-Dartmouth approx 72nm.
In a south westerly you've got to go a long way before you start to get any shelter.

Is Bridport/West Bay any better since they redid the entrance? Used to be quite challenging!

John
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Old 28 May 2008, 12:50   #9
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Went there and back in a day a couple of years ago in one of our 770's with 4 RAF aircrew as passengers on the way up to Poole all for charity - great trip! I would also add to the above advice that Start Point and to a lesser amount Prawle Point can both be entertaining in the wrong conditions - same advice as the others - tight in or 2-3 miles out!
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Old 28 May 2008, 13:44   #10
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watch out for the semi submergerd lobster pots at portland bill, went through there in a yacht on the way to torquay and they are everywhere, just under the surface as well, real pain to spot!!!! Most of them are in the inner channel, right next to the cliff

Dont want to get your prop snagged with the tide running there for sure.
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