Places to visit

What to do on a fine sunny day?. John Davis, who know every square inch of the waters around Saundersfoot has kindly contributed a cruising guide listing where to go and what to avoid.


1. LYDSTEP (Charts 1076 or 1482)

Depart any time after H.W to carry the tide down.
Return in the evening with the tide.
Distance 6M, a leisurely 1.5 hours each way.
Possibly return outside Caldey Island distance then about 9M. Take a dinghy if you wish to land.
Suitable wind –Light SW to N

2. BARAFUNDLE BAY (Chart 1076)

Long day trip. Morning & evening tides. Distance 12M,carry tide all the way down & back. A visit to St Govans Head and Broadhaven South would also be possible on the same day. Dinghy needed to land.. Suitable wind – SW to N not more than F2- F3


Long day trip- Best on Neaps as tide is against you both ways.
Distance 16.5M Time 3 to 4 hours depending on speed. Dinghy needed if you wish to land.
Suitable wind N to NE Light no swell.
Suggested times Depart S/foot 0900
Arrive W/Head 1300
Depart W/Head 1600
Arrive S/foot 2000


1. ILFRACOMBE (Chart 1176)

Distance 38M Trip takes 8 hours approx Suitable wind SW to ENE, preferably not more than 20kts (F4)
Depart S/foot when convenient but preferably not later than 2 hours after HW
You can anchor or pick up visitors moorings in the outer harbour (but not if the wind is in the NE) or go into the inner harbour and lie against the wall (you will need a timber plank 6ft x 10ins x 1ins) The inner harbour is accessible 2.5 hours either side of HW. Dinghy needed if you anchor in the outer harbour.

2. LUNDY ISLAND (Chart 1176)

Distance 32.5M Time 6.5 hours Anchorage available at all states of tide so leave S/foot when convenient.
Suitable wind WSW to NW. not more than 15kts (F3) Do not attempt it in winds from any other direction as the anchorage can become untenable.
A dinghy is essential.

3. DALE (Chart 1076 & 2878)

Distance 25.5M
Leave S/foot so that you arrive near the entrance to Milford Haven just after LW.
You can carry the tide all the way down and back if timed correctly.
Suitable wind to go and come back is Northerly, can be combined with a visit to S Haven Anchorage on Skomer or even a trip around Grassholm. Anchor in suitable depth off Dale. A dinghy is essential.

4 SOLVA (Charts 1076 –2878-1482-1478)

Distance 38M. You will need a dinghy to land. Suitable winds, as many different directions are in-volved general directions cannot be given except that a settled spell of weather should be chosen with relatively light winds. The timing of the tide through Jack Sound must be taken into account. You will need a dinghy.
The trip can be done in one go from S/foot but it will depend on the times of the tides. It is sometimes easier to combine with an overnight stop in Dale.

5. PADSTOW (Charts 1178 Approaches to Bris-tol Channel –1076/1168 Approaches to Padstow Bay)

Distance 72M
Time taken will depend on wind direction and strength, also ability of boat and crew.
Assuming a direct course could be taken and a speed of 5kts maintained then the trip could be covered in 14 to 15 hours. It is wise to arrive on a rising tide- the lock gates into the inner harbour are open from 2 hours before HW to 2 hours after HW.
There is a bar to be crossed over once inside Padstow Bay. Do not try to cross it until at least 2 hours after LW and not at all in strong Northerly.
This trip is best made during a period of settled weather and could be combined with a trip to Lundy Island. TWO WEEKS CRUISE The possibility of a longer cruise of up to two weeks in June is under consideration. Talk to Rolfe John or John Davies if you fancy a flotilla.


Alfred “Centennial” Johnson decided to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the United States with a sea voyage from Gloucester in Massachusetts to Liverpool. Johnson set off on 15th June 1876 aboard the 20 foot flush decked sailing dory Centennial and, having crossed the Atlantic, arrived off the Pembrokeshire coast and made a landfall in the tiny fishing harbour of Abercastle, between Fishguard and St David’s on 10th August 1876. This is believed to have been the first solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
The story of Alfred Johnson’s daring crossing was not well known even among locals, but last October a plaque was unveiled to commemorate it. Have a look if you are up that way.