Milford Haven is a superb natural harbour (rated highly by no-less than Nelson), and offers the small craft sailor over 25 mile of navigable waters, encompassing facilities from marinas to numerous peaceful anchorages. Entry is possible day and night, and Milford Haven is considered the harbour of refuge.
Much of the petrol and diesel imported into the UK comes through Milford Haven, thus there are liable to be movements of huge ships. This need not be too problematic as the entrance is wide, the big ship channels are well defined, and the yachtsman or motorboater needn't use them. ... read more
Approach and entry to Milford Haven is simple enough, although there are various dangers in the offing that are best seen by reference to our chart of the approaches to Milford Haven.
To the north of the entrance there is Skomer Island, Skolholm Island, Grassholm and The Smalls. With attention to navigation you can pass between Skomer Island (giving it a good offing due to overfalls), and Grassholm. Skolholm likewise needs a good offing to avoid Wild Goose Race. ... read more
You should leave Dale at LW not HW as previously stated in the 2011 notes - apologies for any confusion
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Written by dononshytalk | 18th Feb 2013
These notes were reviewed and updated by Don T on the 18th February 2013. The details on the South Wales Firing Practice Areas was expanded and a few notes of local knowledge added.
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Jack Sound to the North West of St Anne's Head, South West Wales
Written by dononshytalk | 6th Apr 2011
If travelling North from Milford by far the quickest route from Milford Haven is via Jack Sound and Ramsey Sound. Neither of these should be approached in rough weather and without acces to a Pilot Book and chart (AC1482- on this site) - I use the Imray Pilot which gives specific directions on how to navigate through both sounds and I have done so on numerous occasions. I should make the point that was made to me on one occassion whilst I was waiting at Dale for settled weather - I had said to a local that if it was too rough to navigate the Jack the next day I would just have to go round the outside - and was told that if it was too rough for the Jack it would too rough round the outside!!
If you depart from Dale about High Water you should make the Jack by slack water if you dont allow your speed of advance drop below about four and a half knots. Just follow the Imray directions and it is a piece of cake. If you are trying to make it round to Fishguard in one hit it is necessary to go through the Jack about an hour before slack - keep the speed up and you can go through Ramsay at slack water. I have only attempted it once under sail and that was on a very settled day with the breeze from the Sou'East - gybed through the Jack, went across St Bride's Bay under spinnaker and found that the Ramsay was so settled that I went through that under spinnaker - but that was an exceptional sail - they only come along every so often and are unforgettable - best go through the sounds under power - or at least with the engine at a moments notice.
The reverse trip is not possible from the North as Ramsay Sound Slack water is an hour before The Jack - but a little way along St Brides is Solva - lovely little place - so an afternoon sail through Ramsay Sound followed by a convivial evening at The Ship for a morning start for the Jack can be recommended