Area Information

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Wales, NW England, IoM (Sailing Directions and Charts)

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

N/A

Charts

Tidal Stream: NP256, NP259 Navigation: Admiralty, 1826, 1411, 1410

Rules & Regulations

Various TSS schemes, see text or charts

Hazards

Tidal races and dangerous overfalls around headlands, some harbours unsafe to enter in onshore conditions, see text

Tidal Data Times & Range

Standard Port, Liverpool: HW= Dover+ 0015 Gladstone Dock: MHWS 9.2m, MHWN 7.3m, MLWN 2.9m, MLWS 0.8m

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General Description

Use the "Navigation Chart" link to access Area Charts PLUS the NP series Tidal Stream Atlases


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Approach

This section describes the W coast of Wales from Wooltack Point to Carmel Head and includes Holyhead Bay, the E side of Saint George’s Channel, Cardigan Bay, and Caernarfon Bay.It also covers the North Coast of Wales and the English coast Northwards to Solway Firth.

Wooltack Point to St. David’s Head


Saint Brides Bay (51°49'N., 5°13'W.) lies N of Wooltack Point and is entered between Skomer Island,and Ramsey Island, 6.5 miles N. It is free from dangers except near the N and S shores. The sea bed is formed of mainly fine sand and mud with excellent holding ground, but the bay is much exposed to provide anything but temporary anchorage. Small craft may take anchorage, sheltered from S winds, in a depth of 6m, within Goultrop Roads, at the SE corner of the bay; however, anchorage is not advised in this area during W winds.

Stack Rocks, 23m high, lie 0.5 mile offshore, 3.7 miles NE of Wooltack Point. Hand Marks, a rocky bank, lies l.2 miles W of Stack Rocks and has a least depth of 9.1m.

Solva (51°52'N., 5°12'W.), a small harbour, lies on the N side of the bay. It is suitable only for small craft which can take the bottom at LW. The harbour mostly dries and a small wharf on the N side has a depth of 5m alongside at HWS. The entrance channel is indicated by range beacons, divided by Black Rock, an islet, which is fronted by drying rocks on its W side. St. Elvis Rock, another small islet, lies close W of the E entrance point of the harbour. The Mare, an above-water rock, lies 0.5 mile S of Black Rock and Greenscar, a grass-topped islet, lies close W of it and is 33m high. Black Scar, another small islet, lies 0.2 mile WSW of Greenscar and rocky ground extends about 0.5 mile SW from it.

In Saint Brides Bay, the tidal currents are not strong, but both N and S currents outside the bay sweep round it and cause a constant W set out of the bay, either on its N side or the S side.

Caution...A Research Area, the limits of which are shown on the chart, lies within Saint Brides Bay and is marked by lighted buoys. Oceanographic instruments may be found in this area and vessels are cautioned against anchoring within it.


Ramsey Island (51°52'N., 5°20'W.) is surrounded by high and precipitous cliffs except at a small bay which indents its W side. Carn Llundain, 134m high, rises on the SW side of the island and is the highest peak. Carnysgubor, 97m high, stands near the NW extremity of the island and is also prominent. Several small islets and rocks lie up to 1 mile S of the island.

Ramsey Sound lies between Ramsey Island and the mainland. This channel has deep water, but the bottom is very irregular. The fairway has a least width of 0.2 mile abreast The Bitches, a rocky ledge, which extends from the E side of the island. The sound can be used by vessels with local knowledge, but the passage to the W of Ramsey Island is preferred.

Bishops and Clerks (51°52'N., 5°24'W.) are a group of islets and rocks which extend up to 2.5 miles W and NW of Ramsey Island. South Bishop, fronted by sunken rocks, is the SW islet of the group. A light is shown from a conspicuous tower, 11m high, standing on this islet. A radiobeacon is situated at the light.

Daufraich, a flat islet, lies 0.7 mile NE of South Bishop. Drying rocks lie up to 0.5 mile NE of this islet and there are heavy overfalls and tide rips in their vicinity. Llech Isaf, lying 0.5 mile W of Ramsey Island, dries 3.6m. Llech Uchaf, located 0.4 mile N of Llech Isaf, is 1.5m high. Several areas of foul and uneven ground, with heavy overfalls, lie in the vicinity of these rocks.

Careg Rhoson lies on a narrow ridge 1.7 miles NNE of South Bishop. High rocks extend SW and NE of this islet and overfalls occur in their vicinity.

North Bishop, fronted by high rocks and foul ground, is the NW islet of the group. It is 38m high and lies 2.3 miles NW of the N extremity of Ramsey Island. Carreg-Trai, a group of drying rocks, lies 1.2 miles E of North Bishop and is generally indicated by breakers.

There are navigable channels through the Bishops and Clerks, but none should be attempted at night, in low visibility, or without local knowledge. The best channel, although narrower than some, leads between the W coast of Ramsey Island and Llech Uchaf.

Caution...The main shipping route, which is formed by a traffic separation scheme, lies 10 miles W of South Bishop Light and may best be seen on the chart.

Bais Bank (51°57'N., 5°21'W.), a narrow ridge of fine sand and broken shells, extends 5 miles NE from a position 1.2 miles NNW of North Bishop. It has a least depth of 7m which lies near the center. The bank may generally be identified by tide rips and during gales, the sea breaks heavily over it.

To the W of Ramsey Island, the tidal currents are strong and set at rates up to 5 knots at springs and 3 knots at neaps. The current setting N bends E around Ramsey Island and unites with the current setting N from Ramsey Sound. This united current flows onward towards St. Davids Head. The current setting S splits close N of Ramsey Island with one part running through Ramsey Sound and the other to the W of Ramsey Island. These currents attain rates near Bishops and Clerks of 5 knots at springs. In addition, heavy overfalls, whirls, and eddies are formed close to all of the patches of uneven ground in this vicinity.

The currents rate decrease as they move N. Off St. Davids Head, rates of 3 knots at springs and at the N end of Bais Bank, rates of 2 knots are experienced.


St. David’s Head to Fishguard

St. David’s Head (51°54'N., 5°19'W.), although not more than 30m high at its W extremity, is a prominent point.
Carn Llidi, 179m high, stands 0.8 mile E of the head. This conspicuous hill is cone-shaped with steep sides. Pen Berry, 173m high, stands 2.5 miles ENE of St. David’s Head and is another conspicuous hill. Although its summit is rugged when seen from the W, this hill somewhat resembles Carn Llidi and care is required not to mistake them.

Between St. David’s Head and Pen Berry, the coast is formed by perpendicular and steep-to cliffs. Several hamlets and farms may be seen on the higher background.

Cardigan Bay (52°30'N., 4°30'W.) is considered to lie between St. Davids Head and Bardsey Island, 55 miles NNE. The E and NE parts of the bay contain several dangerous shoals. The two most important are Cynfelin Patches, which extend up to 6.5 miles from the shore, and St. Patricks Causeway, which extends up to 11 miles from the shore. Both of these shoals are awash in places at LWS.

Caution...Trawlers may be encountered within Cardigan Bay, especially during the spring. Inshore trawlers may be encountered at any time in depths of 20 to 35m. Scallop dredges may also be encountered within these depths and sometimes in concentrations. Pots may be found moored up to 10 miles offshore.

Strumble Head (52°02'N., 5°04'W.), located 11.7 miles NE of St. David’s Head, is the NW extremity of the N projection of Pen Caer, a large promontory. This headland is formed by a barren, rugged mass of rock and is very conspicuous. Two bare and rocky islets lie close off the W spur of the headland and are fronted by drying rocks. Ynys Meicel, the E islet, is attached to the mainland; a light is shown from a conspicuous tower, 17m high, standing on it.

Garn Fawr, standing 1.5 miles S of the headland, is prominent. This hill is 211m high and has a rugged and rocky summit with steep faces. Strumble Bank lies 1.4 miles ENE of Strumble Head and heavy seas break over it in bad weather.
This bank has a least depth of 17.4m and there are overfalls and tide rips in its vicinity.

Pen Anglas (52°02'N., 4°59'W.), located 3 miles E of Strumble Head, is a low, rugged, and rocky point. It is surmounted by a small obelisk and forms the NW entrance point of Fishguard Bay.
Tide rips are sometimes formed over the uneven ground extending off this point.

Between St. David’s Head and Strumble Head, the tidal currents follow the general direction of the shore, setting NE and SW. They attain maximum rates of a little over 2 knots. Between Strumble Head and Pen Anglas, the current setting NE, after passing the headland, makes an eddy which extends about 0.5 mile from the shore. At a position about 1 mile offshore, the currents attain rates of 3 knots at springs and 1.5 knots at neaps. It was reported (1987) that the tidal current 1 mile N of Strumble Head attained a rate of 6 knots at springs.

Fishguard (52°01'N., 4°59'W.) 

The port of Fishguard lies at the SW side of Fishguard Bay which is entered between Pen Anglas and Dinas Head, 3 miles E. The shores of the bay consist of moderately high rocky cliffs, backed by rugged summits. There is a ferry terminal for cross-channel operation to the Republic of Ireland.

See online coverage of

Fishguard Harbour

Tides...Currents-The tide rises about 4.8m at springs and 3.4m at neaps.

Aspect...Dinas Head, the E entrance point of the bay, is a prominent headland with a distinctive wedge-shaped appearance. It is the N and highest part of Dinas Island, a peninsula connected to the mainland by a low swamp.

Mynddmelyn, 305m high, stands 2.5 miles SSE of Dinas Head. This conspicuous mountain has a nipple rock on its summit and forms the beginning of a rocky ridge which trends E for 3 miles. This ridge terminates in Carn Ingli which has a rugged top and is 351m high. A prominent white hotel stands on the W side of the harbour and a ruined castle is situated on a point, 0.7 mile S of the head of the N breakwater. A light is shown from a prominent tower, 20m high, standing on the head of the N breakwater. A lighted range, which may best be seen on the chart, indicates the approach to the main quay.

Caution...An area, within which anchoring is prohibited, lies in the harbour and may best be seen on the chart. The harbour is susceptible to seiches which can cause fluctuations in the sea level. Vessels should give the head of the N breakwater a wide berth as its foundation extends up to 60m seaward. A wreck, with a swept depth of 14m, lies about 1 mile NNW of the head of the N breakwater. An area lying adjacent to the main quay is fouled by haulingoff wires and associated concrete clumps. High-speed craft operate out of Fishguard.

Fishguard to Bardsey Island

Newport Bay (52°02'N., 4°52'W.) lies between Dinas Head and Pen-y-bal, 2.3 miles E. The shore between Dinas Head and the mouth of Afon Nyfer, which discharges into the SE part of the bay, consists of slate rock. Pen-y-bal is a high and steep-to point. Carregedrywy, an above-water rock, lies 0.2 mile N of Pen-y-bal and is connected to the mainland by a drying ledge. Foel Goch stands close within the cliffs 1.5 miles NE of  Pen-y-bal. This hill is prominent, round-topped, and 190m high.

Newport Sands are a large tract of fine, smooth, and hard drying sand which extends up to 0.5 mile N from the mouth of Afon Nyfer. Newport, a resort village, is situated on the S side of the river. A small harbour, used by yachts and fishing boats, lies at the S side of the river mouth. An outfall pipeline extends 0.4 mile NW from close W of the river mouth. Vessels may anchor in any part of the bay, but during onshore winds, a considerable sea sets into it and at times breaks furiously on the sands.

Cemaes Head (52°07'N., 4°44'W.), 187m high, is located 6.5 miles NE of Pen-y-bal. It is formed by a bold cape which rises steeply above the cliffs. Foul ground, with depths of 11 to 13m, extends up to about 1 mile N of this head and should be  given a wide berth.  Between Newport Bay and Cemaes Head, the tidal currents set NE and SW at rates of 1.5 knots at springs with indrafts running into the bays.

Port Cardigan (52°07'N., 4°42'W.), a resort bay, lies between Cemaes Head and Cardigan Island, 1.5 miles ENE. The latter island is 50m high, steep-to, and has a dangerous wreck lying close NW of its W side. Freni Fawr, a mountain, stand 10 miles SSE of the bay. It is 393m high and very conspicuous from seaward.

There are depths of 14 to 18m in the entrance of the bay. These decrease gradually towards the head where the Afon Teifi discharges through a sand-encumbered estuary. The bottom of the bay is generally sandy and there are no off-lying dangers. A harbour, used by yachts and fishing boats, is formed by the estuary of the river. The entrance channel has a least depth of 0.3m over the bar and is subject to considerable changes.

A conspicuous hotel stands at the E side of the bay. Shelter from SW gales may be obtained under the lee of
Cemaes Head and there is good holding ground, but strong winds from between WNW and NNE cause a heavy sea in the bay.

Pencribach (52°09'N., 4°34'W.), a table headland, is located 5 miles E of Cardigan Island. It is 132m high and surmounted by several pylons and structures.

New Quay Head (52°13'N., 4°22'W.), with a high and rugged face, is located 15 miles NE of Cemaes Head.

Pen-y-Castell, 92m high, rises close S of this point and is prominent. Carreg Draenog, a large rock, lies 0.5 mile W of the point and is very prominent from the NE and SW. Carreg Walltog, another large rock, lies close W of the point and is connected to the shore by a drying ledge.

Between Port Cardigan and New Quay Head, the tidal currents are not strong and their general direction is parallel to the coast.

New Quay Bay is entered between New Quay Head and Ina Point, 1 mile ESE, and its head is backed by clay cliffs. Foul ground and rocks extend 0.3 mile NW from Ina Point and an outfall pipeline extends 0.7 mile NNW from the vicinity of these dangers. A small drying harbour, used by yachts and fishing boats, lies in the W part of the bay and is protected by a breakwater.

Aberayron (Aberaeron), a small drying harbour, lies 3 miles NE of Ina Point at the mouth of the Afon Aeron. It is protected by a breakwater, fronted by a shingle bar, and used by fishing boats and yachts.

The coast between Ina Point and Aberayron consists generally of perpendicular slate cliffs which vary in height between 6 and 37m. The land close behind these cliffs abruptly rises to a height of about 60m.

Caution...Targets, buoys, and moorings supporting scientific instruments are occasionally moored within 20 miles of  Pencribach. They are associated with firing exercises and their positions are frequently changed. Care should be taken when navigating in the area to the N of the headland, especially at night and in poor visibility.

Aberystwyth (52°25'N., 4°05'W.), a tourist resort, is situated 12 miles NE of Aberayron. It stands on the N side of the Afon Rheidol at its confluence with the Afon Ystwyth. A small harbour, used by pleasure craft and fishing vessels, lies close within the mouth of the Afon Rheidol and is fronted by a bar which dries. It is protected from the SW by a breakwater, which is partly submerged, and the entrance is formed by the outlet of the two rivers.

A bridge spans the Afon Ystwyth near the root of this breakwater. A monument stands on the summit of a detached hill, 124m high, which rises between the mouths of the two rivers. Castle Point, surmounted by the ruins of a castle, is located 0.4 mile N of the breakwater and is the W extremity of a low promontory.

A prominent church, with a square tower, and the extensive buildings of a college stand close E of this point. A conspicuous television mast, 152m high, stands about 3 miles S of Aberystwyth.

See online coverage of

Aberystwyth Harbour


Sarn Wallog (52°27'N., 4°05'W.) is a narrow drying spit, consisting of shingle and gravel interspersed with large stones, which extends 0.3 mile seaward from a point on the shore located 2.7 miles N of Aberystwyth. Sarn Cynfelyn, a narrow shoal, extends about 2.3 miles WSW from Sarn Wallog and has a least depth of 2.7m. Cynfelyn Patches, with a least depth of 1.5m, lies close W of Sarn Cynfelyn and extends up to 6.5 miles offshore. The W extremity of this shoal area is marked by a buoy. A channel, 0.3 mile wide, separates Sarn Cynfelyn and Cynfelyn Patches and has a least depth of 6.4m in the fairway.

Borth (52°29'N., 4°03'W.), a resort town, is situated 5.2 miles N of Aberystwyth. It occupies 1 mile of coastline and has numerous conspicuous buildings. Between New Quay Head and Borth, the tidal currents have no great strength and only attain rates of 1 knot at springs and 0.5 knot at neaps.

Aberdovey (52°31'N., 4°03'W.), a small harbour, lies on the N side of the large estuary of the River Dovey, 7.5 miles N of Aberystwyth. The land on the N side of this estuary rises steeply to hills of up to 270m in height, but the land on the S side consists of low and marshy ground. The estuary is encumbered by drying sand banks and fronted by a bar. A channel, marked by buoys, leads over the bar and into the river. It has a least depth of 0.9m and is used by small craft with local knowledge. Tides here rise about 5m at springs and 2.8m at neaps. The harbour is mostly used by yachts and is no longer used for commercial shipping.

Pen Bwch Point (52°37'N., 4°08'W.) is located 5 miles NNW of Aberdovey. Foel Wyllt, an isolated and rounded hill, stands 3.5 miles E of this point. It is 311m high and prominent from seaward. Sarn-y-Bwch extends about 4 miles WSW from Pen Bwch Point and has depths of less than 9m. This extensive shoal is composed of large, loose stones and dries, in patches, up to nearly 1 mile offshore. Its SW extremity is marked by a buoy. Llangelynin Shoal, with a least depth of 4.6m, lies about 1 mile offshore, 2.5 miles N of Pen Bwch Point.

Barmouth (52°43'N., 4°03'W.), a small harbour, lies on the N side of the mouth of the Afon Mawddach which discharges into the sea 6.5 miles NNE of Pen Bwch Point. It is used by yachts, pleasure craft, and fishing boats. The prominent town, which backs the harbour, is a popular resort. The S entrance point of the river is formed by a long and narrow spit. The N entrance point is fronted by a small and sandy islet. A railway bridge spans the river at the E end of the town. Fegla Fawr, a remarkable low and rounded hill, stands on the S side of the harbour, close E of the bridge. Cader Idris, a prominent mountain, stands 4.7 miles E of the bridge and is 891m high.

The river mouth is fronted by a bar which is subject to considerable change. A channel, marked by a lighted buoy, leads over the bar and has a least depth of 0.3m. Vessels can anchor, in depths of 6 to 10m, W of the bar. An outfall pipeline, marked at its seaward end by a lighted buoy, extends 0.9 mile WSW from a point on the shore, 0.6 mile NW of the N entrance point.

Between Aberdovey and Barmouth, the tidal currents are not strong, having rates of less than 1 knot at springs.

Mochras Point (52°49'N., 4°09'W.), located 7 miles NNW of Barmouth, is a low and sandy point consisting of
sandhills. These hills front the seaward side of an area of reclaimed marshland. A spit of sand and stones, with a least depth of 1.2m, extends 1.3 miles SW from the point.

St. Patricks Causeway (Sarn Badrig) (52°45'N., 4°14'W.) extends about 11 miles SW from a section of the coast close S of Mochras Point. This extensive shoal dries in places and is marked at its SW end by a lighted buoy. It is comparatively steep-to on its SE side, but a number of shoals, with depths of 7 to 9m, lie between Barmouth and the SW extremity. The outer part of the NW side of this shoal is also comparatively steep-to, but North Shoals, with depths of 2 to 8m, extend up to about 2.5 miles NW from its middle and inner parts.

Although the maximum strength of the tidal current at springs is only 1 knot in this vicinity, heavy ripples and overfalls form over St. Patricks Causeway. In strong winds, a heavy breaking sea is often formed in this area.

Tremadog Bay (52°50'N., 4°15'W.) occupies the NE head of Cardigan Bay and is entered between Mochras Point
and Trwyn Cilan, 14 miles W. The bay provides extensive anchorage, in depths of 18 to 20m, near its centre over a mud bottom, but this roadstead is untenable with strong SW winds. The bay is foul at its W side.

Mochras Lagoon, a broad and sandy drying inlet, is entered 1 mile NE of Mochras Point and is used by numerous yachts during the summer months. Harlech Castle, with conspicuous ruins, stands on a steep grassy slope, 2 miles N of the entrance to the lagoon.

Porthmadog (52°55'N., 4°08'W.) lies 12 miles NNW of Barmouth on the N side of the estuary of the Afon Dwyryd and the Afon Glaslyn. This small harbour is used by fishing boats and pleasure craft. The estuary is encumbered by broad expanses of drying sands and fronted by a bar. Tides here rise about 4.2m at springs and 1.3m at neaps. A channel, marked by buoys, crosses the bar. It has a least depth of 0.6m in the fairway,but is subject to change. An outer approach lighted buoy is moored about 1.7 miles WSW of the mouth of the estuary.

Moel-y-Gest, a prominent and isolated hill, stands on the N side of the entrance and is 260m high. A conspicuous white house stands in the vicinity of the N entrance point. The conspicuous ruins of a castle stand on the summit of a promontory at Criccieth, 3 miles WNW of the N entrance point.

Pwllheli (52°53'N., 4°24'W.), a small harbour, lies at the mouth of the Afon Erch, 9 miles W of Porthmadog. There are extensive facilities for yachts and the harbour is also used by fishing boats. The small town backing the harbour is a tourist centre. Outer Shoal, with a least depth of 3.6m, lies 1.7 miles SE of Pwllheli. Gimblet Shoal, with a least depth of 2m, extends about 2.3 miles SSE from Pwllheli. During SW gales, seas break over these two shoal areas.

See online coverage of

Pwllheli Harbour/ Marina (Hafan Pwllheli)

Abersoch, an extensive yacht basin, lies on the S side of the Afon Soch, 5 miles SW of Pwllheli. A conspicuous windmill, without arms, stands on high ground, 2.3 miles NNW of the basin.

Trwyn Cilan (52°47'N., 4°32'W.), the W entrance point of Tremadog Bay, is a bold promontory.

The St. Tudwals Islands (52°48'N., 4°28'W.), consisting of two small islands, lie centered 0.5 mile E of the E side of this promontory. A light is shown from a tower, 11m high, standing on the W island and several drying rocks, lying 0.3 mile SE of the E island, are marked by a buoy.

St. Tudwals Sound leads between the W island and the mainland. This channel has a least depth of 11m in the fairway, but the tidal currents are strong and a short cross sea arises when the wind is against the tide.

St. Tudwals Roads lies close N of the islands and is divided into two parts by a narrow sandbank with depths of less than 5m. These roadsteads are somewhat protected from the N and W, but with strong winds from the S
and E, heavy seas are raised. The inner part of the roads affords good anchorage, in depths of 6 to 9m, NNW of the W island.

Caution...During May to October, several yacht racing buoys may be moored within Tremadog Bay.

Porth Neigwel (52°48'N., 4°35'W.) is entered between Trwyn Cilan and Trwyn Talfarach, 4.5 miles WNW. This large bay affords temporary anchorage during offshore winds, in depths of 18 to 22m, about 1 mile offshore. However, the bay should be used only during offshore winds as the current sets into it and the prevailing SW winds quickly cause a heavy sea.

Aberdaron Bay is entered 2 miles WSW of Trwyn Talfarach and is sheltered from the W. This bay is not recommended as an anchorage as the holding ground is bad and it is exposed to S winds which cause a heavy sea. Two small islets lie close S of the E entrance point of the bay.

A conspicuous radio tower, 50m high, surmounts the summit of Mynydd Rhiw. This peak stands 3.5 miles NE of the head of Aberdaron Bay and is 303m high. A radio direction finding station is situated at the tower.

Braich-y-Pwll (52°48'N., 4°46'W.), a bold and rocky point, is located 8.5 miles W of Trwyn Cilan.
It is steep-to and lies at the SW extremity of the Lleyn Peninsula. Two prominent hills rise close within the point.

Devil’s Ridge lies 4.5 miles SE of Braich-y-Pwll. This bank has a least depth of 8.5m and violent turbulence, which is dangerous to small craft, has been observed over it. 

Many small harbours have not been covered in this area, the following links from www.ports.org.uk give a good snapshot of each, and normally contact details for the Harbourmaster:
 




Bardsey Island to Holyhead Bay

Bardsey Island (52°45'N., 4°48'W.) lies 2.3 miles SSW of Braich-y-Pwll and is fronted by foul ground on its W
side. A conspicuous hill, 165m high, rises steeply at the E side of the island, but the S part is low.
The ruins of an abbey are situated on the N part of the island. A light is shown from a prominent tower, 30m high, standing at the S end of the island.

Bastram Shoal, dangerous and rocky, lies between 1 and 3.2 miles SSE of Bardsey Island. This shoal has very irregular depths, the least being 6.3m. Violent turbulence has been
reported over this shoal and heavy seas are formed in its vicinity during strong winds.

The Devil’s Tail (52°38'N., 4°41'W.), a narrow ridge of rock, extends 5 miles SSW from a position 6.5 miles SE of Bardsey Island. The ridge has a least depth of 23m, but depths of 40m lie within about 100m of its shallowest part, causing areas of violent turbulence and a heavy race during the strength of the tide.

Caswenan Rock, a pinnacle rock, lies about 1 mile SSW of Bardsey Island. It has a least depth of 17.8m and is usually marked by a tide rip.

Ship Ledge, with a least depth of 10.5m, lies about 0.3 mile E of the SE extremity of Bardsey Island. Heavy overfalls form, at times, over an area, with an uneven bottom and depths of 27 to 35m, lying about 1 mile W of Bardsey Island.

Maen Bugail, a small rock, lies about 0.3 mile N of the N end of the island and dries 4m. A heavy tide race extends nearly 0.5 mile N from this rock.

Bardsey Sound (52°47'N., 4°46'W.) lies between the island and the mainland. The channel fairway has depths of 24 to 48m and is used by coastal vessels with local knowledge.

The tidal current setting S through St. Tudwals Sound rounds Trywn Cilan and sets NW into Porth Neigwel. It also makes a circuit of Aberdaron Bay and then follows the line of the coast towards Braich-y-Pwll. Both the NW and SE currents run towards the shore and into the bays, especially during S winds. When the wind is opposed to the tidal current, it causes a turbulent sea near St. Tudwals Sound and over all the dangers in the vicinity of Bardsey Island. In addition, a strong tide race is formed around Braich-y-Pwll.

The current setting NW splits on meeting Bardsey Island. One portion rounds the S point of the island and sets outside the shoals lying on its the W side while the other portion sets round the N part of the island, inside Maen Bugail. These two portions of the current unite at a position about 1.5 miles from the island and from this junction, a strong eddy sets back towards the island. Similarly, the current setting SE also splits on meeting the island. One portion sets along the W shore of the island while the other portion sets through Bardsey Sound. These two portions of the current unite at a position about 2 miles SE of the island and from this junction, a strong eddy sets back towards the SE side of the island.

Caernarfon Bay (Caernarvon Bay) (53°05'N., 4°35'W.) is entered between Bardsey Island and Holy Island,
32 miles N. The SE part of the bay is formed by the NW coast of the Lleyn Peninsula which is bold, rocky, mainly steep-to, and rises to mountainous country inland.

Snowdon, the tallest peak, stands 10 miles inland. Its summit is 1,083m high and is sometimes covered by clouds. The NE part of the bay is formed by the SW coast of the island of Anglesey. The shore of this island is indented by many small bays and fronted by ledges and rocks which extend up to 1.5 miles offshore. The island of Anglesey is separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait, a narrow and navigable waterway. Holy Island lies close off the W coast of Anglesey and forms the S side of Holyhead harbour.

The Tripods (52°49'N., 4°46'W.), a steep-to bank, extends 1.5 miles N and lies with its S end located 1 mile NNW of Braich-y-Pwll. It is formed of sand and shells and has a least depth of 10.1m. The tidal currents, which attain rates of up to 3 knots at springs, produce overfalls on this bank and a heavy sea is formed when the wind is against tide.

Maen Mellt, a rock 6m high, stands about 0.5 mile offshore, 3.5 miles NE of Braich-y-Pwll.

Trwyn Porth Dinllaen (52°57'N., 4°34'W.), located 11.5 miles NE of Braich-y-Pwll, is the N extremity of a rocky point which projects 0.6 mile N from the coast. Careg-y-Chwislen, a drying rock fronted by shoals, lies 0.2 mile ENE of the point and is marked by a beacon. A light is occasionally shown from the coastguard station situated on NE side of the point. Porth Dinllaen, a shallow bay, lies close SE of Trwyn Porth Dinllaen and provides anchorage to pleasure craft during offshore winds. Several small craft moorings are situated within the bay.

At more than 2 miles NW of Bardsey Sound, the tidal currents set NNE and SSW, taking the trend of the shore.
Between Bardsey Sound and Trwyn Porth Dinllaen, the tidal currents near the shore set NNE and SSW at rates of up to 2 knots at springs.

Trwyn-y-Tal (53°00'N., 4°26'W.), a rocky promontory, is located 5.5 miles NE of Trwyn Porth Dinllaen.

Bwlch-yr-Eifl stands 1 mile SE of this promontory and is the most conspicuous of a lofty and steep range of mountains which slope gradually towards the sea. When the higher peaks are hidden by clouds, this mountain may be easily identified by a white patch, formed by stone quarries, which extends up twothirds of its height from sea level. After rounding Holy Island from the N, this mountain usually shows with two sharp peaks. However, in very clear weather, it may show as three very sharp peaks, the middle and tallest being 561m high. Bwlch-yr- Eifl slopes rapidly down to a cliff at Trwyn-y-Gorlech, located 1.5 miles SW of Trwyn-y-Tal. The whole form of this mountain is so conspicuous a feature that it is impossible to mistake and it therefore serves as an infallible landmark.

Penrhyn Glas, located 1.2 miles SW of Trwyn-y-Gorlech, is formed by a conspicuous perpendicular cliff, 120m high. A conspicuous radio mast stands on a peak, 6.3 miles ENE of Trwyn-y-Tal.

Fort Belan (53°07'N., 4°20'W.), located 8.5 miles NE of Trwyn-y-Tal, lies at the N end of a promontory which forms the S side of the entrance to the Menai Strait. Dinas Dinlleu, 31m high, stands 2.5 miles S of Fort Belan. This small hill interrupts the monotony of the low coast in this vicinity. A conspicuous hotel stands close N of Dinas Dinlleu and a church, with a prominent spire, is situated at Llandwrog, 1 mile inland. The spire is reported to show plainly with the afternoon sun. Caer Arianrhod, a drying patch, lies about 0.8 offshore, 3.5 miles SSW of Fort Belan.

Abermenai Point, marked by a light, is located 0.2 mile N of Fort Belan and is the N entrance point of the Menai Strait. It is formed by a low-lying sandy spit which is backed by an extensive area of drying flats. Mussel Bank, a drying bank of stones, lies on the N side of the entrance channel, 0.7 mile W of the entrance, and is marked by a lighted buoy. The island of Anglesey from the mainland, is 20 miles long, narrow throughout, and less than 280m wide in places. The passage through the strait is available for vessels up to 80m in length.

The Britannia Bridge, a rail and road bridge, crosses the strait 5.5 miles NE of Caernarfon and has a vertical clearance of 27.4m under the center of its S span. A suspension bridge, with a vertical clearance of 30.5m, crosses the strait 0.8 mile E of the Britannia Bridge. An overhead cable, with a vertical clearance of 22m, spans the strait close W of the Britannia Bridge.

The reach of the strait lying between the two bridges is known as The Swellies. It is encumbered by numerous rocks and the tidal currents here attain rates of up to 7 to 8 knots at springs. Local knowledge is essential, even for small craft, and passage through The Swellies should only be attempted near the time of high water slack.

Port Dinorwic, a small harbour, lies on the SE side of the strait, 3 miles SW of the suspension bridge.
It is used by yachts and small craft and consists of a tidal basin and a wet dock which is operated as a marina.

Caernarfon (Caernarvon), a small drying harbour, lies on the S side of the strait, 2 miles within the SW entrance. Tides here rise about 5.3m at springs and 4.1m at neaps. An old castle and the walls surrounding the town are in a good state of preservation and are prominent from seaward. The harbour no longer handles commercial traffic and is used only by pleasure craft and fishing vessels. Good anchorage can be taken within the strait, in depths of 5 to 9m, W of the harbour.

See online coverage of

Caernarfon Harbour (and Caernarfon Bar)

Depths..Limitations....Caernarfon Bar, with a depth of about 1m, lies 3 miles W of the entrance and obstructs the
approach to the strait. The depth over this sandy bar is constantly changing and local knowledge is required. Depths of 5.5m at MHWS and 3.5m at MHWN were reported to lie over the bar. A channel, marked by buoys, leads from inside the bar to the entrance and passes between extensive drying sand banks.

Tides...Currents....At the SW end of the strait, tides rise about 4.7m at springs and 3.6m at neaps. At the NE end of the strait, tides rise about 7.7m at springs and 6.1m at neaps. The tidal currents in the strait are caused primarily by the differences in sea level at the ends, but are modified by local conditions. The rate of these currents at springs is about 3 knots in the wider parts.
At the SW entrance, the rate of the currents at springs is about 5 knots, but they increase to about 8 knots in The Swellies.


Caution...Numerous shellfish beds lie along the shores of the Menai Strait. Numerous small craft moorings lie along the shores of the strait. Several marinas lie along the shores of the strait and numerous pleasure craft and yachts may be encountered in the vicinity of the approaches and entrances. The buoys marking the approach channel are moved to match the frequent changes of the adjacent banks.

Llanddwyn Island (53°08'N., 4°25'W.) lies about 0.3 mile offshore, 3 miles WNW of Fort Belan. In reality, this island is a peninsula which is connected by a narrow isthmus to the S coast of Anglesey.

A light is shown from a tower standing on the SE end of the island. A tower also stands on the SW end of the island and should not be mistaken for the light tower. The W and S sides of the island are fronted by rocks. A cove, lying on the E side of the island, provides shelter to small craft in good weather or offshore winds. The coast between the island and the S extremity of Holy Island, 9 miles NW, is indented by many small bays and inlets. Ledges and detached rocks, some of which dry, front the shore and extend up to 1.5 miles seaward in places. Vessels are advised to give this section of the coast a wide berth.

Holy Island (53°18'N., 4°39'W.) is separated from Anglesey by a narrow drying channel and forms the S side of Holyhead Bay. Holyhead Mountain, 217m high, stands on the NW end of the island and is conspicuous from all directions. A cluster of rocks extends up to 0.7 mile SW from the SW extremity of the island and is marked by a beacon. A sunken rock lies at the outer end of this cluster and causes a tide race.

Maen Piscar, a dangerous drying rock, lies about 0.8 mile offshore, 1.5 miles NW of the SW extremity of the island. Careg Hen, a steep-to and isolated rock, lies 2.8 miles WSW of the SW extremity of the island and forms the outer danger in this vicinity. It has a least depth of 5.6m and is generally distinguished by overfalls. The sea occasionally breaks over it in bad weather.

South Stack (53°18'N., 4°42'W.), a rocky islet, lies close W of the W extremity of the island to which it is connected by a suspension bridge. A light is shown from a conspicuous tower, 28m high, standing on this islet. This light may be obscured over some sectors. A conspicuous radio mast stands 1 mile E of the light.

North Stack, an islet, is located 1 mile NE of South Stack and lies close W of the NW extremity of the island. A fog signal station, consisting of three prominent white houses surrounded by a wall, is situated on the point close E of this islet.

At positions 5 miles and 7 miles seaward of South Stack, the currents attain rates of up to 3.5 knots and 2.5 knots, respectively. Both N and S tidal currents run with strength in the vicinity off South Stack and North Stack, producing dangerous races. These currents attain rates of up to 5 knots at springs and 3 knots at neaps. To the N of South Stack, the main axis of the N current takes a NE direction towards The Skerries. The S current, after passing North Stack and South Stack, divides into two parts. One part continues its course towards Bardsey Island while the other inshore part quickly decreases in strength and makes a circuit of Caernarfon Bay.

Caution...A submarine cable, which may best be seen on the chart, extends seaward from a point on the W side of Holy Island, 2.2 miles SE of South Stack. Submarines, both surfaced and dived, frequently exercise in the area W of Holy Island.


Holyhead Bay

Holyhead Bay (53°19'N., 4°38'W.) is entered between North Stack and a bold precipitous promontory 6 miles
NE. Holyhead harbour lies at the S side of the bay. The E side of the bay is formed by the NW coast of Anglesey. The bay affords anchorage during offshore winds, but is seldom used due to better shelter being available at all times within the harbour.

Carmel Head (53°24'N., 4°34'W.) is the N extremity of the promontory which forms the N entrance point of the bay. Mynydd-y-Garn, 168m high, stands 1.5 miles SE of the head. A monument surmounts this prominent hill.
Carmel Rocks, with a least depth of 4.9m, lies about 1 mile  WSW of Carmel Head and is marked by heavy tide rips, except for a short time at slack water.

Langdon Ridge, a large rocky shoal, lies about 4.5 miles NE of North Stack and is marked by a lighted buoy. This shoal consists of two distinct ridges, with a least depth of 9.1m, and is usually indicated by heavy overfalls. Bolivar Rock, with a least depth of 2.2m, lies near the outer end of the foul ground which extends up to about 0.7 mile W from the E side of the bay. A buoy, moored 3 miles S of Carmel Head, marks the W side of this rock. Foul ground, with depths of less than 5m, also extends up to 0.8 mile seaward of the SE coast of the bay.

Caution...An IMO-adopted Traffic Separation Scheme is centered 8 miles NW of Holyhead Bay and may best be seen on the chart. The Skerries, a group of rugged islets and rocks, lies in the N approach to Holyhead Bay, 1.5 miles NW of Carmel Head.


Holyhead (53°19'N., 4°38'W.) 

Holyhead harbour, lying in the S part of Holyhead Bay, is a terminal for vehicle and passenger ferries which run to and from the Republic of Ireland. It is protected by a main breakwater which extends in a double curve 1.2 miles ENE from the shore.

Aspect...A conspicuous chimney stands 2 miles SSE of the head of the main breakwater. A conspicuous tower, part of a convent, stands on the W side of Inner harbour. A prominent monument stands on the E side of Inner harbour. A light is shown from a prominent stone tower, 20m high, standing on the head of the main breakwater.

Caution...Anchorage is prohibited within the limits of all the port fairways. High-speed craft operate out of Holyhead.   A wreck, with a swept depth of 8.5m, lies about 0.8 mile NE of the head of the main breakwater and is marked by a lighted buoy. Care must be exercised when rounding the main breakwater as drying boulders extend up to 60m from its inner part. Surging may be experienced by vessels alongside the berths within Inner harbour due to large ro-ro ferry vessels entering and leaving.

A Traffic Separation Scheme is in force in the approaches to or departure from Holyhead.

See online coverage of

Holyhead Harbour

Plan-This sector describes the N coast of Wales and the W coast of England from Carmel Head to Formby Point
(53°33'N., 3°03'W.) and includes The Skerries, the SE side of the Irish Sea, Liverpool Bay, and the River Dee and the River Mersey.

Off-lying Dangers

The Skerries (53°25'N., 4°36'W.) are a cluster of dark-colored rugged islets which lie l.5 miles NW of Carmel
Head on the N side of Holyhead Bay. They are separated from each other at high water by narrow gullies, with some detached rocks. A light is shown from a prominent tower standing on the highest islet of the group. A racon is situated at the light.

East Platters, a reef which dries 1.4m in places, lies about 0.5 mile SE of The Skerries. Middle Rock, with depths of 8.1m, lies about midway between East Platters and Carmel Head. Passage Rock, with a depth of 8.2m, lies about 0.2 mile N of Carmel Head.

West Platters, two rocks, lie close S of The Skerries. The rapid tidal currents in this area cause heavy overfalls at the above dangers and all the inshore patches in the vicinity.

Tides...Currents...Tide races off Bardsey Island (52°46'N., 4°47'W.), Braichy-y-Pwll (52°48'N., 4°46'W.), South Stack (53°18'N., 4°42'W.), and North Stack (53°19'N., 4°41'W.) can be dangerous to small craft. Heavy tide rips can be experienced in the vicinity of Langdon Ridge, between The Skerries and Carmel Head (53°24'N., 4°34'W.) and The Tripods. Between The Skerries and Carmel Head, the currents begin, as follows:

Interval from HW Holyhead Direction

+0550 NE - 0010 SW Note-The maximum spring rate in each direction is between 5 and 6 knots.

One mile NW of The Skerries, the currents begin, as follows:

Interval from HW Holyhead Direction - 0505 NE +0120 SW Note.-The maximum spring rate in each direction is 4.5 knots. Off Carmel Head, rates of up to 7 knots may be experienced.

In the vicinity of The Skerries, there are races over and near all the rocks and shoals; eddies may be encountered E and SE of The Skerries and Carmel Head. Tidal currents are given on the chart.

West Mouse is an islet lying 0.7 mile NNE of Carmel Head. Foul ground, with several patches of less than 5.5m, extends about 0.3 mile W and SW of the islet. St. Vincent Rock, at the NW corner of this foul ground, has a depth of 3.2m. There is a heavy overfall SW of this foul ground during the ebb current. A beacon, 7m high, stands on West Mouse.

Ethel Rock, with a depth of 5m, lies near the middle of a rocky bank, with a depth of less than 18m, in a position about 2 miles N of Carmel Head. A buoy, marked “Ethel Rock,” is moored near the NW edge of the above bank.
Coal Rock, awash, lies near the NE end of a rocky bank, about 1 mile NNE of West Mouse. The two beacons, which
stand on the NE side of Penbrynyreglwys, in range with the beacon on West Mouse indicate the position of Coal Rock. A buoy, marked “Coal Rock,” is moored close SW of the cape.
 
Caution-The passage inside The Skerries is unsuitable for deep-draft vessels and should not be used by any vessel at night. A Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), which is IMO approved, has been established off The Skerries for vessels rounding the NW coast of Anglesey. The scheme has a separation zone, 2 miles wide, which may best be seen on the chart.

A dangerous wreck, loaded with potentially dangerous explosives, lies close off the NW side of East Platters in position 53°25.1'N, 4°35.9'W. A prohibited area, with a radius of 500m, is centered on the wreck.

The historic wreck of Royal Yacht Mary lies close off the W extremity of the Skeries. A restricted area, with a radius of 100m, is centered on the wreck.

Many small harbours have not been covered in this area, the following links from www.ports.org.uk give a good snapshot of each, and normally contact details for the Harbourmaster:
 


Carmel Head to Great Ormes Head

Skerries Light (53°25'N., 4°36'W.) is shown 24 hours; a racon is situated at the tower. Radiobeacons are situated at Point Lynas (53°25'N., 4°17'W.); an RDF station is situated at Great Ormes Head.

Carmel Head (53°24'N., 4°34'W.), the N entrance point of Holyhead Bay, is the NE extremity of a bold and precipitous promontory of which Penbrynyreglwys is the summit. Two white stone beacons, 10m in high, stand on the NE side of Penbrynyreglwys and indicate Coal Rock.

Trwyn Cemlyn is a low and narrow point lying about 2 miles ENE of Carmel Head. Harry Furlong Rocks consist of a drying ledge which extends for about 0.3 mile N from Trwyn Cemlyn. The outer and highest portion of this ledge dries 3.9m and is marked by Furlong Buoy.

Victoria Bank, with a least depth of 1.6m, lies about 0.7 mile NW of Trwyn Cemlyn. It is steep-to and is usually marked by a tide rip. A buoy, marked “Victoria,” is moored close N of this bank. Archdeacon Rock, with a least depth of 5.9m and deep water close-to, lies about 1.5 miles N of Trwyn Cemlyn. A buoy is moored about 0.1 mile NW of this rock.

Wylfa Head (53°25'N., 4°28'W.) is located 1.25 miles E of Trwyn Cemlyn. Cemlyn Bay and Porthypistyll are two bays, separated by a rocky ledge, which lie between Wylfa Head and Trwyn Cemlyn. Cemlyn Bay, on the W side of the ledge, affords good shelter in a depth of 7m, but should not be used in N winds. Porthypistyll, on the E side of the ledge, is encumbered with below-water rocks and is not recommended. The buildings of a nuclear power station, which stands on the head, are conspicuous from seaward.

Cemaes Bay is entered between Wylfa Head and Llanbadrig Point, 0.8 mile E. A church stands near Llanbadrig Point and drying rocks lie close off it. There is a pier, used by small craft, situated at the head of the bay. The shores of the bay are high and rocky and the low water line consists of shelving ledges. There is good anchorage, during offshore winds, in the middle of the bay, in depths of 9 to 11m. This berth is out of the tidal current, but a submarine cable passes through the center of the bay and lands at the SE end.

Llanlleiana Head is located 1.7 miles ENE of Wylfa Head and a tower stands on its extremity.

Middle Mouse, 7m high, is a steep-to islet lying 0.5 mile NW of Llanlleiana Head. A clear passage leads between this islet and the coast.

Graig Wen, 88m high, is a hill with a prominent white top which stands close to the coast on the W side of a small cove, about 0.5 mile ESE of Llanlleiana Head.

Bull Bay, lying 2.5 miles ESE of Llanlleiana Head, is entered between Trwyn Melyn, on the W side, and Trwyn Costog, about 1 mile ESE. A prominent disused windmill stands on Parys Mountain, 2 miles SSE of the bay.
Bull Rock, with a depth of 4m, lies about 0.3 mile W of Trwyn Costog. The bay provides good anchorage during offshore winds from between WNW and SE, in depths of 9 to 11m, sand. The berth lies out of the strength of the tidal current, which attains a velocity of only 1.2 knots within the bay but nearly 5 knots in the offing.

East Mouse is a rocky islet which lies close off Trwyn Costog, in the E approach to Bull Bay.

Directions...Further off the coast, the offshore TSS route leads almost parallel to the coastline.

The inner or coastal route leads from a position lying W of South Stack (53°18'N., 4°42'W.) to a position lying N of Point Lynas (53°25'N., 4°17'W.) and then swings around The Skerries at a least distance of 1 mile. The route then passes NW of South Stack Light, which stands on a rocky islet with dangerous tide races in its vicinity, and NW of North Stack, an islet with dangerous tide races in its vicinity. It then leads NW of Langdon Lighted Buoy, which marks Langdon Ridge.
This ridge consists of a rocky shoal, with a least depth of 9.1m, where tide rips occur.

The route then passes NW and N of The Skerries, N of Ethel Rock buoy, which lies 2.2 miles N of Carmel Head, and NE of Carmel Head. It passes N of Archdeacon Buoy, which is moored 1.7 miles W of Ethel Rock buoy, and N of Wylfa Head close SW of which stands a conspicuous power station. The route then continues N of Middle Mouse, a steep-to islet lying 5 miles ENE of Carmel Head and N of Trwyn Melyn, a rocky point located 2 miles ESE of Llanlleiana Head. It then passes N of Point Lynas where a pilot may be embarked by prior arrangement.

Caution-A short, steep, and confused sea exists between Carmel Rocks and the coast when a fresh wind blows against the tidal current.

Amlwch harbour (53°25'N., 4°20'W.), a tidal harbour, lies at the head of an inlet, 0.5 mile E of Bull Bay. It dries between 0.6 and 3m at LW. A rock, with a depth of 2.1m, lies about 90m offshore on the W side of the approach.

Caution..A submarine pipeline, which is the remains of an SBM facility, extends for about 1.8 miles N from Amlwch harbour. This pipeline is surrounded by an area within which fishing and anchoring are prohibited.

Point Lynas (53°25'N., 4°17'W.), which projects N from the coast 1.5 miles E of Amlwch harbour, is very conspicuous from E and W. A rock, with a depth of 5m, lies close NE of the point.

A light is shown from a prominent tower, 11m high, standing on the point. A radiobeacon is situated at the light. Lynas Bank, with a least depth of 11.3m, lies parallel with the coast, 0.5 mile offshore, between Amlwch harbour and the point. This bank is generally marked by overfalls.

Porth Eilian is a small inlet with steep-to shores lying on the W side of Point Lynas. It is protected from the E by the same point of land. There is a mooring buoy in the center of the inlet and a slipway at the head. The inlet provides good anchorage for small craft during offshore winds, in a depth of 15m, mud and sand. An uncomfortable sea may occur when the tide is running strongly.

Mynydd Eilian, a hill surmounted by a beacon, stands 1 mile S of Point Lynas and is 174m high. A coastal radio station is situated 0.5 mile S of the hill.

Tides...Currents...Between Point Lynas and Trwyn-du (53°19'N., 4°02'W.), the currents run SE and NW, with a maximum spring rate of 1.3 knots in each direction; they are weak within Dulas and Redwharf Bays and within Moelfre Roads, though fairly strong off Ynys Moelfre.

In Table Road (53°19'N., 4°05'W.), the currents run, as follows:

Interval from HW Holyhead Direction -0535 SE +0035 NW
Note-The maximum spring rate in each direction is 3 knots

Directions...The coastal route to Liverpool Bay leads E from Point Lynas to Great Ormes Head, a distance of 15 miles, in deep water.

Caution...Liquid cargo transfer operations take place frequently in an area centered about 4 miles ESE of Point Lynas. Vessels engaged in these operations may be at anchor, or otherwise unable to maneuver, and should be given a wide berth.

Dulas Bay (53°22'N., 4°15'W.), including Traeth Lligwy, is entered between Ynys Dulas (53°23'N., 4°15'W.) and Ynys Moelfre, 2 miles SSE. It is only suitable as a temporary anchorage for small craft in offshore winds. There is little protection at LW from Ynys Dulas and the shallow flat. Garreg Allan, a detached drying patch, lies close E of Ynys Dulas.

Traeth Dulas, an inlet, lies at the head of the bay. It dries completely and is only suitable for small craft. The S entrance point of the inlet consists of a shingle beach and low sandhills. A navigable channel, with a least depth of 3.7m, leads between the coast and Ynys Dulas. A rock, which dries, lies midway in the channel, 0.1 mile W of the N extremity of Ynys Dulas. Local knowledge is necessary.

Traeth Bychan lies in the bight, 1 mile S of Ynys Moelfre, and contains a small harbour with a slipway. This harbour was originally constructed for the use of vessels loading from the now disused quarries. The whole bight dries, but vessels can ground on a clean and sandy bottom at LW. Small craft can find  anchorage within the bight with winds from between SW and NW, through S.

Porthygwchiaid, a bay lying 0.5 mile S of Fresh Water Bay, affords shelter in W winds. The anchorage has a depth of 8m, sand. The shore within this bay is composed of shingle with drying ledges extending from it.

Moelfre Road lies close S of Ynys Moelfre, an islet, and affords good sheltered anchorage in W winds. Moelfre Bay has a depth of 6m, mud and sand; the tidal currents are negligible.

Caution...Cargo transfer operations take place in an area centered 2 miles NE of Ynys Moelfre.

Trwyn Dwlban (53°19'N., 4°12'W.), located 2.7 miles SSE of Ynys Moelfre, is surmounted by a steep, abrupt, and regular mass of rock which resembles the remains of a castle when seen from a distance.

Red Wharf Bay, lying between Trwyn Dwlban and Carreg Onnen, 2.7 miles E, dries out almost to the line of the entrance points. At Carreg Onnen, the cliffs rise to heights of nearly 90m. A conspicuous radio mast, 106m high, stands 0.7 mile inland near Carreg Onnen and a radio tower stands on the high ground, about 1 mile SW of the mast.

Trwyn Dinmor is located 2.5 miles E of Carreg Onnen. The coast between trends irregularly and consists of limestone cliffs. Two disused piers extend NW from the coast close SE of Trwyn Dinmor. Table Road, which fronts the cliffs between Carreg Onnen and Trwyn Dinmor, affords anchorage with offshore winds, in depths of 11 to 16m. Four Fathom Bank fronts Red Wharf Bay and the N side of Table Road and has a least depth of 6.3m.

Trwyn-du (53°19'N., 4°02'W.), located 0.75 mile E of Trwyn Dinmor, is the E extremity of Anglesey.
It is mostly fringed by a drying rocky edge. A light is shown from a conspicuous tower, 29m high, standing near the outer end of the rocky shelf, 0.1 mile NNE of the point. Dinmor Bank is the NW part of the foul ground which extends up to 0.8 mile NW from Trwyn-du. This bank, which has a least depth of 2.5m, lies at the E side of Table Road and is marked by a buoy. Ten Feet Bank lies at the E end of Four Fathom Bank, about 1 mile N of Trwyn-du. This bank has a least depth of 2.6m and is marked by a buoy moored on the SW side.

From Point Lynas, the velocity of the tidal current is much decreased by the land receding to the S, while the main part of the current runs between Point Lynas and the River Dee. However, a portion of the current circulates around the bay towards Puffin Island, at the NE entrance to the Menai Strait.

The tidal currents to the E of Red Wharf Bay have a velocity of 3 knots at springs and 1.5 knots at neaps.

Anchorage....Temporary anchorage can be found within Lighthouse Cove, a small bay, which lies close W of Trwyn-du Light. The berth lies, in a depth of 4m, sand, opposite a small beach located on the E side of Puffin Island.

Puffin Island (53°19'N., 4°02'W.) lies 0.5 mile NE of Trwyn-du and the conspicuous tower of a ruined chapel stands near its center. This island and Lavan Sands, 5 miles S, are nature reserves and designated bird sanctuaries. Perch Rock is the SW extremity of a rocky ledge which dries and extends 0.3 mile SW from the S end of Puffin Island. A conspicuous beacon, 12m high, stands on this rock. A narrow spit, which dries, extends 0.3 mile SSE from Perch Rock. Irishman Spit, a drying bank, lies about 0.3 mile SE of Puffin Island.

Directions...The approaches to the NE entrance of the Menai Strait lie on the W side of Conwy Bay near the Anglesey shore. There are two approach channels. The NW channel, being more direct and better marked, is generally used.
The strait, which is marked by aids, passes between Dinmor Bank and Ten Feet Bank and then leads between Perch Rock and Trwyn-du. A rocky bar connects to the drying spit which extends SSE from Perch Rock. The controlling depth of the channel is 4.3m which is also the least charted depth over the bar. The channel continues between the SE coast of Anglesey and the NW sides of Dutchman Bank and Lavan Sands.

The NE channel entrance is unmarked and lies between Puffin Island and Irishman Spit. This channel then passes
through a narrow swashway lying close to the extremity of the spit which extends SSE from Perch Rock. This channel should not be attempted without local knowledge.

Beaumaris (53°16'N., 4°06'W.) lies on the W side of Conwy Bay, about 3.5 miles SSW of Trwyn-du. A small pier, with depths of 4m at the head, fronts the town. There is an anchorage within the channel, in depths of 7 to 13m, sand. Beaumaris is no longer open to commercial shipping, but is used by yachts and small craft. A prominent ruined castle stands at the NE side of the town and a conspicuous radio mast stands 1.5 miles NNE of it.

Port Penrhyn (53°14'N., 4°07'W.), the port for Bangor, lies 2 miles SSW of Beaumaris. It is a tidal harbour with depths of 3.3 to 4m at MHWS. A tidal basin, which dries, has two wharves with depths of 4 to 5.2m alongside at MHWS. Ro-ro vessels up to 2,300 grt can be accommodated. A conspicuous tower, 43m high, stands at the university, 0.5 mile SW of the harbour. A prominent castle stands on the high ground, about 0.8 mile SE of the harbour. An iron pile pier extends 0.3 mile NW from a point fronting the town of Bangor, close W of the harbour. Anchorage for vessels awaiting entry to the port can be taken off Beaumaris or off Bangor Pier, in depths of 5 to 13m. Several mooring buoys lie off Bangor.

Conwy Bay (53°18'N., 3°57'W.) is entered between Trwyn-du and Great Ormes Head, 6 miles ENE.  The bay extends about 8 miles SW to Bangor, at the NE entrance to the Menai Strait. Much of the bay area is occupied by the drying sands of Dutchman Bank and Lavan Sands being broken only by Midlake Swatch and Penmaen Swatch. The Pool, lying further E of these water areas, has depths of up to 16m. Four Fathom Bank, with depths of less than 6m, lies W of Great Ormes Head and fronts the entrance to the bay. A navigable channel lies on the W side of the bay and links the Menai Strait and its approaches with the open sea at Puffin Island.

The immediate coastline on both sides of the bay is low, backed by high ground. However, the high ground on the E side is considerably higher than that on the opposite side. Particularly noticeable are the quarry workings above Penmaenmawr Point (53°16'N., 3°57'W.) and a railway line which closely follows the E shoreline.

Menai Bridge (53°13'N., 4°10'W.) is a small town on the Anglesey shore; it is connected to the mainland by the Menai Suspension Bridge, which has a vertical clearance of 30.5m.

The Britania Bridge, situated 0.75 mile WSW of the Menai Suspension Bridge, has a vertical clearance of 27.4m.

The coast N of Deganwy Point (53°18'N., 3°50'W.), at the entrance to the River Conwy, is formed by a low-lying isthmus which connects Great Ormes Head with the mainland.

Conwy (53°17'N., 3°51'W.) lies in the NE part of the bay with its massive castle standing on the W bank of the river.
Conwy Sands dry and occupy much of the estuary that lies between Great Ormes Head and Penmaen-bach Point, 3 miles S. Conwy Sands, which dry, occupy most of the estuary. A shallow approach channel passes through the S part of the sands and its entrance is marked by a buoy which is moored about 1.7 miles WNW of Penmaen-bach Point.
Llys Elisap Clynnog, a patch of drying rocks, lies l.25 miles W of Penmaen-bach Point, on the S side of the approach to the entrance.

The entrance to the Conwy River lies 1.7 miles E of Penmaen-bach Point.

The town of Deganwy, fronted by the ruins of an ancient castle, is situated on the E side of the river. The coast to the N of the town is formed by a low-lying isthmus which connects Great Ormes Head with the mainland. The town of Conwy is situated on the W bank of the river, enclosed by old walls and towers, and fronted by a seawall. A conspicuous large castle stands at the S end of the town. Three bridges situated close together span the river near the castle and have a minimum vertical clearance of 5.5m.

Tides at Conwy rise 3.6m at MHWS and 2.9m at MHWN. The harbour can be contacted by VHF and is used mainly by yachts and pleasure craft. The town quay dries at LW. A lighted beacon stands on a drying bank at the S side of the river entrance and a prominent tower stands on high ground at Deganwy (53°18'N., 3°49'W.).

See online coverage of

Conwy (River) and Deganwy


Tides...Currents...On the W side of Conwy Bay, the current is rotary, clockwise. When strong, the currents run SE
towards Penmaen-bach Point (53°17'N., 3°53'W.) and NW to the N of Puffin Island.

In the entrance to the Conwy River, the currents begin, as follows

Interval from HW Holyhead Direction - 0410 Incoming +0020 Outgoing

Directions..From a position to the S of Fairway Buoy (safe water), moored 1.7 miles WNW of Penmaen-bach Point, the track generally leads E through a narrow and buoyed approach channel across Conwy Sands. The route passes N of Llys Elisap Clynnog, a patch of drying rocks, then S of a rocky patch, 2 miles W, which dries. It then passes S of Bwrlingau Rock, a collection of drying boulders, and N of a lighted beacon. On rounding this lighted beacon, the track leads SE into the harbour, passing SW of a beacon which marks the head of an outfall.

Caution...The approach channel is constantly changing and the buoys are moved frequently, but it is sometimes necessary to pass on the wrong side of them. The white sector of the lighted beacon indicates the approach fairway, but does not necessarily indicate the deepest water. A prohibited anchorage area extends 50m on either side of a road tunnel which lies under the river, 0.4 mile N of the bridges. The deepest part over this tunnel is marked by buoys which form a navigable channel, 50m wide. Tidal currents in the approach channel to the harbour are strong.

Many small harbours have not been covered in this area, the following links from www.ports.org.uk give a good snapshot of each, and normally contact details for the Harbourmaster:
 


Great Ormes Head to the River Dee

Great Ormes Head (53°21'N., 3°52'W.), a bold promontory, is 203m high and one of the finest landmarks on
the coast. Its N face is formed by a steep limestone cliff from which the ridge or head extends 1.7 miles SE. A prominent hotel stands on the highest part and the stone tower of a disused lighthouse stands on the NW extremity of the promontory.

Ormes Bay (Llandudno) lies between Pen Trwyn (53°20'N., 3°50'W.), the NE extremity of Great Ormes Head, and Little Ormes Head, 2 miles E. Pen Trwyn, including the shore for about 0.5 mile to the S of it, is formed by a steep cliff. The head of the bay is formed by a marshy isthmus which rises at its E extremity to Little Ormes Head. The W side of the bay is fronted by rocky ledges which dry out up to about 100m, but farther E, the foreshore is formed of shingle fronted by sand.
The bottom is mostly shingle with poor holding ground. A pier extends 0.2 mile NE from the shore at the W side of the bay. There is a depth of 2.7m alongside the head of the pier, but it was reported not in use. A jetty extends from the shore close S of the pier.

Little Ormes Head, with its high background, somewhat resembles Great Ormes Head, but the land at the head of the bay is low-lying.

Rhos Point (53°19'N., 3°44'W.), located 1.5 miles SE of Little Ormes Head, is low, flat, and fronted by loose stones which extend out to the low water line. The coast between is fronted by foul ground, with depths of less than 2m, which extends up to about 0.5 mile offshore. The prominent darkcolored tower of Llandrillo-yn-Rhos Church stands on rising ground, 0.5 mile NW of the point. A stranded wreck, marked by a buoy, lies about 0.3 mile NE of the point.

Colwyn Bay, which contains a large resort town, is entered between Rhos Point and Tan Penmaen Head, 2.5 miles SE. The foreshore is formed of shingle and is fronted by sand which and dries out up to 0.3 mile offshore. Submarine cables extends NE from a point on the W side of the bay, 0.5 mile S of Rhos Point. A drying rock lies 0.4 mile offshore midway between the entrance points of the bay. A detached breakwater, 200m long, lies close SE of Rhos Point and runs 200m and nearly parallel to the shore. A short breakwater extends E from the shore towards the S end of the detached reakwater and forms a small harbor which dries out. A stranded wreck, which lies 0.3 mile NE of Rhos Point, is marked by a buoy moored close NE. The tidal currents in Colwyn Bay are negligible.

Raynes Jetty, 218m long, and Llanddulas Jetty, 204m long, extend N from the coast about 1 mile E of Tan Penmaen Head. These jetties are used for the loading of crushed limestone and granite from the nearby quarries.

Gwrych Castle, a large building surrounded by trees, is a conspicuous object which stands on the E face of the hill, 2.7 miles ESE of Tan Penmaen Head. About 1 mile farther E, is the white square tower of the Abergele Church which stands 0.5 mile inland.

Rhyl (53°19'N., 3°29'W.), lying 7 miles ENE of Tan Penmaen Head, is a resort which occupies 1.8 miles of coastline to the E of the entrance of the River Clwyd. The town is prominent from seaward. The entrance to the river is simply a depression in the sand banks, scoured by the water from the river, and is subject to change both in depth and direction. A breakwater, marked by beacons, extends N from the E entrance point of the river. The entrance channel, which dries, lies close W of the breakwater. Foryd harbour, a small harbour which dries, lies within the entrance of the river. Depths in the harbour rise to 3.6m at HWS and 2.4m at HWN. The harbour is no longer used by commercial shipping, but is mostly used by fishing boats and pleasure craft.
 
Rhyl Flats, with depths of less than 5m, extend up to 4 miles offshore abreast Rhyl and are marked on the NW side by a lighted buoy.

Constable Bank is a long narrow bank, with depths of less than 10m, which extends W from Rhyl Flats. It is composed of fine sand and a lighted buoy is moored at the W extremity.

Point of Ayr (53°21'N., 3°19'W.), low and sandy, lies 6.5 miles ENE of Rhyl. The coast between is formed by a low and shingle beach, about 0.5 mile wide, with a foreshore of fine sand.

The principal objects seen along this stretch of coast are the heights above Gwaenysgor, 230m high, on which stands St.Elmos Summer House and a radio mast. Lower down on the NE slope of the same ridge, stands the prominent mansion of Talacre. A prominent disused lighthouse, 19m high, stands close to Point of Ayr. A white tower, prominent from seaward, stands near the shore fronting the town of Prestatyn (53°20' N, 3°25'W).

Directions...From a position lying N of Great Ormes Head, a route leads 20 miles ENE to the vicinity of Bar Lightfloat (53°32'N., 3°21'W.). It passes NNW of Constable Bank, which is marked by a lighted buoy; NNW of North Hoyle Lighted Buoy, which marks a shoal ground to the N of Chester Flats;

Caution...North Hoyle Wind Farm is centered on position 53°25'N, 3°27'W; close E of it lies an anemometer mast, 40m high, supported by metal piles.

Many small harbours have not been covered in this area, the following links from www.ports.org.uk give a good snapshot of each, and normally contact details for the Harbourmaster:
 

The River Dee

The estuary of the River Dee, most of which dries, is entered between Point of Ayr and Hilbre Point, 4.5 miles ENE. The approach to the entrance of the River Dee is barred by Rhyl Flats, 

Chester Flats; and West Hoyle and East Hoyle Banks. These banks and flats are all of a shifting nature and dry in places. They extend up to 6 miles seaward of Point of Air and Hilbre Point.

Caution...Because of the shifting nature of the dangers in the approaches, mariners without local knowledge should not enter the estuary without contacting Mostyn harbour Master to obtain inormation and advice.

The Hilbre Islets lie on the NW part of a drying bank which extends up to 1.3 miles W and 2 miles S from Hilbre Point. The NW islet is 12m high and several small buildings stand on it. A light is shown from the NW end of this islet and a prominent beacon stands close S of the light.
 
Chester Flats, with general depths of less than 5.5m, extend from a position about 3.5 miles NW of Rhyl to within 3 miles of Point of Ayr. Patches, which dry up to 0.3m, lie on these flats. The W end of the flats is known as the Tail of Middle Patch and the E part as Middle Patch.

West Hoyle Bank may be said to be a continuation E and NE of Chester Flats. The E and NE sides of the bank form the W side of Hilbre Swash and the S side forms the N side of Welsh Channel. The channel over Chester Bar, between Chester Flats and West Hoyle Bank, has altered to such an extent that it is no longer used.

The E portion of West Hoyle Bank, abreast of Hilbre Point, dries as much as 6.7m and its W part dries up to 3.9m. The N part slopes off gradually, but irregularly, into deep water. East Hoyle Bank dries for a distance of about 3.5 miles N of Hilbre Point.

The principal channels through the above-mentioned banks are Welsh Channel which is entered through Inner Passage from the W, and Hilbre Swash which is entered from the N. The inner ends of Welsh Channel and Hilbre Swash are connected by Welshmans Gut.These channels are marked by lighted buoys and buoys, which are moved to meet frequent changes.

Caution...Local knowledge is necessary because of the frequent changes in the channels. In the summer months, numerous pleasure craft are moored in the vicinity of Hilbre Point and there is much sailing activity in the estuary and approaches.

Inner Passage (53°22'N., 3°30'W.), leading between Rhyl Flats and Chester Flats, is frequently used by coastal
vessels. In the fairway of the channel, there is a least depth of 5.1m, but at the W end, there is a detached 3.8m patch. At the E end, S of Middle Patch, a bar, with a depth of 2.3m, separates Inner Passage from Welsh Channel.

Welsh Channel lies between the coastal bank fronting the shore W of Point Ayr, and West Hoyle Bank.

A bar, which joins Middle Patch to the shore NE of Prestatyn (53°20'N., 3°24'W.), lies at the W entrance to Welsh Channel and is crossed by a dredged channel. In 2000 there was a patch drying 2.1m, 0.1 mile NE of SH4 Lighted Buoy.

Hilbre Swash, which lies between West Hoyle and East Hoyle Banks, had a least depth of 4.6m in the fairway.
A dangerous wreck, with a depth of 0.4m, lies within Hilbre Swash on the W side of the channel.

Welshmans Gut (53°22'N., 3°16'W.) lies between West Hoyle Bank, on the N side, and Salisbury Middle, to the S.

Mostyn Docks (53°19'N., 3°16'W.) is a small port which consists of a rubble training wall that extends about 0.4 miles NE from the shore, a ro-ro terminal and a river wharf. It is on the W side of the River Dee estuary, 2.7 miles SE of Point Ayr. The port is a ferry terminal for Ireland and handles various bulk cargoes.

Tides...Currents....Tidal currents run at rates of 1.5 to 2.5 knots within Inner Passage and Welsh Channel. Below Mostyn Deep, the velocity of the tidal currents does not exceed 3 knots.

Liverpool (53°25'N., 3°02'W.)

This section describes the approaches to the River Mersey, including the entrance channel; The port of Liverpool stands on the banks of the River Mersey, which discharges into Liverpool Bay. The towns bordering the river are known collectively as Merseyside. The port comprises the dock systems at Liverpool, on the E side; at Birkenhead, on the W side; and Tranmere Oil Terminal, which lies S of Birkenhead. In addition, there are extensive repair facilities, including dry docks. The port provides support for oil and gas exploration activities.

The port is entered through Queens Channel and Crosby Channel which lead through Liverpool Bay. The approach to Queens Channel is marked by Bar Lightfloat, which is moored 3 miles WNW of the entrance. The channel is encumbered by banks on either side, which extend up to 8 miles offshore, but these dangers and the fairway are marked by floating seamarks and lighted buoys so that navigating the approach is not difficult in moderately clear weather.
Queens Channel and Crosby Channel form a continuous entrance fairway through the offshore banks.

Tides...Currrents...The spring tide range is 8.4m and the neap tide range is 4.5m. Strong NE winds reduce the tidal heights and SW winds increase the tidal heights. In Queens Channel and Crosby Channel, the tidal current generally runs in the direction of the fairway, but in the dredged cut and entrance to Queens Channel, a SE set has been experienced during the incoming current. In addition, a W set has been experienced during the outgoing current. At the bend in Crosby Channel, when the training banks are covered, an E set has been experienced during the incoming current and a N set during the outgoing current. The sets at the bend in Crosby Channel may be very strong at springs. From the channels up to the river entrance, the velocity of the current gradually increases from 2 to 4 knots.

See online coverage of

Liverpool (Approaches, Docks and Marina)


Aspect
The coast between the N entrance point of the River Dee and Rock Lighthouse, 6.5 miles NE, is composed of low sandhills. Rock Lighthouse, which stands at the W entrance point of the River Mersey, is a prominent disused light tower.
Within the port, the Three Graces are the tallest buildings and stand out conspicuously on the waterfront. Grange Monument, a column surmounted by a sphere, stands 1.5 miles SE of Hilbre Point and is conspicuous. A prominent war memorial stands close NW of this monument and two prominent radio masts stand on a hill close SE of it. A range of hills lies behind the coast and Thurstaston Hill, 86m high, rises about 3 miles SE of Hibre Point and is prominent. Another prominent hill is Bidston Hill, which stands about 3 miles SSW of Rock Lighthouse, with its disused lighthouse, observatory, and mill.

Between the two hills is the prominent square church tower of Woodchurch. Near the coast, prominent landmarks include the dome of a church standing 0.5 mile SSW of Rock Lighthouse and a water tower standing close SW of the dome. On the N side of the approach, Formby Point and the shore for 5 miles S of it consist of low sand hills. A disused lifeboat house and a flagstaff, with a triangle top mark, stand on the point.

Rock Channel, parts of which dry, lies about 1.5 miles offshore, NW of Rock Light. This channel, which leads to the river, is unmarked and used only by small craft with local knowledge.

Queens Channel, Crosby Channel, and the River Mersey are marked by floats and lighted buoys. The approach to the entrance of Queens Channel is marked by Bar Lightfloat which is moored about 2.7 miles WNW of the entrance, 12 miles NW of Rock Lighthouse. A racon is situated at the lightfloat.

Plan-This sector describes the E shore of the Irish Sea, from Formby Point in a N and NW direction to Solway Firth

General Remarks

The description in this sector also includes the offshore installations of the South Morecambe Gas Field and
the North Morecambe Gas Field and the ports of Barrow-in- Furness and Heysham (54°02'N., 2°55'W.).

Caution...Submarines exercise frequently, both surfaced and submerged, in the waters described within this sector. Numerous wrecks lie in the waters described within this sector and may be seen on the chart. Oil and gas exploration structures and associated servicing vessels may be encountered within the waters described in this section.

Offshore trawlers may be encountered in large concentrations up to 35 miles W or SW of Lune Deep Lighted Buoy
(53°56'N., 3°11'W.) during April and May; smaller numbers of trawlers may be encountered from August to October. Inshore trawlers may be encountered at any time. Formby Point to Morecambe Bay


River Ribble

The estuary of the River Ribble is entered between Formby Point and Stanner Point, 11 miles NNE, and is mostly
encumbered by drying sandbanks. Southport, a resort, lies 5 miles NE of Formby Point and the coast between is composed of low sandhills fronted by sands which dry out up to 1 mile offshore. Shoal ground, with depths of less than 5.5m, extends up to 5.5 miles W of Formby Point and terminates in a spit, with a least depth of 0.8m, which is marked by a lighted buoy.

A pier on iron piles extends 0.5 mile NW from the coast at Southport; three prominent gas tanks stand 1.7 miles inland, ESE of the pier. The former port of Preston, which was closed to commercial shipping in 1981, lies 11 miles above the entrance of the River Ribble.

See online coverage of

Preston, Docks, Marina, River Ribble and River Asland (or Douglas)

The coast to the N of the river entrance is low and sandy, but rises at Blackpool, an extensive resort lying 5 miles N of Stanner Point. There are several conspicuous structures at Blackpool, the most noteworthy of which is a 183m high tower that resembles the Eiffel Tower at Paris and may be seen for many miles.

Rossall Point (53°55'N., 3°03'W.) lies 5.5 miles N of Blackpool. The coast between is mostly low and sandy, but consists of red clay cliffs near Blackpool. A conspicuous chimney stands 2.5 miles SSE of the point. Rossall Oyster Grounds, with depths of less than 5.5m, extends up to 3.5 miles W and 5.5 miles SW from Rossall Point. Several obstructions, with depths of less than 1m, lie on these grounds. Shell Flat is the W extension of Rossall Oyster Grounds. It has depths of less than 11m and extends up to 11 miles W from the coast.

South Morecambe Gas Field (53°51'N., 3°35'W.) is situated about 6.5 miles W of Morecambe Lighted Buoy. The
Central Process Platform (CPP1) stands at the center of the field and connecting pipelines carry gas to it from the surrounding drilling platforms. Accommodation Platform No. 1 (AP1) is situated close W of the CPP1 and Development Platform (DP1) is situated close SSE. A flame tripod structure stands close N of the CPP1. Lighted Platform DP3 and Lighted Platform DP4 are situated 2 miles SSE and 2 miles NNE, respectively, of Platform CPP1. Lighted Platform DP6 and Lighted Platform DP8 are situated 1.7 miles NW and 3 miles NNW, respectively, of Platform CPP1. North Morecambe Gas Field (53°57'N., 3°40'W.) lies NNW of South Morecambe Gas Field and in 1993 consisted of a single lighted offshore production platform (11012A-DPPA), containing a flare boom. A gas trunkline, with an adjoining submarine pipeline and power cable, extends ENE from the offshore platform to the shore; the landing place lies 2.5 miles NW of Walney Light.

A gas pipeline, which links all the platforms, extends NE from Platform CPP1 to a point on the shore 2 miles NW of Walney Light (54°03'N., 3°11'W.); the landing place of the pipeline is marked by a beacon. Submarine power cables link all the development platforms with Platform CPP1.

Vessels, underwater craft, and divers may be working within the adjacent Development Area. Mobile rigs may also be encountered. Well 11013B-4, with a least depth 12.8m, lies outside this area; it is situated 5 miles NE of the CPP1 and is marked by a lighted buoy. Well 11012A-7 and Well 11012A-8 are situated 5.3 and 6.5 miles NNW, respectively, of Platform CPP1; each is marked by a lighted buoy.

Directions...From the vicinity of Bar Lighted Buoy (53°32'N., 3°21'W.), a coastal route leads about 23 miles N to a position W of Rossall Point and seaward of Shell Flat (53°51'N., 3°20'W.). This route is clear apart from a number of wrecks which lie in the approaches to the lightfloat.

From the vicinity of Bar Lighted Buoy, the route leads to Morecambe Bay and passes W of Jordan’s Spit (53°34'N., 3°15'W.), an extension of shoal ground which lies W of Formby Spit and has depths of less than 3m. An area of spoil ground, marked by a lighted buoy, lies off the W edge of Jordan’s Spit. An obstruction, the remains of Formby Towers, lies at the NE tip of the spit and is marked by a lighted buoy.

The route then passes clear of a wreck (53°37.5'N., 3°23.5'W.) and E of South Morecambe Gas Field (53°51'N., 3°35'W.). It leads W of Shell Flat which extends 11 miles W from the coast. This flat has depths of less than 10m and is the tongue like extension of Rossall Oyster Grounds. The route then passes W of Morecambe Lighted Buoy (53°52'N., 3°24'W.) which is moored off the NW edge of Shell Flat. A wellhead, marked by a lighted buoy, lies 2 miles WNW.

Vessels of suitable draft bound for Lune Deep can take an inside route over Shell Flat in depths of not less than 6m. After passing W of Jordan’s Spit Lighted Buoy, the route leads about 20 miles NNE. The line of bearing, 009°, of the tower of Saint Michaels Church (54°06'N., 3°10'W.) open W of Walney Light passes over Shell Flat and W of Rossall Patches.


Morecambe Bay


Morecambe Bay is an extensive inlet entered between Rossall Point and Isle of Walney, about 9 miles NW. It is nearly filled with drying flats, but is penetrated in its S part by a trough, known as Lune Deep, which furnishes access to several ports on its SE shore, namely Fleetwood, Lancaster, and Heysham. At the N side of the entrance to the bay, a narrow channel leads to Piel harbour at the head of which are the docks of Barrow-In-Furness. Barrow Wind Farm is under construction (2005) about 5 miles SW of the S end of Walney.

The low-lying Isle of Walney, which lies on the N side of the entrance to the bay, is about 7 miles long. Foul ground extends up to 1 mile off the W coast of the isle; a light is shown from a prominent tower standing at the SE end. A radiobeacon is situated at the light. The isle protects the port and inner approaches of Barrow from seaward.

Tides...Currents...The tidal currents in the bay follow the deep-water channels at LW, but when the banks are covered they flow directly in and out of the bay. The maximum velocity of the current is 4 knots at springs.

Aspect...Lune Deep, a deep channel, has depths of up to 47m and penetrates the SE part of Morecambe Bay. The shoals that border Lune Deep are steep-to and dangerous. On the S side are Northwest Boulders, which lie on Rossall Oyster Grounds and have patches with depths of less than 1.8m; King Scar which dries 4.9m and is part of the extensive shoal known as North Wharf; and Bernard Wharf, an extensive shoal that dries up to 3.9m in places.On the N side are the extensive Morecambe Flats, on the SE edge of which lie Danger Patch, a rock with a depth of 1.5m, and Fisher Bank Spit, with depths of less than 0.9m.

Lune Deep Lighted Buoy, equipped with a racon, is moored about 5 miles W of Rossall Point and marks the approach to the channel.

A narrow approach channel leads into the NW side of the bay. It passes between the shoals extending from the S side of Isle of Walney and Mort Flats which dry in places and occupy the NW part of the bay. A lighted buoy, moored about 3.7 miles SW of Walney Light, marks the approach to the entrance channel. The fairway of this channel is indicated by ranges and marked by lighted buoys.


Fleetwood (53°55'N., 3°01'W.)

Fleetwood is accessed through a narrow channel that cuts through the drying flats on the SE side of Lune Deep. The harbour consists of the section of the river abreast the town and two wet docks lying on the S side of the town. The port is used by an extensive fishing fleet. There are terminals for ro-ro and ferry vessels which operate to and from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man. There are also facilities for vessels which service the oil and gas exploration structures.

Tides...Currents...Tides rise about 9.2m at springs and 7.3m at neaps. In the entrance, the currents follow the channel when the banks on either side are exposed, but flow across the channel when the banks are covered. It is, therefore, necessary for vessels to guard against the cross-current.

Caution-Local knowledge is required. The most dangerous winds at Wyre Bar are those from between the NW and
NE. A ferry crosses the channel at the harbor entrance. A speed limit of 5 knots should be maintained within the port.

See online coverage of

Fleetwood (River Wyre)


Lancaster (54°01'N., 2°50'W.) is a small port lying on the River Lune. It consists of Glasson Dock, 2 miles within the mouth of the river, and a river quay, 7 miles above the mouth. An approach channel connects Lune Deep with the river and leads between extensive areas of foul ground. It is entered about 1.5 miles NE of the Fleetwood approach channel. National Wildfowl Refuge, the Wyre-Lune Sanctuary lies on the sands fronting the River Wyre and the River Lune.

Tides...Currents...Tides at Glasson Dock rise about 6.6m at springs and 4.4m at neaps. At Lancaster, the tides rise about 4.3m at springs and 2.5m at neaps.

See online coverage of

Glasson Dock


Heysham (54°02'N., 2°55'W.)  consists of an artificial harbour basin and is situated 4 miles NNE of the entrance to Lancaster approach channel. The port has facilities for ro-ro and container vessels. A ferry service runs to the Isle of Man and a terminal for vessels servicing the gas fields is situated in the harbour. It is not suitable for small craft.


Barrow-In-Furness (54°06'N., 3°14'W.)

Barrow-in-Furness (Barrow) lies on the NW side of Morecambe Bay and is protected from seaward by the Isle of
Walney. The port specializes in exporting limestone, spent nuclear fuels, and gas condensates. In addition, a large section of the port has facilities for ship building. It is not suitable for small craft.

Winds...Weather...Winds from the SW and W are the most dangerous and cause considerable seas in the entrance
channel. When very strong, they may increase the depth in the channel; strong winds from the E have the opposite effect.

Tides...Currents....Tides rise about 9.1m at springs and 7.1m at neaps, and has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the United Kingdom.


Morecambe Bay to Solway Firth

Between the S extremity of the Isle of Walney and Solway Firth, 32 miles NNW, the coast is free of dangers up to over 2 miles offshore. There are breaks in this section of coast at the mouth of the River Duddon and at Ravenglass harbour, where small coasters can enter at HW.

Cockspec Scar and two other patches, the shoalest of which dries, lie nearly 2 miles off the middle of the Isle of Walney.
The River Duddon discharges through the drying flats N of the Isle of Walney. The channel has a depth of 1.8m at the entrance, but dries farther in. The drying shoals at the mouth of the river project about 2 miles beyond the general line of the coast and vessels should keep in depths of not less than 15m.

Black Combe (54°15'N., 3°20'W.), a dark hill with an unbroken rounded outline, rises 4.5 miles N of the River Duddon, 2 miles from the shore.

Selker Rocks (54°17'N., 3°27'W.), some of which dry, extend up to 1.7 miles off the coast, 7.5 miles NNW of the River Duddon. Scala Fold, Style Rock, Black Leg Rock, and several other dangers extend up to 1.5 miles off the shore for up to 3 miles S of Selker Rocks. Vessels in this vicinity should keep in depths of not less than 18m. Selker Lighted Buoy is moored about 1.7 miles SW of Selker Rocks.

Ravenglass (54°21'N., 3°24'W.) is a small harbour formed by the drying estuary of three rivers. It dries and is used by yachts and pleasure craft. The harbour should not be entered without local knowledge and is reported to be difficult to identify from seaward. Newton Knott, a long and slopping hill, lies SE of Ravenglass and is a good landmark.
Drigg Rock lies about 1 mile offshore close N of the entrance to Ravenglass and has a depth of less than 1.8m. Several ledges lie on the drying sands that border the shore to the N of this rock. With these exceptions, the coast as far N as St. Bees Head is free of dangers. A railroad skirts this section of the coast and mountains may be seen in the background.
Calder Hall Power Station, with several conspicuous cooling towers, stands near the coast, 5 miles NNW of Ravenglass. Outfall pipelines extend seaward from the power station and are marked by buoys.

St. Bees Head (54°31'N., 3°38'W.), a conspicuous headland, is located 12.5 miles NW of Ravenglass. A perpendicular cliff of red sandstone, 94m high, is located on its seaward face and a flat summit stands close inland. A light is shown from a prominent tower standing on this headland. Several wrecks lie in the vicinity of the headland and may best be seen on the chart.

Directions...From a position WNW of Morecambe Lighted Buoy (53°52'N., 3°24'W.), a route leads about 40 miles NNW to a position W of St. Bees Head. It passes ENE of a submerged wellhead (53°53'N., 3°27'W.) then clear of a wreck, with a least depth of 9.1m, which lies 2.5 miles N of the wellhead. The route then leads WSW of Cockspec (54°06'N., 3°18'W.), a rocky ground with detached seaweedcovered drying patches, ENE of an ODAS buoy (54°08'N., 3°37'W.) WSW of Haverigg Point (54°11'N., 3°19'W.), WSW of Black Leg Rock (54°14'N., 3°24'W.), and WSW of Selker Lighted Buoy. It then continues WSW of the entrance to Ravenglass harbour, WSW of Drigg Rock (54°20'N., 3°28'W.), WSW of two outfall buoys, and WSW of South Head, the S extremity of the promontory forming St. Bees Head.

Many small harbours/ commercial ports have not been covered in this area, the following links from www.ports.org.uk give a good snapshot of each, and normally contact details for the Harbourmaster:
 


Solway Firth

Solway Firth, an extensive inlet, is mostly encumbered by shifting sand banks which are subject to frequent changes. It is entered between St. Bees Head and Abbey Head, 19 miles NW. The best navigable channel is English Channel, which lies near the SE shore and has the only fairway that is marked by buoys. This channel provides access to several small ports along the English shore, including Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport, and Silloth.

The chart should not be considered a safe guide for the navigation of the Firth as the changes in the depths are very rapid.

Local knowledge is essential for vessels navigating the firth, except, perhaps, English Channel as far as Maryport Roads. No vessel should attempt to enter the firth in reduced visibility without first having ascertained an accurate position. Workington Bank, with a least depth of 5.2m, lies in the entrance, 8 miles N of St. Bees Head and is marked by lighted buoys. Three Fathoms Bank, with a least depth of 2.8m, lies about 1.5 miles NW of Workington Bank. Two Feet Bank, with a least depth of 1.8m, lies 1 mile N of Three Fathoms Bank. A large mass of drying sandbanks extends N from Two Feet Bank to within a short distance of the N shore of the firth.

English Channel, the main fairway, is entered about 5.5 miles N of St. Bees Head and leads between the shoals extending from the coast and Workington Bank. This fairway has a least depth of 10.9m for 9 miles then it shoals quickly to a depth of 5.5m and finally decreases to depths of less than 2.5m.

Numerous disused iron foundries, with prominent chimneys, are situated along the coast between St. Bees Head and Workington, 8 miles N. Bengairn, 386m in elevation, and Criffel, 565m in elevation, are two conspicuous mountains standing 6 miles NNE and 15 miles NE, respectively, of Abbey Head.

Tides...Currents...The tidal current approaching Solway Firth passes inward through the channel between the N point of the Isle of Man and Burrow Head. At springs, the incoming current, at a position 5 miles N of the Isle of Man, sets E at a rate of 2.7 knots at springs. Half way between the Isle of Man and Burrow Head, the current sets ENE at a rate of 2.5 knots. At a position 5 miles S of Burrow Head, it sets NE at a rate of 3.5 knots. The corresponding outgoing directions and rates are W at 3 knots; WSW at 3.2 knots; and SW at 3.5 knots.

The principal tidal flow in and out of Solway Firth is through Middle Channel. The currents have their greatest velocity towards the NW or Scottish shore.

Caution-Winds from the SW cause the highest sea in the firth. Heavy seas exist with winds from between SW and NW, but decrease within Workington Bank. A magnetic anomaly exists within English Channel due to slag having been washed into the water.

Whitehaven (54°33'N., 3°36'W.) an artificial harbour, is protected by breakwaters and divided by spurs into several sections which dry at LW. In addition, there is a wet basin.

See online coverage of

Whitehaven Harbour


Anchorage..Temporary anchorage can be taken, in depths of 9 to 11m, sand, about 0.5 mile off the harbour entrance.
Caution-During W gales, a heavy sea may be encountered across the harbour entrance.

Workington (54°39'N., 3°34'W.) Commercial Port. Workington is formed within breakwaters at the mouth of the small River Derwent on the E side of the entrance to English Channel. It consists of a tidal harbour and a wet dock, known as Prince of Wales Dock. The harbour is used principally for the import of chemicals.

Harrington (54°37'N., 3°34'W.), lying 2 miles S of Workington, is a small harbour which dries at LW. The port is no longer open to commercial vessels and is used by only yachts and fishing craft.

Maryport (54°43'N., 3°30'W.), lying 4.7 miles NNE of Workington, is a small harbour located at the mouth of the River Ellen. The port is mostly silted up and no longer used by commercial vessels. It is used by only yachts and fishing craft.

See online coverage of

Maryport Harbour

Anchorage-Maryport Roads lie abreast of the harbour at Maryport and near the head of English Channel. This roadstead provides anchorage that is sheltered from all but W winds. The inner part has depths of 6 to 7m, shell and shingle. Anchorage can be taken in the outer part, in a depth of 12m, sand, about 2.7 miles of NW of South Pier.

Adjacent area coverage:

Bristol Channel

Area coverage for Scotland to follow soon.



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Warning, much of the text on this page has been adapted from material intended mainly for big ship mariners (NGA Sailing Directions). It's suitability for small craft must be left in the hands of the individual skipper. As with everything else on this site, the information is not to be used for navigation purposes, but may be useful in the passage planning stages.

The coverage of individual harbours, including approach and entry, is specifically written for yachts and motorboats.

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