North Wales questions from a novice

Marceline

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Hi - just wanted to ask those who know the areas a couple of questions on various places in the area of North Wales. We're based in Menai Strait on a swing mooring

  • Portmerion - do people ever sail round to there ? It looks quite shallow but our draft is 90cm and a 24' bilge keeler. We're more wanting to sail past there rather than coming alongside (guessing they might not like that etc)
  • Puffin Island - similar question to above - I've seen the ancorage on the south side but is the shallow channel ok to use to circumnavigate the island most times (depending on wind etc) ? Just wondering if it's best to always go around the north of the Island to get access to Menai Strait if we're out in Conwy Bay and wanting to get back and near the Island (I know there's the Penmaen Swatch/Pool shortcut a bit further South)
  • Llandudno - is that an ok to anchor for a few hours (again weather dependant etc)

We've got the wonderful (and very handy) Ralph Morris Cruising Anglesey book, but just wanted to ask for advice on these from others.
 

peteK

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The south end of the island can get a bit shallow around low water springs if crossing from Conway,safer around the north end or use Penmaen swatch,I do know people who have anchored off Llandudno overnight but not something I would do in a small boat.
 

searocket

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We have been to Portmeirion a few times in the past in our Wayfarer cruising dinghy, so about the same draft. I would think at HW springs you would be fine. From the water it is a fab view. At LW it dries mostly.
 

TSB240

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East Side of Puffin Island is navigable with a shallow draft boat at almost any state of tide. Minimum depths about 4.5 m. The anchorage on the side of the island is deep water close to and offers good protection if you have a North Westerly wind. This can be very welcoming for a break especially if you have had a long slog into the wind coming out of Conwy.

The estuary off Port Merion is very shallow and any channel shifts regularly as does the marginally deeper and very long bar route into Porth Madog. HM issues annual updates about now!
Never tested it but it is often quoted that entrance is free to the Italianate village if you arrive by sea.
The bar to Porth Madog is as bad as any in strong southerly wind.

If you are planning on going south on the Strait watch out for the area near Ty Calch about half way between Caernarfon and Belan Narrows. This area has become very shallow and will probably catch a few more out this year.
Some returning north to Beaumaris may be tempted to cross Caernarfon bar early to catch the flood through the Swellies. They may find they dont have sufficient depth to get over this area. You could have easily walked across at our recent LW spring!
 

TSB240

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Below is a link to a closed (not public) Facebook group post re above.

The FB group Sailing and Cruising Wales has plenty of up to date info and many more contributors from North Wales than on YBW forum!

Bei Facebook anmelden
 

Marceline

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Oh wow - am very glad I asked and thank you all very much for your replies - will be very handy for my various passage plan ideas I'm working on
 

Marceline

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East Side of Puffin Island is navigable with a shallow draft boat at almost any state of tide. Minimum depths about 4.5 m. The anchorage on the side of the island is deep water close to and offers good protection if you have a North Westerly wind. This can be very welcoming for a break especially if you have had a long slog into the wind coming out of Conwy.

The estuary off Port Merion is very shallow and any channel shifts regularly as does the marginally deeper and very long bar route into Porth Madog. HM issues annual updates about now!
Never tested it but it is often quoted that entrance is free to the Italianate village if you arrive by sea.
The bar to Porth Madog is as bad as any in strong southerly wind.

If you are planning on going south on the Strait watch out for the area near Ty Calch about half way between Caernarfon and Belan Narrows. This area has become very shallow and will probably catch a few more out this year.
Some returning north to Beaumaris may be tempted to cross Caernarfon bar early to catch the flood through the Swellies. They may find they dont have sufficient depth to get over this area. You could have easily walked across at our recent LW spring!
Thanks ever so much for these suggestions and advice as well

Especially how shallower the area up from Belan Narrows is as well😥I'll be sure to try and not be too ambitious with any passages I'm planning for when we head down/back there
 

peteK

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East Side of Puffin Island is navigable with a shallow draft boat at almost any state of tide. Minimum depths about 4.5 m. The anchorage on the side of the island is deep water close to and offers good protection if you have a North Westerly wind. This can be very welcoming for a break especially if you have had a long slog into the wind coming out of Conwy.

The estuary off Port Merion is very shallow and any channel shifts regularly as does the marginally deeper and very long bar route into Porth Madog. HM issues annual updates about now!
Never tested it but it is often quoted that entrance is free to the Italianate village if you arrive by sea.
The bar to Porth Madog is as bad as any in strong southerly wind.

If you are planning on going south on the Strait watch out for the area near Ty Calch about half way between Caernarfon and Belan Narrows. This area has become very shallow and will probably catch a few more out this year.
Some returning north to Beaumaris may be tempted to cross Caernarfon bar early to catch the flood through the Swellies. They may find they dont have sufficient depth to get over this area. You could have easily walked across at our recent LW spring!
Not according to navionics 0.5 m
East Side of Puffin Island is navigable with a shallow draft boat at almost any state of tide. Minimum depths about 4.5 m. The anchorage on the side of the island is deep water close to and offers good protection if you have a North Westerly wind. This can be very welcoming for a break especially if you have had a long slog into the wind coming out of Conwy.

The estuary off Port Merion is very shallow and any channel shifts regularly as does the marginally deeper and very long bar route into Porth Madog. HM issues annual updates about now!
Never tested it but it is often quoted that entrance is free to the Italianate village if you arrive by sea.
The bar to Porth Madog is as bad as any in strong southerly wind.

If you are planning on going south on the Strait watch out for the area near Ty Calch about half way between Caernarfon and Belan Narrows. This area has become very shallow and will probably catch a few more out this year.
Some returning north to Beaumaris may be tempted to cross Caernarfon bar early to catch the flood through the Swellies. They may find they dont have sufficient depth to get over this area. You could have easily walked across at our recent LW spring!
Not according to Navionics less than 0.5 metres in places.
 

vyv_cox

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Very many years ago I was in exactly your position - huge amount of dinghy and catamaran racing experience but just bought my first cruising boat. I joined North West Venturers Yacht Club at Gallows Point, where I learned a lot about cruising in a short time. Summer cruises in company to Tobermory, Baltimore, Scilly Isles and shorter cruises to IOM, Ireland and round Anglesey were most enjoyable and informative. Highly recommended.
 
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Marceline

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thank you for your suggestions re: facebook group and the sailing club

Sadly I avoid facebook (for very many reasons) and we're pretty socially awkward (more 'socially anxious' than 'anti-social') so we're not great in 'club' scenarios (my last attempt was a lovely cycling club a few years ago but ... yeh, I don't do so well in social interactions :rolleyes:) so while the clubs sound lovely (and wow, getting as far as Scilly/Baltimore etc is amazing) we're just hoping to build up slowly ourselves.

But many thanks for all the replies to my above (and really appreciated) - I've asked a few other newb kind of similar NorthWales/anchorages/destinations etc things in older threads so if I need to ask more I'll post them in here to try and avoid too many threads on here
 
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