Portishead to Watchet or vice versa?

tatali0n

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3 Nov 2014
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Has anybody got any thoughts or advice on getting to Watchet from Portishead or back again?

Planning to sail down channel from Portishead to Ilfracombe or Swansea over a weekend later this month, and quite fancy stopping in Watchet either on the way down or on the way back up. However, with the tidal restrictions on getting in or out, I can't quite decide how best to fit it in.

HW at Portishead on Friday 18th is 1043 so we're planning to leave on the ebb (or perhaps an hour before) aiming to make Swansea or Ilfracombe by Saturday evening, stopping over somewhere on the way down. HW Portishead on Monday 21st is 1243, and we want to be back by then, so we'll stop somewhere on the way back up over Sunday night to catch the flood tide Monday morning.

When we've previously done this, we've used Porlock Weir as a stopover on the way down and Cardiff on the way back up. Trying to work out possible alternatives, and we've not yet visited Watchet.

Any advice would be much appreciated :)
 

single

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Well its pointless on the West bound leg with Portishead and Watchet both relying on HW, so if it were me i would do-
HW-1 Portishead to Ilfracombe
LW Ilfracombe to HW Watchet
HW-2 Watchet to Cardiff
LW+3 Cardiff to Portishead
 

trapezeartist

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I don't think I've ever gone direct from Portishead to Watchet; I always go from Cardiff. It's much the same thing though. Go down on the ebb tide and aim to be at Blue Anchor at LW. Drop the hook and lots of chain in the shallowest water you feel safe in. Hang around for 2 or 3 hours. Then head up to get an early-ish entry to Watchet.

On the return, take a late-ish exit from Watchet, slog against the tide for quite a while, then finally it will turn in your favour an you can get back to Portishead for the earliest lock-in your keel will allow.
 

single

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A lot depends on the seastate for anchoring. I would go via Cardiff both ways unless its flat calm. Which plan have you made?
 

tatali0n

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Think the current thinking is now Portishead > anchor in Barry over the tide > Swansea > Cardiff > Portishead, with Watchet as an alternative to Swansea if the weather suggests it might be prudent.

Really do want to visit Watchet as it's one of the harbours this side of Ilfracombe / Swansea we haven't done yet, but also want to get far enough down channel for the weekend in question to see blue water again, as it's probably our last chance of the year for more than just a couple of days out, as both my annual leave and wife's forbearance are now all but used up :)

So most likely now to leave Watchet for a weekend trip, either later in the autumn or next year, and pick one closer to springs thus with high tides at the start and end of day so I can do the Watchet end, the entry at least, in daylight.
 
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