The Swinge

DAKA

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I have been recommended to use the swinge channel however it looks very narrow and I expect it to be full of yachts like rats in a barrel.

Its deep water so wash shouldnt be breaking and any boats in it should be hardened sailors and not solent softies .

Anyone who uses the swinge please pass an honest opinion to a mobo cruising at 24 knots through it.

Is there enough room or would you recommend avoiding it ?

Do all the yachts leave together as the tide turns leaving it empty an hour later ?
 
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The Swinge is certainly plenty wide, with more than sufficient room for avoidance of others.

However....

Be aware that the tide stream runs very hard through there, and changes direction, at different depths, at slightly different times which, affected by the seriously-rugged bottom, creates seriously-big standing and breaking waves quite suddenly - especially when there's a westerly swell running and a west-going tide.

I'd encourage you to use the channel in settled conditions, but also to use a considerable wariness, expecting that bit of ocean to spring the occasional unpleasant surprise. 'Twenty-four knots' might prove inappropriate for a few hundred metres.... Be very aware.

There's an anchorage next to Burhou. Beautiful, in quiet conditions.

Enjoi!

:)
 
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DAKA

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The Swinge is certainly plenty wide, with more than sufficient room for avoidance of others.

However....

Be aware that the tide stream runs very hard through there, and changes direction, at different depths, at slightly different times which, affected by the seriously-rugged bottom, creates seriously-big standing and breaking waves quite suddenly - especially when there's a westerly swell running and a west-going tide.

I'd encourage you to use the channel in settled conditions, but also to use a considerable wariness, expecting that bit of ocean to spring the occasional unpleasant surprise. 'Twenty-four knots' might prove inappropriate for a few hundred metres.... Be very aware.

There's an anchorage next to Burhou. Beautiful, in quiet conditions.

Enjoi!

:)

Thanks for your reply, the intention was use to use it as a safe calm passage when the race is too bouncy , but it sounds worse.
Are there pots to get strung up on too ?
 

Sans Bateau

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I've been down there once, and all the yachts traveled line abreast, I think its a local custom to stop power boat overtaking. Might suggest we do something similar in the entrance to Chi harbour.;)
 

Angele

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I agree with everything said so far. Also, whilst it is relatively narrow, its not like it is the M25 (or the Solent for that matter), so you won't need to be dodging one target after another.

As Lady Campanula says, you can find yourself going from totally flat sea to a sudden bumpy patch within 100m as two tidal streams converge or as depths vary suddenly. Be prepared to slow down at that point. This can happen even in the most benign conditions.
 

Pete7

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We tend to leave Braye just before HW Dover which gives a south going stream. In good conditions the worse part is 200 yards of standing waves at the southern edge which you might have to slow down for but then it levels out and off to Guernsey.

Pete
 

Bav34

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We tend to leave Braye just before HW Dover which gives a south going stream. In good conditions the worse part is 200 yards of standing waves at the southern edge which you might have to slow down for but then it levels out and off to Guernsey.

Pete

Totally agree with that.
 
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If conditions are such - strong wind/big swell over strong tide - that the Alderney Race is off-putting, then the Swinge will probably be more so. In such conditions I'd wait, or go elsewhere, for a few hours. Alternatively, go well outside Ortac, dodging the lumpy bits and the HSS catamarans that one finds just by there.

If it's foggy, then I'd give the area 'a wide berth'.

Can't speak for crab pots. I usually sneak through at night, no moon, muffled oars....

;)
 

doris

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Thanks for your reply, the intention was use to use it as a safe calm passage when the race is too bouncy , but it sounds worse.
Are there pots to get strung up on too ?

If the race is a bit frisky then I expect the Swinge will be to for the same reasons. A bit of wind against tide might concentrate your mind a tad... and your buttocks!
 

Tom Price

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Have always used it after stopping in Alderney en route for Guernsey; leave at HW Dover -1, no probs. But I do remember a cold sweat until safely clear of Pierre au Vraic, that drying rock a couple of miles WSW of les Etacs.

Perhaps our local expert could advise a safe track past?
 
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