View Full Version : Swansea to Cardiff passage

25-09-09, 09:21
After an unsuccessful couple of seasons based in Swansea, nothing wrong with Swansea - just after easy sailing in the Solent and now an extra little one my wife has lost her confidence and won't sail with the two kids on board unless there is someone else who can sail there too :-( I am going to move down to Cardiff. Hopefully she will get her confidence back sailing inside the bay and then we can start venturing further afield from that base.

Picked a weekend in November that I have a crew (other than the family) where there is a flood tide during the daylight hours.

Thinking about Sat Nov 14th. LW Milford Haven is 10:15. It seems to be nearing springs and was just wondering How early people would lock out of Swansea? I was tempted to take the first lock out (0700) to get out towards mumbles and then go against the end of the ebb for an hour or so and then take the flood upto Cardiff. The boat is a fin keeler 28' and needs about 1.7m water. Would anyone advise leaving a bit later?

Any advice much appreciated.

jason -and the arguenauts
25-09-09, 12:10
It's not critical. I leave somewhere around an hour or two before LW Swansea, head for the Nash passage and ride the flood up to Cardiff. I'd offer to give you a hand but we'll be racing that weekend, probably Sunday.

What's worrying your wife? nasty experience in Swansea?

25-09-09, 12:13
Nothing wrong with your plan. The tides are weaker west of Nash Point.Leaving that early you should be South of the Nash at about low water then in Cardiff a few hours before the next HW.

In good vis and quietish weather going through the Nash Passage saves you several miles .Leave Kenfig buoy close to Stbd. Tusker buoy close to port then steer up the middle of the passage.I put a GPS waypoint in to head to as you cant head directly to the East Nash at low spring tide.

If going out to the west of the Scarweather bank You dont need to go right round the West Scar. Have a check of the tidal height and the chart.you can generally leave it at least half a mile to stbd on the way out.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cardiff.

25-09-09, 13:27
The Nash passage can be a very good way of putting of the wife permanently though. If there is any swell it can be a bit scary (waves braking all around us taking them on the beam, not ideal mobo conditions) I have since managed to get her back in but had to promise there was no wind. Haring all the mayday calls for the person who got washed off Porthcawl didn't help her frame of mind either.

Ah well, life is a learning experience!

25-09-09, 21:46
Richard, one of the best trips I've had was Swansea to Cardiff. The wind was a S 4-5, and on the flood tide with a slight sea state, the boat flew along. I went through the Nash Passage, and as Graham says, it saves you a fair chunk of time/ distance. If you want extra crew, I can probably make it - send me a pm if interested.

26-09-09, 08:53
Much appreciated all - pleased timing ok. Planning to get out early just to maximise the daylight in November but comfortable sailing in the dark so not concerned.

Leaving the wife and kids behind for this passage! I have a couple of people sorted to help me out but thank you for the offers of crew -really kind, I didn't expect offers to come in.

I had looked at both the outside route and the Nash passage, I am just going to see what the weather brings and decide nearer the time - I may just keep it simple and sail the long way round just to play it safe this time.

Wife wasn't put off my a particular event - she just doesnt like being out at sea with the two kids - she worries she couldnt pick me up in a MOB situation any longer with the kids on board - just a loss of confidence so I think Cardiff may be a good thing for a while.

Cheers all and I'll let you know how it goes.


jason -and the arguenauts
28-09-09, 08:31
Just be grateful she wants to pick you up if you fall in! My wife hasnt mentioned that subject for years :eek:

28-09-09, 11:05
I agree with most of the points here - I usually go the long way round, too (29' long keel sloop ). It takes longer to get out of Swansea bay than you think.
At low Springs there are 2 problems.
1. The can be too little water in the river about 200 yards from the lock (ask lock keeper for a prediction first ).
2. Once out of the harbour, You have over half a mile of narrow channel with hard sand each side to pass through. This can be challenging and exposed in anything above a force 4 SW or S wind.
Don't forget that you can always drop off in Barry overnight - safe entrance and sheltered moorings (facilities inaccessible).
Have a safe trip,

12-10-09, 17:14
1st challenge is to pass the CBYC interview on Wednesday evening!

27-10-09, 20:40
Managed to avoid being black-balled and am now a member of CBYC! Provisional berth K17 (need to check it out). Now just hoping for fair wind/weather on Sat 14th November for the trip down to Cardiff.

27-10-09, 21:53
Good luck. See you in the Bay. We're in CYC, but do sail with members of both clubs.