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Plymouth, Devon


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Barbican, Plymouth Barbican, Plymouth

Plymouth lies to the east of Rame Head and is one of the finest natural harbours in the country. With its mile long breakwater it has enough shelter for a good weekend's sailing if conditions at sea are too much for coastal passages. There are 4 modern marinas and excellent facilities for visitors. Plymouth is a major naval and commercial port with plenty of vessels of all kinds including surfaced submarines moving throughout the harbour. Plymouth is a major yachting centre serving as the start/finish of many major events including the Fastnet and the Round Britain. Drake's Island and the Hoe are landmarks in the harbour.

Submarine, Plymouth Sound Submarine, Plymouth Sound
There is a short cut to the west of Drake's Island for vessels heading towards the Tamar known as 'The Bridge' which is a narrow marked channel through wartime submarine defences, it is marked with 2 red and 2 green beacons. The marinas of Queens Anne's Battery, Sutton Harbour and Plymouth Yachthaven are accessed to the east of Drake's Island and Mayflower marina is in The Narrows beyond Drake's Island up the River Tamar. Passing Devonport dockyard be vigilant for naval vessels giving them a wide berth. There are the Torpoint chain ferries above Devonport on the way towards Saltash. Before Saltash the tributary on the left is the St Germans or Lynher river which looks shallow on the chart but with careful navigation and pilotage it is possible to anchor overnight in the 'Dandy Hole' as long as you can find it! Shallow draught vessels can navigate up the River Tamar past Cargreen and Calstock up to Morwelham Quay, a restored mining village.

Outside the breakwater to the west lies Cawsand Bay which has good shelter in SW to NW winds. Anchoring is in gently shelving, good holding ground - a good place for lunch.

To the east around the Great Mew Stone lies Wembury Bay and the attractive river of the Yealm. This is a favourite first-night detination from Plymouth as it involves a short open sea passage and then some careful navigation to find the entrance and to avoid a bar on the final approach into the Yealm. Once inside there is a complete feeling of tranquility between wooded banks leading to the moorings off the villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo. Having driven there once it is far easier to arrive by boat! A short dinghy trip leads to a short walk to some lovely pubs serving good food.

Note: The information here is not to be used for Navigation, always use up to date charts and pilotage books when navigating.