To go with the Approach Pilotage Notes for Uphill and the club, we would like to make mention of some of the features, hazards and other noteable things in the area. This is a guide and must not be used as a basis for navigation.
Havens and Bays
There’s not much in the way of useful bays and safe havens around Brean Down which might come in handy. In general, note that Weston Bay is not a great place to be at anchor, and tends to be rougher in the south than elsewhere.
So named as it used to have pigs on it. This little ‘bay’ is sheltered from the prevailing wind, and is often used by members to hoist sails as it tends to be choppy in the Weston Bay. It’s good for a picnic as well.
The little ‘bay’ to the east of Fiddlers Point can make a decent anchorage in calm weather while waiting for water. There’s plenty of mud here to hold an anchor.
RNLI Buoy – Birnbeck Island
There is a lifeboat bouy at Birnbeck which is often available. This also makes a very useful place to wait out a tide, as the RNLI strive to keep this mooring in as deep water as possible.
Races and Overfalls
There is a significant hazard from the spring flood tidal race off the end of Brean Down, where the slow clockwise tidal stream in the bay meets the fast flood up the channel. The flood meets the Weston Bay stream almost at right angles, and with a significantly large difference in speed to spin you around when your bow hits the flood stream. If this is combined with a strong wind – watch out! Boats have been lost here!
The effect of the headland at Anchor Point should not be understimated – it can be rough.
The effect of the headland at Sand Point combined with the Swallow Rocks overfall should not be understimated – it can be rough.
Rocks and Shoals
At the entrance to the River Axe – Black Rock does at least take the trouble to be clearly visible by day. It is NOT lit at night, though it can be seen against the background lights of the area. Given the height of the mud flat around Black Rock, if you do get too close you’ll probably be having other issues!
Howe Rock at the end of Brean Down is visible at low water. It’s contribution is to set up a strong overfall in the area, which should be avoided.