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Channel Crossings and passages

English Channel Cruising

This page deals with matters common to the whole English Channel (French."La Manche") Detail  pages (right hand menu) describe locations in the East Channel, around the Isle of Wight, SW England, the Channel Islands and nearby France, and West Brittany as far as the Raz de Sein.

Challenging. This tide swept area is crowded with commercial and leisure traffic, and subject to occasional poor visibility. It's the most challenging cruising area we describe (9/10 for thrills and spills, 4/10 for peace and quiet). Ports and anchorages along the south coast of England and along the French coasts are spaced so that day sailing from one end to the other is feasible - but only if using the tidal streams! Crossing the channel from Isle of Wight westward for smaller, slower boats may call for some night sailing.

Going West. Travelling west you're with the ebb, arriving near low water. No problem on the English side, with plenty of deep water ports. On the French side, many marinas and harbours have no access until half tide. Plan your destinations with this in mind!

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