After sailing from Weymouth to Swanage and spending a few days in Swanage the wind changed to an easterly meaning our mooring in the bay became very uncomfortable. We decided to move on sailing the 9.9 nautical miles around Old Harry Rocks and into Poole Harbour, Dorset.
Here our destination for the next week was a swing mooring belonging to Lake Yard. Their moorings are situated on both sides of the Wareham Channel, between the Arne Peninsula and Hamworthy. Each mooring has a floating buoy attached to it making it easy to pick up and we were guided to our spot by a lovely man called Pete. Their prices are as follows (August 2018) :
Up to 8m £12.00 per day £60.00 per week
Up to 10m £14.40 per day £72.00 per week
Up to 12m £18.00 per day £90.00 per week
Up to 15m £19.20 per day £96.00 per week
Pete also operates a free water taxi service at weekends however during the week the yard takes over charging a whopping £8 each way! However we were able to tender ourselves in tying up in the corner of the marina. There is a clubhouse and restaurant on site and ladies and gents toilets and shower.
Poole town centre is approximately a mile and a half walk or you can get the number 152 bus which stops outside The Yachtsman pub (a great Hall & Woodhouse pub btw!) just a 5 minute walk from the marina. We paid £3.60 return per person. Alternatively you can tender round to Poole Quay Boat Haven which is situated on the quay. Here you can tie up your dinghy for £5 (for up to 4 hours). As it was summer there were events on throughout the week, we enjoyed fireworks one night and a car show the next.
Poole Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. It has an area of approximately 36km2/14 sq miles however the majority of the harbour is extremely shallow with an average depth of just 48cm. It is one of only a few places in the world to experience double high tides. The harbour consists of a number of islands, the largest of which is Brownsea Island, owned by The National Trust. Whilst the island is open to the public the southeast part of the island which includes Brownsea Castle is actually leased to the John Lewis Partnership. The castle is used as a holiday hotel for their staff so is closed to the public. At the northern end of the island is a Nature Reserve managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. The area is an important habitat for a variety of birds so access is limited. It currently costs £7.20 for an adult and £3.20 per child to enter Brownsea and this does not include the ferry crossing. Ferries can be taken from Sandbanks or Poole Quay and are operated by Brownsea Island Ferries. The other islands within the harbour are either privately owned or inhabited.
We spot seals!
This was probably the highlight of the trip so far! We were lucky enough to spot 2 seals in the water just off of Green Island.
We had decided to drag ourselves out of bed and explore the harbour by dinghy one early morning. We had waited until approximately 2 hours before high water so that we knew we would be reaching the maximum tide height thus having sufficient depth to explore most of the harbour. And our reward for getting up so early was seeing the two grey seals. They seemed curious about us but kept their distance and trying to photograph them was quite difficult but we got a couple of snaps, our favourite of which has to be the one at the top of this page – he really looks like he’s watching us! Check out the others below…..
The beauty of the harbour
Our dinghy exploration allowed us to get to parts of the harbour normally inaccessible by other means and as such we got to see the beauty of it all. It was early morning so the harbour was quiet, just us and a couple of fishing boats!
Poole Harbour Sunsets
The weather this summer (2018) has been pretty fantastic and as such we were treated to some spectacular sunsets during our stay in Poole. Being on the water, with the reflections bouncing off the waves, the vivid colours lining the sky and the silhouettes of the boats was simply stunning. This world is incredible!…..
Poole Harbour Video
Check out our video taken on the morning of our exploration of Poole Harbour and remember to subscribe to our channel for more!