Navigational tips and beauty spots around the north-west coast of the Isle of Wight.

Gurnard Ledge in detail

The water at Gurnard Ledge appears browner in deeper water. Photo: Peter Bruce

At the start of the Round The Island Race, you want to stay in deeper water for better tide. If it’s against on your passage, you can go inside Gurnard Ledge but be aware that there’s less than 1m at CD in many places. Gurnard Ledge is a layer of Bembridge limestone and clay. Look for fishing pots and also see if you can see a difference in the water colour. North of the Ledge in deeper water, the tide erodes the clay making the water appear browner than inshore.

The start of the ledge is marked by two transits. Firstly, line up the Gurnard Sailing Club’s flagpole with the third window from the left of the Woodvale Hotel in Gurnard.

Secondly, line up the yellow diamond beacon at Gurnard Luck estuary with the chalets of the Gurnard Pines Holiday Camp, though these are almost obscured by trees now.

The Ledge’s western end is indicated by Baxter’s, an orange ball laid in the summer months to mark Baxter’s Ledge, also known as Quarry Ledge, off Gurnard Head. The deepest water can be found using a transit of the Gurnard SC flagpole just to the left of the prominent gable of the first red-roofed house, bearing 062M.

You’re west of Gurnard Ledge when Gurnard Ledge buoy lines up with the short, thick chimney in the forest of Fawley chimneys on the mainland shore.

Photos: Graham Snook

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes
  3. 3. Cowes to Gurnard Ledge
  4. 4. Gurnard Ledge in detail
  5. 5. Baxter's Ledge
  6. 6. Thorness Bay
  7. 7. Salt Mead Ledge
  8. 8. Hamstead Ledge
  9. 9. The Solent's oldest and youngest wrecks
  10. 10. Yarmouth Castle
  11. 11. Black Rock
  12. 12. Fort Victoria
  13. 13. Sconce Point to The Needles
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