Navigational tips and beauty spots around the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight.
Rounding Dunnose Head
There is a ledge extending off for some 800m but you can ensure at least 5m soundings by staying 200m off the Head. Further north, just south of former smugglers’ haunt Luccombe Bay, lies Bordwood Ledge and to the north of it, Yellow and Horse Ledges (above). Look for disturbed water and fishing pots. The centre of Luccombe Bay itself is sheltered, sandy and the approach clear of rocks but too shallow to get well in the lee of a westerly.
Stay 200m offshore to keep well clear of Yellow and Horse Ledges then you’re into Sandown Bay, a wide, clear arc stretching from Shanklin in the south right round to Culver Down to the north, with Sandown’s pier, built in 1876, as the focus of the bay. There is a ledge off Shanklin, on which the pier used to stand, extending out for 1km but there is at least 2m depth as close as 400m to the groyned coast. Two visitors’ buoys, marked ‘Fisherman’s Cottage’, may be laid during the summer season off Shanklin Chine.