Navigational tips and beauty spots around the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight.
Rounding the Needles
Only the boldest dare to pass between Goose Rock and the wreck of Varvassi. Photo: Graham Snook
The boldest and most knowledgeable skippers in the Round the Island Race will attempt to save themselves a few hundred metres by passing through the gap between Goose Rock, 40m from the base of the light bearing 290, and the wreck of the Varvassi, about 110m from the light bearing 250. The gap is about 70m, northeast to southwest but believe me, it feels considerably smaller when you’re approaching it at speed.
Photo: Graham Snook
The great majority takes the longer route around, which guarantees at least 3m. Keep the base of the Old Needles Battery blockhouse in line with the top of the lighthouse to find the safe line.