These notes are intended to supplement the authoritative Sailing Directions given in pilotage books. The information is provided in good faith but neither Mylor Yacht Club nor the web site editor can accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Entering Carrick Roads is generally straight-forward. The entrance lies between the St Anthony Head Lighthouse to the east and Pendennis Castle to the west. The entrance is broad and deep and partially sheltered from the prevailing westerlies by the Lizard peninsula. It can however be rough particularly when strong south-easterlies meet the ebb tide.
The principal hazard is the Black Rock shoal near the centre of the entrance. It is clearly marked by a black beacon with an “isolated danger” light Fl(2) 10s 3M. Passage can be made either side of the beacon (allowing for the shoal). The main shipping channel is to the east and is marked by a PHM (FlR2.5s).
With sufficient rise of tide Carrick Road is broad and largely free of obstructions but at LW Springs there are many shallow areas so deep-draught yachts should keep to the well-marked channel. The estuary is sheltered but strong gusts can occur in the vicinity of headlands. Tidal streams should be used to advantage to minimise the adverse effects of currents which can attain 2-3 knots in the rivers and creeks.
- a). Large ships use the repair facilities of Falmouth Docks and are often encountered under tow.
b). The local oyster fleet dredges under sail.
c). There are numerous, highly-competitive racing events during the season.
Give them all a wide berth.
- St Anthony Head Lighthouse (Oc.W.R. 15s 22m 22/20M. W295º-004º, R004º-022º, W022º-172º) is obscured by Zone Point from the east.
- Black Rock Buoy: In 2009, the ECM shown in the photos below was been replaced by a PHM.
For Mylor Yacht Harbour:- Using an appropriate local chart, follow the deep-water channel through Carrick Roads until the red (R.Fl.5s) and green (Gn.Fl.6s) buoys at the entrance to Mylor Fairway bear between West and North-west. Pass between the buoys and then steer West along the fairway through the swinging moorings until the Marina Entrance bears South.
Visiting yachts are usually accommodated on Pontoon E, the Eastern Breakwater. Prior contact with Mylor Yacht Harbour Moorings Office on Channels M/M2 (37/80) is advised. “Mylor Water Taxi” (also operating on Channels M/M2) will ferry crew between the moorings and the shore.