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Anchoring in the Milford Haven Waterway

We had spent a week anchored up the Cleddau River but with a predicted 35 knots due in from the south we headed back down towards Milford Haven to find a more secure spot, but not before cutting ourselves free from the old mooring that we had snagged – click here to check out our previous post for details on that!

Hobbs Point Free Visitors Pontoon

Ok so not an anchoring spot but definitely worth a mention is Hobbs Point. If you’re cruising the Milford Haven Waterway and the Cleddau River then this may be of interest to you.

Hobbs Point Pontoon

The Port of Milford Haven install a number of pontoons in the Milford Haven Waterway between April and October for recreational vessels to use free of charge for up to 12 hours. One of these can be found at Hobbs Point near Pembroke Dock. As we were passing by we took the opportunity to spend the night on here and do a spot of provisioning at the nearby Lidl and Asda, literally a 10 minute walk from the pontoon.

The pontoon is for public use so do bear in mind that anyone can walk down to it. It seemed a popular spot for local children to jump into the water and for local fishermen to come – in fact one caught a Conger eel here, apparently the waterway is home to many! 😬 Irish Ferries also operate a route out of the main dock nearby so you may feel a little disturbance from the ship’s wake as she manoeuvres in and out of her berth.

We debated seeing if we could ride out the storm here but we spoke to a local who worked on the waterway and he said he wouldn’t advise staying on this pontoon in a strong blow!

Angle Point/Chapel Bay Anchorage

With the strong southerly blow inbound we made the 5.5 nautical mile trip from Hobbs Point pontoon to Angle Point. This was a miserable, wet motor against the tide, and with the wind picking up we were eager to get the hook dropped as soon as possible.

Angle Bay itself is very shallow and there are a number of local moorings near the point. We chose to anchor in position 51°41.569N 5°5.331W, just to the west of the RNLI Lifeboat Station and close to Chapel Bay, hoping that the headland would offer us some shelter. Dumping 40 metres of chain we felt secure despite the strong wind, which indeed did reach 35 knots. It was a blustery, lumpy few hours but the Mantus didn’t let us down!

Angle Bay Lifeboat in the Milford Haven Waterway

The downside with this anchorage though is the passing traffic. The main channel runs just north of here and with ferries and cargo tankers regularly running up and down you can get quite a bit of turbulence from their wash. But if you love ship spotting then you’ll love the closeness!

Irish Ferries ‘Oscar Wilde’ in the main channel

We only stayed the one night here. As the wind started to shift round to a more westerly direction we encountered more of a swell throughout the night which was actually more uncomfortable than the 35 knots we had rode out earlier in the day!

Dale Anchorage

Heading across to Dale this short little passage was uncomfortable to say the least! The wind was now more of a south westerly and crossing the entrance to Milford Haven Waterway was rolly and choppy, in fact the locals refer to this area as ‘the washing machine’…we can see, and feel, why!🤣

The large bay is a popular anchoring spot and is protected from all from all winds except easterlies. During the summer a free visitors pontoon is positioned in the bay and in 2021 three mooring buoys were installed to protect the seagrass (though only two were available in June 2023). These buoys are for short stays or overnighting and a donation of £10 is suggested. Click here for further details.

The south side of the bay is the most sheltered but this is where the local Dale Yacht Club moorings are. Therefore you will need to anchor further north and further out depending on your draft. Downside of this is the swell which enters the bay, even with the prevailing south – south-westerly winds. In fact we had one very awful rolly morning/afternoon here – Check out our Facebook Reel of our rolly time in Dale 🤣

However holding is excellent! And when the swell dissipates (not often though!) and the sun comes out it is actually rather nice. In fact this anchorage offered us some cracking sunsets.

Sunset in Dale Anchorage

If you plan on going ashore you will find a dinghy landing pontoon and water point. There is a restaurant at the yacht club and The Griffin Pub is apparently a popular restaurant/pub specialising in seafood. Unfortunately conditions during our stay either meant it wasn’t very pleasant or we deemed it unsafe to launch the dinghy and go ashore.

And speaking of poor conditions with yet another horrible blow due in we made the decision to seek refuge in a marina, we just needed to find one with a space…!

VIDEO: Milford Haven Waterway


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