31stAugust to 1stSeptember. We’ve been watching the weather again. The wind has been strong over the last few days in Milford. Now the forecast was for it to reduce a little, providing a potential weather window for us to head south again. So we locked out of Milford marina at 11.30 to sail the short distance to Dale, a lovely bay by a village on the north side of the estuary. We were joined by our new crew, Jonathan’s cousin Camilla from New Zealand and a long-standing friend David.

The wind turned out to be quite strong and no other boats were in sight as we tacked under jib only up the estuary into Dale Bay.  It is also spring tides, and here that means a 10m tidal range. That meant anchoring a long way from shore, which left us with a dilemma – how to get to our dinner booking at Coco’s in Dale?  A long dinghy ride in strong winds did not appeal, and we were about to cancel our booking when we realised that high water coincided conveniently with dinner time. So after calling the yacht club for advice, we motored into the landing pontoon which has sufficient depth at high water, had a very nice meal, and re-anchored out in the bay just as the sun was going down.  The wind was still strong, and the bay not entirely calm, but the crew slept well.

Nova at Dale

We are planning very carefully to make use of the tides on these coasts, so departure time the next day to sail to Tenby was 11.30am. Being a weekend, the firing range wasn’t operating, which saved us a few miles. There was some swell after several days of strong wind from the south west, and this was at its worst around St Govan’s Head.  To compensate it was another of those blue-sky days and we were able to sail in sunshine on a broad reach past the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline – sandy beaches, red sandstone cliffs and bays with wonderful names such as Barafundle Bay and Stackpole Quay, where Jonathan had childhood memories of a long summer holiday.

The sea calmed and we sailed on towards Tenby, through the sound past Caldey island owned and lived on by a monastic community. After taking local advice, we picked up a very substantial looking mooring just off the lifeboat station near the small harbour.  Tenby is a pretty place, with tall pastel-coloured houses along the front and a fort on an island accessed by a high bridge.


The harbour dries, but at high water was full of small motor boats, fishing boats and several bilge-keel yachts.  At low water a sandy beach appears. There are two lifeboat stations – one operational and the other converted into a house.

We went ashore to explore the town which was full of busy restaurants and people enjoying their holiday.  David insisted that while in Wales we should try the curry sauce and chips, and we finished our trip ashore in the Tenby craft brewery sampling the local ale, before returning to the boat for dinner on board.  

  • Distance: 26nm. Sailed 4h 45m
  • Wind: NW4-5


On our passage ‘Around These Islands’ Anne is writing about each trip, and Jonathan is writing some more ‘technical’ blogs, from our perspective as ordinary cruising sailors. We are sharing what we’ve learned, and welcome your thoughts too. Please remember that this blog – and your comments – are public.

There’s also a special focus on 12 key ports on our planned route, with articles from These Islands and a series of podcasts from Chrome Media called ‘Around These Islands in 12 Ports’.


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