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Travel & Discovery

Dropping Anchor December

Readers’ favourite Anchorages of the World. Showcasing your favourite anchorages.

Braye Bay

From Geoff, Ocean Sailor reader from the England

Location: Braye Bay, Alderney, Channel Islands 

Coordinates: 49°43.57’N 2°11.71’W

Seabed: Good holding in sand 

Protection: Protected from all directions except N and NW

Description – You might be forgiven to think that this beautiful 3 sq mile island, 10 miles off the coast of Normandy is French, however, Alderney actually makes up part of the Channel Islands. Although they are not part of the United Kingdom, the UK is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands.

Braye Bay is well protected due to the large breakwater reaching out into the bay. There are plenty of options to anchor or alternatively use one of the many visitor mooring buoys. Water taxis are on hand should you need them to get to shore. The bay does offer a wide range of facilities such as fuel, water, showers, toilets, laundry, engineering and chandlery but cruisers are drawn to the excellent fish and chip restaurant, ‘Braye Chippy’.

Although Braye Bay has the most protection, Alderney does offer many other anchorages depending on the wind conditions. The island has a lot to see and do, especially excellent hiking and white sandy beaches.

Nara Inlet

From Shane, Ocean Sailor reader from the Australia

Location: Nara Inlet, Whitsundays, Australia 

Coordinates: 20°7.59’S 148°54.86’E

Seabed: Good holding in sand and mud 

Protection: Very well protected anchorage from all directions

The Whitsundays are an archipelago of 74 tropical islands located just 34 miles (55 kilometres) off the Queensland coast, next to the Great Barrier Reef. The protected waters are ideal to sail to and the many anchorages offer different delights from excellent reefs to ancient cave paintings from the Nagaro people who populated the Whitsundays with origins tracing back 9,000 years.

Nara Inlet is known as the most calm and tranquil anchorage in the archipelago, mainly because the inlet is 3km long and surrounded by steep wooded hills. You won’t find any facilities here but you will find peace in this secluded fjord.

At the end of the fjord is a path to the Ngaro cultural site. There are caves with ancient rock wall paintings and interactive displays where you can learn about the history of the Ngaro Aboriginal people. Hook Island is also known for its abundance of life such as sea eagles, kites and ospreys, turtles, reef fish, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales.

Funauki Bay

From Trystan Grace, Kraken Yachts Creative Director

Location: Funauki Bay, Iriomote Island (西表島), Japan 

Coordinates: 24°20.14’N 123°44.09’E

Seabed: Good holding in mud and sand 

Protection: Very well protected anchorage

We have never before covered Japan in Ocean Sailor and for many, it will be seen as being off the main cruising routes and a nightmare for paperwork. However, as the country makes it easier for cruisers, it can’t be discounted as its rich culture and extraordinary landscapes make it a worthy destination on your cruising itinerary. 

If you sail to Japan from the South, your first port of call will probably be the island of Ishigaki and its neighbour Iriomote, just over 100nm from Taiwan. Although under the jurisdiction of the Okinawa Prefecture, these islands are actually over 200nm from Okinawa to the northwest and serve as a gateway to the Yaeyama Islands. 

Iriomote is far less developed than Ishigaki and is often referred to as the Galapagos of  East Asia. Funauki Bay is unreachable by land and offers excellent protection from the elements. The small village of Funauki sits on the west of the bay. On land, there is a vast jungle with excellent hiking, waterfalls, mangroves and beaches. Under the water, the whole Yaeyama island group serves up spectacular snorkelling & diving with one of the largest coral reef systems in Asia.

As a side note, the island of Yonaguni to the northwest is home to the Yonaguni monument, an underwater rock formation that baffles experts as to its origins, either man-made or natural. Definitely worth a visit and a dive!

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