Mud aside, whether you come through here in a 80' spritsail barge or a 16' dinghy, such as my cruiser Shoal Waters, you will find an average depth around 5 or 6 feet, a little more at springs.
For visual indication there are four tall spars that can be followed in from seaward. I won't bother with any bearings as it is best to check your own charts for these, or they can be found on the appropriate sites, but the first three spars are in a straight line so can be transited and will bring you to the last one at the mouth of the creek which has numerous horizontal bars. At this point you are on the Broomway and are close enough to pick out the port and starboard withies. As you come to the first 'port withie' there is quite a large, raised shoal which will diminish your depth dramatically by a couple of feet if you drift off course so it would a good bet to keep near to these. At this same high point what water is left is running back towards the Havengore bridge.
If I am going round to the Thames I cut across to the Inner Shoebury, which can be seen from hereabouts. There are quite a few other marks and short stumps not visible near high water and there could be ordnance remains laying about at times, to which you may strike, but you would be very unlucky if this were to happen. There is without doubt a certain amount of risk in using this route therefore the skipper must make accurate tidal allowances. But if your vessel can take the ground, at most it will be an inconvenience to become grounded - more a delightful rest on the mystical sands.
|Facing south-east toward the outer two spars|
|The inner of the three in-line spars. From here you can see the Broomway spar|
|Broomway spar facing south-east to the outer three spars|
|pronounced shoal facing Havengore Creek and the first port withie|
|At first port withie and able to make a fare judge of depth from this mark which was about nine foot|
There is also a wreck marked by a spar topped with two black balls. This is unlit to so if running in south of the three in line spars take care. I Had a close look at this wreck and it looks to be an MFV of wooden construction and still has a china sink in-situ. If anybody knows the vessels name please let me know.
|Wreck on the Maplin Sands|