Southend Pier 15k

SUP route, Southend Pier 15k – Two Tree Island via Benfleet Ray to Southend Pier head and back: 15km…

Launch off the end of the slipway at Two Tree Island (Leigh-on-Sea) towards low tide, head east (left!) out to the Ray. Follow Hadleigh Ray main channel right (south, past the moored boats) and then left (east, towards the pier). Keep going past the floating platform and Seal Point and follow the Ray bank as far as you can before heading into ‘open’ water for the last 1.5km to the end of the pier. Paddle the same route back with the flooding tide.

Strictly a low tide route as Hadleigh Ray needs to be exposed! Depending on your average speed, set off from an hour and a half (6kmph) to an hour (8kmph) before low tide – you won’t want to be around the pier head in anything but slack water, so aim to turn as or very soon after the tide turns. Not suitable on spring tides when low water is less than 0.5m. Only sensible in really light winds, as any breeze can chop the water up around the pier head. Check tide and wind conditions via our SUP weather page…

Only attempt this route in really light winds when you can be sure of the forecast, and beware of sea breezes: if conditions change, don’t venture beyond the end of the Ray. Be careful launching and landing off the slipway. (More info at Two Tree Island.) The water can get very shallow on the shoals. Stay left after going round the first (right hand) corner. Then stay right (near the marker buoys) a little way down the Ray (c. 500m after the left hand turn) as there’s a big shallow shoal mid-channel. At the end of the Ray the water is shallow and can and will get very choppy in any sort of breeze. Definitely not suitable for westerly winds. Very exposed to crosswinds (particularly southerly). At Seal Point, respect the wildlife and don’t paddle too close to seals on the banks, especially if they have pups. Strong tides. Only venture into the ‘open’ water round the end of the pier in completely slack water – ie; within half an hour of low tide. Be aware of boat traffic.

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