SUP route, Two Tree Superlap 10k – Chalkwell Beach via Old Leigh around Two Tree Island and back: 10km…

Launch from the rigging green at Chalkwell Beach and head west (turn right!) past Essex Yacht Club / HQS Wilton and into Old Leigh. At Bell Wharf, either cut straight across to Two Tree Island or carry on up the main shipping channel past the pubs in Old Leigh to turn left after The Crooked Billet. Follow the creek around the top of Two Tree, under the road bridge, until you come out onto Hadleigh Ray beyond the salt marshes. Turn left (south-east) and follow the shoreline past Two Tree slipway and around Leigh Marsh – then depending on conditions, either straight-line back to Chalkwell in deep water or for some protection stay close to the shoreline and then paddle back along the beach from Bell Wharf. (Can also be done in reverse, cutting straight across to go clockwise round the island – just leave 10-20 minutes earlier…)

Only suitable on the top of the tide or else there’s not enough water to get around the island! Although there’s water at Chalkwell from mid-tide, there’s only enough water at the top of Two Tree in 5.3m+ high tide – not suitable for neap tides. Set off from 45 minutes (6kmph) to half an hour (9kmph) before high tide for tidal assistance both ways. Avoid easterly and southerly winds unless they’re very light as it gets choppy between Chalkwell and Old Leigh, light to moderate offshore north-west to north-easterlies are ideal as the route stays pretty flat, light westerlies can also be good. Check tide and wind conditions via our SUP weather page…

It can get pretty shallow around the top of Two Tree, so definitely aim to go around the island on the top of the tide (and avoid neaps – 5.3m+ is a decent rule of thumb). Half a km beyond the road bridge, stay left where the creek forks be careful as there’s some metalwork marking the deep channel. The buoyed deep shipping lane comes in east of Two Tree / Bell Wharf and continues into Leigh Marina: look out for traffic, both leisure and commercial. Be careful of beach furniture (generally stay offshore of green starboard markers) and mooring lines. On a hot and/or sunny day, an easterly sea breeze can fill in here – even if it’s light westerly when you set off – which can seriously chop the water up around Leigh Marsh. Check the wind, weather and tide via our SUP weather page. Not strictly a hazard, but don’t forget to pay for parking at Chalkwell (10am to 6pm) as the traffic wardens are pretty efficient!

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