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Sailing the Wash

The Wash is an unspoilt marine wilderness and is a beautiful place for a short sailing break. Tie in Wisbech and the Fens, Fosdyke Bridge and the Lincolnshire area, and Kings Lynn and experience the natural opportunities in Sailing the Wash.

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For the cruising sailor, the rivers and waterways of the Fens offer tranquil leisure time afloat. However the Wash offers something different for the marginally more adventurous sailors, or those making passages to and from remoter destinations. Find out where you can explore by sailing the Wash.

Historically, the Wash has suffered from an unjust reputation as a wild and dangerous place that is best avoided by yachtsmen. Although short, steep seas can result after prolonged spells of north easterly winds, the Wash is more straightforward to navigate than the Thames estuary - offering 200 square miles of embayment with plenty of uninterrupted deep water to enjoy. As many other parts of the UK become overcrowded and expensive for small boats, the Wash is fast becoming a place where the slower pace and traditional values are being rediscovered.

Clearly marked channels point the way to the rivers Witham, Welland, Nene and Great Ouse. In particular, Wisbech on the tidal Nene offers modern marina facilities and is an interesting place to visit. All the rivers (depending on the size of vessel) offer an unrivalled gateway to the inland waterway network in the same way as many ports in nearby Continental Europe. Located right in the heart of the town, Wisbech Yacht Harbour can arrange mast unstepping and storage.

The Wash is an important haven of wildlife and is designated as a European Marine Site and Special Area of Conservation. It is home to the country's largest population of common seals. With approximately 160,000 wading birds and 51,000 wildfowl attracted to the extensive mudflats and sandbanks, it is a birdwatcher's paradise. It also offers a great location for sport fishing, with bass, mackerel, smooth hound, Thornback Ray and Tub Gurnard regularly caught. Organised sea fishing trips can be joined from Wisbech Yacht Harbour.