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Charts AC 5605, 1652, 1991; Imray C12, C9; Stanfords 9,30.
On a first visit to Littlehampton Harbour it’s best to arrive from High Water -2 to +1 hour. The visiting sailor should be aware that the spring ebb stream can reach five knots.
The level of Littlehampton bar which extends 600 metres southwards from the end of the West Pier is 0.7 metres above chart datum. The depth of water covering the bar can be calculated by subtracting 0.9 metres from the height of water indicated on the tide boards situated within the harbour. Tide boards are metric, marked in units of 20 centimetres and coloured white, red, black, red, black. When approaching the harbour, the tide board on the west pierhead can be read from sea with the use of binoculars. Consideration should be given to the sea state and allowance made for swell over the bar.
From 1.5 hours before until 4 hours after high water a westerly stream runs across the harbour entrance. The easterly stream begins 1.5 hours before low water and continues until 2 hours before high water.
On closing the harbour from seaward, a safe approach can be made by bringing the leading lights into line on a bearing of 346º True. From abeam the West pierhead, a course favouring the east side of the fairway should be made to take advantage of the deeper water and to allow for the effect of the strong westerly set. Once past the East pierhead, keep the flashing green light on Fisherman’s Quay ahead while keeping to the starboard side of the mid-channel.