51 deg 21min.83N 01 deg 01min.56E
Tides +0135 Dover
The harbour dries up to 1.7 metres
Standard port - Sheerness
VHF Ch 09, 12, 16 Mon-Fr- 0800-1700 and HW -3 to HW+1. Tidal info will be given on request
Shelter in Whitstable is good, except in strong NNW to NNE wind. As you can see from our panoramic picture, the harbour is an unlovely commercial harbour and priority is given to commercial traffic. However, in an emergency when you need a bolt hole on the northern coast of Kent, Whitstable could be very useful indeed. You will have to tie up either alongside a fishing boat or against the piled wall, so fender boards are needed. And be prepared for those fishing boats leaving at some strange hours.
Approaching from the east, keep well clear of Whitstable Street, a hard drying spit of sand extending 1 mile north of the coast. More shoals a further 1 mile to seaward are well marked by Whitstable Street NCM light buoy. Approaching from the west, avoid the Columbine and the Pollard Spits. Do not approach before half flood. Study the chart carefully and beware the numerous oyster beds and shallow banks on the approach.
If you do find yourself stormbound in Whitstable, the town can interesting. There are some good pubs to make your enforced stay quite pleasant. Whitstable, of course is renowned for the quality of its oysters, both the Native oyster and the cultivated European oyster, the meat of which is fat and succulent. Oysters have been produced in the area since Roman times and in recent years there has been a healthy revival of the industry. You can buy oysters in the fish market on the quayside, or you can eat them in some comfort at Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co, in the Royal Native Oyster Stores, an old storm-battered building on the Sea Wall.
A visit to the Whitstable Museum is worthwhile. It tells the story of the local seafaring community with special features on divers, shipbuilders and oyster fishers.