3.6 Access and escape options

Whilst it’s possible to guess at places we can access the sea by looking at a map, and (sometimes) to check on feasibility with Google Earth, its far easier to consult information in guidebooks.

Difficultly of using a given access point might depend on:

  • Whether we can park cars nearby

  • How busy the location is - often depends on time of the day and of the year

  • How far we’ll need to carry boats from the car to the sea (may depend on how high the tide is)

  • Whether it’s an easy carry, or a route with steps, corners, slippery rocks etc.

  • Will we be launching off a beach, a slipway, a pontoon or a harbor wall?

  • Do we expect waves and surf at our access point?

  • Is there a sheltered area close to the access point to warm up?

We should always have fallback plans in place in case we can’t make it back to our chosen access point. Clearly, we might accept less ideal options for these fallback plans, but we do need to be sure that the escape routes we choose are usable (e.g. not likely to be impossible due to heavy surf). In some locations, e.g. those with tall cliffs, it can be difficult to egress from the sea along long sections of coastline.