Mersea Island

Route Distance: ~10.5 nm / 19.4 km
Prevailing direction: CCW
Record: 2024 - 01:29:09
Solo: 14
Team: 3


Billy Butler
Doug Herbert
Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon
Elizabeth Cannon
+ unnamed group

Image: Elizabeth Cannon

Mersea Island provides an interesting tidal challenge: at low water there is only mud in the creeks, at high water the island can be cut off from the 'Mainland' when the road floods. Local knowledge from Elizabeth Cannon: "The trick is to get to the road (known as “the Strood” at exactly high tide. That way, you get pulled up to the Strood by the tide, hopefully paddle over the road, then get pulled away from the Strood by the tide."
A little research to avoid a lot of mud perhaps!


It appears that Mersea is not necessarily 'lappable' without a portage due to fence repairs etc at The Strood causeway. So we've given a portage concession for Mersea Island laps. Here's the deal:
If you are going for a time or a record attempt then you may portage over The Strood if required to complete the lap. However your GPS track MUST overlap/cross-over to get a time - i.e. you can't start and finish on opposite sides of The Strood. You need to cross The Strood at some point, either paddling or portaging.
You will still need to plan the tides either way. This is the only island in the 1000 Islands Challenge where a portage is allowed (from 2024).

Detailed info courtesy of Elizabeth Cannon:
"In answer to your question:- It’s a bit complicated. Yes, you can paddle over, but not always. The Strood does not normally cover on neaps, unless there is a tidal surge, which is more common in the Winter months. The tide will definitely cover enough to paddle over if the tide height 5.2 metres or above, but on low air pressure days, or when there has been a strong north wind, which pushes the water in the North Sea down into the southern and narrower south end, when it can cover when the predicted tide height is as low as 4.8. But there is another problem. Unfortunately, the holes in the fence have now been repaired, so you have to use the north-western end of the strood. This has a gate with an opening in it on the southern side, which has a hole in it, which can take a kayak, and a a small paddler leaning back, if the water is at the right height. Otherwise, you would have to get out and lift it over. You can then get back in and paddle across the road, and through a permanent gap in the fence on the northern side. If anyone is a bit precious about their boat, it’s important to know that the rusty gate can leave scratches. For most paddlers, the situation now, is that with the fence repaired, they will have to at least get out of their boat to lift it through or over one gate, or fence, so Im not sure if that counts as a portage, and I would be pleased to red your ruling on that. If that counts as a portage, which I think it will, the only day you could now get points or a record would be the day they open the gate for the dinghy round the Island race, or on a lucky day when a friendly water skier from the water ski club opens the gate for you, which happens very rarely."

Circumnavigation: Mersea Island


Click column header to sort.
1K1M_SkiBilly Butler01:29:0915-Feb-24Epic V10
2K1M_SkiDoug Herbert01:51:2530-Sep-23Epic V12
3(1)K1WElizabeth Cannon02:24:1011-Oct-22Rockpool Taran 16
4(2)K1WElizabeth Cannon02:30:5829-Sep-22Rockpool Taran 16
5(3)K1WElizabeth Cannon02:55:3318-Oct-21Rockpool Bach Eto
6(4)K1WElizabeth Cannon02:55:3421-Mar-22CCWYes
7(5)K1WElizabeth Cannon03:05:1927-Aug-21Rockpool Bach Eto
8(6)K1WElizabeth Cannon03:05:4522-Jul-21Rockpool Bach Eto
9(7)K1WElizabeth Cannon03:39:3914-Jun-22CCWYes
10(8)K1WElizabeth Cannon03:58:0224-Aug-21Rockpool Bach Eto
11(9)K1WElizabeth Cannon04:04:1007-Oct-21P+H Bahiya
12(10)K1WElizabeth Cannon04:18:5908-Oct-21Rockpool Bach Eto
13(11)K1WElizabeth Cannon04:21:3229-Jul-22CWYes
14(12)K1WElizabeth Cannon04:36:2016-Apr-22CCWYes

14 solo paddlers


Click column header to sort.
1TeamElizabeth Cannon
_ unnamed group
03:40:1923-Aug-21Rockpool Bach Eto

2TeamElizabeth Cannon
+ unnamed group
04:16:2710-Jun-21Rockpool Bach Eto

3TeamElizabeth Cannon
_ unnamed group
04:36:3517-Dec-21Rockpool Bach Eto


3 Teams -- 6 Paddlers


Billy Butler (15-Feb-24)
Billy portaged the road.


Circumnavigation: Mersea Island

Solo paddlers: 14
Team paddlers: 6
Teams: 3

Recorded Start Points:
    • Brightlingsea (2)
    • East Mersea (1)
    • Mersea Flats (1)
    • Mersea Stone (2)
    • The Strood (1)
    • West Mersea (10)

How To Submit A Time/Paddle.