Tips for visiting Brown's Bank
Check the tide. The sandbar is uncovered about two hours before and after high tide, although it's submerged a little longer during the higher tides that accompany a full moon. For a tide chart for Plymouth, go to www.boatma.com/tides/tides_southshore.html .
Check the marine forecast. Even if the tides are right, it can be tricky to get near the island in a high wind. And if there are big waves, the channel leading out of Plymouth Harbor can be treacherous. Marine forecasts, with wave heights and wind directions, are available at www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/231.html .
Don't have a boat? Plymouth Watersport at 24 Town Wharf Drive (508-747-1577 , www.plymouthwatersport.com ) offers 15-foot skiffs with 9.9 horsepower motors, perfectly suited for getting to the bank in fair weather, for $35 per hour. They also rent motorized recreational watercraft and provide a boat taxi service to Plymouth Long Beach.
Bring foul weather gear. Even if it is sunny and warm, passengers on all but the largest pleasure craft are likely to get sprayed on the way back, when the prevailing southwesterly winds pick up. This is especially true in Plymouth Harbor's busy channel, where boat wakes and riptides combine to make for rough conditions for small craft.