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Spuddy
20-11-11, 15:46
Went out this weekend and had difficulty threading our way into the East Swale in the dark. There's 5 commercial work vessels with the biggest moored mid-channel. We eventually spotted 4 cables from each quarter with hefty bouys (marking the anchors presumably). Eventually got a reply on 16 which verified ok to pass to the north. Radar helped; would be mystifying without. Reast of vessels on channel edges.
Nothing on Securite announcements about this - just the one from the guard boat by the cable laying platform out near the windfarm.
We also had a look at at the Hook Sand/East Last buoys. The green was 50 metres west of position shown on plotter (charts updated start of season); looked to be OK for water.

Cantata
20-11-11, 16:01
Went out this weekend and had difficulty threading our way into the East Swale in the dark. There's 5 commercial work vessels with the biggest moored mid-channel. We eventually spotted 4 cables from each quarter with hefty bouys (marking the anchors presumably). Eventually got a reply on 16 which verified ok to pass to the north. Radar helped; would be mystifying without. Reast of vessels on channel edges.
Nothing on Securite announcements about this - just the one from the guard boat by the cable laying platform out near the windfarm.
We also had a look at at the Hook Sand/East Last buoys. The green was 50 metres west of position shown on plotter (charts updated start of season); looked to be OK for water.
There were NtMs about this, particularly highlighted on the Crossing the Estuary website (http://www.crossingthethamesestuary.com).
If you mean the platform by the Kentish Flats windfarm, it ain't laying cables AFAIK, it's doing a survey prior to a proposed expansion of that windfarm. The cable-laying ship associated with the stuff in the Swale is now working NE of Herne Bay.
I came into the E. Swale at night back in September when some of those work craft were there waiting for the cable ship, all unlit too, somewhat unnerving.
I don't think the Hook Spit buoy has been moved this year so perhaps your plotter update wasn't as comprehensive as it should have been!

Spuddy
20-11-11, 22:21
Unlit?? It was muddling enough with them having everything switched on. Still it's doable once you know that at least some of the fairway is left to get past.
The fog came down when we were further up the Swale - that would have given it much more interest.

bluerm166
21-11-11, 09:33
Actually as Spuddy has advised there are still about 5 sundry vessels working just East of the Sand End buoy and the largest of these,the Dutch flagged Coastal Worker is burying the previously laid cable.With its multiple anchors out, each marked by a large yellow can ,it leaves a fairly narrow channel to the North and must be daunting to pass at night.I passed it slowly under sail on Saturday morning when it was easier to read what was required.Yes these activities have been well flagged up in NTM although they commenced a lot later than originally billed.
Here's the main vessel working.