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  1. #1
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    Aug 2016
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    Default Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Well, the weather is looking pretty fantastic for tomorrow afternoon... so I'm thinking of a bit of end-of-season fun by means of anchoring off Flat Holm and rowing ashore with the wife in our kayak for a couple of hours of exploring through low tide.

    For anchoring spot... would there be anything wrong with the spot I've marked here?... At lowest tide tomorrow, Navionics claims that there should be ~2.5m of water which is fine for our 1m draft (I typically circle an area a bit before dropping, checking the sonar, to make sure we have space to swing around the anchor).

    flat holm.png

    I can see an unused submerged cable on the chart... how accurate do you guys think that'll be? And how unlucky would we be to lose our anchor to it? I'd like to stay as close to the shore as possible, as kayaking in the channel does concern me a little!

    Also, I'm not suggesting anything bonkers am I? With regards rowing ashore? We'll be in lifejackets, have a handheld DSC radio (clipped on myself). The kayak (Intex Explorer K2) has 3 inflatable sections and high sides so should be up to the job. Also, hopefully in that spot, the island will protect us from the majority of the current.

    It is damn tempting to get a tender we can use our 6hp aux with... but we're only 6.5m, so lack space (plus the aux is uncomfortably heavy to transfer)... maybe next season.

    Edit: Oh, I'll also try to rig up our anchoring sign/cone in case any other boats approach whilst ashore.
    Last edited by vodzurk; 28-09-18 at 16:36.
    YouTube: Gorjus Boating
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    I'm not familiar with Flat Holm (but have kayaked across the Bristol Channel from Minehead to somewhere west of Barry).

    Things I'd say to watch out for
    A) Tide - once it get's going, you definitely won't be able to paddle against it (n.b, currently springs).
    B) Inflatable kayaks (i) lots of topside, not much in the water - vulnerable to wind (including when parked ashore!), not efficient to paddle, (ii) vulnerable to leaks and tears unless seriously expensive (I'm not familiar with the model you mention).
    C) Watch out for the tide.
    D) Consider taking flares.
    E) Did I mention tides?

    Hopefully others can offer more/different advice.

    p.s. Nigh on impossible to swim in a lifejacket. Most kayakers prefer a buoyancy aid. From the questions you ask I assume you're not that experienced and would not be able to get back in your kayak anyway if you capsized, so maybe a lifejacket is best in this instance, but remember - if it all goes wrong you can deflate your l/j if need be, and re-inflate by mouth; stay together; and stay with the boat
    Last edited by LittleSister; 28-09-18 at 17:44.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Bristol
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Thank you. I do genuinely appreciate all feedback!

    My aim will be to row back to boat about 30-60 mins after LW. Regarding tide, in my head, it would appear that we'd be sheltered to some extent by the island, as we'd be in the far side from the incoming flood.

    I'm also considering bringing our "mega-rope" in the kayak... Tying it to the boat, and bringing the other end with us. I'll measure it beforehand, but I think it's something like a 60m sailing boat offcut (might be 80... Can't remember, will measure), but we also have 3x spare 10m lines, in addition to 3x 10m that we use... so that way, we tug our way back. Just... If another boater comes along, that could really f**k things up for everybody. But... none of our lines are floaters... So should be alright.

    Correct about getting back into the kayak. One of us might be able to, but I doubt both. It'd just function as buoyancy and big yellow floaty thing in the event of worst case. Handheld radio is fully registered, GPS and DSC, with Cardiff 5 miles away.

    We registered the kayak on inland canal usage as "Yellow Sausage". I like it's name.

    Obviously, I'm not expecting any distress situations, and my talking about them is just covering the bases. Bothers me sometimes that everybody pounces... We need to encourage openness . Everybody gotta start somewhere .

    Flares: good idea. We've mainly got the newer LED one now as the primary, but have some pyros too... will bring a couple of smokers. On a side note, am really not confident with the LED type being fit for purpose sometimes. Especially vs smokers. No bugger in Cardiff is gonna see that blinking vs massive stream of red smoke.

    Did you mention tide? Yes... Fully understanding how fast it goes... Have seen the buoys shoot past us as we wait for locks. Understand we're up s**t creek trying to paddle against that, hence less than an hour after slack... Reading again... Thank you for highlighting spring tide. With that in mind, I'll keep the row back very close to LW. (I understand that there may be no slack water on springs).

    All that said, if we feel uncomfortable, we'll remain onboard, read a book, and relax .

    My aim will be to arrive a 2 hours before LW... If that feels safe to row ashore, with ebb fully hitting us, then half the time after LW with Island protecting against current... I would hope to be safe.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Also, never thought that jackets can be deflated. We'll look that up in the morning.

    Have probably been told or shown it, but, unless you're a bloody instructor of this stuff, there's so much that's difficult to keep in your head!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Made it alive...

    Gorjus day!

    IMG_20180929_144940-800x450.jpg
    YouTube: Gorjus Boating
    Boat: Sealine 195

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    55

    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    I've anchored off Flat Holm a couple of times,and you need to pick your spot carefully! We chose the NE corner like you, but further out nearer the 5m contour carefully avoiding the cables. We anchored at LW, leaving an hour later reasoning that if the powerful tide caused the anchor to drag we'd be safely taken away from the shore.

    As for going ashore, the warning about speed of the tide above is valid. Personally I wouldn't

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Safely aboard, heading home .

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Quote Originally Posted by vodzurk View Post
    Safely aboard, heading home .
    Well done. Clearly thought out, planned and executed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Glad you had a good trip. Thanks for reporting back and for the photo.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Flat Holm - Anchoring + kayaking ashore...

    Quote Originally Posted by Molteni View Post
    I've anchored off Flat Holm a couple of times,and you need to pick your spot carefully! We chose the NE corner like you, but further out nearer the 5m contour carefully avoiding the cables. We anchored at LW, leaving an hour later reasoning that if the powerful tide caused the anchor to drag we'd be safely taken away from the shore.

    As for going ashore, the warning about speed of the tide above is valid. Personally I wouldn't
    Yep, that's close to what we did. 2 hours before LW, the tide was pushing us towards the shore. So with anchor set, we could determine from the sonar and the nearby tidal marker (not sure what they're called, it shows the height above datum, as a sine wave on Navionics), the lowest amount of water we'd have (I think we aimed at 2.5m). We waited 20 mins to check we weren't dragging (also checking GPS, we didn't budge an inch), and to inflate kayak.

    I fully lifted the engine leg too, just in case, so our draft was probably down to 0.5m.

    Regarding the cables... That was a tough one. I think we dropped pretty close to it, but was aiming for slightly inside. It was tough because my biggest fear was the current on the rowing, which overrode getting unlucky and losing the anchor. The blue blob is our resting spot before I shut the electrics down... and yep, we did a lot of circling to find our preferred spot!

    Screenshot_2018-09-30-12-11-38.jpg

    We rowed back 30-45 mins after LW. Boat had spun, as expected, and was showing direction of current to give us our start point from shore (to allow for drift).

    There was pretty much zero current. Noticed anchor line was vertical into the water. Not sure how much of it was timing vs protection from the island, but it was a nice row back.

    So yeah, all in all, a great day! Thanks to everyone for the advice and support!

    IMG_20180929_150919-800x450.jpg
    IMG_20180929_150625-600x1067.jpg
    YouTube: Gorjus Boating
    Boat: Sealine 195

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