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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ammersee, Bavaria
    Posts
    4,769

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    A sobering tale. There but for the grace of god go I ...

    Would a back-up plotter like navionics have helped or was it a total GPS coverage failure? Like when the military jams GPS for exercises?

    https://www.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/in...ming-exercises

    There is one other interesting anomaly I have found on my plotter - don't know if it is relevant here. I have found an occasion where the detailed chart which is displyed at the highest zoom level is actually offset, so the plotted GPS position is false by about 150m. This occured when entering the northern end of an anchorage on Cres, near the village of Ustrine in the Adriatic. Chart was a C-Map card. I can't imagine this being the case in such a heavily used port in the UK though.
    Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 04-06-19 at 11:12.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    8,401

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    The lights in Plymouth, even if you can see them, are distant and arranged for big ships so entry at night is not easy. The city itself is well open and there are many distracting false beacons, making for problems even if you know it well.

    Plus as you say, at anything except low waters, the breakwater is a low thing and confusing because of all the lights that can show over it. Even the western light is not the overwhelming huge light that you might expect.

    Coming from smaller ports the scale can confuse as well, the breakwater is a mile long - a number of arriving very experienced OSTAR racers have hit it.

    Heigh ho. You live to sail another day

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post

    On reflection:

    Simply stayed out and not attempted entry until daylight.

    .
    That's what I would do as being the easiest option for someone who is probably very tired.

    Heave to, get well wrapped up. Sit in the cockpit drinking coffee and maybe taking some short catnaps until dawn.
    Last edited by Poignard; 04-06-19 at 10:47.
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where life is good
    Posts
    13,662

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post
    ....

    Now over to the forum to add to my knowledge and ideas bank.
    My comment about the Chinks spoofing the GPS was tong in cheek thinking about all the fuss over Hauwai. . ..
    But seeing as you lost the GPS fix, perhaps not?
    Life is too short to drink bad wine.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Portsmouth
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Phill
    I can't quite work out your timeline, as you write that you left Cowes on Thursday morning, were off St Alban's Head by midnight, then reached Portland Bill by midday Thursday, so you've lost a day somewhere.
    Be that as it may, I think the most fundamental error, if you don't mind me weighing in, is to attempt such a long coastal passage against the prevailing wind singlehandedly. I can imagine you were treating it as a training exercise for your race but coastal passage making requires pretty constant alertness, which you were expecting yourself to keep up for more than two days. Then, at the end of it, to manage pilotage into a harbour you haven't been to before. It would have been fine if Plymouth had turned out to be easy as you expected and if there wasn't fog or if your GPS hadn't packed in, but as you found any one of these things happening dramatically escalates the risk.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,138

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    For those who don't know Plymouth entry

    Ply Ent.png
    MontyMariner.co.uk
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    The Known Universe
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Back up Handheld GPS , paper charts of area and plotter , also a good understanding of the new port its lights and anything else needed to better understand the passage planning .
    If All esle fails stay out as said, learned that lesson a few weeks ago trying to get into my Marina in 35knots and a bloody big ferry in the way how dare he be there
    Flying birds have no master

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,098

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Firstly, kudos to PhillM for his frank account. I'm sure most, if not all, have encountered similar circumstances but with different degrees of luck.
    I'm sure I will be in a minority of one but I believe AIS to be more of a distraction than an aid in collision avoidance. I don't have it on board other than via internet which I only use to identify vessels on the basis of curiosity.
    I do sail many other boats which are AIS equipped and find it a distraction from visual and auditory tracking. Perhaps if a dedicated crew member is available to filter AIS data then it has merit, though the panic inspired by a vessel 2 miles off with a CPA of 50m, which subsequenty passes at half a mile, is not conducive to composed navigation, IME.
    I have sailed in thick fog in a busy harbour (Brest) and felt anxious but not bewildered.
    With regards to losing GPS, assuming it was not down to an attack by a foreign power, a second device up and running during testing circumstances is a good idea. A Navionics compatible phone can be had for £30 on eBay.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    South Devon
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Well done for such an open and honest account.

    I'm familiar with Plymouth (grew up there, work there and keep my boat on the Tamar) but can't work out from your account what you hit. Did you run into the breakwater?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    3,118

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by scrambledegg View Post
    Phill
    I can't quite work out your timeline, as you write that you left Cowes on Thursday morning, were off St Alban's Head by midnight, then reached Portland Bill by midday Thursday, so you've lost a day somewhere.
    Be that as it may, I think the most fundamental error, if you don't mind me weighing in, is to attempt such a long coastal passage against the prevailing wind singlehandedly. I can imagine you were treating it as a training exercise for your race but coastal passage making requires pretty constant alertness, which you were expecting yourself to keep up for more than two days. Then, at the end of it, to manage pilotage into a harbour you haven't been to before. It would have been fine if Plymouth had turned out to be easy as you expected and if there wasn't fog or if your GPS hadn't packed in, but as you found any one of these things happening dramatically escalates the risk.
    Re timeline: arrived Portland Bill midday Friday.

    Re sleep, I tend to nap for 20 mins an hour every hours, right from the start of the passage. At 0730 on a dreary day, even the Western Solent is quiet enough. I would say that tiredness is an element in decision making, but I am pretty good at living on disturbed sleep. After all, we had four kids in 5 years and one just a few years after. I went for a decade with disturbed sleep!

    Re the escalating risk, yep that's fair. What this experience and the forum will help to teach me now, is how to mitigate or reduce such risks. My aim is to become competent at long single handed passages, so that I can start to explore a wider world. I have sailed in fog occasionally, I have sailed in the dark extensively. However, never before have I sailed in both. So, one lesson is, if the next step of the journey looks difficult, do not attempt it. Go somewhere else and re-plan.

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