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  1. #131
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    A Member State of the European Union
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    5,969

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    A few years ago I left Braye, Alderney single-handed on a fine morning, heading for the Solent.

    Before I reached the shipping lanes thick fog descended. I decided it would be foolhardy to try and find my way back to Braye, or to get amongst the shipping, or to go anywhere else.

    I hove to, engine off and drifted for 4 or 5 hours, sitting in the cockpit smoking and drinking coffee with my lifejacket on, before the fog suddenly lifted and I had a fine sail to Cherbourg; crossing the Channel two days later.

    I can't think of anything better I could have done (except look carefully at the weather forecast before setting out from Braye )
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  2. #132
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    20,917

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    As the posters who agreed with me about the beneficial nature of all the contributions to this thread probably also suspected .... you're clearly not nearly intelligent enough to be let loose in charge of any kind of boat.

    Richard
    I'm not sure if you are aware but that isn't actually a picture of Zoidberg. And if it was, the creature is unlikely to understand your complaint.

    Just sayin.

  3. #133
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,549

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    you're clearly not nearly intelligent enough to be let loose in charge of any kind of boat.


    Well.... there, my wife and you would seem to be in agreement.


    And no, it's not a pic of my wife!


  4. #134
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,504

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by capnsensible View Post
    I'm not sure if you are aware but that isn't actually a picture of Zoidberg. And if it was, the creature is unlikely to understand your complaint.

    Just sayin.
    Seems like a fairly normal winch monkey to me

    Most boats in the Solent have one

  5. #135
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    20,917

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoidberg View Post


    Well.... there, my wife and you would seem to be in agreement.


    And no, it's not a pic of my wife!

    Many tides ago, I was a watch leader on a Nicholson 55 in a Bscay storm. The favoured approach of the skipper was to declare that we should stop messing about whist reefing for the umpteenth time and that his wife was perfectly capable of doing it on her own in 30 seconds.

    A rather frustrated young Surgeon Lieutenant eventually enquirered as to whether he was married to a friggin gorilla?

    Led to a frostiness amongst the after guard but much hilarity on the foredeck.

  6. #136
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    31,394

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by capnsensible View Post
    Many tides ago, I was a watch leader on a Nicholson 55 in a Bscay storm. The favoured approach of the skipper was to declare that we should stop messing about whist reefing for the umpteenth time and that his wife was perfectly capable of doing it on her own in 30 seconds.

    A rather frustrated young Surgeon Lieutenant eventually enquirered as to whether he was married to a friggin gorilla?

    Led to a frostiness amongst the after guard but much hilarity on the foredeck.
    I wonder if A1 Sailor was ever on a joint services Nic 55 in a Biscay storm.

  7. #137
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr J Hackett View Post
    I am late into this thread but as I see it the fundamental problem was that at some point you lost track of your position and continued to sail unable to confirm your position.
    Others seem to have interpreted it like that, but that's not how I read it. As I understand it he lost his plotter but carried on with his pilotage plan believing his position to be correct.

    It actually sounds like the classic mistake of writing "sail for the red buoy and then turn right", and then failing to see the buoy.

    I may have misunderstood, but it doesn't sound like an over reliance on GPS, nor really carrying on blind.

    Personally, it's a timely reminder that my own pilotage planning has become a bit sloppy. He was better prepared than I have often been.

  8. #138
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,549

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    I've read somewhere...

    "Good judgement is a by-product of bad experience."

    In the spirit endorsed by PhillM, and seeking to 'squeeze all the juice' out of this tale, I'm reminded that the effects of extreme tiredness/fatigue/sleep deficit are almost exactly the same as alcohol-induced drunkenness..... the high level of toxins in the bloodstream interferes with processing, evaluation and decision-making in very similar ways.

    It's difficult to determine from the account, but our principal subject PhillM reports leaving Cowes on Thursday 27 May at 0745 and proceeding non-stop to a rocky foreshore off Plymouth at around 0200 on Sunday 20 May.... as far as I can understand. That's over 60 hours, solo, with perhaps some dozing in the cockpit. I'm certain I'd be drunk with tiredness at even half that time elapsed......

    Now, the RYA comes in for some stick at times, but I do know there's real value in what they teach in the way of Passage Planning - which is also now a legal obligation on ALL of us under the international SOLAS Regulations. Our friend PhillM did do a passage plan, and I believe he has himself pointed to the need to place more emphasis on certain aspects....

    There's not a lot of time devoted, on RYA courses, to 'What If'ing'. There isn't a lot of time to spare. I'd like to suggest this is an area where a slightly more rigorous approach could pay off.

    For example, some 'What If'ing' about delays due to tides and weather could lead to more careful scrutiny of charts and yachtmen's pilots/almanacs for places where temporary refuge could be had - and noting them in 'The Plan'. Such would have identified not just Dartmouth, but also Salcombe as a port-haven for a rest, a break, or weather shelter. Just north of the hook of Start Point is shown the symbol for two anchorages. That's a traditional spot to wait out an adverse tide, or for a suitable slant in the wind. Same thing for Starehole Bay, just outside Salcombe. Then there's the previously-mentioned and much-favoured Cawsand Bay.

    It's commonplace to be thinking only in two dimensions, 'cos the sea surface is like that, and so are our charts. It takes an effort of will to build the habit of navigating in three dimensions. i.e. "What depth am I in? What depth should I be in? What does that tell me?"

    There's also a fourth dimension, which is almost ignored in RYA teaching ( in my experience ) of how to proceed in reduced visibility..... and that's to proceed, if at all, at an easily-calculated sub-multiple of 6 knots, which 1/10 mile per minute. In 10 minutes, that's a mile. Should the viz reduce to 'really bad', proceed at 3 knots, if at all, which is 1/10 mile every 2 minutes.
    Draw a line, as rough or as accurate as you're able, forward from your last known position-and-time along your best stab at the course you've followed, and left or right a bit for tide. A quick multiplication of the minutes elapsed will give a distance along that line - an 'estimate of position'.

    Think about that position, then think whether there are any hazards likely to be close by.

    If there are, STOP.

    If you can't do the sums described above, then you are clearly too 'drunk with fatigue' to continue to make decisions. So STOP.

    You can always STOP.

    You can always turn around and go back a bit, then STOP.


    Of course there's more to it. But I plan and run my pilotage using Speed/Time/Distance with quick fixes from any and all available sources - including the depth-o-meter. Just as I did when navigating HMQueen's fast jets at low level. It's the same process, but where yotties have one big advantage, which they can share with helicopters. What d'you think that is....?

  9. #139
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    3,142

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJag27 View Post
    Others seem to have interpreted it like that, but that's not how I read it. As I understand it he lost his plotter but carried on with his pilotage plan believing his position to be correct.

    It actually sounds like the classic mistake of writing "sail for the red buoy and then turn right", and then failing to see the buoy.

    I may have misunderstood, but it doesn't sound like an over reliance on GPS, nor really carrying on blind.
    Yep that sums it up well. To add, the plan was also to back this up with a visual check on the plotter. However, a) I lost visibility in the fog. I didn't even see the breakwater, let alone the red buoy that i was expecting to see after it (well not until until AFTER I hit the rocks) and B) I lost GPS/ Plotter position so my backup was gone too. Agreed, there are lessons about pilotage planning to be learned.

  10. #140
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    31,394

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post
    Yep that sums it up well. To add, the plan was also to back this up with a visual check on the plotter. However, a) I lost visibility in the fog. I didn't even see the breakwater, let alone the red buoy that i was expecting to see after it (well not until until AFTER I hit the rocks) and B) I lost GPS/ Plotter position so my backup was gone too. Agreed, there are lessons about pilotage planning to be learned.

    Hi Phil
    I know I said I wouldn't get involved in this again but..... could you possibly if even roughly draw your track and where you lost GPS so that we can all look at it in a bit more detail.
    Did you here the bell by the way?

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