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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,635

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Appledore View Post
    'Tiz now but it didn't used to be before 1854.
    Sorry, A'ore. My charts are not quite as old as that.....

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,295

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    On the lessons to learn tack, maybe one should be - In reduced viz approaching an unfamiliar port set a shallow depth alarm on the echosounder.
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  3. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey
    Posts
    21,407

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyInBed View Post
    On the lessons to learn tack, maybe one should be - In reduced viz approaching an unfamiliar port set a shallow depth alarm on the echosounder.
    My experience of watching (and sometimes teaching) many sailing students over the years is that the echo sounded is the most underused instrument on the boat.
    Semper aliud

  4. #54
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Summer Walton, Winter Iberia
    Posts
    10,339

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    My experience of watching (and sometimes teaching) many sailing students over the years is that the echo sounded is the most underused instrument on the boat.
    Not here on the East Coast.
    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Neither a Remainer or a Leaver be. Hoping for the best but planning for the worst✔️

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    6,523

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    My experience of watching (and sometimes teaching) many sailing students over the years is that the echo sounded is the most underused instrument on the boat.
    I'm sure you're right. If I was to be allowed only one electronic instrument on board, it would be an echo sounder.
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  6. #56
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,285

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post
    With regards to GPS, I have a phone with navonics on it, that too was not working as it should, it seemed to have me well inland, I have never really trusted it. I also have a hand held in the grab bag. But as i was in pilotage mode, I was mainly looking at my notes and trying to use the almanac as backup.

    I donít subscribe to GPS blocking going on. However, I don't tend to find the Garmin or handhelds work that well when the weather gets grotty. Perhaps I need a better / external antenna.
    I have often been a lone voice on here pointing out that GPS really should have an external antenna.
    There are an awful lot of yachts about with GPS antennas mounted 'downstairs', it all appears to work fine in the marina, but you've thrown away a few dB of margin. Some fog so the atmosphere attenuates the signal a bit. Add that to the loss from a wet deck and GPS can go from working to not working. Just like my TomTom can go awol under trees on a drizzly day.

    In my epxerience, Plymouth is quite confusing at night, even in good vis. There are an awful lot of lights. The breakwater looks very impressive on the chart, but at high tide, I for one have sailed past it and only seen it astern!
    Entering Plymouth is not a trivial thing, it is a couple of hours of difficult pilotage. Not something I'd want to do while very tired.

    I don't fundamentally believe in long coastal singlehanded passages.
    When anything departs from the plan, you need your wits about you and that means a level of alertness that I know I won't have if I haven't slept a reasonable amount. I used to be able to sail overnight after a day's work, these days I'd think twice about driving to Plymouth non stop. But that's me.
    People rely too much on plotters. It's great when used properly, but over-zooming either way and you're looking at the chart through the keyhole or from too far away.
    I suspect with a GPS from 20 years ago and the chart on the table, you might not have made the same mistake?
    A bunch of waypoints and bearings and distances. If you're yotting along to a waypoint watching a cockpit repeater count down the miles, you tend to notice when anything goes weird.
    As the Rev says, the depth sounder is much under used. It stands alone and can quickly tell you are not where you thought.
    Being an ex 'solent racer' perhaps I'm programmed to care more about how much water I'm in than exactly where I am?

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    21,358

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    My experience of watching (and sometimes teaching) many sailing students over the years is that the echo sounded is the most underused instrument on the boat.
    Absolutely. Add anchor as you mentioned earlier. Game on.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,371

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Ok. Consider me as a yachtmaster student here thinking aloud. Phil's experience could have been mine and I have carefully been reading his posts. Fatigue and no daylight. Other ships. Poor visibility. Personally I particularly like using a screen for pilotage in unfamiliar entrances. If I suddenly lost GPS signal in Phil's circumstances I would really struggle. Could not be a worse time. For me that is the message of this thread. Immediate stop and anchor when you believe you are in deep water somewhere else is obviously best advice but not neccessarily what people do........hopefully an echo sounder alarm would inject adrenalin into that decision.
    I think Phil made plenty of good or at least rasonable decisions until the point where he decided not to enter the Eastern entrance. I'm sure in itself that was wise but it was the moment when his ability to continue safely comes into question. He was no longer feeling confident. Anchoring at Cawsand time. But the lure of finishing the job and tucking up in a cosy marina. Potent. But looking at my chart are there a lot of unlit large bouys on the way to Cawsand. Was that a deterrent? Phil also says he has been into Plymouth a few times, (and would know of Cawsand). Experts will say there was a chain of decisions that lead to the grounding and it is always easier in retrospect to say well I would not have got into that situation. I think it comes to going a bit too far out of the comfort zone and the dependence on the GPS plotter, both traps I could fall into. I still admire your attitude Phil and hope my rambling is seen as respectful and trying to learn more myself. Just getting deeper into what happened.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,285

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    I think the 'just stop and anchor' mantra is a bit, er shallow. If you don't know where you are around Plymouth, it would be easy to either swing into shallow water or get run down by other traffic in poor visibility.

    My view of pilotage is a bit old school. You don't always need to know exactly where you are on your track, but you need to know what you track is, or that you will go to say a depth contour and turn along it.
    Not really sure how useful an echo sounder alarm really is, a lot of the rocks come up from navigable depth where you're safe from the ferries to zero in a few yards. Its more about keeping an eye on the sounder and seeing that it's consistent with the chart.

    It's a while since I did my YM practical, in those days we had to have passage plans that were adequate to get us into a strange port without 'driving the little boat icon around the screen', even if it was accpeted that we used GPS to get us to the approaches.

    GPS is not 100% reliable, just the other day I was driving along a straight road in fine conditions and it started telling me I was 200m away on a parallel farm track.

    The big issue is being singlehanded. If there's two of you, one can sail around in circles and keep watch, while the other makes a plan, works out where you are or whatever. Singlehanded you have nothing in reserve and a ticking clock before you fall asleep.

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ammersee, Bavaria
    Posts
    5,315

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    What a plotter does, is it takes a GPS position and plots it reliably on a digitised chart. It will never get tired, and it will not make a one-off error with the arithmetic, read the scale wrong, or draw a plot in the wrong place from the right information.

    Of course, take away the reliable GPS fix or the electricity and it's not going to work very well, but the same is true of a human using a separate GPS - it just takes you longer to realise the GPS position is suspect.

    The problem with fatigue is that it affects all of our mental functions, it will also affect our ability to read a GPS and transpose the position to a paper chart, or to identify landmarks and correctly transpose the bearings to the chart. Paper charts are not IMO going to do a better job than a functioning plotter, especially when stressed or tired. Just as you need to be able to recognise when something doesn't add up on a paper plotted position, you need to have the same awareness with a plotter and never trust it blindly - how good is the fix, is WAAS active? .

    If I suspect my plotter is delivering a false position, I will immediately move the cursor to an identifiable landmark, read off the magnetic bearing on the plotter and compare it with my hand bearing compass. Do this for a few landmarks and you either know everything is OK or you know to be extremely cautious and start looking at other clues like depth, bearings and logged distances. Just moving to another GPS receiver may not solve the problem - one reason why I have C-Map, Navionics and paper on board. If C-Map and Navionics agree then life is good.

    Perhaps one of the most important things of all is to be able to recognise when your own ability to funtion is below paar - any back-up plan should include "skipper failure" - especially when you begin to succumb to fatigue or cold.

    I can fully understand how the situation arose, and if we're honest it can happen to anyone given the right set of circumstances.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

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