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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,372

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    I think, truth be told, even the best of us have had our 'egg on face' moments. Sometimes, expensive ones.....

    There are quite a few positives PhillM can take away from this passage....

    First, he and his boat managed a singlehanded passage of ~ 150 miles, away from home waters. So the boat/owner combo is up to the job.
    Second, he had plenty of good equipment in mostly working order to assist.
    Third, help comes when one needs it.... and also the knowledge that help asked for BEFORE it is needed is effective and cheaper.
    Fourth, most of his planning approach works, and he now knows which techniques he needs to build on.

    The next leg/stage of 'Paean's Progress' to passing the Isles of Scilly is, at around 115nm, a fair bit shorter - and there are bolt holes and all-weather havens every 30 miles or so..... Fowey, Falmouth, Helford, Newlyn, Isles of Scilly various..... One need never be out of VHF range, and the NCI stations dotted along the way are pleased to hear from you. Indeed, the radio chatter among other 'Jester' types nearby can be incessant! One can join in, or do a 'Greta Garbo' and keep to oneself.

    Possibly more important, Radio Devon and Cornwall can be received until halfway across the Celtic Sea.... then Radio Cork comes in from those big mountain-top antennae.

    Some 'Jester' participants have it in mind that one has to soldier on regardless. Not so. There's no embargo against pulling in for a few hours' zizz, or repairs, then resuming - provided one does the courtesy of letting someone know. Also, there's no embargo against using your engine to get in and out of a harbour or anchorage. The expectation is that, in the proper spirit, that one returns back out to the point where one started the engine, then switches off and continues under sail again. Not too difficult, not too restrictive....

    Some worry about where they'll make landfall. It's hard to miss the powerful 'mark of the course' Fastnet light ( Fl.5s49m27M ), but there are powerful lights further east along the coast - and half-a-dozen harbours other than Baltimore where one could tuck in safely for a while.

    All of this is mentioned in the 'Skippers Briefing', but sometimes such info does not 'stick'.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,324

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poignard View Post
    I'm sure you're right. If I was to be allowed only one electronic instrument on board, it would be an echo sounder.
    Echo sounder are often not particularly helpful in rocky locations. Can go from 10m (or a lot more) to nil in less than a boatslength amongst rocks

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    4,941

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by dunedin View Post
    Echo sounder are often not particularly helpful in rocky locations. Can go from 10m (or a lot more) to nil in less than a boatslength amongst rocks
    Well of course you are right about that, but when I go near rocks I would expect their location to be charted and there to be navigational marks to help you keep clear of them. I keep my boat in Brittany and am well used to avoiding rocks (I hope I am not going to regret that little boast! )
    " Brexit is like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,360

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    We only have hand held GPS and prior to that a very basic Decca. But we do have a comprehensive written list of useful way points also preplotted on charts. Most of these are in the handheld and even if we haven't created a route as such, it is very easy to just use the goto function which gives instant orientation through a course and distance.

    Can this old, rather labour intensive system occasionally be more useful than a plotter screen? I do use one on my phone rather a lot now, but when it matters I can have instant fallback, with a bit of preparation.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    29,634

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by James_Calvert View Post
    We only have hand held GPS and prior to that a very basic Decca. But we do have a comprehensive written list of useful way points also preplotted on charts. Most of these are in the handheld and even if we haven't created a route as such, it is very easy to just use the goto function which gives instant orientation through a course and distance.

    Can this old, rather labour intensive system occasionally be more useful than a plotter screen? I do use one on my phone rather a lot now, but when it matters I can have instant fallback, with a bit of preparation.
    Unfortunately the OP lost his GPS signal and very quickly thereafter his position so waypoints or not he was into blind navigation with no start point. A very unenviable position which many of us have been close to when running for hours on end relying on a GPS and a position plotted an hour or more ago.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey
    Posts
    20,998

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by dunedin View Post
    Echo sounder are often not particularly helpful in rocky locations. Can go from 10m (or a lot more) to nil in less than a boatslength amongst rocks
    Hence my suggesting that one needs to study the chart. "No dangers outside the ten metre contour" or similar is a good way to ensure you CAN'T hit a rock. Especially with the shoreline to the W of Plymouth breakwater or similar places.

    No criticism implied or intended but I think the OP won't be sailing blindly on when he's not sure of his position in the future.

    I remember (not many years ago) entering L'Aberwrach when I was cold and tired and it was dark. I missed a light and got a bearing confused and ended up with breakers getting nearer and uncertain of my position. With heart in mouth, we stopped and reversed course and sorted things out, but it was a scary few minutes. Big tides sweeping across the entrance had put us off track more than I had anticipated or allowed for. Rocks everywhere...
    Semper aliud

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    4,941

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    ...
    I remember (not many years ago) entering L'Aberwrach when I was cold and tired and it was dark. I missed a light and got a bearing confused and ended up with breakers getting nearer and uncertain of my position. With heart in mouth, we stopped and reversed course and sorted things out, but it was a scary few minutes. Big tides sweeping across the entrance had put us off track more than I had anticipated or allowed for. Rocks everywhere...
    My first time there I came in through the Passe des Malouines and then turned round because I was unsure of the lading mark in deteriorating visibility. It was so narrow I felt I almost had to do a 3-point turn to get out!

    It was a stupid thing to be there at all when I was unfamiliar with it but the shortcut saves a few miles. I then went round the long way and made a mental note of the marks for future use when I was close by them.

    After that I have used the pass several times with confidence but if you go through when there is not much rise of tide it is chastening to see how narrow it is and how carefully one must follow the leading marks.
    " Brexit is like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    but I think the OP won't be sailing blindly on when he's not sure of his position in the future..
    Too true!

    Just to say thank you again to everyone for the constructive way in which the thread has gone. There is plenty to learn and plenty of excellent advice. I will take time to summarise at some stage. Lots of great experiences shared and I for one feel that I will be a better sailor for it.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    South Devon
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post
    Too true!

    Just to say thank you again to everyone for the constructive way in which the thread has gone. There is plenty to learn and plenty of excellent advice. I will take time to summarise at some stage. Lots of great experiences shared and I for one feel that I will be a better sailor for it.
    Thank you for confirming which bit of shoreline you hit. I was a bit confused, but now think I understand how you managed to end up where you did.

    Thank you also for being so upfront and encouraging the debate etc. I know I've learned a lot from this thread.

    I'm really glad to hear that there's no lasting damage to the boat or to your confidence.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    29,634

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poignard View Post
    My first time there I came in through the Passe des Malouines and then turned round because I was unsure of the lading mark in deteriorating visibility. It was so narrow I felt I almost had to do a 3-point turn to get out!

    It was a stupid thing to be there at all when I was unfamiliar with it but the shortcut saves a few miles. I then went round the long way and made a mental note of the marks for future use when I was close by them.

    After that I have used the pass several times with confidence but if you go through when there is not much rise of tide it is chastening to see how narrow it is and how carefully one must follow the leading marks.

    Been there got that T shirt and I did it a long time ago on transits, I shudder even now to think how foolish I was at the time to run it on spec to save a few miles.

    It just proves that most of us have done daft things and been lucky enough to get away with it.

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