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Keeping Up

Peterborough to Boston

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9 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I wonder if there is an hydro engineering solution to this recurring problem

The EA have appointed a consultant to look at just this question. I attended an open meeting he held a year ago at Denver. Some interesting ideas

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On 11/01/2020 at 19:12, Keeping Up said:

Thinking of doing something different this year & wondered about going down the Nene past Peterborough to Wisbech then out on to the Wash to Boston. I haven't yet researched how the tides would work but:

 

Has anybody here done that trip?

 

How does it best fit together? Can it be done without having to beach & wait for the tide (which could be difficult for our big Labrador)

 

Is it possible to visit anywhere else such as Spalding at the moment?

 

Who is the best pilot for the route?

You make some interesting comments

Re Spalding:

I did this trip in 2016.
Check out, Braggaboutlife: River Welland to Spalding & Crowlands with the IWA

Also the TNC did a trip up the Welland in 2001 which you should also be able to find on line.

But that said Simons info is the best and most up to date.

 

You will have to hold at Fosdyke Bridge Marina (Good food at Pub) to coordinate with the tide at Spalding Lock.

You will also need to book access with the EA.

Unfortunately the local EA are very unreliable.

Both the Welland and the Glen have very good moorings and the EA maps are on line.

To get up to Crowland you will have to get under the 6'-0" headroom in Spalding but its not the problem people say.

 

Re Black Sluice:

You are dead right about the size of the navigation window from the Black Sluice lock and I have never understood why this is not used as a start point for making the crossing as it has great moorings, a good Pub and a Pump Out.

 

With regard to direction:

If you go South to North mooring at Fosdyke Br should not be as time dependant as Boston, as the pontoon moorings are all states.

I would also be interested to know how breaking up the trip by making a start from Sutton Bridge Marina works out.

This little development needed all the help it could get, but it did not seem to feature in many boaters plans so the local council is getting stick for spending money on boating but not getting any money back into the community.

 

Good Luck

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It's all starting to come together, after talking to Daryl and offering him a bribe of unlimited bacon sandwiches. It looks likely we'll be setting out from Wisbech in early July. We won't know until near the time whether we'll be aiming directly for Boston or going to Spalding first, until after we've spoken to the local contacts again, but it does seem very likely that we'll aim for the Black Sluice on our way into Boston.

 

We've bought Jessop the dog a lifejacket with 2 big grab handles on the back, hoping this will enable us to get him back on board after our low-tide wait on the sands (he's 30kg of Labrador). Otherwise we'll have to tow him behind us!

 

Is anybody interested in joining us, either on their own boat to make it a convoy or else as crew (and dog-lifting helpers) on ours?

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I could well be interested in crewing, particularly for a trip to or from Spalding. 

 

On towing your dog: we had a hand held compass on board - unnecessary and useless. It only worked if you got a decent distance away from the boat. My plan for that was to tow a crew member on the end of a long line. They got a bit mutinous at this point, even when I said they could have a lifejacket, so we used the sun compass instead - that worked well.

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29 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I could well be interested in crewing, particularly for a trip to or from Spalding. 

 

On towing your dog: we had a hand held compass on board - unnecessary and useless. It only worked if you got a decent distance away from the boat. My plan for that was to tow a crew member on the end of a long line. They got a bit mutinous at this point, even when I said they could have a lifejacket, so we used the sun compass instead - that worked well.

Don't throw away that handheld compass yet.

        Although it is highly inaccurate for compass bearings on a steel vessel it is very useful for taking numerical bearings from buoys and beacons as you transit a channel influenced by tidal streams that may be running across your intended course. You need to be able to maintain a straight course over the ground between the buoys while the water - and possibly the wind - is working to push you sideways out of the navigable channel and potentially onto a sandbank. To stay on course once you have rounded a buoy and have lined up with the next one you (or more practically your co pilot) take a bearing of the last buoy over the stern. By continually checking that back bearing and adjusting your heading so the bearing stays the same you will follow a straight line to the next buoy, even if the boat is crabbing across the piece of water. In this case you are not worried about magnetic variation or deviation as you are simply using the number the hand bearing compass gives you as you point it at the buoy. 

        This is particularly useful when you cannot rely on GPS - in this case when exiting the River Nene - where the channel moves regularly and the vector charts in the GPS are highly inaccurate to the point that if you followed them you would end up on a sandbank. It is definitely visual pilotage at this stage.

       

 

 

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1 hour ago, mikedel said:

Don't throw away that handheld compass yet.

        Although it is highly inaccurate for compass bearings on a steel vessel it is very useful for taking numerical bearings from buoys and beacons as you transit a channel influenced by tidal streams that may be running across your intended course. You need to be able to maintain a straight course over the ground between the buoys while the water - and possibly the wind - is working to push you sideways out of the navigable channel and potentially onto a sandbank. To stay on course once you have rounded a buoy and have lined up with the next one you (or more practically your co pilot) take a bearing of the last buoy over the stern. By continually checking that back bearing and adjusting your heading so the bearing stays the same you will follow a straight line to the next buoy, even if the boat is crabbing across the piece of water. In this case you are not worried about magnetic variation or deviation as you are simply using the number the hand bearing compass gives you as you point it at the buoy. 

        This is particularly useful when you cannot rely on GPS - in this case when exiting the River Nene - where the channel moves regularly and the vector charts in the GPS are highly inaccurate to the point that if you followed them you would end up on a sandbank. It is definitely visual pilotage at this stage.

       

 

 

All good stuff.  I couldn't even get a consistently wrong compass bearing. If I moved the compass by a foot then I got a completely different number! 

 

In the end I didn't use any navigational aids, beyond the Mark I eyeball to fix a transit line from the next buoy to a landmark on the horizon. I only expected to use the GPS in the event of heavy fog - in which case something would have gone seriously wrong with the planning ...

 

Here's the sun compass, pretty accurate. But you do need some sun ...spacer.png

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8 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I could well be interested in crewing, particularly for a trip to or from Spalding. 

Ok, I'll keep you informed of any developments. Our likely departure date from Wisbech seems likely to be 4th July (or the first fine-weather day after, if necessary).

 

I've got an old magnetic compass somewhere, I wonder if I can find it. My phone doesn't have one. But I know how unreliable they are on a steel boat.

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7 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

All good stuff.  I couldn't even get a consistently wrong compass bearing. If I moved the compass by a foot then I got a completely different number! 

 

In the end I didn't use any navigational aids, beyond the Mark I eyeball to fix a transit line from the next buoy to a landmark on the horizon. I only expected to use the GPS in the event of heavy fog - in which case something would have gone seriously wrong with the planning ...

 

Here's the sun compass, pretty accurate. But you do need some sun ...spacer.png

Well that takes me back! Last time I used a sun compass was in Antarctica when I was surveying the uncharted Balleny Islands in the Ross Sea. The South Magnetic Pole was only two hundred miles away so the steering compass spun in lazy circles. Mostly we used the GPS but the sun compass was our fall back navigational tool.

      I agree that mostly the Wash crossing is a visual pilotage exercise although there is a lack of useful landmarks when you are out in the middle.

We left Wisbech at 0200 so it was dark until we cleared the Nene.  In some ways that makes it easier as the buoys and beacons are much easier to identify by their flashing sequences.20180620_034535.jpg.e280536d97e68330fc6932d03fcf1b74.jpg

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