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Dr Bradley

It Wasn't Meant To End Like This

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After a boatyard worked on thye bot all morning, it was declared fit. I am now anchored in the estury as the engine died again. My friendly lifeboat is on the way.

Hmm . . sorry to learn of your continued 'embarrassment' (!)

 

I suggest that your boatyard needs some "polishing" of its own - (and suspect that you may be the man to do the polishing)

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It's looking like it was the fuel pump. Now back in Portishead Marine. (44 quid a night) and have to wait for a pump to be acquired.

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My trip down the Severn Estuary was yesterday. The navigation was far easier than expected as there are leading marks all the way though binoculars were required to find them. I followed the channel but now know that I could just go off in a straight line without problems when leaving at the top of the tide.

 

It didn't seem that easy to me when I went the other way with a pilot last May. I wouldn't recommend anyone do it on their own, but I assume you have previous experience at sea? Possibly coming down and leaving on the top of the tide you don't have to worry about silt or mud banks, and once you're past the Severn Bridge I think you stay in the middle anyway and head straight for Portishead. However, I wouldn't fancy risking it myself because those banks shift and you've only got to get stuck on one and the tide would probably just roll your boat.

 

P8040021_zps4fd1965a.jpg

Edited by blackrose

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Yes I have plenty of experience at sea and I left at the top of the tide. I could actually have gone in a straight line to the bridges as the banks were well covered. I did actually follow the channel using the leading marks. Once they sre spotted the line to take is straight forward and marked on the chart.

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Yes I have plenty of experience at sea and I left at the top of the tide. I could actually have gone in a straight line to the bridges as the banks were well covered. I did actually follow the channel using the leading marks. Once they sre spotted the line to take is straight forward and marked on the chart.

 

Next time I do it I might try to find someone who can show me how to read the charts and spot the leading marks. I can't afford 180 quid for a pilot each time!

 

The problem is that you never really know what you'll be confronted with when you go out there. About half an hour after leaving Bristol as it was just getting light we suddenly saw a massive fog bank in front of us. It was really thick and we went through it for about 20 minutes. Fortunately it cleared as we approached the mouth of the Avon, but I hate to think what could have happened had it been foggy further out at sea. I had no GPS.

Edited by blackrose

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Next time I do it I might try to find someone who can show me how to read the charts and spot the leading marks. I can't afford 180 quid for a pilot each time!

 

The problem is that you never really know what you'll be confronted with when you go out there. About half an hour after leaving Bristol as it was just getting light we suddenly saw a massive fog bank in front of us. It was really thick and we went through it for about 20 minutes. Fortunately it cleared as we approached the mouth of the Avon, but I hate to think what could have happened had it been foggy further out at sea. I had no GPS.

Why not consider taking an RYA Day Skippers course for powered craft? This will go a long way to giving you the background knowledge you need. With regard to the fog bank you came across, was this mentioned on the local forecasts? If you ran across it within half an hour it is surprising that it hadn't been mentioned either on the local forecasts or on Bristol VTS.

 

Howard

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If you are going to do it again Blackrose, then I agree with Howard. Being unable to read charts means it's no go without a pilot. (I must have passed you on the Avon, if I'd known I'd have said hello).

 

The fuel system is cleaned, some of the pipework replaced, getting yet another set of fiters this morning and booked out again at 2'30. However the forecast looks bad. I've only a mile and a quarter to the relative calm of the Avon, but if the sea is up it will be a beam sea. Not good. Decision to be made this afternoon.

Edited by Dr Bradley

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Get charts with the fog banks marked on them, no problem then.

 

You can borrow mine - it's pretty comprehensive:

 

fog-map.jpg

 

Richard

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You can borrow mine - it's pretty comprehensive:

 

fog-map.jpg

 

Richard

 

watch out, he's posted the chart upside down, could have caused a nasty accident.

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Why not consider taking an RYA Day Skippers course for powered craft? This will go a long way to giving you the background knowledge you need. With regard to the fog bank you came across, was this mentioned on the local forecasts? If you ran across it within half an hour it is surprising that it hadn't been mentioned either on the local forecasts or on Bristol VTS.

 

Howard

 

I've got the RYA Inland Helmsmans Certificate. The course was a load of crap - I knew more than they were teaching me. Does the Day Skippers course cover a lot more in terms of navigation? I can't see how one could get through fog in open water without a GPS, although I'm sure there must be some method.

 

There was no mention of fog in the forecasts. The people I met later at Portishead who had come down from Sharpness had thick fog all the way. Their pilot told me had just had to navigate blind with a GPS and a compass. By the time I left Portishead later that afternoon the fog had long been burned away by the sunshine.

 

The fog bank we went through was so thick there was only about 30m visibility and I think I was quite fortunate that it cleared as we approached Avonmouth, because the 3 of us onboard didn't really know what we were doing at sea. All I knew was to go out well beyond the pier and then turn to port to avoid cutting the corner onto the mudbanks.

 

Avonmouth pier

P1000883_zpsab05b89a.jpg

 

Then we were told to avoid a car carrier coming into Portbury docks and so going around the back of that took us about half a mile out to sea.

 

P1000888_zps88ff8e43.jpg

 

As we approached Portishead I radioed the marina who told me to wait by the pier as there was traffic coming out the other way. I assumed he didn't want me to wait anywhere in front of the entrance to the marina so I waited about 200 yards out beyond the pierhead. Holding my boat stationary against the tide seemed fairly easy and it wasn't until about 10 minutes later when the marina radioed me to ask where I was that I realised my mistake. Getting back inside the pier to calm water was hard work and I was on maximum revs.

 

I told my pilot about it on the way to Sharpness later that day and he told me if it had been a spring tide I wouldn't have got back to the pier! Oh well, it's all experience and I'll know for next time!

 

Waiting in the wrong place!

17b_zpsa1afcc03.jpg

Edited by blackrose

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I've got the RYA Inland Helmsmans Certificate. The course was a load of crap - I knew more than they were teaching me. Does the Day Skippers course cover a lot more in terms of navigation? I can't see how one could get through it in open water without a GPS, although I'm sure there must be some methods.

 

There was no mention of fog in the forecasts. The people I met at Portishead who had come down from Sharpness had thick fog all the way. Their pilot told me had just had to navigate blind with a GPS and a compass.

The IHC is not on the same level as a Day Skipper, and you will learn most if not all of the basics that you are interested in. Rather than me explain, have a look at the course details

 

http://www.rya.org.uk/coursestraining/courses/motorcruising/Pages/Dayskipper.aspx

 

and at the very least spend a few pounds on the course handbook which will give you an idea of what is taught and is also a useful reference book.

 

Regards

 

Howard

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If you are going to do it again Blackrose, then I agree with Howard. Being unable to read charts means it's no go without a pilot.

 

Yes, I wasn't suggesting I'd do Sharpness to Portishead without a pilot if I didn't know how rto read the charts. I'd do Portishead to Bristol without a pilot again, but next time I'll try not to make any mistakes!

The IHC is not on the same level as a Day Skipper, and you will learn most if not all of the basics that you are interested in. Rather than me explain, have a look at the course details

 

http://www.rya.org.uk/coursestraining/courses/motorcruising/Pages/Dayskipper.aspx

 

and at the very least spend a few pounds on the course handbook which will give you an idea of what is taught and is also a useful reference book.

 

Regards

 

Howard

 

Thanks. Looks interesting.

Edited by blackrose

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All the drama over now as I'm moored in Bristol. Next instalment in a few weeks when I venture onto the Thames.

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All the drama over now as I'm moored in Bristol. Next instalment in a few weeks when I venture onto the Thames.

Glad you got there safely in the end

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All the drama over now as I'm moored in Bristol. Next instalment in a few weeks when I venture onto the Thames.

 

So was dirt in fuel the root cause, or was it just a faulty pump?

 

Tim

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I've got the RYA Inland Helmsmans Certificate. The course was a load of crap - I knew more than they were teaching me. Does the Day Skippers course cover a lot more in terms of navigation?

 

The Day Skipper's Course is like O levels compared to the IHC being a 6 year old's primary school spelling test.

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The Day Skipper's Course is like O levels compared to the IHC being a 6 year old's primary school spelling test.

Do you "Pass" an IHC or get the cert for attending? This is a serious question.

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The Day Skipper's Course is like O levels compared to the IHC being a 6 year old's primary school spelling test.

 

Basically you just sit there, play with a bit of rope and then they give you the certificate. Oh yes, and we took the instructor's little cruiser out into Limehouse basin for half an hour. He asked me to circle the basin and then bring it in alongside a pontoon. Trouble was there a strong wind coming from behind pushing me off the pontoon and I wasn't used to how light his boat was, so I went around a second time and said to him "Wouldn't it be easier to bring it in against the wind?" "Oh yes", he said, "you're right!" He also told another student with a 38m dutch barge that the way to get his boat off a mudbank was to go and stand on the other side and try to rock it off!

 

I did it in conjunction with the CEVNI international certificate and that was just a multiple choice test, but I don't know why these Inland Helmsman's courses are so highly recommended on this forum? Waste of time.

Do you "Pass" an IHC or get the cert for attending? This is a serious question.

 

You do pass, but I can't see how anyone would fail.

All the drama over now as I'm moored in Bristol. Next instalment in a few weeks when I venture onto the Thames.

 

The Thames is no drama (unless your engine conks out again).

Edited by blackrose

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Black rose I have been saying that for some time!

 

The day skipper course however is much more informative and useful.

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So was dirt in fuel the root cause, or was it just a faulty pump?

 

Tim

The pump was blocked with gunge. I have to presume this came from the fuel being stirred up in a choppy sea despite cleaning in March so

it was both.

 

 

 

 

The Thames is no drama (unless your engine conks out again).

The Severn would have been no drama if the engine hadn't conked out.

 

I did learn that my anchor works, even though I deployed it in very much deeper water than I had prepared for. I can also retrieve it which I had my doubts about as it is heavy.

Leaving Sharpness an hour before high tide (neaps) I could have reached Bristol and not paid for Portishead (if the engine had kept going). I think that going the other way you could anchor in the Avon to let the ebb pass and set off from there on the flow. But would need to stick close to the channel.

I practised using the VHF for the first time in 30 years - rarely used it on chartered yachts.

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