|Entering the Crinan Canal in 2021|
during my second solo round GB trip.
Some posts will be written in real time and some retrospectively so the tense will vary from post to post and sometimes within one, I do not generally "correct" this.
Some posts, in whole or in part, may have been posted on the Achilles Flickr site and / or on Facebook where I check in frequently so that people know where I am and my intentions. Posts on these sites are generally not updated.
A lot of the posts on seamanship, tips etc. were written in response to questions - mainly from owners new to keel boats - on the Achilles Flickr, or for the Achilles Owners web sites both of which I became admin for in 2021, rebuilding the latter.
Comments are welcome (form below) but may take a little time to appear as I have to moderate comments to screen out unwanted and usually irrelevant adverts.
A number of readers are new to offshore sailing or still aspiring to have a go, perhaps currently with a boat like the Achilles 24, learning the ropes inshore, others are new to short handed sailing so I will often explain why I am doing something and occasionally explain how some things, like AIS or radar, help.
My current location can usually be found from my page "Track Sancerre" (above).
Pictures, and particularly videos, may be limited or of poor quality until I get home when I can more easily photoshop them (primarily to make horizons horizontal) and create slide shows. If I post by email via Iridium there will be no pictures until I get back to civilisation.
The second and subsequent lines of the bar at the top of the blog page are links to threads of selected cruises, a full list of my cruises in Sancerre can be found in the Cruise Index (above).
Charts are variously screen shots from:
- SeaPro 3000, my general navigation program run on a laptop which is connected to the boat systems for AIS etc. and with a u-blox76 GPS for independent operation - in a thunder storm it goes into the oven for protection so if the boat electrics get zapped it, with my iPads and paper charts will allow me to navigate safely.
- Garmin ActiveCaptain on an iPad which shares charts, tracks etc. with the Garmin plotter.
- Admiralty or Antares charts displayed via the MemoryMap application on PC or iPad.
Pictures are by me unless otherwise stated.
A few abbreviations, acronyms and terms:
- AIS - Automatic Identification System WikipediA link, opens in a new window.
- Air Draft - The headroom under a bridge or cables.
- Offing - Deep water / safe point off of a harbour, headland, etc..
- Prop-walk - Going ahead a clockwise running propeller (probably the most common) will tend to push the bow to port but, with the propwash going over the rudder the effect is not a big issue, although it could be on a boat with twin rudders. However when the engine is put into reverse the sideways thrust is increased due to interaction with hull and there is no significant flow over the rudder until speed builds up, so the bow moves fairly hard to starboard (therefore stern to port) to the extent that it will likely overcome any attempt to steer the other way at low speed. Sometimes that is a big problem - if you want the stern to go to starboard in reverse - but it can also be a big help: if the turn is made with the bow moving to starboard a 3 (usually more) point turn can be done in a couple of boat lengths or less. One way of mitigating the problem is to give a short blast of power accepting some swing, then to put the engine into neutral to give the rudder a chance.
- RAFYC - The RAF Yacht Club based on the Hamble, originally for members of the RAF but now open to all.
- LAT - Lowest Astronomical tide, depths on charts relate to this.
- MHWS or HWS - (Mean) High Water Springs.
- MLWS or LWS - (Mean) Low Water Springs.
- Double tide - a number of phenomena found between Portland and Littlehampton and particularly in the Solent see this link
- Trot Mooring, a type of mooring securing the boat by the bow and stern, usually with a buoy each end. Used to get more boats into a small area and when there is a strong tidal flow through the moorings so that the boat does not swing with the tide.
- UCT - Universal Coordinated time, previously known as GMT.
Distances are in nautical miles (about 15% longer than statute miles) and usually "GPS" miles over the ground, distance through the water could be more or less depending on tides. A Cable is a tenth of a nautical mile, so about 600 ft.
|A good time to be in shelter, the 46Kt|
wind when I turned the instruments
on is almost storm Force 10.
Wind speeds: Unless otherwise stated they will be "true", that is "speed over the ground" rather than "apparent" / "speed over the deck" (which is influenced by the speed of the boat, tide and relative angles).
Wind speeds may be in knots or more often these days in Beaufort "Force". F6 is highlighted in the inshore water forecasts (UK & Ireland) with a "Strong Wind Warning" but it is best to assume that gusts will be one force or more higher than mentioned in forecasts.
Although I should be able to cope with much stronger winds (I carry heavy weather and storm jibs, have a deep storm reef for the mainsail and as a last resort can lie to a drogue), I will usually try to avoid sailing in F6, not so much because of the wind speed, but because of the resulting sea state that would likely be very uncomfortable. An exception might be in sheltered waters, going down wind or to avoid even stronger winds.
|Sheltering in Kinsale 2022, wind about F5 in sheltered water, earlier it had been F7-8.|
For non-sailors, the following is from The Royal Meteorological Society:
Probable Wave Height
Smoke rises vertically. Sea like a mirror
Direction shown by smoke drift but not by wind vanes. Sea rippled
Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; wind vane moved by wind. Small wavelets on sea
Leaves and small twigs in constant motion; light flags extended. Large wavelets on sea
Raises dust and lose paper; small branches moved. Small waves, fairly frequent white horses
Small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters. Moderate waves, many white horses
Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty. Large waves, extensive foam crests
Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against the wind. Foam blown in streaks across the sea
Twigs break off trees; generally impedes progress. Wave crests begin to break into spindrift
Slight structural damage (chimney pots and slates removed). Wave crests topple over, and spray affects visibility
Seldom experienced inland; trees uprooted; considerable structural damage. Sea surface is largely white
Very rarely experienced, accompanied by widespread damage. Medium-sized ships lost to view behind waves. Sea covered in white foam, visibility seriously affected
Devastation. Air filled with foam and spray, very poor visibility
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