[At the end of Part 4, we left Colin and his crew taking a well-deserved rest over a pint in the pub at Glenarm. Still on the Northern Ireland coast, but with the looming presence of the Mull of Kintyre in sight. One more push should see them complete their delivery passage from Falmouth in Cornwall to Oban in Scotland.]
Coastal Passages, Part 5—On To The FinishReading Time: 9 minutes
Next: Passage Anchorages
Previous: Costal Passages, Part 4—Keep On Plugging
- Knowing Where It’s At
- Three Electronic Charting Dangers That Can Wreck You
- Keeping Safe From Chart Inaccuracies
- You Still Need an Accurate Compass
- Chart Plotters And Autopilots, Never The Twain Should Meet
- Do You Still Need Paper Charts?
- Backup Systems, Do We Need Paper?
- 11 Tips for Safe Navigation With Phones and Tablets
- 12 Electronic Navigation Tips From a Cruise on Someone Else’s Boat
- Marine Electronics System Recommendations
- 6 Tips To Stop Marine Electronics From Ruining Your Cruise
- Marine Electronics Recommendations—Communications
- HF SSB Radio or Iridium Satellite Phone?
- Marine Electronics Recommendations—Radar
- Which is Best For Navigation: Plotter, Computer or Tablet?
- Our Navigation System
- The Best Windows Computer For Navigation
- Q&A Which Sextant To Buy…If At All
- The Secret Life Of Your GPS
- Coastal Passages, Part 1—Making a Plan, 10 Tips
- Coastal Passages, Part 2—Rounding Headlands
- Coastal Passages, Part 3—Off We Go
- Costal Passages, Part 4—Keep On Plugging
- Coastal Passages, Part 5—On To The Finish
- Passage Anchorages
- Navigating in Fog, Part 1, The Tools
- Navigation in Fog, Part 2—Preparation
- Navigation in Fog, Part 3—Underway
- 8 Radar Use Tips
- Integrating and Documenting NMEA 0183 and 2000 Networks
Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from the UK and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.
Colin, thanks for this wonderful series.
Allow me a question that still keeps me wondering – if one is not knowledgeable about a specific area such as the one you are describing here, where would you go to obtain knowledge where to expect eddies, races etc? Looking at the charts and the bathymetrics you might be able to anticipate some effects such as the Venturi you mention above, but a lot of knowledge you present is simply local, and I doubt the usual port almanachs would be of a lot of help here.
Where would one go to obtain knowledge?
luckily for us, excellent resources exist for the areas covered for this relatively complex passage. The best place to start would be the Imray publications website (www.imray.com), where you will find a range of really valuable pilot guides and cruising directions that will see you safely through this passage from start to finish.
I’d recommend these publications as good winter reading. Not only to alert you to the potential risks, but equally the unique nature and beauty of this challenging cruising ground.
And I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series – thanks for the kind words.
Good run, nice articles, great territory.
A couple of thoughts:
I agree that it is wise to check and double check tidal calculations. In addition, Ginger also independently works the data to come up with tidal gates timing as another check. It is too easy to fall for the same mistake if you do it together (like miss a Daylight Savings adjustment).
And pertaining to the writing of notes: doing so has always been helpful, partly to just organize thinking. As I get older, I am more guided by the thought: “If it is not written down, it doesn’t exist.”
Finally, I find the paper sources of information (Reeds for ex) more accurate and stable than electronic. In this day where we can have multiple sources of tidal information (chart plotter, phone app, internet etc.), I found variability I could not always account for.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
I agree with every word you say, and I’m gratified to say that I follow your advice to the letter. I like paper based information, from one reliable source on each area of data – like you I have found too many of the plethora of apps etc to contain information that is confusing and even, occasionally, incorrect.
Detailed planning has on substitute and makes for safer, more efficient and enjoyable passagemaking.
Deception Pass at the north end of Whidby Island flows at 11 knots max and is about as wide as a football field. Amazing how many pirouettes you can do with a full keel boat when you forget to set your watch to Daylight Savings time!
I did that run some 20 years ago for the first and only time. As I remember I had a cruising guide from Imray and had no trouble at all. Generally I have found that these days there are excellent cruising guides available for pretty much everywhere that will give the careful reader the information they need. That said, there are a few places in the Arctic where I have had to revert to relevant government sailing directions. Said sailing directions do need a bit of interpretation since they are generally for commercial vessels, but they have served me well.
just a note to say well done on this series, and thanks for writing it.
I just wanted to ask– am in the process of revitalizing an older, blue water cruising boat (1969). I realize that all gear is important, but is there any one area where you might say, Dont skimp! One area where you thank yourself time and again that you bought the best, the heaviest, the simplest — perhaps in terms of engine, electronics, etc.
granted that boat is structurally sound, at that age the rig would have to be scrutinised very carefully indeed – I’d expect the engine to have been renewed at least once by then.
I’m in the process of writing some pieces on buying or updating an older, cheaper boat for extended cruising, which I think you may find useful – watch this space soon.
Glad you’ve enjoyed this series – thanks.
John , Collin ,
One Item , I don’t think I saw mentioned , FERRY’s . AND they do sneak up on you . CAL MAC has car ferry’s going to all the islands in most weather . The major hub is OBAN . If they do appear in your review mirror , I usually do a 360 away and come around in behind them . This in close quarters, it eases the roll factor. Further notes : It has to be some of the most beautiful cruising Grounds in the world , MANXMAN ‘s crossing from Bangor Ire to Campbell town Scotland : a mill pond . We tipped our hat to Poseidon.
Cheers from the Chesapeake
I did mention ferries briefly in Part 4, but you’re quite right to flag that up again, so thank you. The CalMac ferries don’t hang around and are sizeable enough to throw a powerful wake. The ones that really worry me are the high speed catamarans that ply the Irish Sea, into Dublin and Belfast, which don’t slow down until they’re right in the Loughs – you really do have to have your eyes peeled .
And yes, it’s a lovely cruising ground, although I like the Hebrides even more.
I’m with you on the cats in the Irish sea. One of my crew christened them The Gaping Maw after seeing one come up over the horizon heading straight for us (long before AIS).