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Old 08-02-2010, 06:12   #1
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English Channel

I have recently done a couple of deliveries accross from Poole to Jersey and crossing the shipping lanes at this time of year is fairly peacefull.

However when I was idling through old pictures I came across this picture from a couple of summers ago. We were bringing a sailboat over from Southampton and the summer traffic was heavy and these babies were in profusion.http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...1&d=1265634670
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Old 08-02-2010, 16:17   #2
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and.......
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Old 08-02-2010, 22:06   #3
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Yes, I'm also wondering about the rest of the story. You pass these guys all the time there...

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:42   #4
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Sorry no horror story to this one, just thought other people might have some good pictures of other large ships.

I used to race from the south coast of England for many years and like anyone who has competed in cross channel races have my fair share of great and horrible stories. Nicest would be a glorious summer night delivering the boat back to Jersey after competeing in Cowes week. We had a gentle breeze from the west and were cruising along at a sedate 5 knots enjoying a rare perfect crossing. Then to make it even better we were treated to a shooting star display that went on for about 15 minutes!
I have done the journey many times since then and never seen it again.

Worst would have to be delivering a boat up to Cowes fom Jersey. We left at 2 hours before high tide and went west about the island in order to make the tidal gate in the Alderney race.

There was no wind and glorious sunshine. By the time we were off Guernsey we were in hazy conditions which soon deteriorated to thick fog. We had fitted an AIS system earlier that week so were not too concerned but Sods Law played its hand and soon after leaving the Alderney Race it went down leaving us in dense fog and in the shipping lanes. Visibility was truly dreadful and the question was whether to turn around and get out of the lanes or plough on!

We couldn't head back to the Race as the tide would have been running against us at approximately 7kts so we chose to carry on. We contacted Crossmar Coastguard to inform them of the situation. They were fantastic, they told us they could see us on radar and that we were in no imminent danger. They would keep us under surveillance and asked us to check in every hour, which we willingly did.

We made it across and as we closed the Needles off the Isle of Wight dawn arrived, the wind filled in and the fog lifted. One very tired and strainded crew re stowed the liferaft and gratefully made their way to Cowes!
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:01   #5
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We made a Channel crossing last summer from St Peter Port to Salcombe. It was a clear day with 10 to 20 knots of wind so the only function for the AIS was to keep us interested in what ships were around. Most ships were visible by eye from many miles away.

Using the AIS we were aware of ships long before they were in sight. After a period of time studying speeds, destinations, size etc I was suddenly woken up by the details of one particular ship because its size was not measured in metres but as a decimal of a mile! It was something like 0.2 miles long.

When it passed us it was huge and it's speed was incredible- over 20 knots I think. Crossing the English Channel in fog is not to be taken lightly because at the time this ship crossed out path we had about 10 others on the screen too, all making more speed than us.

It was funny that though we were carefully timing our pace so that we always passed behind ships (just in case of any failures, I didn't want to get run down) other yachts were speeding up trying to cross in front of the ships. Some looked like near misses to me.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:49   #6
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Close encounter Aruba:

(a joke, this one was at anchor ;-)

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Old 09-02-2010, 07:18   #7
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S/V Jedi:

That last one gave me a heart attack!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:01   #8
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but dave c there are a lot of these anchored up now in the river dart thats why you are not seeing as many as before i was down there about two months ago and there was about 25 cargo vessels there
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Old 09-02-2010, 17:44   #9
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A big ship is a good ship - easy to spot, not likely to do unexpected things.

Sailing to Marocco recently we had (yet another) encounter with one of the big cruise ships. If not for the radar/AIS we were completely unable to tell their nav lights from the Christmass tree.

Why can't IMO ask them to just keep their position lights on a tall mast or something???

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Old 09-02-2010, 17:53   #10
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What you are asking is already in the COLREG's about lights which can be confused with or could obscure navigation lights. Rule 20b...

(b)The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

Rule 20: Application
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:17   #11
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We were sailing a westerley sirrus 23' across the channel in thick fog and asked Crossmar Coastguard to keep an eye on us. They called us several times to give us new headings to miss everybody and we had a lovely sail to Guernsey. On another occasion when we were crossing the shipping lanes we saw a 40' yacht trying to get around the bow of a b*&%@y big ship luckly the ship passed him before he got there. Never mind power gives way to sail I always say might is right and stay well clear.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:22   #12
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Where is the English Channel? Is it another name for La Manche?

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Old 12-02-2010, 11:20   #13
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I've crossed the channel quite a few times in boats from 25ft up to 60ft and always found I needed to be on my toes. Crossing the Straits of Gibraltar takes it up another notch, definitely not my idea of a leisurely cruise

La Manche, that would depend on where you live
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:31   #14
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le manche

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Where is the English Channel? Is it another name for La Manche?

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If like us you are a channel islander we come from Guernsey then yes it is la manche but the english like to call it the English Channel
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Old 13-02-2010, 10:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelsgood View Post
If like us you are a channel islander we come from Guernsey then yes it is la manche but the english like to call it the English Channel
THX! I also heard it referred to as the British Channel, I think.

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