If I compare the difficulties of sailing the North Sea Eastern Area (Europoort, Schelde Estuary) with what's happening in Oz waters, I have to giggle.
As long as I am inbound, I have to comply with the BPR - another set of rules for the inland waterways. Outside at sea I have to comply with the ZAR - alltogether another set of rules again. Traffic Lanes, Windmillparks that arise as a LLano Estacado, creating a large spot of no go area, on top of that the voluminuous commercial
Outside, the biggest danger is the stray fisherman following an unknown path and no watch on the bridge, more common than exception. With no regard to any yacht crossing it's path.
Inside, the very fast moving barges with no real vision unless they have a camera
system installed. The Rotterdam-Germany connection via Merwede requires utmost attention. Barges doubling, sometimes tripling and leaving no way for the deep draft
sailing yacht. Rules they never heard of. The biggest and the fastest is always the winner.
Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal is a real nightmare and should be avoided as much as possible.
A narrow channel with as much traffic as on an highway at rushhour, offering you the weirdest waves imagineable.
I remember clearly on one of my trips the case of a bulkcarrier with no visible nav lights that approached us as a huge black wall inside the gulf of Algeciras. No visible lights and the most minicule nav lights I ever saw when it was almost too late. And no watch on the bridge.
I approached Gibraltar
Traffic Contrl for a radar check and they gave me a clear ahead.
So I do not even trust a professional radarpost to give you the correct advice.
Lessons learned and keep always in mind the the approaching ship can't see you. Most freighters do not have qualified crew on board. A captain
and first-2nd mate and that is it. The autopilot
will do the rest.
Some applicable laws/rulings for Rotterdam - Europoort Area Sailing:
Regulations for Territorial Waters (STZ)
Compulsory Pilotage Decree 1995
Decree on Pilot Exemption Certificate Holders Shipping Traffic Act
Regulation for Licensed (Maritime) Pilots
Regulation for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
Regulation on the Transportation of Dangerous Substances, 2007
Port Bye-laws Rotterdam 2004 – updated for 2007
Port Bye-laws Schiedam and Vlaardingen
Regulation for Communication and Pilot requests seashipping