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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > heaving to awaiting a tide change
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Thread: heaving to awaiting a tide change Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-16-2012 05:36 AM
Andrew Troup
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

Hmm - if it was foggy (not mentioned previously - bit of a 'drip feed' topic !) then neither option seems particularly attractive to me:

Punching into a current at maximum revs, engine exhaust roaring away, noisy bow-wave but making slow speed over the ground, in a narrow potentially congested channel in poor visibility, with any shipping coming out downtide having to travel fast to maintain steerage way, is NOT a great recipe for avoiding collisions...

It's very easy to be run into from behind, as well, in a channel, if you don't keep watch as thoroughly astern as ahead.


At least if you're quietly hove to, engine shut down, away from the bottleneck of the channel, you can keep all your senses working, and people have a better chance of avoiding a stationary target. Definitely more seamanlike than anchoring: too hard to take avoiding action.

On the smattering of facts you've laid out for us, I think your musings regarding mutiny might be a bit unfair, bordering on lubberly
06-01-2012 03:55 PM
sailordave
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

Heave to and wait. In light conditions and good visibility what's the problem? Even at night you can see what's coming. Light up your sails when you see a ship headed your way and get on the VHF. ALSO, you might want to consider a SECURITE call advising that you are hove to. There have been countless accidents/tragedies from people trying to cross a bar or enter a harbor under less than idea conditions.
05-30-2012 08:30 PM
Ltwud
heaving to awaiting a tide change

This is interesting to see perspectives of others probably more knowledgable than myself. But I know from living on the Columbia river that the ship traffic is close to one per hour and they move at 14-20 knots as well as hundreds of fishing and pleasure boats not limited to the channel which there is none 5 miles out. It was foggy and dark and I understand mutiny in a new way. If he had plotted a safe montage of the jetty in advance... No problem done. But ships were lining up behind us awaiting pilot boats and was very fearful of a collision in that setting. Nearly anywhere else fine but not off the mouth of the Columbia.

Thanks for your comments and perspective
05-30-2012 06:32 PM
jackdale
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

There is nothing wrong with heaving-to AND maintaining a watch.
05-30-2012 05:49 PM
Ltwud
heaving to awaiting a tide change

Note: the chop was small; less than 4' with no small craft advisories so current the current was the only issue...no big swells
05-30-2012 05:37 PM
Ltwud
heaving to awaiting a tide change

I appreciate your comments. The conversation came up while helping a doctor deliver his 40 footer as we missed the tide and were nearly out of fuel. I couldn't believe it was happening but his thought was to back out 5 miles and heave to. I couldn't imagine bobbing about in the dark for 6 hrs in one of the worlds busiest shipping channels so we persisted against a 2.4 ebb added to the normal 4knt Columbia current and 2 hours later we made it with a gallon to spare. Next time I crew I'm asking a lot more questions and assuming nothing. I think anchoring off the jetty would have worked if planned in advance
05-30-2012 09:27 AM
sea_hunter I've commented on this very topic a number of times over the years. If you're not going through at slack don't do it. You can anchor or heave to, off the South Jetty if you need to wait.
05-30-2012 06:33 AM
AKscooter
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

Coast Guard does a lot of training at the "bar" for a very good reason. If I was gonna cross it....I am waiting for slack. Check you tube for some nice armchair beer drinking videos.......
05-30-2012 06:26 AM
Minnewaska
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

I'm not familiar with your local waters, but its doesn't sound totally insane. One should be able to shake it out and sail off if needed, or motor out of the way. If this was necessary every 5 minutes, I suppose it would be undesirable, but not insane.

However, unless I had to beat some enroute weather, I don't see why one wouldn't just wait it out prior to departure rather than arrive too early and have to heave-to at all, shipping lane or not.
05-30-2012 03:46 AM
Freedom007
Re: heaving to awaiting a tide change

have crossed that bar many times. WAIT for the tide change ! dont heave to at night out there but day is ok. Time your trip up or down correctly and you shouldnt have to wait very long.
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