Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK and Katowice, Poland, plus All Europe
My Motorhome: Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69GL (2003)
Thanked 451 Times in 402 Posts
Having sailed in the Med with no tides ever since the last time I had to consider a tide, which was when I crossed the Channel from Souhampton to Le Havre 30 years ago. It was a 12 hour crossing at night in a flat calm, so I calculated that the tidal drift down Channel and up would cancel out, so I set a course to steer and the Seine estuary came up bang on the nose.
Had the mast lifted at Le Havre and then had to calculate the tide time to leave at the start of the flood to reach Rouen to moor up in one tide, because mooring up below Rouen is almost impossible and I did not fancy having to drop anchor in the river on a falling tide. Anyway we made it OK. My boat cruised at 6knots but I reckon we were hitting 10 knots over the ground at times, so an easy passage. I think we made Paris the next day and went through the lock into L'Arsenale basin to moor - a great place because one is right in th middle of Paris in one's own accomodation for just the cost of a mooring fee.
Then no more tides in my sailing life.
When I was racing in a '12-metre' Class we had one famous grounding in the Sound at Ile de Chausse off Granville on the Contentin Peninsula; we had raced there from Jersey and had a great night in the hotel - very pissy. We were moored in the Sound running roughly N-S and with a westerly wind the skipper decided we would have a bit of a swank, sail to the South end and back up through the sound on a beam reach. We must have been doing 12 knots and probably looked great from the hotel. We had of course calculated the tide, but the problem with the Sound is that the sandbanks in the narrow part shift, so one cannot rely on the chart. We therefore had a couple of the crew conning depths from the bow. We drew 9' and it is not easy to judge depth to within a foot or so and being 70' overall the depth sounder was a long way back from the leading edge of the keel. Well, we grounded and stopped in metres - but only on sand.
It was a falling tide, so we knew we were there till the next tide. We heeled over at 45 degrees and moving about was difficult; I went down for a sweater from my bunk in thhe bow and crawling through was disorientating, so much so that my vision and my ear channels were giving different signals about which way was 'Up', consequently by the time I got back to the cockpit I actually felt seasick - on a stationary boat!
Our other grounding was at Cowes. We had won the Britannia Cup on the Tuesday and were racing in the NY Trophy on Thurs. We were well ahead of the field and close in to the Island shore approaching Cowes. We knew about 'Nicholson's Hump' and the Nav thought we had cleared it - but no. That cost us the race. However, with out very amateur crew and only one suite of sails we were well satisfied with the Britannia Cup win. Graeme Godfrey was a great owner and skipper to sail with and it was a privlege.
Sailors' Yarns over.
Last edited by nicholsong; 07-04-2018 at 12:41.