Risk Assessment

This is perhaps the most important skill to learn for any expedition kayaker. Below is an example of a risk assessment that I undertook during the planning for my 2004 British Isles expedition. I hope you find it useful – Sean Morley.

Circumnavigation of the British Isles by Sea Kayak

RISK ASSESSMENT

Any activity on the sea presents a risk both to the participant and to those who may be asked to perform a rescue should that become necessary.  It is therefore imperative that every effort is made by the participant to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.  I fully recognise and accept this principle.

 The British Canoe Union advises a minimum of three paddlers for any journey by kayak.  Whilst I accept this advice is based on sound principles of safety it would, of course, make any solo expedition impossible.  Historically there have been many successful solo expeditions.  The key to their success has been the expertise and experience of the paddler, combined with sound planning and judgement.

A circumnavigation of the U.K. and Ireland with all the vagaries of weather and tide, and at times, remoteness of location make such a journey hazardous.  By attempting the journey completely on my own, this inevitably increases the risk.  I accept this and fully appreciate that at times there will be nobody able to see a flare or receive a distress call from a handheld VHF radio with limited range.

I will be carrying a Personal Location Beacon (PLB), a McMurdo Fastfind Plus.  This features a built-in GPS combined with a 406MHz transmitter and a 121.5MHz homing signal.  In the event of emergency an alert signal is transmitted to Cospas-Sarsat satellites and forwarded to a rescue co-ordination centre typically within 3 minutes.  The built-in GPS receiver will provide latitude and longitude co-ordinates to give a position to approximately 30 metres anywhere in the world.

I will be carrying the following flares which will be immediately available: 2 red parachute rockets, 2 red handheld, 2 orange smoke and 2 white collision warning. I will also be carrying a combination red handheld/orange smoke in the pocket of my buoyancy aid and lifejacket in case I become separated from my kayak.  My cag and buoyancy aid, provided by YAK are bright red in colour and feature 3M reflective strips.  My buoyancy aid has a strobe light fixed to it.  I shall wear my buoyancy aid when inshore. When undertaking open sea crossings I shall wear a Crewsaver 150N manually inflating lifejacket.

I shall be mindful of the water temperature when considering what clothing I will wear for each paddle leg.  The risk of hypothermia as a result of a swim has to be balanced against the more likely risk of dehydration by wearing too much clothing whilst paddling.  I will have access to thermal clothing and have practiced putting this clothing on in the water.

I have discussed my plans with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and will ensure that each MRSC has been briefed, including those in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.  I will be informing them of my intended route each day and my safe arrival.  However I am aware that should they not receive notification of my safe arrival they will not launch a Search and Rescue mission until requested to do so by my shore contact, i.e. my wife, unless I activate my PLB.

I will inform ferry operators of my intentions when my route passes close to or crosses theirs.

I have a VHF handheld radio which I am licensed to use with which will monitor Ch16 & 13 when appropriate.  I have recharging capability using a solar panel.  The VHF Radio is not fitted with DSC due to cost.  I am aware the maximum range of my hand held is likely to be no more that three to four miles or line of sight and I have previously used passing ships to relay any message to the Coastguard.

I have a GPS which I will use for open sea crossings, again with recharging capability.  I have a deck-mounted compass which is backlit for use at night.  For each crossing I will have calculated in advance my Course to Steer (CTS) taking into consideration the tidal streams.  I will be mindful of the significant effect that the wind and waves have on my Speed over the Ground (SOG) as well as any leeway and make suitable allowances in my headings.  I will be able to use my GPS to assist in this process.  For each crossing I will follow Waypoints with appropriate reciprocals should I have to abort the crossing.

I do not have a Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) – again an issue of cost and the inability to elevate it to a height where it might prove useful.  I am aware that I will not be detected on any Radar system and that the likelihood of me being seen by passing shipping is remote.  I shall be extremely mindful of this when crossing shipping lanes, ensuring I always pass astern of approaching ships.  I will be accompanied by escort vessels on the longest open sea crossings, e.g. Isles of Scilly, St. Kilda, Orkney – Shetland, Channel Islands.  These crossings will only be attempted when conditions allow.  I will always follow the advice given from local Coastguards and other authorities.

I have a mobile phone with GPRS and GSM email access.  I will be using the O2 network and I am aware of areas that are not covered by the network.  I do not have a SAT phone due to cost.

I fully understand that I have a responsibility, not only towards my family and myself, but also towards the members of the emergency services to ensure that I do not put myself in a situation whereby I need to be rescued.

Of course there is always the risk from the unforeseen, but I will ensure that I make every effort to reduce that risk to a minimum.

Risk management is something I have to do every day of my working life as a Police Firearms Tactics Advisor and Traffic Patrol Sergeant.   I have to complete generic risk assessments for any police operation, both pre-planned and spontaneous.  Every spontaneous incident requires dynamic risk assessment to ensure that the risk to the public and the police is kept to a minimum.  I am certain that this experience, combined with my experience from previous sea kayak expeditions of a similar nature will enable me to complete this expedition safely.

I have completed a Generic Risk Assessment for the expedition as a whole and Specific Risk Assessments for each paddle leg where I will be more than 5 miles from the nearest landfall or where other specific risks are present.

GENERIC RISK ASSESSMENT

 

HAZARD

Who may be harmed?

Risk prior to controls

H/M/L

CONTROL MEASURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED

Risk with controls in place

H/M/L

1. Drowning following capsize Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

1(a) I have the ability to perform an Eskimo Roll to right the kayak in the event of capsize in any conditions 1(b) Should I fail to roll successfully necessitating a ‘wet exit’ then I have the ability to empty the kayak of water and re-enter or re-enter when full of water and then pump the water out. I will have immediate access to a ‘paddle float’ to assist in a wet exit re-entry1(c) I will wear a buoyancy aid at all times when following the coastline (a buoyancy aid is easier to swim with when in surf).  I will wear a manually operated, gas inflated lifejacket for the open-sea crossings1(d) I have received some training in sea survival techniques

1(e) Before setting out each day I will ensure I am in possession of the latest weather forecast and will not commence a paddle leg if conditions are likely deteriorate such that it could prove difficult to reach land and find suitable shelter

1(f) I will report daily to HM Coastguard informing them of my progress, of my plans for the next day and to receive a weather forecast

L

2. Hypothermia following capsize or whilst ashore Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

2(a) I will be wearing or have immediate access to clothing designed to delay the onset of hypothermia for sufficient time to effect a self-rescue and I am practiced in putting this clothing on in the water2(b) Should self-rescue not be possible I will have immediate access to an exposure bag, flares, VHF radio and PLB.  The kayak is bright yellow to make it easily visible at sea in most conditions and my clothing is also ‘high vis’. Both the kayak and my clothing have 3M reflective tape in prominent locations2(c) I will be carrying sufficient shelter and clothing to allow me to stop and camp in a suitable location even in the most extreme conditions.  I will always have the ability to make hot food and drink whilst ashore and sufficient supplies in reserve for a minimum of two days2(d) Before setting out each day I will ensure I am in possession of the latest weather forecast and will not commence a paddle leg if conditions are likely deteriorate such that it could prove difficult to reach land and find suitable shelter

2(e) I will report daily to HM Coastguard informing them of my progress, of my plans for the next day and to receive a weather forecast

L

3. Severe injury to upper limbs or torso making paddling impossible Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

3(a) Avoiding situations which make such an injury more likely, e.g. Paddling in surf or other breaking waves, especially after a long paddle3(b) I will have immediate access to a drogue to reduce drift, flares, VHF radio and PLB

L

4. Damage to the kayak Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

4(a) The kayak is constructed from Kevlar using epoxy resin such that it is extremely robust yet light enough to carry on my own.  I will have a repair kit sufficient to enable me to get to the nearest place of habitation4(b) The kayak has three watertight compartments such that damage to any single compartment will not cause the kayak to sink.  Furthermore, the majority of my kit will be stowed in dry bags with a significant amount of air trapped inside them.  Therefore, in the unlikely event of all three watertight compartments being breached the kayak will still remain floating4(c) I will avoid paddling across shipping lanes – where this is unavoidable I will cross at right angles as quickly as possible ensuring H.M. Coastguard or the Port Authority are aware of my intentions well in advance.  I will ensure I have immediate access to a white collision warning flare 

4(d) I will avoid paddling at night or in conditions of seriously reduced visibility.  Should it become necessary then I will wear a strobe light, monitor the radio and have immediate access to an air horn and flares

4(e) Damage to the kayak is most likely at the end of each paddle when landing on an unknown shore.  By selecting my landing sites carefully, obtaining advice from local people with knowledge of the area and taking into consideration changes in wind and tide I can reduce this risk to a minimum. I will use a trolley to assist with carrying the kayak above the HW mark

L

5. Personal injury on land Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

5(a) One of the most dangerous activities on land will be carrying my kayak above the high water mark at the end of a day’s paddle.  The construction of the kayak is as light as possible.  I will use driftwood or other material as skids to drag the kayak across rocky ground should it not be possible to carry it or use the trolley.  By carefully selecting my landing site I will try to reduce the distance and difficulty of the carry5(b) Camping stoves are notoriously dangerous and I will ensure that I take this into account, particularly when conditions force me to cook under shelter.  I will keep the stove regularly serviced during the six month expedition5(c) I will be carry an extensive first aid kit and I have first aid training

L

6. Infection Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

6(a) From experience when completing long open-crossings I have never needed to excrete but I have needed to urinate.  I have developed a system that is effective and negates the need to urinate into the kayak.6(b) I will bathe regularly using saltwater soap and freshwater whenever possible.  Again from experience it is essential that I keep my lower abdomen clean and free from infection. I will carry anti-fungal, and anti-septic creams to administer when necessary6(c) I will ensure that my cooking and drinking water is clean, either at source or by filtering or adding purification tablets6(d) My food will be dehydrated or vacuum packed and will not require refrigeration
7. Becoming lost Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

L

7(a) I am an experienced navigator on land and at sea.  I passed my RYA Day Skipper shore-based exam with 100% on the navigational exercises.7(b) I will carry laminated charts and maps of the entire route 7(c) I will have a deck compass with back light and a spare7(d) I will carry a GPS, VHF radio and PLB for emergency use

7(e) I will ‘aim off’ when appropriate to ensure I make landfall (particularly when approaching Alderney after crossing Channel)

L

8. Exhaustion Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

H

8(a) Ensure I maintain a steady pace taking regular breaks8(b) Have immediate access to food and water sufficient to complete the paddle leg with some in reserve8(c) When conditions are marginal always take the conservative option and avoid paddling into a worsening forecast8(d) Avoid rounding a major headland or making an open crossing at the end of the day

8(e) Use the tide to my advantage whenever possible

M

9. Heatstroke Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

9(a) Always wear a wide brimmed hat and UV protection on arms and torso9(b) Avoid paddling through the heat of the day of hot days, seeking shade whenever possible9(c) Keep well hydrated using isotonic drinks and water

L

10. Dental health Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

10(a) I will visit the dentist before my departure to ensure that any routine work has been completed10(b) My first aid kit contains sufficient pain killer to enable me to continue to the next habitation where I can receive treatment10(c) I am aware of the potential harmful effects of eating high sugar foods more regularly than normal and will use dental chewing gum as part of my oral hygiene regime

L

11. Sea sickness Myself and members of emergency services involved in any rescue attempt

M

11(a) I have experienced the debilitating effects of sea sickness and I am therefore aware of the risks it presents11(b) I have identified a sea sickness remedy that works for me without making me drowsy or having other side effects11(c) I will ensure I keep hydrated and avoid fatty foods which can increase the likelihood of sea sickness

L

 

 

SPECIFIC RISK ASSESSMENTS (Distances in Nautical Miles)

 

PADDLE LEG

 

HAZARDS

Risk prior to controls

H/M/L

CONTROL MEASURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED

Risk with controls in place

H/M/L

1. Sennen Cove to St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly (22.5M crossing) 1(a) Tidal race, over-falls and reefs between Land’s End and Longships1(b) Shipping Channels 

 

 

1(c) Seven Stones Reefs

1(d) Being taken too far N or S

 

 

 

H

M

M

H

1(a) Begin crossing HW Devonport +0300.  Stay well north of Longships 1(b) Only attempt the crossing with good visibility. Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 161(c) Pass well to the S of Seven Stones

1(d) Make allowances for wind and wave conditions.  Maintain steady pace throughout crossing.  Double check position and course with GPS using waypoints during crossing.  Only attempt crossing in good visibility.  Only attempt crossing when wind is in sector N to SE < F5, SE to NE < F4.  Stay N of flight path of helicopters.

Only attempt if 5 day forecast is satisfactory and gives realistic prospect of completing return crossing. If forecast is unsatisfactory consider aborting crossing (may be attempted again at end of expedition)

Escort vessel to be on stand-by in case of a problem

M

L

L

M

2. St. Martin’s to Sennen Cove(22.5M crossing) 2(a) As above with consideration that strongest tide and the tidal race, over-falls and reefs of Longships come at the end of the crossing when I will be tired

H

2(a) As above with wind in sector S to NW < F5, NW to S < F4. Begin crossing HW Devonport -0500.Escort vessel to be on standby during return crossing.If weather forecast unsatisfactory consider using escort vessel to return to mainland

M

3. Hartland Quay to Lundy(12M crossing) 3(a) Tidal race and over-falls N of Hartland Pt and S and E of Rat Island, Lundy3(b) Becoming weather-bound on Lundy

H

H

3(a) Begin crossing HW Avonmouth -0430, to arrive at Lundy approaching slack. Avoid Spring tides if possible3(b) Only attempt crossing when three day forecast is for good visibility and wind is in sector SW to NE < F5, otherwise < F6.Should three day forecast be unsatisfactory consider aborting crossing and continuing up N Devon coast.

M

M

4. Lundy to Angle, Pembrokeshire (26M crossing from Lundy to St Govan’s Head) 4(a) Tidal race and over-falls N and NW of Lundy and SW of St Govan’s Hd4(b) Being taken too far west by tide

H

M

4(a) Begin crossing HW Dover+0500. Avoid Spring tides 4(b) Begin crossing HW Dover+0500, allowing the flooding tide to take me NE into the Bristol Channel then NW as I approach St Govan’s Hd.  Only attempt crossing when wind is in sector WNW to NNE < F5, otherwise <F6Should forecast unsatisfactory for crossing to Pembrokeshire, return to N Devon coast

! (4A) then continue up N Devon coast to Lynmouth before crossing to Porthcawl

! (4B)

M

L

4A. Lundy to Ilfracombe(16M crossing from Lundy to Morte Point) 4A(a) Tidal race SE of Rat Island, Lundy 4A(b) Tidal race off Morte Pt

M

M

4A(a) Begin crossing at slack and clear Rat Island, heading into Bideford Bay before tidal stream increases4A(b) Head into Morte Bay (Woolacombe) to pass inside of tidal race off Morte Pt

L

L

4B. Lynmouth to Porthcawl(15M crossing) 4B(a) Strong tidal streams in Bristol Channel with tidal race NW & NE of Foreland Pt and off W end of Nash Bank 3M SSW of Porthcawl during E-going stream4B(b) Busy shipping channel

M

4B(a) Begin crossing at HW Milford Haven.  Only attempt if wind is in sector W to E < F6 otherwise < F7. Avoid wind against tide conditions4B(b) Only attempt crossing with good visibility. Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch16

L

L

5. Angle to Ramsey Island (via Grassholm) (6M crossing from Skomer Island to Grassholm and then a further 10M crossing from Grassholm to Ramsey Island) 5(a) Very strong tidal stream with races and over-falls between islands (sp rates up to 5kn). Wildgoose Race W of Skomer and Skokholm 

5(b) Difficult or impossible landing on Grassholm with numerous rock hazards

5(c) Bitches tidal rapid in Ramsey Sound

H

H

H

5(a) Grassholm is not inhabited therefore crossing is not vital to success of expedition & will only be attempted in near perfect conditions: wind < F5 in all sectors.  Begin crossing from Skomer to Grassholm at slack, HW Milford Haven -0230 then take N-going stream from Grassholm to Ramsey which begins HW Milford Haven -01355(b) Only attempt landing in flat calm and in good visibility5(c) Head into St Bride’s Bay and wait for slack before entering Ramsey Sound

M

L

L

6. Barmouth to Aberdaron, Lleyn Peninsula (16M crossing from Barmouth to St Tudwal’s Islands) 6. No specific hazards

L

6. Only attempt if wind is in sector W to N < F6, otherwise < F7

L

6A. Holyhead to Port St Mary, Isle of Man (40M crossing from Carmel Head to Dreswick Point) 6A(a) Tidal race and over-falls between Carmel Hd and The Skerries (sp rates up to 5kn), S of Calf of Man (W-going <3.5kn) and Dreswick Hd (E-going <5kn)6A(b) Shipping Channels NW of Anglesey and Fast Ferries in and out of Holyhead 

6A(c) Being taken too far W or E by tide

H

M

H

6A(a) NE-going stream begins HW Holyhead +0550. Leave Holyhead at HW Holyhead +0430, use eddy S of Carmel Hd then to clear Skerries at slack.  Allow tide to carry me NW into Liverpool Bay then E to Port St Mary 6A(b) Only attempt crossing with good visibility. Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch166A(c) Only attempt crossing when wind is in sector SE to SW < F5, SW to SE < F4.

Should 5 day forecast be marginal then continue NE into Liverpool Bay

M

L

M

7. St Bees to Ramsey Isle of Man (28M crossing) 7(a) Dangerous banks SE, E and NW of Pt of Ayre7(b) Being taken too far N by tide

M

M

7(a) Avoid Pt of Ayre altogether by aiming off S end of Ramsey Bay7(b) Leave St Bees at HW Dover, use westerly stream to make ground then southerly stream to bring me into Ramsey Bay (HW Dover+6)Should 3 day forecast be marginal then continue N to Solway Firth

L

L

8. Peel, Isle of Man to Portpatrick, Mull of Galloway(21M crossing fro Jurby Head to Mull of Galloway) 8. Dangerous banks NW of Pt of Ayre, tidal race and over-falls S of Mull of Galloway

H

8. Depart Peel HW Dover-2, allowing tide to take me NE towards Solway Firth before bringing me back NW to into Luce Bay passing close inshore to round Mull of Galloway

M

9.Girvan to Kildonan, Isle of Arran (via Ailsa Craig)(8M crossing to Ailsa Craig followed by 10M crossing to Pladda) 9. No specific hazards

L

9. Depart Girvan HW Dover -0200.

L

10. Kildonan to High Keil, Mull of Kintyre (12M crossing from Bennan Head to Cove Point) 10. No specific hazards

L

10. Depart Kildonan HW Dover +0100 to ensure SW-going stream

L

11. Mull of Kintyre to Larne, N.Ireland (14M crossing from Mull of Kintyre to Cushendun) 9(a) Strong tidal streams in North Channel causing heavy over-falls, tidal race S and SW of Mull of Kintyre HW Dover +0430 and +0610 when a local S-going stream opposes the main N-going stream9(b) Shipping Channel and fast ferries out of Larne

H

 

H

9(a) Leave Mull of Kintyre HW Dover+0530 to cross area of over-falls at slack then use S-going stream for crossing and passage to LarneOnly attempt when wind is in sector E to W <F6, otherwise <F7 

9(b) Only attempt crossing with good visibility. Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16

M

M

12. Baltimore to Castletown Bearhaven (11.5M Cape Clear to Mizen Head) Visit Fastnet Rock (3.75M WSW of Cape Clear)? 12. Tide race off Mizen Hd (E & W-going < 4kn) dangerous in wind against tide conditionsW-going stream starts HW Cobh +0200 (HW Dover -0350) <2.2kn

M

H

12. Round Mizen Head at slack HW Cobh +0120 (HW Dover -0430). Only attempt if wind is in sector W to NE <F5, otherwise <F6Only attempt in near perfect conditions and at slack before start of W-going stream

L

M

13. Castletown Bearhaven to Dursey IslandVisit Bull Rk (2.5M WNW of Dursey Head)?   Tidal stream Turns NW HW Cobh +0150, SE HW Cobh -0420

H

  Only attempt in near perfect conditions and at slack before start of NW-going stream 

M

14. Dursey Island to Ballinskelligs (7.5M crossing from Dursey Island to Scariff Island)   14. No specific hazards. 

 

L

 

14. Only attempt if wind is in sector W to NE <F6, otherwise <F7 

L

 

15. Ballinskelligs to Valencia Island (via Skelligs)(7M from Bolus Head to Great Skellig then 6M crossing from Great Skellig to Puffin Island) 15(a) Confused seas between  Little Skellig and Great Skellig15(b) N & S Tidal stream <1.5kn15(c) Difficult or impossible landing at Gt Skellig

M

L

H

15(a) Only attempt in near perfect conditions with little wind or swell15(b) Aim to arrive at Gt Skellig at start of N-going stream HW Cobh +0500 (HW Dover-0500)15(c) As (a) otherwise head direct to Puffin Island

L

L

M

16. Valencia to Great Blasket Island (10M crossing) 16(a) N & S tidal streams <4kn 16(b) Strong tides and over-falls between islands and in Blasket Sound

M

M

16(a) Begin crossing HW Galway +0500(HW Dover -0100)16(b) Only attempt crossing with wind in sector W to E <F5, otherwise <F6

L

L

17. Brandon Quay to Kilkee(8M crossing from Kerry Head to Loop Head) 17(a) Tidal streams <4kn in Mouth of the Shannon17(b) Shipping entering/leaving Shannon 

 

17(c) Difficult seas in wind against tide conditions

M

L

M

17(a) Cross at slack HW Galway (HW Dover-0600)17(b) Only attempt crossing with good visibility. Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 1617(c) Only attempt crossing with wind in sector W to E <F6, otherwise <F7 avoiding wind against tide conditions

L

L

L

18. Kilronan, Aran Islands to Clifden (6M crossing from Kilronan to Lettermullan) 18(a) No specific hazards on crossing18(b) Dangerous tide race off Slyne Head <4kn

L

M

18(a) Only attempt if wind is in sector WNW to E <F6, otherwise <F718(b) Round Slyne Hd at start of -going stream HW Galway -0320 using Joyce’s Pass

L

L

19. Aughris Hole to Glen Bay(15M crossing of Donegal Bay from Aughris Head to Rathlin O’Birne Island) 19. No specific hazards

L

19. Only attempt crossing if wind is in sector W to E <F6

L

20. Aran Island to Tory Island(6.5M crossing from Bloody Foreland to Tory island) 20. Tidal stream runs NE & SW <2kn with tide race off NW corner of Tory Island

L

20. Depart Aran Island at HW Dover +0230 to catch NE going stream.  Wind in sector NW to NE <F6

L

21. Tory Island to Malin Bay (7M crossing from Tory Island to Horn Head) 21. No specific hazards

L

21. Depart Tory Island HW Dover +0200 which will give 8hrs of favourable tide or slack

L

22. Rathlin Island to Ardminish, Gigha (14M crossing of North Channel from Rue Point, Rathlin Island to South Point, Mull of Kintyre) 22(a) Tidal stream <4kn off Rathlin Island, 5kn off Mull of Kintyre 22(b) Shipping Separation Zone NE of Rathlin Island

H

M

22(a) Depart Rathlin Island HW Dover -0300 to arrive off Mull of Kintyre at slack to then catch N-going stream to Gigha.  Wind in any sector <F522(b) Only attempt in good visibility (>10M). Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16

M

L

23.Ardminish to Port Ellen, Islay (10M crossing from Gigha to Ardmore, Islay) 23. No specific hazard

L

23. Depart Gigha at slack (HW Dover -0100)

L

24. Colonsay to Iona (10M crossing from Colonsay to Rubh Ardalanish,Ross of Mull) 24(a) Torran Rocks SW of Ross of Mull24(b) Over-falls W of Iona

M

M

24(a) Heading for high ground (Beinn a Chaol-arigh) above Rubh Ardalanish will ensure Torran Roacks are kept well to port. Wind in sector W to NE < F5, otherwise <F624(b) Keep close inshore during circumnavigation of Iona

L

L

25. Iona to Tiree (via  Staffa & Treshnish Islands) (5M Iona to Staffa, 4M to Treshnish Is, 8M to Loch Eathama, Coll)  25. No specific hazards

L

25. Depart Iona HW Dover +0200.  Wind in sector W to NE < F5, otherwise <F6

L

26. Coll to Bay of Laig, Eigg(10M crossing from Coll to Muck) 26. No specific hazards

L

26. Depart Coll HW Dover +0200 for favourable NE-going stream. Wind in sector N to E < F5, otherwise <F6

L

27. Rum to Loch Brittle, Isle of Skye (via Canna) (8M crossing from Canna to Rubh an Dunain, entrance to Loch Brittle) 27. Tidal streams run NW & SE <1kn between Canna and Skye

L

27. Depart Canna HW Dover -0300

L

28. Milovaig to Lochboisdale, South Uist (16M crossing from An Ceannaich to Rubha Rossel) 28. Tidal streams run N & S between <1kn

L

28. Depart Milovaig HW Dover -0300, to use S-going stream down E coast of South Uist

L

29. Monach Islands to St Kilda(34M crossing) 29(a) Tidal streams around Monach Isles flow N beginning HW Ullapool -0420 (HW Dover +0345) & S beginning HW Ullapool +0205 (HW Dover -0215) <2kn29(b) Tidal streams around St Kilda flow NE beginning HW Ullapool +0545 (HW Dover +0125), SW beginning HW Ullapool -0300 (HW Dover-0450) <3kn with heavy tide rips right across channel between Dun and Levenish

L

H

29(a) Depart Monachs at HW Ullapool-0615 (HW Dover +0200) 

 

 

29(b) Assuming 8hr crossing arrive St Kilda HW Ullapool +0210 (HW Dover -0200)

Only attempt crossing to St Kilda if 5 day forecast is excellent with winds in any sector <F4 and good visibility >10miles. Otherwise continue NE to Berneray.

Escort vessel to be on standby in case of a problem.

L

M

30. St Kilda to Berneray(34M crossing from St Kilda to Griminish Point) 30(a) As per 29(b) 

 

30(b) Shallows in W entrance to Sound of Berneray producing breaking seas

H

M

30(a) Assuming 8hrs crossing depart St Kilda at slack HW Ullapool +0545 (HW Dover +0215)Only attempt return crossing if wind is in sector N to S < F5, otherwise <F6. Otherwise abort return leg and use escort vessel30(b) If wind against tide conditions are found then land on Pabbay

M

L

31. Stornaway to Lochinver(30 mile crossing from Rubh Dubh to Rubha Rhoda 31(a) N & S-going tidal streams <1kn31(b) Ferry using Stornaway Harbour

L

L

31(a) Depart Stornaway at HW Dover -0330 (HW Ullapool +0140) to make the most of slack. There is less tide closer to mainland. Wind in sector NNE to SSE <F5, otherwise <F631(b) Ensure shipping channels within Stornaway Harbour are crossed at right angles

L

L

32. Scrabster to Stromness, Hoy (7M crossing of Pentland Firth from Dunnet Head to Tor Ness, Hoy)) 32(a) Potentially dangerous channel with very strong eddies and violent races <12kn, the most dangerous of all being Merry Men of Mey which forms off St John’s Pt on W-going stream at HW Aberdeen -0150 and for a while extends right across to Tor Ness with heavy breaking seas even in fine weather.32(b) Busy shipping channel with ferry port at Scrabster

H

M

32(a) Depart Scrabster to be off Dunnet Head at HW Aberdeen -0250 (HW Dover -0030) to catch N-going eddy. E-going stream runs for half hour longer, then brief slack HW Aberdeen-0145, before W-going stream starts which runs NW from Tor Ness towards Rora Head.  Only attempt crossing in good visibility, >10M and calm seas with wind in sector SW to E <F4, otherwise <F6 

32(b) Cross at shipping channels at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16

M

L

33. Westray to North Ronaldsay (14M crossing from Papa Westray to Tor Ness, North Ronaldsay) 33. Strong tidal streams run E & W between Westray and N Ronaldsay as well as in and out of The North Sound with tide race off Dennis Head, N Ronaldsay

H

33. Depart Westray HW Dover -0500 (HW Lerwick -0455). Avoid wind against tide conditions with wind in sector NNW to SSW <F4, otherwise <F6

M

34. North Ronaldsay to Fair Isle (24M crossing from Point of Sinsoss to Malcolm’s Head)) 34. Strong tidal streams run NW & SE between N Ronaldsay and Fair Isle < 2kn mid channel with tide races and greater flows off both, especially Roost of Keels, S of Fair Isle

H

34. Depart N Ronaldsay at HW Dover -0600 (HW Lerwick -0555) whilst NW-going stream is still running. Tide will reduce in strength until slack at approx. HW Dover -0400 (HW Lerwick -0355) then turn E then SE increasing in strength. Beware tide race off Skadan, Fair Isle on arrival. Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector NW to SE <F4, otherwise <F5 and in good visibility.Escort vessel in case of a problem. If 3 day weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing to Shetland

M

35. Fair Isle to Sumburgh, Shetland (21M crossing from Fair Isle to Sumburgh Head) 35. Strong tidal streams run NW & SE between Fair Isle and Sumburgh Hd <2.5kn mid channel with tide races and greater flows off both, especially off Sumburgh Hd (a most violent and dangerous race) <6kn

H

35. Depart Fair Isle at HW Dover +0500 (HW Lerwick +0505), allow tide to take me N before it slackens and turns W at HW Dover -0500 (HW Lerwick -0355), then SW at HW Dover -0200, passing close to Siggar Ness and keeping well N of Sumburgh Hd. Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector NW to SE <F4, otherwise <F5 and in good visibility.Escort vessel in case of a problem. If weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing to Shetland

M

36. Scalloway to Foula(18M from Skelda Ness to Ham Voe) 36. Tidal streams run NW & SE <1.5kn mid channel, faster closer to Foula

M

36. Depart Scalloway HW Dover +0500 (HW Lerwick +0505) to arrive Foula at slack. Wind in any sector <F5 good visibility.If 3 day forecast is unsatisfactory then consider aborting crossing and continuing N to Papa Stour

L

37. Foula to Papa Stour(14M crossing from Strem Ness to Fogla Skerry) 37. Tidal streams run NNW & SSE < 1kn, much faster close to Foula and Papa Stour with dangerous race between Ve Skerries and Papa Stour (NW tip)

H

37. Depart Foula HW Dover -0600 (HW Lerwick -0555) to arrive Papa Stour at slack. Wind in sector NW to SSE <F5, otherwise <F6

M

38. Brough, Yell to Symbister, Whalsay (via Out Skerries)(9M crossing from Heoga Ness to Out Skerries) 38. Strong tidal stream leaving Yell Sound (S)

H

38. Avoid wind against tide conditions, wind in sector NE to SW <F4, otherwise <F5. Depart Brough after HW Dover -0500 (HW Lerwick-0455) and before HW Dover -0100 (HW Lerwick -0055)

M

39. Sumburgh to Fair Isle (21M from Sumburgh Head and Fair Isle) 39. Strong tidal streams run NW & SE between Fair Isle and Sumburgh Hd <2.5kn mid channel with tide races and greater flows off both, especially off Sumburgh Hd (a most violent and dangerous race) <6kn

H

39. Depart Sumburgh (E coast) at HW Dover-0100 (HW Lerwick -0055) , giving the tide race off Sumburgh Hd a wide berth allowing tide to carry me SE then S aiming to arrive at Fair Isle at slack HW Dover +0300 (HW Lerwick +0305).Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector E to W <F4, otherwise <F5 and in good visibilityEscort vessel n case of a problem. If 3 day weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing to Orkney

M

40. Fair Isle to North Ronaldsay (24M from Malcolm’s Head to Point of Sinsoss) 40. Strong tidal streams run NW & SE between N Ronaldsay and Fair Isle < 2kn mid channel with tide races and greater flows off both, especially Roost of Keels, S of Fair Isle

H

40. Depart Fair Isle HW Dover -0100 (HW Lerwick -0055), allow tide to carry me SE then W towards N Ronaldsay. Beware race off Dennis Hd. Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector E to W <F4, otherwise <F5 and in good visibilityEscort vessel in case of a problem. If weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing to Orkney

M

41. Burray to John O’Groats(6M crossing from Brough Ness, South Ronaldsay to Duncansby Head) 41. Tidal streams reach <12kn between Pentland Skerries and Duncansby Hd. “The resultant dangerous seas, very strong eddies and violent races should be avoided at all costs”.

H

41. Depart Brough Hd HW Dover +0600 (HW Aberdeen +0340) using last 1½ hrs of W-going stream to help to stay well W of Muckle Skerry & Pentland Skerries but staying E of Stroma. Tide will slacken and turn E during crossing.Only attempt crossing in good visibility with wind in any sector <F5

M

42. Bora to Burghead(10M crossing of Dornoch Firth from Bora to Tarbat Ness then 15M crossing of Moray Firth from Tarbat Ness to Burghead) 42. Tidal streams off the entrance to both Firths <1.5kn on both ebb and flood.No specific hazards

L

42. Avoid wind against tide conditions. Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector NE to SW <F5, otherwise <F7

L

43. Arbroath to Dunbar(17M crossing of Firth of Tay from Arbroath to Fife Ness then 17M crossing of Firth of Forth from Fife Ness to Dunbar via Isle of May) 43(a) Tidal streams off the entrance to both Firths <1kn 43(b) Busy shipping entering and leaving both Firths 

L

L

43(a) Avoid wind against tide conditions. Crossing only to be attempted with wind in sector E to W <F5, otherwise <F743(b) Only attempt in good visibility (>3M). Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16

L

L

44. Skegness to Cromer(12M crossing of The Wash from Skegness to Scolt Head Island) 44(a) Tidal streams flow <2.5kn close to N and S shore of The Wash44(b) Extensive mudflats and sandbanks that can prove dangerous when exposed and cause turbulence and rough seas during ebb and flood, particularly during wind against tide conditions

M

M

44(a) Depart Skegness at HW Dover +0500 to catch last of flood then slack and ebb which turns SE towards Cromer.44(b) Avoid wind against tide conditions and only attempt crossing with wind in sector ENE to WSW <F5, otherwise <F6

L

L

45. Weymouth to Braye, Channel Islands (49M crossing of the English Channel from Portland Bill to Alderney) 45(a) Longest crossing (approx 15hrs) of the expedition that will necessitate paddling at night.45(b) Strong tidal streams, races and over-falls both off Portland Bill and Alderney, the latter <8kn. 

45(c) Busy shipping lanes mid English Channel

 

 

 

 

 

 

45(d) Small target of Alderney – danger of missing landfall

H

H

M

M

45(a) Ensure I am fully rested prior to commencing crossing. Only attempt the crossing in good conditions with the wind in sector E to W <F4, otherwise <F5.45(b) Depart Weymouth at HW Dover +0300 using SW-going stream to clear Portland Bill then further 2hrs of W-going stream. At HW Dover +0600 stream will turn E for 6hrs turning W at HW Dover. Aim to arrive off Alderney at HW Dover +0600 at start of E going stream.45(c) Only attempt in good visibility (>10M). Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16. Escort vessel to accompany me in case of a problem. If weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing 45(d) Aim off – head for mainland France until Alderney is in sight

M

M

L

L

46. Alderney to Sark(17M crossing) 46(a) Very strong tidal streams, races and over-falls SE of Alderney (Alderney Race which runs NE/SW <8kn) and NE of Sark46(b) Heavy over-falls SW of South Alderney Banks & over Bank de la Schole 7M S of Alderney

H

H

46(a) Depart Alderney just before HW Dover to enter Alderney Race with favourable SW-going tide which will give assistance all the way to Sark. Avoid wind against tide conditions with wind in sector ESE to NW <F4, otherwise <F6.46(b) Pass to S of South Alderney Banks and stay well N of Bank de la Schole using waypoints.

M

M

47. Sark to St Helier, Jersey(11.5M crossing from Sark to Grosnez Point, Jersey) 47(a) Strong tidal streams between Sark and Jersey47(b) Numerous reefs off N coast of Jersey

M

H

47(a) Depart Sark HW Dover +0230 which will give 3hrs of favourable tide S then E to Jersey. Avoid wind against tide conditions with wind in sector ENE to WSW <F5, otherwise <F6.47(b) Use waypoint of Desormes W Cardinal buoy to pass W & S of Paternosters and then E along N coast of Jersey inside Les Dirouilles

L

L

48. St Helier, Jersey to Sark(11.5M crossing from Grosnez Point, Jersey to Sark) 48(a) Strong tidal streams between Jersey and Sark48(b) Paternosters reefs NW Grosnez Pt

M

H

48(a) Depart Grosnez Pt at HW Dover -0400 which will give 3hrs of favourable tide to Sark. Avoid wind against tide conditions with wind in sector SW to NE <F5, otherwise <F6.48(b) Use waypoint of Desormes W Cardinal buoy to pass E of Paternosters

L

L

49. St Peter Port, Guernsey to Braye, Alderney (17M crossing from L’Ancresse Bay to Hannaine Bay, Alderney) 49. Strong tidal streams <8kn with races & overfalls from Casquet Banks through into The Swinge between Burhou and Alderney

H

49. Depart L’Ancresse Bay HW Dover +0530 which will give 4 ½ hrs of favourable tide and slack through The Swinge. Avoid wind against tide conditions with wind in sector NW to SE <F5, otherwise <F6

M

50. Braye, Alderney to Weymouth (49M crossing of the English Channel from Alderney to Portland Bill) 50(a) Longest crossing (approx 15hrs) of the expedition that will necessitate paddling at night.50(b) Strong tidal streams, races and over-falls both off Alderney and Portland Bill, the latter <7kn. 

 

50(c) Busy shipping lanes mid English Channel

H

H

M

45(a) Ensure I am fully rested prior to commencing crossing. Only attempt the crossing in good conditions with the wind in sector W to E <F4, otherwise <F5.45(b) Depart Alderney at HW Dover -0330 when N-going eddy will assist in clearing Alderney. Steer for point well E of The Shambles (ESE of Portland Bill) and aim to arrive at slack or start of W-going stream keeping well away from Portland Bill and associated S-going stream and race.45(c) Only attempt in good visibility (>10M). Cross at right angles.  Always pass astern of any vessels.  Have collision-warning flares readily available.  Have immediate access to VHF Ch 16. Escort vessel in case of a problem. If weather forecast is unsatisfactory then consider using escort vessel or ferry to make crossing

M

M

L

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>