Awoke to a mild hangover and clammy mouth (no surprises there after going Out, Out?) so went for an early, 7am shower only to find a couple of Irish ladies cleaning the large shower room. Told to come back later, which I did as I wanted to avoid a diplomatic incident on only my 2nd day in the Republic – given that these showers are all ‘open plan’ – a la those old school showers – so no privacy could be had were I to have stripped down and starting washing my essentials in front of them. And besides, those Foreign and Commonwealth Office, civil servant, Johnnies don’t get up till 9am so who would have helped?
I have spent the morning updating these Blogs, the Gallery and the Tracked Route as well as trying to find a marine store that sells mid-layer sailing gear. Called 3 with the best looking website but all to no avail. Just shows how websites can flatter the retailers’ abilities and stock levels.
Moving on to the real reason I’m on a boat in a marina near Dublin – the RYA accreditation, while doing the RBE. The task for the week ahead is that I have to learn how to Passage Plan in the way that the RYA approve. And rightly so as that methodology pays a lot of attention to safety at sea – for crew, boat and other users on the high seas.
So, Passage Planning. This is the detailed plans for A) leaving the port you’re in, B) sailing across the seas for some period of time and C)entering the port of your destination. Simple as ABC?. Or so you may think but it is a very far cry from getting into the car at Little Somborne and travelling the 8 miles into Winchester, with or without TomTom as guide.
First, in sailing, the weather plays a very large part in timing the start. Second, tides play a secondary, but no less important, role that enables the safe setting of the direction of travel thereby missing inconveniently placed land masses. This is achieved by studying the speed, direction, height and times of said tides. Third, the multiple hazards that may present themselves along the way need to be understood and allowed for. That could include shallow water, rocks, islands or, mostly, other ships and boats.
All have to be taken into account, and more. In addition I have to ensure that the crew are fed , watered, accurately briefed and that morale is kept high (viz the Hobnobs, Haribo and lashings of tea).
Given all of this, I will be hiding myself away for most of tomorrow, Friday, to draft my first Passage Plan.
“DO NOT DISTURB, PLANNING IN PROGRESS”
Tony, First Mate
Day 19 24th April