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Old 23 March 2011, 18:00   #1
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Near-disastrous trip to Avranches

On the high tide on Monday I went to Avranches only to run aground in the fields of the flood plain. The tide was so high that absolutely nothing could be seen to help find the river course, nor were any currents visible as it was exactly high water. I wasn't paying too much attention to my track due to the relatively ample depths and as such I slammed into the river bank and ended up in 18" of water on what I thought was the right hand side of the Sée. Using the oars we quickly pushed the boat to the left looking for what we hoped would be deeper water only to ground on what later turned out to be the left-hand flood plain.

That morning's tide was the highest of the year; the boat didn't float in the evening. Early the next day I ran the anchor out into the middle of the river in the dinghy and waited for the flood hoping that we could pull the boat free. At high tide we were still aground and needed another inch or so of water. In desperation we stripped off, jumped overboard and managed to free the boat and push it to the river. At one point we became stuck again and so had to spin the boat around and try a new path. By now the tide was falling fast and so without GPS assistance (the chip was somewhere in my rucksack) we edged out of the estuary in 2-3ft of water. Holy doubled-barrelled sh*t that was close. I honestly thought at one point that the boat would remain there forever; it would never have been rescued. However, although the engine is damaged again Archangel is at least back home. This event was certainly a wakeup call to my becoming complacent when sailing in the Bay of Mont St. Michel.
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Old 23 March 2011, 18:12   #2
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Damn sounds like you were lucky to get away with that one

Moral of the story, don't go exploring shallow estuaries at the top of the highest tide of the year, do it the day before!

Still, what a day to be out in the boat
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Old 23 March 2011, 18:14   #3
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Good God, a lucky escape and a lesson to us all about thinking we know an area inside out
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Old 23 March 2011, 18:46   #4
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That would have been pretty tricky if you hadn't been able to refloat it

So how did you spend the night then? Aboard?
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Old 23 March 2011, 19:02   #5
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Damn sounds like you were lucky to get away with that one

Moral of the story, don't go exploring shallow estuaries at the top of the highest tide of the year, do it the day before!

Still, what a day to be out in the boat
Just goes to show though, that even when you do know an area , that actual point location can become extrememly difficult by a flat expanse of water. Land bearings can seem useless, unless you can mark several points as you go, but even they dont stack up sometimes if the expanse of water is so enlarged.

Its not the first time Ive thought about a sand bank or so whilst doing 30 knots, knowing I was well inside it only to discover that the shallow alarm for once actually worked and I was in 1.5M of water
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Old 23 March 2011, 20:09   #6
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You're not the first & you won't be the last person to run aground,as you can see from this pic taken in Guernsey.
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Old 24 March 2011, 03:48   #7
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Glad you got off eventually!

Ever thought about a Sealegs?
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Old 24 March 2011, 04:12   #8
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Ever thought about a Sealegs?
http://rib.net/forum/showpost.php?p=358591&postcount=5

Anyone else wanting their futures told?
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Old 24 March 2011, 04:35   #9
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Glad you got yourself out of it safe and sound... If your brave enough to ever try it again PM me and il give you my phone numbers... We only live a few miles away and have all kinds of equipment here that may help in a situation like this (tractors, excavators, heavy winching equipment etc...)....
Good job it wasn't during the month of May as about 2000 odd 'travellers' meet up and camp out on the banks of the river for a week or two.... They would have certainly got your boat unstuck for you! During the middle of the night though

Simon
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Old 24 March 2011, 09:17   #10
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Lets hope our trip up the Seine is not quite so 'exciting'. Making a mental note again not to follow you too closely . Sounds like it was a proper adventure though, which are few and far between these days. Bet you were glad you had someone else on board to help.
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