Well ive managed 4 years of boating without any real f**k ups until today!! all ended being in a three boat convoy at 23:00 in thick fog following calshot lifeboat.
had a lovely days boating today (for a while!) left home heading yarmouth with a quick stop off at bucklers hard around lunchtime b/h monday. Leaving beaulieu river a light mist was rolling in so whilst heading for yarmouth i land marked several points on the gps on route.
A rather large meal and a couple of shandys later approx 18:00 we returned for home @ calshot. My gps was mucking around and took over 4 hours to initialise in the morning however we were soon creaming home at almost 50mph... I didnt however start the route home on my gps (because i thought i new my way home very well!!! fool
) I lost my next buoy about ten mins out of yarmouth so throttled back just intime to hit a wall of fog, we dropped down to displacement speeds and soon found ourselves to be somewhere west of gull island (denoted by the land infront and under my prop) visibilty dropped to less than 30ft and everything became sodden and confused. I radiod solent coastguard, told em we had touched bottom but managed to get going again
My compass is the other side of my windscreen and everything, windscreen, gps, vhf and my glasses steamed up, i took a reading off gps and plotted my position to somewhere around beaulieu high street!!
, took another reading again whilst still motoring against the tide, yep definately beaulieu high street, a certain panic started to set in, we hadnt seen a buoy land or any boats for about 40mins, we followed some instinct and headed east slowly for about thirty mins until we found east lepe buoy, now set a course on compass but the tide was just pushing us around and as east lepe left our site behind it wasnt behind us but almost beside us,
some long time later with looming fog horns and visibilty less than 20ft i radiod sc again and gave em our position, he confirmed we were on land and asked me to read again, i turned gps on and off then read again, but now the radio died!! 999 (and it worked even on t mobile!) sc took our position asked us to anchor and sit still, in 18ft of water and tide rising i knew we werent in the channel but those fog horns confused and scared the hell outa me! sc confirmed we were about 6c off calshot castle and that he had set the lads from calshot off (bugger i know most of em.. the shame of it!)
approx 21:30 the rnli turned up and went through the formalities and some not so formalities then announced someone else was lost and that theyd come back for us, the girls got off and an rnli guy got on and they poodled off, the fog lifted and we could see we were bout 200ft off the outfall, could even see the lights too now. The other vessel (a 36ft brand new cranchi) was shore side of outfall maybe only 500ft away but the lifeboat couldnt find him or get to him even though we could just see em both, he was heading towards the the land based search lights thinking they were the lifeboat(even though they were hailing this is land turn around!!
) and eventually beached it, about an hour later they managed to coax him into deeper water and get alongside (hed had a few and was very confused)
30 mins later we were back on the trailer 23:00 or so and sat in lifeboat station all warm and coasy, went through the procedure did you have an anchor, yes, a radio, well did have yes, flares, yes, lifejackets, yes, warm clothes, yes, gps, yes, compass, yes, drinks yes, food etc etc... but we still got bloody lost.
All the lifeboat crew and coastguard were brilliant and sympathetic and only one guy seemed p**ed off by our actions, we were congratulated on doin the right thing and it was suggested some spare batteries or a fixed radio would have been an advantage. The cranchi was set off to hamble. The guys said it wasnt a problem and basically they rescue people because they enjoy it and we shouldnt have hesitated to contact them.
I was amazed at the fogs ability to ruin everything including my charts and to take away my basic senses such as sight, i couldnt even read the chart (or gps maybe) as my glasses were steamed up let alone find bloody calshot, the whole boat was soaked and our only real comfort was the cuddy to keep the girls warm (glad i havent bought that rib yet!) Im angry but relieved at myself but feel somewaht wiser in a way. Now all i got to do is get my prop repaired oh and buy a radar maybe
thankyou all who helped