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Old 30 July 2004, 05:13   #31
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Originally Posted by Richard B
Timw - we'll be heading back in your direction. We can stick together - we always look after our buddies. The Beaulieu River isn't on to get wrong unless you want to spend the night on the sand spit!
Richard B...Thank you for your kind message.

After reading QHM's excellent cautionary advice on night navigation in the Solent (especially during Cowes Fireworks night) I am wondering if I'm up to night navigation. (My one and only time was last night at 11pm down the Thames which was pretty easy but obviously completly different from the Solent)

As such, I am still planning to have the boat on the Solent during Cowes week, but will need to think about the night of Friday 13th. I guess even going up the Beaulieu River in the dark ain't going to be easy.

I shall keep montitoring this thread and maybe send you a message nearer the time if I'm going to go. If I do a friend of mine who does have night experience will come as well.

Many thanks and if anyone is attending from the Beaulieu river that would be good to know.
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Old 30 July 2004, 05:41   #32
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I hope you all have a good time, wish i could make it !!!

Just a quick question, please can some one take some photos and pop them onto the site so i can see what a brill weekend i have missed.
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Old 30 July 2004, 06:59   #33
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I really dont want to sound like a killjoy here either as this is a top evening and very satisfying for the cox when you have pulled it off without incident.

However I have seen many incidents over the years, and some very close to effecting my boat and passengers.

QHM is totally correct, its mad around Cowes on this evening and the passage back to Portsmouth every year is like running a minefield. Unlit boats travelling in all directions at high speed!! If you are lucky some may have chemical light sticks on them!!!! but no lights, it's terrible.

When at Cowes you have to drop anchor so you can view the fireworks, motoring about all night is a bad option, you can't watch the fireworks and cox a boat, all in the dark easily. This is usually done in a W-E or E-W running tide. As there are hundreds of boats, knowing where to drop and run your anchor rope from can be tricky. By the time you have laid out rope and the anchor is firm you may not be where you expect. In fact you may be ontop of other boats. Then at the end there is a mad rush to recover anchors. Last year many people overlaid ropes and they all got in a tangle and in a tide its a mess. I have also seen ropes around props etc ... In addition large motor cruisers etc jolly about in-between all the smaller boats thinking they own the sea. Some every year barge there way about pushing into small gaps and expecting you to move. Just because people have big boats does not mean they are good boat handlers ... often they are not, just have not spent the hours at the helm and certainly not in these conditions.

I would add to QHMs advice and suggest you check and prep your ropes and anchor well before you get there (they should always be ready but many people don't check them before every trip and they can get into a mess over time). Also if you have not dropped & recovered an anchor in strong tide, practice that get there early so you are not rushed and if you wait for a while after the event boats clear quickly which will make your job easier. Dropping & recovering an anchor in moving water, is a 2 man job at least, if not 3. It's a real pull, even if you do drive up the rope against the tide!! The team needs to have practiced together and know what they are doing.

All passengers should have lifejackets. They need stobes, lights or checmical lightsticks attached to them. It's very hard to locate a man overboard in the dark. Whistles are helpfull but lights are mandatory in the dark. the boat cox also needs a strong search light if a person in the water does needs to be found. Brief the crew well on

My final advice is also based on experience. If there are a two of you in convoy expect to loose each other. I have never managed to stay with another boat on the return trip home in many years of going to this event. At home time there is just too much boat movement and each cox is so busy looking after themselves that they loose each other. In the dark its easy. And so each boat must be coxed by somebody that is experienced in the conditions. Don't think an inexperienced cox is safe if his mate in the other boat knows what he is doing ... as the inexperienced cox will most likely end up on his own to fend for himself.

Think very hard about your experience before you take this on. As QHM said prior planning and practice is a MUST however so is experience, and if you don't have it at night this is not the trip to learn on.

I will be leaving from Portmouth is anybody wants company getting there. However plan for a solo passage back, as described above. Will also fly the RIBnet burgee!!

Have fun!!
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Old 30 July 2004, 09:21   #34
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After that advice...I'm not going!

Will stick to daylight solent ribbing and Red Funnel at night.

(Richard B..thanks for your offer of accompanyment anyway)
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Old 30 July 2004, 10:24   #35
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TimW, sorry I did not mean to put you off, just telling it as I have seen it. However I think you are right, if you are not self sufficient, best to wait until you are.
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Old 30 July 2004, 12:44   #36
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TimW, sorry I did not mean to put you off, just telling it as I have seen it. However I think you are right, if you are not self sufficient, best to wait until you are.
Andy, you are absolutly right. I don't mind venturing out for a bit of night nav exercises at a quiet time...but combining nighttime inexperience with the madness of Cowes fireworks sound like a disaster waiting to happen.

As it happens out on the Thames in the dark last night I couldn't understand why this ship hadn't seen me and didn't alter course until I realised it was HMS Belfast, so a few training exercises might be in order.
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Old 31 July 2004, 05:15   #37
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Have been to firework many times, it is a great night not to be missed.I will be their gest off the beach (blue scorpion TYPHOON) so you get the music as well as a good spot to watch.
Take plenty to eat and drink (not alcoholic) get their 9.00 ish when still light
when is all over stay their for 1 hour and watch all the other nutters go by then it will not be to bad for a safe trip home. Hope everybody has a good and safe time
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