Sound advice for sound of Harris?

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mm5aho
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Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby mm5aho » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:04 pm

Planning to go through the sound of Harris in early August, possibly 6th or 7th, depending on how long it takes to get there. Weather permitting, will go to St Kilda.
Any recommendations? Cope Passage or Stanton Channel?
Time of tide best for westbound passage?
How long typically to get through there? Best to stay a night on east side or west (wind permitting) for a good start out west?
Recommended anchorage to overnight?
Geoff.
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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby DaveS » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:29 am

I've been through both ways a couple of times and have always used the Stanton Channel. In clear weather the transits are fairly obvious, but distant, so poor visability makes things a bit harder. The Cope Passage marks have now been removed, and AFAIK the sand bank at the western end has always been charted a little "sketchily" and tends to move about. I haven't spent an overnight close to the Sound on the west side, but departed from Cheese Bay and Rodel respectively, gone through the sound, then carried on.

Tides: the pilots give conflicting advice - there is apparently a school of thought that at some phases of the moon the tide always flows through in the same direction... The good news is that it isn't too strong and at worst may add an hour or so to the passage time.
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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby Nick » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:11 pm

.
We used the Cope Passage going West - it's a doddle so long as you are sure there won't be a huge swell on the bar. Most of the marks were stil there, but a couple had been removed. The latest chart is a necessity really - wish the bloke I loaned ours to in Kinlochbervie two years ago would post it back!

The plotter took a lot of the stress out, to say the last. Coming back through the Stanton Channel in a F5 rising 6 I was passing transit details to Kathy on the helm when she informed me,

"I'm just following the dotted line . . . "
- Nick 8)

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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby DaveS » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:45 am

Nick wrote:.

The plotter took a lot of the stress out, to say the last. Coming back through the Stanton Channel in a F5 rising 6 I was passing transit details to Kathy on the helm when she informed me,

"I'm just following the dotted line . . . "


Yes... Coming through with the transits invisible is very much "flying on instruments" and rather tips the balance from the plotter being a useful confirmation of position to becoming prime navigational aid. While watching the sounder and ticking off buoys obviously helps, the nagging thought "what if the wee magic box packs up" is not completely silenced.
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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby mm5aho » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:29 am

thanks for tips
Geoff.
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Nick
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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby Nick » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:29 pm

.
We used Taransay as a departure point - a fabulous anchorage if there is any N in the wind.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Sound advice for sound of Harris?

Postby DaveS » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:08 pm

Nick wrote:.
We used Taransay as a departure point - a fabulous anchorage if there is any N in the wind.


Ah, now, the anchorage we used (can't remember the name and I'm currently in Gatwick so no access to any useful reference) faced north so might not be the same place. Taransay is a super island and, (nerd alert) home to one of only 6 Scottish on-land OSGB 000000 grid references - and the only island with one. The N facing bay has a deceptive swell: we couped the dinghy in what looked like a quite innocuous ripple...
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