The rocks are growling this year

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Storyline
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The rocks are growling this year

Postby Storyline » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:25 am

Just had an idyllic couple of nights in the Ardmore Islands. We arrived early afternoon and were surprised to find them completely deserted given the settled conditions. We anchored in the SW pool. The first of the visitors arrived late afternoon. The crossed the entrance between the skerries with someone on the bow looking down but the skipper was going very fast (5 knots ish). Instead of carrying on towards the cairn they turned hard to stbd. My wife was watching and said 'they should not be there' and a second later there was an horrendous metallic sounding crash and the boat heeled over. They reversed off and then went into the NE pool seemingly unconcerned. Two further boats arrived. The following morning the two latecomers left and the second one of these also turned too early and went onto the very same rock, albeit at low speed. Later that afternoon a German single hander arrived and anchored to the SW of the cairn. It looked like he was outside the line of one of the lines of inner skerries and he shouted over to us to ask if there was enough water there. We replied we were not sure but he was not in the recognised anchorage. The next morning we prepared to weigh anchor when he shouted over 'Storyline - I am on the rocks'. We prepared our super long nylon line but he managed to pull himself off with his dinghy.

On our return to Ardfern we were chatting in the chandlery and related the story and was told there were 6 boats in the yard having rock damage repaired.

Not sure if this year is worse than others but there by the grace of God etc.

nb For any people visiting the Ardmores for the first time, the offending rocks to the NE of the entrance to the inner anchorage are not shown on old Clyde Cruising Club pilot chartlets. Martin Lawrence shows them. Plotters are useless that close in.
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aquaplane
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby aquaplane » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:33 pm

We were planning to visit a couple of weeks ago but the weather was far from settled so we didn't get down there at all.

I'll make sure that I take a bit more care when we go in. Maybe a 3' draught Centaur won't touch so easy anyway.
Seminole.
Cheers Bob.

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pagoda
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby pagoda » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:10 pm

I had a close look a the inner pools as shown on Bob Bradfield's chartlet (Antares charts). There are fairly obviously 2 submerged rocks near the cairn.
One at -1.1m 107metres on 111T from the cairn
and at:
-1.4m 103metres on 188T from the cairn.
(another smaller one at -1.5m 137m on 090T from the cairn- inline with the others and the line of all the skerries (045T))

With the lack of major tides in this part of the world, both are real hazards to your "average" family cruiser with a normal keel.

Use the SW pool with care, turning to port as you come inside the inner line of skerries. If you have the balls to try the NE pool, it looks safer to approach the cairn fairly closely on about 327T then turn to Stbd and keep fairly close in to port as you go further up the pool on 045T. There are probably brothers to the rocks mentioned above up the middle of the northerly pool.
If I can convince SWMBO we'll have a look in the next couple of weeks, and probe around on the dinghy..

Graeme

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wully
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby wully » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Folk placing too much faith in their chart plotters?

Ardfern always has a good selection of boats in for keel pan surgery- one boat had only been sailed by its new owner for 6.5 hours...that's gotta hurt.

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claymore
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby claymore » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:22 pm

only 2 kinds of yachtsmen
Those who have hit rocks and those who haven't yet.
Regards
Claymore
:goatd

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Storyline
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby Storyline » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:23 am

aquaplane wrote:We were planning to visit a couple of weeks ago but the weather was far from settled so we didn't get down there at all.

I'll make sure that I take a bit more care when we go in. Maybe a 3' draught Centaur won't touch so easy anyway.


You should be fine with 3' draught. We draw 2m and entered by 'feel' keeping closer to the visible end of the NE skerry and had 1.4m under the keel at LW (coming up to springs). The old pilots we use do not mention the cairn/beacon transit but if you keep on that it should be easy. Like so many places it is much easier entering just after LW so it is easy to see what is what.

In terms of shelter the SW pool is fairly bomb proof with the exception of NE or E'lies when it would be better to anchor in the large outer pool somewhere under the light house. We once found a patch of sand in the SW pool but it is mostly mud so I suspect the holding is not fantastic (depending on anchor type). The only other point to note is that we have sometimes had to re-anchor in the SW pool if the wind veers/backs from N to S (or vice versa) to give more swinging room as you can end up alarmingly close to the skerries otherwise.
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pagoda
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby pagoda » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:13 pm

wully wrote:Folk placing too much faith in their chart plotters?

Ardfern always has a good selection of boats in for keel pan surgery- one boat had only been sailed by its new owner for 6.5 hours...that's gotta hurt.


I think this is one of those places you wouldn't be relying on chart plotters. I quoted the measurements from the Antares charlets, by using them as conventional charts, albeit on a laptop. I think it may be possible to use a stand alone GPS to place yourself on these small chart fragments, but I would still be using other means of working out where the boat was. I'm pleased Bob Bradfield is interested enough in all these places to put the effort into some useful scaled detailed surveys - where little or no other precise surveys exist.
If you haven't seen them - take a look.

http://www.antarescharts.co.uk/index.htm

no commercial link...just impressed.

Graeme

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Arghiro
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Re: The rocks are growling this year

Postby Arghiro » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:27 pm

wully wrote:Folk placing too much faith in their chart plotters?

Ardfern always has a good selection of boats in for keel pan surgery- one boat had only been sailed by its new owner for 6.5 hours...that's gotta hurt.



I'm sure that they create a feeling of confidence that isn't really justified in many cases.

As it happens I sail in sandy waters where the hazards are always sneaking quietly around without informing anyone of their whereabouts. But, altho in many cases sand is more forgiving than rock, it isn't always so. But at least one can play cricket on the sands while awaiting the return of the damp stuff.


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