One of the most exciting and rewarding elements of boat ownership is that satisfaction of arriving somewhere for the first time by water. The possibilities to explore new bays, rivers and harbours are almost endless.
Did you know that we have developed the only Day Skipper online course that focuses on Australian East Coast passage planning?
It is important as part of your planning that you do not just look at the entries for the destination you are planning to go to, but also places you may need to enter as bolt holes.
The bolt holes you seek, could vary depending on the circumstance, so you may consider some only acceptable in daylight, or with a working engine. At all times whilst at sea you need to have a clear understanding of which ports or harbours you would enter, from those around you so if you have an emergency to attend to that you are already prepared.
The questions you would ask yourself before planning an entry would be:
1. Is there sufficient depth for me to enter?
2. Is there a bar - and if so what are the conditions likely to be?
3. Do the port regulations permit me to enter?
4. Are there any pilotage notes I can consult?
5. What buoyage and markers are available to guide me in?
6. Would I do this in daylight and darkness?
7. If I am sailing, where would I get rid of my sails?
8. What is the effect of any course changes during the entry going to have on my angle to the swell and apparent wind on deck?
9. If my engine failed during the entry would I be able to continue, or exit safely?
10. Is it possible to recover an MOB if one happens during the entry?
11. Is this within the capabilities or me, my crew and my boat?
12. What alternatives do I have if I get there and I am not comfortable to proceed?
Many of your considerations will be affected by the tidal heights and flows in a harbour so please complete the following questions to brush up your skills on calculating the tides for your planning.