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‘East Coast Pilot’
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for East Coast cruising
Havengore Bridge and Creek (updated 19th February)
Concerns have been growing about the long-term future of the Havengore route, the bridge having been out of action for long periods recently. The Roach SA together with the CAYF, MSBA and other bodies are seeking support from the RYA and the CA to gain assurances from the MoD and their contractors that the bridge will remain in operation, and that the route is not heading for permanent closure. We at ECP whole-heartedly support these efforts.
In a further development on 16th February, Qinetic announced a long closure with immediate effect and for approximately 6 weeks i.e. until around the end of March, to gave a new contractor time to assess and fix the intermittent faults. So the bridge is closed again, and we await developments.
Pin Mill / Chelmondiston (updated 15th Feb 2018)
We are very pleased to learn that the village shop in ‘Chelmo’, closed in July 2016, has reopened. This was such a useful shop for supplies.
Cruising Conference - We Do Mean To Go To Sea (posted 5th February 2018)
A conference for all who go cruising has been organised with all profits going to help disabled people to go sailing.
The Cruising Association and the Woolverstone Project, which works to offer sailing for disabled people, have got together to organise the one-day event - We Do Mean To Go To Sea - on March 11th at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich.
The conference will offer attendees a chance to explore a diverse range of cruising destinations, hear entertaining speakers and come away with new skills.
Well-known sailors including Paul Heiney and Dave Selby will offer talks and there will be a series of 45-minute workshops on cruising information and skills, boat preparation and maintenance, how to organise affairs back home for long term absence and information on a range of popular destinations - all presented by people with first-hand experience.
Booking: Book here
Badly marked fishing pots - petition and reporting (updated 15th January)
We support the efforts being put in by the CA and the RYA to get better marking for fishing pots, because we sail on the East Coast just like you do. Please watch the CA video here, consider supporting the CA petition here, and if you are unlucky enough to get tangled with pot gear, do please use this RYA form to report it. Thank you!
Harwich - Ha’penny Pier (posted 11th January)
Half of the length of the pontoon at Ha’penny Pier will be missing until the end of March, during refurbishment works. The rest of the pontoon remains usable.
Queenborough Trot Boat service extended this summer (posted 11th January)
The trot boat service provided by the Harbour Trust will be extended this year to include a daily service during May. Full details are shown on the Swale updates page of this website.
Paglesham Creek - Important Safety Warning (posted 4th Dec 2017)
Mariners are advised that the power cables crossing Paglesham Creek (to the south of Wallasea Island) centered on an approximate position 51°36’.83N 000° 47’.92E are reported to be ‘sagging’. The electricity company UK Power Networks are aware and the Crouch Harbour Authority is awaiting an update of their intended action.
The cables cross Paglesham Creek in an area that has a charted drying height of 3 and therefore can only be navigated by small shallow draught craft around the HW period.
However, any small and in particular sailing vessels underway in the vicinity intending to pass beneath the cables should do so with extreme caution.
‘East Coast Pilot’ now available as an eBook as well as from iBooks (posted 9th Nov 2017)
ECP has been available as an iBook for some time, as an alternative to the print version. It is now also available as an eBook for other devices. You will find a link on our Buy Books page.
Ore Entrance (posted 7th November 2017)
The river entrance buoyage has been removed for the winter. It will be restored around early April 2018, after a new survey. A new chartlet will be made available on our Downloads page at about the same time.
Raysand Middle buoy gone walkabout (posted 19th Sept 2017)
The Raysand Middle unlit buoy is absent. Normal position is 51°40’.0N 000°59’.0E. It will not be replaced until Spring 2018.
Works at entrance to Queenborough Creek (posted 6th Sept 2017)
Also at Queenborough, work has started on a major refurbishment of the flood barrier at the entrance to Queenborough Creek. Activities will be confined to times around LW so the effect on navigation in and out of the creek is expected to be minimal. Traffic lights and information boards will be in use as necessary.
Warning light at Medway entrance (posted 20th June, updated 11th Sept 2017)
Medway VTS has advised that the useful flashing warning light on top of the harbour buildings at Garrison Point is inoperative. This gave warning of ship movements. There is no indication of when the light will be restored although we now understand that it will be fixed eventually.
Accessing the Havengore from the Thames Estuary (posted 17th June 2017)
Qinetic, who manage the military ranges at Shoeburyness, have issued a timely reminder about the potential dangers to small craft if the correct procedures for accessing the area are not followed. Although the topic is well covered by ECP, Qinetic also publish their own guide online, here.
Submerged object, Kentish Flats windfarm (Updated 17th June 2017)
The precise position of this object, reported earlier, is now known to be within the boundaries of the windfarm, towards its NE corner, and it is now marked with a temporary Wreck buoy. It is recommended that all seafarers remain outside the windfarm for their own safety until it is removed. .
Waterside Marina changes (posted 24th April 2017)
Management of the Waterside Marina at Brightlingsea is now in the hands of the Harbour Trust, and you should contact Brightlingsea Harbour office if you wish to use the marina. See changed contact details on the Colne updates page.
New Deben and Ore entrance chartlets available (posted 19th Apr 2017)
The new river entrance chartlets have now been drawn at Imrays, and approved by Trinity House. They can as usual be found on our Downloads page.
John White, Deben HM, advises us that there is very little water, inches only, at LWS on the Deben bar. The channel is very narrow, and extra care is needed to stay on track.
We have no first-hand experience of the Ore entrance yet this year and would be pleased to hear any comments or advice. It is also evidently very shallow on approach.
Stone Point, Walton Backwaters (posted 14th Apr 2017)
A new chartlet of the channel past Stone point to and from the Walton Channel is now on our Downloads page by kind permission of W&FYC.
Dangerous Crouch wreck report (posted 28th Mar 2017)
The Crouch HM has reported that the charted obstruction on the southern edge of the Buxey Sands, north of the Buxey Edge Light Buoy in position 51˚40’.659’N 001˚03.487E, now appears to be in a slightly different position, 51˚40’.924N 001˚03’.660E.
It is believed to be a wreck, possibly up to 70 feet in length; stanchions have been sighted at low water approximately 1m above the water. Mariners are advised to remain within or close to the Fairway between Swallowtail No 4 and Buxey Edge buoys when navigating in this area.
Paglesham moorings (posted 11th July 2015, updated 11th Nov 2016)
Following a change of ownership at the boatyard at Paglesham last year , the Crouch HM issued a notice saying “As of 10th July 2015 the boatyard pontoon is no longer available for vessels to moor on. The slipway and afloat moorings are also closed to visitors until further notice.” The Crouch HM recently reiterated that this is still the case; however, visitors may be able to borrow a Roach Sailing Association mooring using the contact details published in ECP.
Dangerous wreck south of Ramsgate entrance (Updated 5th October 2016)
This wreck is SSW of the West Quern buoy, between it and the B2 buoy that guards the Cross Ledge bank. Position is 51°18’·63N 001°25·12E. Extreme caution needed. This is an ‘old’ wreck probably exposed by the shifting of sandbanks in the area.
Medway, Gas Terminals warning (posted 6th July 2016)
Peel Ports, the port authority for the Medway, has issued a notice reminding mariners to keep 150 metres away from the LNG terminal quays, or 250 metres from any tanker berthed there. They have warned of action against skippers who transgress. The quays are on the north side, and east of the container terminal.