Leaving tricky rivers

maxcampbell

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New to sailing with a lid on, and unretractable bit sticking down (only 2'6"). Now ready to try visiting the Deben & Ore / Alde. I understand best time to enter is on half flood, but get the impression that best time to leave considered the same.

I would have thought best time to leave would be on half ebb - am I missing something?

Dylan W's latest KTL illustrates difficulty of leaving against the tide.

Also, I gather Ore entrance buoys taken up over winter - anyone know if they're back? Are Deben entrance buoys there?
 

Fr J Hackett

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By no means an authority as we only moved to the East coast last year but have been into both rivers several times now. The logic of going in and leaving on the flood is that if you touch you will quickly lift off. Now that may be difficult for a small boat if it does not have enough donkey power to get over the 3 plus knots of current in which case it may be best to time leaving as close to slack water or in the last half hour of the flood as the current eases, with 2'6" you won't have a draft problem.

The Ore bouys are I undestand put in April onwards and you can get a sketch map for the Ore and Deben here http://www.eastcoastrivers.com/. Enjoy it
 

MoodySabre

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I don't have an East Coast Pilot at home but East Coast Rivers says that the tide is 4 -5 knots so entry against is impossible and exit with it is inadvisable (no steerage). The suggestion is that entry or exit is best at an hour after LW - less current and the worst sandbanks exposed. You will still need to have a good engine to punch the flow.

Their advice not mine.
 

Leighb

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All the advice seems to be to enter and leave on the flood, certainly I have only ever done that. Some Pilots suggest 1.5 hrs before HW and others 1.5 hrs after LW. :D

It partly depends on your draft and where you are trying to get to next in the river or up/down the coast.

Trying to enter against the ebb is probably impossible, plus the risk of going aground and getting stuck. Leaving with the ebb means your speed over the ground is scary. :eek:

You do need a good engine to leave against the flood, but if you go as close to either HW or LW depending on your draft as is reasonable it is not too difficult.
 

johnalison

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One of the reasons for not leaving on the ebb is that with on onshore wind this is when you can get the most disturbed seas, which I can vouch for as I was persuaded to enter the Ore many years ago on the ebb when my crew was in a hurry to get to Orford. It took for ever to motor in, even with sail up and a following wind.

It can be instructive to watch the Deben & Ore entrances from the shore on a summer day, when you will often sea locals go in & out at all tides except at LW. Personally, I'm on the side of "before HW". I believe it is possible to leave the Deben just before HW and take the ebb to the Ore and get in while it is still flooding, though I have not done it.
 

PetiteFleur

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One of the reasons for not leaving on the ebb is that with on onshore wind this is when you can get the most disturbed seas, which I can vouch for as I was persuaded to enter the Ore many years ago on the ebb when my crew was in a hurry to get to Orford. It took for ever to motor in, even with sail up and a following wind.

It can be instructive to watch the Deben & Ore entrances from the shore on a summer day, when you will often sea locals go in & out at all tides except at LW. Personally, I'm on the side of "before HW". I believe it is possible to leave the Deben just before HW and take the ebb to the Ore and get in while it is still flooding, though I have not done it.

Yes - I've done that, left the Deben about 1½hrs before HW and then entered the Ore - but usually had to anchor about 3 miles into the Ore to avoid pushing the tide too much.
 

Sniper

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leaving the Deben

Some years ago we had a season based at Waldringfield, so we got quite adept at going over the bar. I always used to enter and leave on a flood tide for just the reason stated earlier in the thread - if we were to touch we would lift off again.

Leaving was always a slow process - with only a 9hp 1GM10 in a 6 ton long keeler progress was at best pedestrian, but we always managed it and once past the haven buoy we then had the remains of the flood south.
 

Fr J Hackett

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I've entered the Ore at bang on LW in a fin keeler drawing 1.7m so it can be done when the ever changing entrance is being kind!

Wouldn't recommend it though... It was a bit hairy!!!! :)

Bet you poughed a fair old furrow:D

Last year even at half tide I only cleared the shallow bit a few hundred yards in by inches and I draw 1.45M:(
 

DipperToo

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Managed Deben entrance at LW+1 (neaps) and depth never went below 1.4m. Speak to locals (Felixstowe Ferry harbourmaster?) as the 'best' route can be quite changeable - especially after a blow. It was after a short chat that I decided to enter at LW+1 neaps. I found out that even last year the entrance was a slightly curved westwards arc between the buoys to avoid a developing knuckle rather than a straight line to gain max depth.

As previously mentioned, I also visited the entrance by land to view it at LW springs to see the channel. Do not get distracted by the local fishermen who know the entrance so well that they sometimes take shortcuts over the shallow bits!
 

Colvic Watson

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I've entered the Ore at bang on LW in a fin keeler drawing 1.7m so it can be done when the ever changing entrance is being kind!

Wouldn't recommend it though... It was a bit hairy!!!! :)

Ore: We've been in and out a few times but the only time we touch we ended up stuck for an hour and that was at LW, never again! The tide at Ore is strange in that the level at the bar continues to drop for about 50 minutes after the tide has turned direction out in the main coastal channel. Your entry at LW must have been at a small neap.

Deben: Over the bar countless times in the last 3 years and only once against the tide, the channel is so easy and well marked that if you touch it's because you've ignored the pilot notes (see East Coast Pilot website) and I've always made sure that there is 3+ hours of tide left leaving on the ebb. I don't understand this bit about no steerage way with a five knot tide? We've left with the ebb and entered with the flood and our speed was about 7 or 8 knots with the engine on half revs and lots of steerageway.

The problem with the rivers is going from one to another as you leave on the ebb but want the flood for the next.
 
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Amulet

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Out of Ore on the ebb in an easterly

Can be very entertaining. I didn't really believe the pilot books, and did it in probably not much more than an easterly force four with a strong ebb. We took green water over the boat in the confused seas and had about 30 cm under the keel. This was one of the pant-wetting moments of my sailing life.

The advice about the flood is as much about sea-state as the safety margin if you touch.

Of course you don't have such a problem on the flood, 'cos an easterly is with the tide and a westerly has no fetch.
 

shmoo

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We have left the Deben on the ebb, and after dark on occasion when we berthed at Woodbridge. If you draw 1.5m, only have the weekend and want to make the most of it you need to get from the Tidemill cill to the sea in one tide.

The issues are these: the last of the Deben, by the spit, runs south westish, parallel to the coast, while the main stream in the sea is running north eastish at that time. In addition, because of the friction at the quite constricted entrance there is quite a drop in water level between the Deben and the sea. The spit is shingle and not sand (quite rare, are shingle spits).

As a consequence of all this there is a significant flow of water through the spit, which will suck you on, and hold you on, if you get too close. If you do leave on the ebb, stick to the shore side until the last possible moment. At that point, there is surprisingly little flow, most of it having gone over or through the spit and turned north.

As others have pointed out, the middle of ebb into a mature easterly or south easterly can be quite lively, made all the worse by the U turn the flow goes through as it leaves the river.
 

Pye_End

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I left the Ore with a strong ebb in a lift keel Sonata with an outboard.

All was ok till near the bar.

There was a bit of wind against tide and the waves over the bar stopped all boat speed to zero, with the big outboard plopping in and out of the water, so no help there. I was at the mercy purely of the tide.

The echo sounder was bouncing up to a point where I expected to hit the bar, but we didn't, and suddenly we were in deep water.

One of those 'change of underwear' learning experiences.
 

BabySharkDooDooDooDooDoo

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With apologies to those who have seen this before, below is a picture of an early morning depature from the Deben at about HW+1

Image056.jpg
 

johnalison

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I don't understand this bit about no steerage way with a five knot tide? We've left with the ebb and entered with the flood and our speed was about 7 or 8 knots with the engine on half revs and lots of steerageway.
.

I think I can understand what he means, probably a combination of two factors.
Firstly, around these bars you will be in turbulent water with a 5 knot tide and both propeller and rudder may not function normally.
Secondly, for a given change of course, the change in the boat's track over the ground with a strong following tide will be considerably less than in still water, and the reverse with the tide against, of course.
 
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