What is the issue?Harbour information can be spread across a range of pilot books, tidal books and ports etc. Bringing the information together when required, requires time to dig and search through reams of pages and indices.
Why address this?This is a time consuming disjointed activity in conditions that may be pressurised. It unnecessarily distracts from port entry preparation and can delay or exacerbate reaction in emergency situation.
How to address this?Pre-plan and pencil the key harbour data and notes beside the port on your working chart. Leave the pencilled notes there should you return to the port.
First of all try to abbreviate everything about that port you need to know plus notes such as:
The harbour’s operating channel
Harbour master phone number
Pilot book and page
Tide book and page
Standard port tide and page
Sub chart number etc
Then look to the port itself, sketch out an abort plan, or abort plans depending upon conditions, and note them onto the chart. In doing so particularly note the point where these pull-out plans are no longer available. That is the point, where you have crossed the Rubicon, and you are committed to the harbour.
This simple practice has information readily available and making harbour entry much more relaxed. It also provides for fast decisions should an unexpected emergency crop up.
If you should want to clear the notes away in the future the pencilled data may easily be erased.
With thanks to:Phil Murphy, Kilmore Quay Harbour Master.
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