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oldgregg

Crossing North To South

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We're out on this week (see Shorebase screenshot) and am pondering whether it's sensible to do a run South and back from Horning as the tide times aren't brilliant in terms of travelling to / from somewhere either side in daylight.

Air draft isn't a problem (only need 6ft 10) and dusk / dawn running is alright as it's not a hireboat though I don't want to be running in the pitch black down south.

We'd want to be somewhere not too tidal for a decent night's sleep for the less seasoned boaters aboard, and with a pub / restaurant on the night we cross so the Saturday looks doable for Loddon?

Thursday and Friday mornings also look okay for coming back North although the other days aren't so much and we might not be out for as long as that.

What do you reckon? Bin it off and stay North, or go for it?

 

tides-180519.jpg

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Go for it! I'll be afloat the same week as you, starting off with the meet and then planning to go through GY at 6ish Sunday evening. 

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I guess the question is how much before slack is sensible when going North to South?

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9 minutes ago, oldgregg said:

We'd want to be somewhere not too tidal for a decent night's sleep for the less seasoned boaters aboard,

As long as you use good spring lines the tide shouldn't be any worry once you are moored.

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1 minute ago, Smoggy said:

As long as you use good spring lines the tide shouldn't be any worry once you are moored.

Well indeed, but Hardley Cross and Reedham etc can be a bit lumpy depending on the weather whereas Loddon really isn't.

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True Loddon is more sheltered, the tide itself shouldn't be too much of an issue, more if its windy particularly if the wind and the tide are in opposite directions.

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At that time of year you have quite a bit of daylight. I think those times are GMT? It will probably be light at 5 in the morning easily and light until 9ish. I'd go for it, with that air draft you could come through pretty much any time but probably best to avoid the really strong tides particularly on the Bure. On Thursday/Friday I'd be inclined to come back though about 10 ish to avoid the Bure ebb which would give you loads of time to get to Yarmouth.

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if it were me, and of you like me don't mind an early start I would hole up at Acle Bridge on Saturday night then aim to pass GYYS about 7am Sunday morning. The whole of the southern rivers are then in range to you on Sundays flood tide. I would leave Loddon for my last southern night, from there it's 3 hours to GYYS, leave Loddon around 7am Friday and pass GYYS around 10 and again you have the whole of the flood to carry you wherever.

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3 hours ago, Paul said:

 . . . . . . . I would leave Loddon for my last southern night, from there it's 3 hours to GYYS . . . . . . . .

Or Langley Dyke.  No pub, put peaceful and although there is some tidal rise and fall, off the main river and with an ebbing tide less than 2.5 hours from GYYS.

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I'd see what the weather is doing before you make too many firm plans. If it's going to be gloriously warm and sunny as expected for the British bank holiday I'd be less worried about the less experienced boaters they'll not notice the tides or motion as they'll be so blown away by the beauty. And a red dawn/ dusk crossing would be magical and worth it IMO. 👍

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1 hour ago, Mouldy said:

Or Langley Dyke.  No pub, put peaceful and although there is some tidal rise and fall, off the main river and with an ebbing tide less than 2.5 hours from GYYS.

You probably lost him with the no pub bit there

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You probably lost him with the no pub bit there
What are you suggesting Ian?

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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I think the crossing times are in BST and the sunrise / sunset in GMT?

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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That's how I read it. You can tell as the daylight times are not in sync now the clocks have gone forward. Not a problem though as tide times are more critical. 

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I think Paul is about spot on - no hassle going down as you can probably easily , going south, pass an hour after slack and then you have the full flood across Breydon.

Coming back I always used to be too early and pushing the ebb right up to Acle so now I tend to leave that too! Its only a bit of a shove through Breydon Bridge and down to the turn, but better that than flogging up past the Yacht Station.

Whats the matter with stopping off at Cantley? At least you can always get a mooring - well almost always.  I reckon its only 2 1/2 hours or even less, from there to Yarmouth and on a spring thats probably plenty - there is this fear of missing the tide so its always a temptation to shove off early but restrain it! And then avoid that bit of inevitability of the Lower Bure!

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What I'm about to say, I'm sure many will find as controversial, so I'll add this disclaimer. The following should not be construed as advice, but is merely based upon my observations and experiences of crossing Breydon many times and not always at low water.

Observations first:

The majority of the incoming tide through Yarmouth goes across Breydon and therefore of the lower reaches the last place you want to be going against a strong ebb, or flood tide is on the lower Yare, or Waveney. If you do get your timings wrong and find yourself having to fight the tide the best of the three rivers to be on is the lower Bure.

All three of the rivers drain valleys and a vast amount of marshland, therefore on any given tide there will be proportionally more water going out through Yarmouth on the ebb tide, than there is coming in through Yarmouth on the flood. Thus going against a flood tide, is never as bad as going against an ebb tide. For quite a while the incoming tide just acts as a watery dam holding back the ebb tide and when it eventually overcomes the ebb and starts to flood it is still fighting the fluvial waters and never as strong as an ebb.

The incoming flood through Yarmouth will go across Breydon first and takes a good 30 to 45 mins to turn up the Bure. Ideal slack low water times for North to South through Yarmouth are 60 mins after low water. South to North are 90 - 120 mins after low water.

Contrary to popular belief, there is usually four (sometimes three) slack water periods per day, depending on the time of the tides. Normally two at low water, and two at high water. If solo helming, especially on the Southerns, slack water is your friend when departing moorings, and slack high is just as useful as slack low.

Experience: Or what I would do if looking to transit North to South on that week. Based upon being in a craft that only requires 6ft6in clearance at Yarmouth and not being in a hire craft.

I would cruise down to Acle on the Saturday and spend the night at The Bridge Inn. I would then leave Acle Sunday morning around 7:30am and head on down to Yarmouth aiming to arrive at Yarmouth around 2hrs before high tide. As mentioned before of all three rivers the lower Bure has the least amount of current, and fighting a flood tide is never as hard as fighting an ebb. I will use slightly more engine revs and diesel than going with an ebb, but there is payback. Firstly cruising along on the higher water gives a whole new perspective to the lower reaches. Upon reaching the bridges at Yarmouth there will be less boats around as they will hopefully have gone through at slack low water. Going against the flood will give you very good steerage under the bridges.

The real payback however is when you come out the Bure and turn towards Breydon bridge. You throttle back to just above idle and with the last of the flood behind you, enjoy a quiet peaceful cruise across Breydon which will seem even bigger than usual with few other boats around and water all the way out to the edges. Very few revs needed and thus a peaceful time. It will now be lunchtime and time to crack open a bottle of wine (in moderation) and enjoy a snack. Once you reach the other side of Breydon you make your choice on whether to go up the Yare or Waveney, but bear in mind that whenever high water occurs at Yarmouth, it occurs progressively later up the river. So effectively at this point you are like a surfer riding the wave of high water up the rivers. When the tide does start to turn, you will then encounter about 30 mins of slack high, and by the time that ends you should be about three hours away from Yarmouth and high enough up the river that the start of the ebb is not that strong at all. All of that time you have been enjoying the much better views that being on high water provides. You should have enough time to reach either Norwich, or Beccles, or depending how far into the ebb you are by then, go under the bridge to Geldeston.

I have done the above many times, and is what I would do if crossing during that week. It is based upon my experience, but should not be taken as advice. Every skipper needs to make their own safe choices.

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Interesting. Two of you have now said about that option, and yes I would indeed rather be Fighting a flood than an Ebb. I've tended to mostly think in terms of hire boats and slack water crossings so this is all very useful info.

I guess as you reach the dolphin (while going south) you keep left and give it some beans then take a wide turn in order to stop yourself getting pushed to the right with the flow as you join the Yare?

The Bridge Inn also ticks boxes as a decent overnight pub stop.

What's the clearance at Vauxhall bridge (and t'other fella) at High Water?

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7 minutes ago, oldgregg said:

Interesting. Two of you have now said about that option, and yes I would indeed rather be Fighting a flood than an Ebb. I've tended to mostly think in terms of hire boats and slack water crossings so this is all very useful info.

I guess as you reach the dolphin (while going south) you keep left and give it some beans in order to stop yourself getting pushed to the right with the flow as you join the Yare?

The Bridge Inn also ticks boxes as a decent overnight pub stop.

What's the clearance at Vauxhall bridge (and t'other fella) at High Water?

Yes, keep the revs on and keep left until past the dolphin and then turn right and throttle back slowly. Throttle back too fast and you will lose all steerage due to the incoming tide underneath you. So throttle back a little, allow the boat to slow a little and then throttle back again until you are comfortable. As you approach and pass under Breydon you may need some more throttle just to ensure you stay away from the concrete supports. Once on Breydon I normally sit at 1000rpm just over tick over. You'll probably still be doing a good 6mph depending on the flood.

I have the A47 down at 7ft and Vauxhall down at 6ft9in AHW, but I believe that Vauxhall clearance is slightly more limited now due to the added wood, so would say it is 6ft6in. A couple of hours before high water should be fine, especially if it is neaps, allow more time before if it is springs.

There are many good reasons for hire boats to do as suggested by the hire yards and the BA, mostly around ensuring maximum clearance for the bridges and encountering the tides when they are slack.

For the return I have, but wouldn't normally contemplate fighting a flood on the lower Yare or Waveney as they are much stronger than the flood on the Bure. You will thrash the engine, burn more diesel, and be disappointed by the payback on the Bure as a lot of the time you can hardly feel the flood when going up the Bure. Aim ideally for 90 - 120 mins after low water and if necessary pick up the start of the flood about half to three quarters of the way across Breydon to get the best passage up the Bure.

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I'd go along with most of what ECIPA says, too many are scared of the tides and not many mobo's can't make headway against the worst of it, just takes more time and diesel as long as you have the headroom.

Avoid the may bank holiday weekend for returning over high water as you may encounter an idiot doing 20 knots heading for a bridge lift at haven, I often head for breydon at high just for a play with less chance of hire boats.

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It's always 'South to North' I get wrong and end up thrashing the tide past the yacht station.

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10 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

I'd go along with most of what ECIPA says, too many are scared of the tides and not many mobo's can't make headway against the worst of it, just takes more time and diesel as long as you have the headroom.

Avoid the may bank holiday weekend for returning over high water as you may encounter an idiot doing 20 knots heading for a bridge lift at haven, I often head for breydon at high just for a play with less chance of hire boats.

Yep forgot to mention that although there will generally be less hire boats on Breydon at high water, there is also more chance of finding a sea going boat or three out for a thrash. I even encountered a flotilla from NYA one time. Most slow down for you and if you keep to the side of the channel and give yourself space to turn across their wash you'll be fine.

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9 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

It's always 'South to North' I get wrong and end up thrashing the tide past the yacht station.

Yeah I've been there! On a mate's boat about ten years ago we got it properly wrong and even at maximum warp we were barely moving until about Marina keys.

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Whilst the southern rivers do have the stonger tides in general the fastest flow is the ebb, especially the last of the ebb through Great Yarmouth where the narrowness of the river acts as a constriction to the flow and creates a very strong current. It can run as much as six knots which is all but 7mph. Thrashing against that is no fun, but should never be necessary as you can tie up at Berney and wait for the water to fall slack. Once it has, put the kettle on and have a cuppa, do the washing up, then take a stroll along the bank and take a couple of photos of the mill,come back have another cuppa THEN set off for Yarmouth. The water should be coming in now but the Bure will still be emptying. Take it steady across Bredon and the water will be running up the Bure when you turn. 

It's perhaps not an issue with your airdraft but remember the water level does not rise and fall evenly, it rises and falls much quicker at the beggining of each new tide then towards the end and as much as 80% of the rise can occur in the first two hours of the tide. I saw a tidal app for IOS being banded about the faceache groups recently, which not only gives tide times but "state of the tide", but from the screen shots alas this seems to have been worked out as simply the percentage of time passed between each high and low etc. This is not accurate. 

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and after all the debate and pondering, and the best laid plans possible, remember the tides can be anything up to two hours late depending on weather conditions

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