After the disaster on Wed night with yachts motoring directly between a squid boat and the berth where the pilot was trying to moor the vessel, as well as many yachts not listening to Port Control, RCYC staff met with Port Control. We have agreed a procedure for Wednesday night racing specifically.
But first please note the following:
- It is vital a listening watch is maintained on channel 14 at all times that you are within the harbour. Also when you cross the channel. RCYC is implementing a bye law to our Constitution that all our yachts MUST have a handheld VHF radio or an external speaker in the cockpit. A handheld is the preferred method as this allows you to communicate with Port Control from the helm.
- Blanket clearance will be an exception and RCYC will communicate to the fleet whether it has been given or not. If you are not sure, assume it has not been given.
- You may not leave your mooring until you have permission to do so from Port Control. Do not call them when you are already out of the marina.
- Keep well clear of any commercial vessel moving in the harbour. At least 300m. Do not motor across their bow. If you do not know where they are going, call Port Control for clarification.
- Port Control have the right to instruct us to not have our sails up in the harbour. They will not be unreasonable about this, but from now on we need to check, whenever asking for permission to exit the marina, whether we may hoist in the harbour or not.
- Do not call up Port Control without first having listened for a while on Channel 14. And do not keep constantly calling them if you do not get an instant response. They may be busy with another ship, or dealing with a cell phone call or e-mail, or have stepped away from the desk for a moment. Give it a short while and then call again.
- Please familiarise yourself with what the different parts of the harbour are called in case Port Control direct you to a specific area. RCYC will send a diagram with these names to all members.
- We have promised Port Control our fleet will comply with their requirements and we need everyone to play their part. If the situation continues where yachts do not comply, Port Control will only allow us to leave the yacht basin when there are no shipping movements in the harbour.
The procedure we have agreed with Port Control for Wednesday nights only is as follows:
- The fleet will be allowed to leave the RCYC marina for racing between 16h45 and 17h45.
- Shortly before this time RCYC will contact Port Control to find out if blanket clearance will be given and if sails can be hoisted within the harbour.
- From 16:40 RCYC will notify the fleet on Channel 06 as to the status of blanket clearance and sails being hoisted. We will broadcast this regularly until about 17h40.
The information will also be on the noticeboard. By broadcasting on Channel 06, all yachts will know what is going on even if they have not been to the noticeboard to sign in for the race.
Finally, please make sure your radio procedure is correct.
- Call Port Control and identify your yacht.
- Only once they acknowledge you, communicate what you would like to do/know with them.
- Once they have answered you and provided the permission/information, acknowledge you have received the answer and then tell them you are standing by on Chanel 14.
Rear Commodore Sailing