August – still waiting, but planning

For multiple reasons, this year’s launch has had to be put back again to 1 September. We haven’t missed much because of the delay, since the weather has been awful.

Essex and Suffolk are still the objectives, and the delay has given some time for preparations, including buying the latest edition of East Coast Pilot. With its predecessor East Coast Rivers, I have editions going back to 1981.

The current pilot comes with a free download of all Imray’s North Sea charts, from the Dover Strait to Shetland and southern Denmark to Calais. The Pilot’s own website has free downloads of useful updated chartlets and advice, especially important on the rivers around the Thames Estuary, because some of the entrances can change in a single storm.

There are also links to downloads from another website (and book), Crossing the Thames Estuary, so we’ve loaded what we need on to a tablet and printed the most useful chartlets. The printouts include the short cut through the Thames Array wind farm.

The final bit of online preparation at home is to download and print the predictions from Admiralty Easy Tide for various points out in the Thames Estuary, essential for the short cuts (or swatchways) across the sandbanks.

That’s all we can do this month, apart from watching how the long-term weather forecast changes day by day.