An exercise in pilotage

A fine day, little wind, a flowing tide – ideal for taking Blue Mistress up the River Tamar to Cotehele – a long-held ambition.

(Click on images to enlarge)


I have sailed on the Tamar once before, (you’ve guessed it – over fifty years ago), but this will be the first time I have navigated it alone – (in my current incarnation as older man).


Like all rivers it has its twists and turns, a channel that is sometimes wider, sometimes narrower, mud-banks that are exposed at low water and hidden at high water, tidal currents.

My boat is 25 foot long with a draft of 3 foot 9 inches The river is perfectly navigable when the tide is right and will seem straightforward once I’ve done it – after all, there are those who navigate it daily. But I have never done it before so this is an exercise in pilotage and it is making me slightly anxious.


The exercise starts right here, under Brunel’s railway bridge.


As I gaze at the bridge above me and hear the train crossing it, I think of the river and the chart . . .  and waypoints.

(All images taken by Bill Whateley)

(to be continued . . .)





2 thoughts on “An exercise in pilotage

  1. Pingback: Waypoints | Beyond Steeple Point . . .

  2. I savor, result in I found exactly what I used to
    be taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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