MARLIN trip up Dee estuary 2013

19 June: enter Dee via Hilbre Swash Channel intending to proceed up the Dee as far as possible. Explore the channel (passing East Bar - locally laid mark - near 53 21.25N, 3 13.57W) through to Dee1 then go on to Dee2. Proceeding at LW-2 from Dee2 towards Dee3, the channel shallowed rapidly and I stayed aground until about LW+2. There was firm sand and I managed to swap an anode since the boat took the ground more upright than usual. There is a bar which mostly dries at LW (inspected when HW Liverpool was 8m) between Dee2 and Dee3 which I explored by walking at LW. The deepest water to cross this bar is at the north western end of the bar (starboard side of channel coming in), close to a high bank.

Views of Marlin aground (53 18.98N, 3 11.70W) and, from this location, view of the channel heading north from Dee3 (just visible).

Proceed up river at 4.30 on rising tide (quite a small tide: HW liverpool 8.1m). Aground a few times, especially off Flint where there seems to be another bar. Indeed the buoy Dee10 (a safewater buoy) was dry up on the sand at 5.30: so I had to wait. There are two yellow spherical buoys in this area, used to mark the channel which shifts often from Fflint Point to joining the canalised section. Arrive at Connah's Quay 7.00 (HW-0.5) with 3 knot incoming current. Decide against attempting to berth alongside.

Views of Fflint, Dee road bridge, Connah's Quay.

Return, intially with unfavourable current, then with favourable current. Ignoring the buoyage but following the current (shown by wind over tide causing surface disturbance) worked well.
Decide to explore the channel passing directly from Dee3 north (heading for Hilbre) towards Dee1. This proved feasible and it has a buoy Dee1A marking it (I passed it on my port side with my position 53 20.075N 3 12.233W). The banks on either side are quite steep to - so care with echo sounder is needed. Anchor off West Kirby at 9pm near Seldom Seen (which is on station now). Fairly calm overnight, especially around LW when banks protect the anchorage.

20 June: return through Hilbre Swash and Rock Channel to Liverpool.

View of anchorage inside Hilbre near HW.

If higher resolution versions of the above images are wanted, please contact me. All information given in good faith, but please do not rely on it.

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