MARLIN trip into Dee estuary April July

Monday 18 July. High pressure at last. Leave Liverpool Marina at 12.27 (HW 10.59 8.3m). Proceed past Cruise Terminal (Celebrity Silhouette 122400 gt) to New Brighton (at 12.55). The 5 big container cranes at Seaforth are now very prominent and MSC SANTHYA (46600 t deadweight) was alongside the in-river container berth.

Celebrity Silhouette on Cruise Terminal; MSC Santhya at in-river container berth.

Out through the Rock Channel, keeping quite close to the Wirral shore since the tide was still quite high. Sunny with N force 2 or less. Test out new radar.
After passing HE3, the current was adverse- about 1-2 knots. Pass Hilbre Point at 2.25pm. I planned to dry out on the Hoyle Bank with enough time after refloating to get to Liverpool Marina by 9pm (first lock). Seals were congregated in their usual position near He4 buoy. I entered the channel south of the main bank and drove aground at 3.05pm in a sheltered spot (as planned) [HW+4:05; 53 22.097N 3 14.361W], close to where I had been earlier in the year ( here).

Seals on The Hoyle Bank

This was a sheltered and calm spot; peaceful except for the moaning of the out-of-sight seals and the screeching of the terns. Scrub the waterline of MARLIN (remove weed) and touch up the bootline. Lovely warm sunny weather with a light N wind.
The channel was clearly visible at LW [2.0m; circa 5.37pm]-- and now snakes away from the steep edge of the Hoyle Bank -- where I ended up taking the ground. The flat area at the foot of the steep side of the bank is a bit silty but otherwise very suitable for taking the ground.

Marlin aground: view towards Hilbre and view towards Wales.

Channel to drying position at LW (to west and east); Seals on The Hoyle Bank.

I was afloat again at 7.18pm and left via the channel that had appeared at low water. After passing the seals (without disturbing them) I motored back around the North Wirral coast (keeping a bit further offshore than earlier since the tide was now lower). Cloudless, I could see the sun low in the sky and a nearly full moon was out. I locked into Liverpool marina at 9.15pm.

Above trip was mainly at tick-over (6 knots through water) and used about 4 gallons. Distance run (over ground) 15.5 nm outbound and 14.3 nm returning.

A record of the depth and track of my voyage is available from teamSurv

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.

Back to index here