Welcome to this edition of Southern Cross Enews.

Sitting at my desk here at East Coast Marina, I behold a panoramic view across Manly Harbour towards Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s VIP Jetty. I try not to look out the window in the mornings – that way I still have something to do in the afternoon.
Lurking beneath the patch of water in the channel is a disused concrete pipe.
Now the existence of this pipe is only known to those of us that have boats with a draft greater than 2.5 meters. I know it well I, having hit it more often than anyone. It is not unlike the scene from the Simpsons where Homer gets an electric shock from a toaster but keeps touching it.

I am told that time, taxation and tides wait for no man (or women) and so from behind the anonymity of my office window I get to witness each and every boat that hits my pipe.
To pass the time and to keep myself from looking out the window too often I like to do some quick tidal height calculations to work out what time they will ‘get off’.
If I know them I often text them with the calculated time. No charge either!

There is no great mystery to working out when one can safely pass over such an obstruction – it is all covered in the RYA Essential navigation course that will be running next weekend 13 & 14 October 2012. Not only will completing this course teach you how to calculate tidal height and under keel clearances, it will show you other useful things like planning courses to steer to avoid rocks, what time you can book restaurants in shallow harbours and what lights the ship that is about to run you down should be displaying. The Essential Navigation course runs over two days in our class room at East Coast Marina and the price of  $410 includes practice navigation charts, work book, course notes book, chart plotter software, chart plotter (the thingo for drawing lines on the chart) and dividers.

And whilst you are booking the navigation course why not also book in for the one day Marine Radio course and exam on Saturday the 20th October and the one day RYA Diesel course on Sunday 21 October 2012.

After that you will be chock full of knowledge and will be able to chuckle to yourself as you pass over my pipe with centimetres to spare. Not all members of the Manly boating fraternity are happy about us offering this knowledge. We are depriving the drunks in the RQ bar from their low tide afternoon entertainment.

Oh well they will survive!
That’s all for this edition, until next time ‘check the tide book’.
Cheers
Mike Job.