The weather is hot and we need to strip off

As the weather was so mild we decided that we would come in over the rock channel, which is a set of drying sands which are typically 3-4m above chart datum. In normal circumstances this would be a no go area, but this is Liverpool and even at neaps you have a 6m tidal range and at neaps, the tidal rage can be anything up to 10.4m. Furthermore as long as you are in an area which has a sinusoidal tidal curve then the mean height of the tide at half tide is the same, and for Liverpool that is in and around 5m, so this means that as long as you cross the sands at ±3 hours you should be fine. You still need to be cautious though because the sands shift and there are other hazards such as wrecks. If you do want to come in this way then look up the way points at Liverpool Yacht clubs's website.

One of the good things about the rock channel is that the leading line to it is very easy to see, because there is a building with a dome on and two tower blocks and you need the dome to be between the two tower blocks, so as a leading line goes it is pretty good. You also need to avoid some wrecks, these wreck were purposely put there because at one time they wanted to bar people coming in over the rock channel and even though they were sunk during the second world war, they are still there.

To see the the rock channel in detail see our previous video, but in précis the route for going in is

  • Follow the leading line down the rock channel
  • At Corner turn towards chip and then the perch. Please note the two buoys Corner and Chip are not there in the real world, but they should still be there on Navionics
  • Leave the rock channel passage with the perch on your starboard side
  • Enter the Mersey at Brazil buoy
  • Contact Mersey VTS on channel 12 and keep close to the right until it is safe to cross the Mersey
  • As you approach the Marina contact them on VHF 37
  • Approach the Marina lock as close to slack as possible so that the tide running across the entrance is as slow as possible
  • Stand off outside the entrance until the green light shows, which tell you that you are safe to enter the lock
  • Once inside the lock wait until the water stops flowing in, we didn't which is why we were pushed in by an eddy

Once into the marina we had a wee bit of a rest because the next day we would take the sails down.

With regard to taking the sails down, we decided to leave the battens in place, then once we had dropped the sail we took the sail bag off the boom and put the sails back in that. I have to say it was a lot easier than when we took the battens out. Once we got the main down we dropped the Genoa then it was time for a well deserved cup of coffee