Tom Cunliffe and Libby Purves are taken to task by YM readers


Irish rubbish!
I read Libby Purves articles with great interest, often whole heartedly agreeing with every word, but her assumption that we should all get in a taxi to rid ourselves of our waste is a bit over the top!
I agree we should all consider what we chuck and the packaging it comes in, but I am surprised she finds it amazing, that people will take the shortest route to get rid of their rubbish. Rubbish scattered over beaches shows a re-cycling policy that just isn’t working.
How about making it easier to get rid of rubbish? A lot of people are waiting for the evidence of re-cycling verses incineration. If you start charging people lots of money you’ll end up with weighted bin bags on the ocean floor.
Councils should get rid of the rubbish. That’s what we pay our council tax for. Maybe it’s not our fault they decide to bury it!
Steve Ward

Libby Purves replies: Two things. You don’t pay tax in small Irish ports with no harbour dues; and you owe it to any community to behave respectably with your nasty rubbish. Just because you’ve got a yacht doesn’t mean the world owes you obeisance. Don’t be so arrogant.

Dumping trash
Libby Purves doesn’t know the half of it – Rubbish – September Issue
Before exploding into a rhetorical diatribe over a yacht dumping their trash in the waste bins of shop’s in Schull, a small port in Southern Ireland, she needs to know that since 1993 there has been an EU directive which requires every port to make arrangements to accept waste from all vessels including leisure craft. This might have been what the two members of YM’s staff on the yacht were gently pointing out.
The Port Waste Management Regulations 2003 are explained on the RYA website, extracts of which are quoted below:-
‘These Regulations make port waste management planning a legal requirement. Those who operate shore-side facilities have an obligation to provide facilities to enable vessels to land waste for disposal and to avoid dumping of waste at sea. The Regulations refer to:
? ships meaning vessels of all kinds – including recreational boats.
? ports meaning any kind of landing place from the sea where a boat user can reasonably expect to find a waste reception facility.”
If the Irish port did not comply with the directive then I suggest that they should consider spending some of the not inconsiderable EU grant money to Ireland to do so as all UK ports and harbours maintain such facilities at their own cost.
As far as her suggestion of charging a fiver a bag for rubbish disposal, I do hope this will not take us back to the days when one could find Cherbourg simply by following the trail of gash boxes dumped overboard by the ferries.
Don Alexander – Hamble River.

Crossing shipping lanes
I read YM with interest every month. However, Tom Cunliffe’s article on crossing shipping lanes (YM September) is very economical with the truth. Rule 10 (j) states that vessels under 20m should give way to ships in a TSS. In contrast Tom’s text says ‘Ships using the main road have no special rights or duties.’ The reality is that they do. The need to cross a TSS at right angles is well known. In contrast, awareness with clause 10(j) is much less; and indeed from the experience of a recent channel crossing may not be known to a significant number of ‘professional navigators’. The rule does of course make nonsense of Tom’s para ‘When it comes to . etc’. As yachtsman, we simply must give way.
Ken Moss
Tom Cunliffe replies: When writing this piece, I included the TSS issue in a general paragraph entitled ‘Crossing shipping lanes’. ‘Lanes’ is a term which I would take as meaning any situation where shipping is moving along common routes. Crossing a TSS came as part of this paragraph and I state clearly: ‘We must cross with our course, not our track, at right angles and endeavour to keep out of everyone’s way in the process.’ Perhaps I should have been more formal, but the message should be plain enough. The paragraph goes on with, ‘If no TSS is in operation,’ and considers the situation in mid-Channel which I have discussed with HM Coastguard. Next comes some common-sense advice on shipping lanes in general which does not refer to how we should behave in a TSS. I see now that it might have helped some readers if I had made a special paragraph about TSS to differentiate it more clearly. I didn’t, and I’m obliged to Mr Moss for pointing out the possibility that I may be mis-read.

Pabay Mor
The letter in YM October 2007, from Graham Senior-Milne, about the anchorage on Pabay Mor, prompted a look at the pilots.
The Scottish Islands, by Hamish Haswell-Smith, states that the channel (Kyles Pabay Beag) between Pabay Mor (Big Island of the Priest) and Pabay Beag (Small Island of the Priest), the little island to the North in the photo, forms an excellent little harbour with depths of 0.4m to 3.2m, sand, where boats with local knowledge can lie safely in any weather. Use W entrance after quarter flood owing to rocks that dry. If using the narrow E entrance beware Bogha Dubh (just off the photo to the E). It is a wide and pleasant pool. Sounds easy enough. It was, apparently, used by pirates, and by a U-boat during WW1. I have yet to get there, I expect others have better information.
Lyulph Hesling