eNotices Notice to Mariners – Update Your Charts With Ease

Yes it’s a fact that paper charts are still very much in use in the sailing world. In fact many of our best sailors / racing yachts / delivery crews / skippers would not leave the heads without the relevant paper charts on board to back up their various electronic systems.

One issue we face is managing our paper charts and ensuring they are up to date with relevant information. While rocks generally don’t move very fast (!), mud banks can, as do FAD’s (Fish Aggregating devices), new beacons and lights can be installed or removed, depths are being chartered constantly and various activities are carried out in our coastal waters every day. All of these factors can be a hazard to navigation – that is unless you are expecting them. Imagine arriving into even a familiar port at night to see a set of flashing lights which you are sure are not marked on the chart. Combine this with some bad weather, a couple of inexperienced crew members and suddenly even a very experienced skipper can find themselves in a very bad situation fast.

The Australian Hydrographic Office are the good people responsible for the publication and distribution of nautical charts and other relating navigational information for Australian waters. The service offers an excellent free system called eNotices. This is an automatic email service which sends fortnightly Notice to Mariners for your charts.

The beauty of the system is you only need to register your specific charts that you own or any others that you see relevant. So if all you need to know is any updates on Pittwater – only register Chart Aus 215. The notices also include any accompanying blocks when needed – these are small chart inserts made to scale that you can print yourself and stick over the relevant area in your chart.

Here are a couple of examples of some eNotices…

(Please note these notices may not be current and subsequent notices may have superseded them)

691* AUSTRALIA – NEW SOUTH WALES – Port Jackson – Mort Bay – Infrastructure.
NSW Maritime (DHDB 892069)

Aus200 [405/2010]
Insert accompanying block 33 51.200 S 151 11.500 E

311(P)/2011 AUSTRALIA – NEW SOUTH WALES – North Avoca – Scuttling; light buoy.
Capability By Design (AA523809)
HMAS Adelaide will be scuttled in position 33° 27′.91 S 151° 27′.38 E on Wednesday 13 April 2011.

A special light buoy exists in position 33° 27′.97 S 151° 27′.39 E.
During the scuttling a 1000m radius exclusion zone exists from position 33° 27′.91 S 151° 27′.38 E.

718* AUSTRALIA – NEW SOUTH WALES – Hawkesbury River – Brooklyn to Spencer – Light beacons; light buoy.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services (AA756372)

Aus204 [672/2014]
Insert starboard lateral conical light buoy, Fl.G.3s, without topmark 33° 27.569 S 151° 08.999 E
Substitute port lateral beacon with topmark for light beacon 33° 32.660 S 151° 13.110 E
Delete light beacon 33° 27.550 S 151° 08.970 E
Delete topmark 33° 32.580 S 151° 12.090 E

So you can see from the range of notices that it may pay to register your charts with eNotices and take advantage of this excellent free service. To register, see the following link Australian Hydrographic Service

Safe navigating!

– Peter Mactier

Peter heads up our office on Pittwater and is a qualified RYA Yachtmaster.