Electronic charts and nautical marine chart software - Navigation Dynamics   Electronic charts and nautical marine chart software - Navigation Dynamics
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Hi Kim

Totally portable and independent of vessel's power supply.Just a quick update on the use of the DGPS and the Tsunamis system as we apply it to our Pilotage tasks here in Gladstone and Port Alma.

As you know Paul Hines and I traveled to Brisbane to see the units in use with the Brisbane Pilots and we both came away very impressed especially as the day we were there was overcast and the seas rough. This made picking up navigation buoys difficult, especially for one not familiar with Brisbane. Here the navigation system we were observing came into its own and positioned the ship accurately on the electronic chart and took away the difficulty in determining the position by visual and radar observation.

Since then two trial units were set up for us by Brisbane Pilots and these were used in Gladstone to determine the usefulness in assisting Pilots go about their everyday Pilotage tasks.

Shortly after the trial there was acceptance of the units for their great assistance in the safe Pilotage of ships especially during inclement weather. The accuracy with which they position the ship shape or 'aerial dot' is sufficient, once one has gained confidence in their reliability to permit operations to continue in weather conditions which otherwise may have prevented a ship starting its movement, or continue a movement underway.

I have used the unit for a special project and that was the gaining of accurate tidal stream data acquisition passed nine of the twelve berths in Gladstone and current data in four channels here. I plotted the courses I wished the Pilot vessel (as survey craft) to transverse on the Tsunamis charts with numbered waypoints to make the task easier for the crew. The boat then steamed up and down theses courses for six hours at a time whilst Queensland Transport electronic hardware and hired current recording hardware recorded the current at each half metre of depth. We achieved an outstanding result, which was then fed onto the Port Simulator at the Launceston College.

Since then the units have been used mainly for Pilotage, although I did recently use the Playback feature to demonstrate the unit's capability at the Advanced Marine Pilots Course in Sydney in early November

After returning From Sydney I have been Piloting whilst several severe thunderstorms have come across the Harbour. On two occasions the rain was so heavy that the ship's radar could not be tuned to pick up any mark which would assist in the ship's navigation. With the DGPS unit operating we were able to safely proceed up the narrow Targinnie channel with a fully loaded small tanker in conditions which would have otherwise sent the ship to anchorage. Using an appropriate scale I was able to maintain a cross channel accuracy of the ship's position such that the ship was never in danger at any time.

This above situation has been repeated on many occasions by most of the Gladstone Pilots since we have had the units.

The units have been of particular benefit when using unmarked bypass channels or when deviating from the recognised transits. On numerous occasions I have been able to use the units to undertake passing operations in marginal weather conditions which otherwise, would have caused considerable delay to the ship being Piloted.

Kim, these are good Pilotage assistance tools and I look forward to your continued support of the hardware and software we are using.


Captain John Ellyett
Senior Marine Pilot
Gladstone Port Authority

Tallship Leeuwin II  

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