Low-tide checks
Practical Boat Owner|March 2021
Spring tides offer the chance to check out what lies beneath the usual low water mark
Marsali Taylor

Some hazards around my Shetland haunts have been considerately covered up by mussel floats. There’s a couple of isolated rocks on the south side as you go round into the Røna, for example, which are now behind two lines of buoys. Similarly, the Groin Baa is neatly under the mussels on the far side of Linga, which is the best place for it.

But others crop up unexpectedly and It was a minor scare at what’s now known, aboard Karima, as Doig’s Point that made me feel I needed to check out underwater profiles of headlands.

The Doig in question was Christopher Doig, a seminarian who was doing his work experience in our parish. He was steering slightly closer than I normally would past the headland to the north of Houbansetter. I tend to leave beginners in peace if they’re not obviously going to run us aground, and I thought we had plenty of water, so it was a shock to look over the side and see a set of underwater rocks only a couple of metres away. They were the nastier sort of rocks too, with jaggedy hole-crunching points – the sort I wanted to know about.

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