Picking up a pilot is often a routine operation, particularly in the more regulated and organized ports. Other ports not so much.
I recalled calling to the Port of Doha in Qatar for the first time.
As we approached the sea buoy no sign of the pilot who we had given our ETA to earlier. When we called the pilot he told me to come into the channel and the pilot would board between buoys 1 & 2.
I hadn’t really done much research before arrival and as I approached the first set of buoys I was surprised to see how close together they were. Turns out the channel there is only 160 meters wide, the ship is 32 meters wide and 200 meters long.
So I get to 1&2 and no pilot but he calls and tells me he’ll get on between 5&6. And so on, the entire 10 mile length of the channel. The pilot got on just outside the breakwater.
The pilot jumped off early on the way out also but it was just as well, he was having some difficulty with the wind and current once he got to the channel, I was glad to see him go.
The least depth of water between Doha light vessel and channel entrance is 12 Meters. The distance between Doha light vessel and to the berth is 11.6 Miles (21.49 KM).
- Draft accepted at top of high tide is 8.5 meters.
- Under keel clearance of 1.5 meters is required for a large vessel at a speed of 10 knots.
The OUTER CHANNEL:
- The outer channel is 6.84 Miles (12.67 KM) from bell mouth to No. 25/26 buoy Old No.4 BEACON)
- The Width of the outer channel is 160 Meters.
- The Depth of the outer channel is 11 meter’s.From chart Datum.
- The channel Alignment is 109 (T) / 289(T)
The INNER CHANNEL
- Inner channel from buoy no 25/26 or AN / AS buoy to the berth is 3.0 miles (5.6 km)
- Inner channel width is 190 meters.
- Inner channel depth is 11.0 meters.
- Alignment of the inner channel is Variable.
Compulsory 2 Tugs. Exemption of Tug is under the Pilot’s discretion.
Compulsory – Pilot boarding position is 2 cables South-to-South cardinal buoy (DOHA APPROACH).