St Johns

Call St Johns VTS on channel 11, call sign ‘St Johns Traffic’, before entering the harbour. Although this is not compulsory for a vessel of under 20m, the radio operators expect it and will call any vessel that has not checked in with them. Anchoring is prohibited in the harbour. St Johns Traffic expects to be informed of any movements within the harbour, even a short one between berths.

The easiest option is on one of the two small floating docks below the front harbour entrance leading mark. In a severe gale Iron Bark dragged the dock sideways a short distance, probably because the ground chain was straightening out rather than because the dock anchor was dragging. I ran a check line from the end of the dock to a convenient bollard ashore, but this was probably not necessary. These docks and their anchors are pulled out of the water every winter so this problem may not reoccur.

This berth is convenient to the middle of town but very public. There is no power or water on these docks but Hiscock’s Machinery Hire nearby have a tap and were accommodating, or move down the harbour to Piers 6-9 where there is water alongside. There is no wifi at this dock, but it is available at several nearby coffee shops and bars. The easiest way to get fuel is by jerry can from a service station. Within a few hours of arriving someone will almost certainly offer to drive you there.

The alternative is to berth further in the harbour on Piers 6 to 9 amongst the tourist day charter boats and coasters. Water and sometimes power is available here, but it is crowded and rather dirty. It may be necessary to raft to an idle vessel, which has the benefit of more privacy and increased security. There is a small charge (about $40 for 5 days for Iron Bark in 2015) for using any of these docks, payable at the Harbour Office. A security guard will probably come to the vessel with a welcome package, including details of fees.

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