Saturday, June 09, 2012

Close Call

At Sea
39 49.35 N 74 03.87 W

Well, we picked up a fresh West wind at 0400so we were able to turn the engine off. It looks like 53 hours total passage time from the Bay Bridge to Sandy Hook NJ; 20 motor sailing and 33 under sail.

We have not been harassed by traffic this passage. I think we are better at using and interpreting the AIS warnings. That's good.

What's bad? Last night at midnight we were just changing the watch. I just came up on deck and Libby was going below. Just then we both saw a big steel buoy go past our port side only *INCHES* away. Man oh man, if we hit that square on at 4 knots it would have been bad. A W32 is rugged. It would not have holed the hull and risked sinking. Still, it could do damage.

The buoy was unlit. We could not find it on any paper or electronic chart. At night, there is no way to see and avoid unlighted buoys like that. What a hazard.

I guess the best defense is to stay farther off shore at night. The farther out, the fewer hazards. Forget clever strategies such as catching an offshore wind (which did not work anyhow)

We just passed Barnegat Bay. Our ETA at Sandy Hook is 2200. That is also the start of flood tide. We can continue, riding the tide past Manhattan at night, or anchor for the night and continue tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.
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2 comments:

  1. Did you report that unlit buoy to the Coast Guard ?

    They like to know those things.

    Bill Kelleher

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dick,
    How far offshore were you and off of what land feature when you encountered that buoy? I want to make sure I avoid it next time Robin goes that way.

    ReplyDelete

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