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Old 05-23-2013
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Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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Re: Don't read this unless you have time . .

When I returned to Perryville from 6-months of cruising to the Florida Keys and back, the approach channel from the Chesapeake's upper reaches to Havre de Grace, Maryland were being dredged. A brand new island was created around Fishing Battery Lighthouse, and many of the channel markers had been moved.

After the dredging was complete, some of the channel markers were put in new locations, which really didn't make a lot of sense to me. Why would they dredge an entirely new channel adjacent to the old channel instead of just deepening and widening the old channel.

Well, it only took one trip down the new channel to discover that the Coast Guard didn't place the buoys in the proper positions. One of the red buoys was nearly 100 yards off station, and leads you into some pretty shallow water. Fortunately, the old channel is still well marked on my GPS/Plotter, thus I was able to follow the dotted path and depths remained a constant 18-feet. Without the aid of the GPS/Plotter/Depth Finder combination, if I had followed the buoys, as some suggested, I would have likely ran aground near the old dredging spoil sand island. I called the Coast Guard and they said they would look into the matter. To date, the buoy remains off-station.

I've always said safe boating is 90-percent common sense, which can easily be backed up with some relatively inexpensive electronics. One of the neatest tools I acquired in my electronics arsenal is the Spot GPS Satellite Messenger. It's a fantastic device the size of a package of cigarettes that allows me to tell friends and family where I'm at at any given time of day or night. I purchased it via the Sailnet store, and with the discounts it ended up costing about $45. The annual service fee is about $105, which is dirt cheap. It works throughout most of the world, and during my trip down the ICW, at locations where there was no cellular telephone signal, it only took the press of a button to let my family know I was safe. SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE

Cheers,

Gary
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