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Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

Elaborating on my "minimum sounding" practice suggestion:

Scenario is that you are on a (insert point of sail here) sitting in your cockpit kicked back enjoying the sun behind your Foster Grants when your depth sounder alarms indicating that you have (insert the setting of your depth sounder alarm here) feet of water under your keel. What action do you take? You need to:

-Reduce speed
-Turn toward deeper water
-Evaluate your position(you aren't where you wanted to be or the water is shallower than charted at your planned location- which is it?)

Do you head up? Bear away? Release the sheets and start aux propulsion? Where are any interfering boats or other obstacles?

How often do you get false depth alarms on your depth sounder? Should you delay action to resolve whether the alarm is a false alarm? Or not? (I suggest that if you have this problem you need to resolve it...you need to have confidence that when that alarm sounds it is a real condition.)

Actions are similar to what is required if you notice an obstacle (partially submerged floating shipping container?) dead ahead (except depth of water in the direction you are turning may not have to be factored in).
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