When near a shipping lane or other heavy traffic area a few minutes laps in a visual watch can end your life.
This was last Sunday midday. I was sailing down river under main only, 5kn breeze not enough for good headsail control with boat wakes, between the shipping lane and the PA bulkhead up river from the Commodore Barry Bridge.
A container ship with tugs came up river under the bridge, about a minute later I could see that it was a Banacol ship and I had just passed the Banacol terminal on the PA side.
Black smoke from one of the tugs suggested they had commenced to move the ship toward the PA bulkead. It was obvious I was close to the area they needed for the turn.
Dropped my outboard back in the water (in while sailing gives me maybe 1/4 kn drag), started and began my turn away from them and down river. By this time I was directly between the ship and the PA bulkhead just down river from the Banacol dock.
More black smoke from the tug. I suspect but don't know for sure, they had planned to exit the shipping lane down river from the facility, but changed to exit up river from the facility to avoid my slow moving sail boat.
The ship and tug exited the shipping lane up river from Green E1, I moved out into the shipping lane and motored up river. The ship and tugs used the entire width between shipping lane and bulkhead to turn and come alongside the PA bulkhead.
Then I exited the shipping lane as a Mearsk ship round the bend down river from Little Tinicum Island.
The ship and tugs maintained a good watch, I was under motor as soon as I could see that they would leave the shipping lane in my direction.
But could'a, would'a, should'a, gave them a call on 13 or 16 to let them know what my plan was.
1970 Havsfidra 20 by Fisksatra
On the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA
Last edited by Ulladh; 06-22-2011 at 01:26 PM.