Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....
Last weekend - on the first day of a 10-day cruise - the wind was blowing a modest 12 knots or so. We were on a close reach on a starboard tack. We watched as a similar-sized boat ran close-hauled on a port tack headed towards us.
There was plenty of sea-room between us.
My wife suggested that we maneuver a bit to stay clear. "We are the stand-on vessel here." say I. "It's best if we maintain our course and speed so the guy knows what to expect from us."
The boats converged.
"That boat is getting a little close. Shouldn't we change our course?", suggested my wife in a slightly panicked tone.
"Don't worry about it." I condescended. "The guy is probably a racer and wants to cut tight behind our transom."
By the time I realized that the other skipper hadn't seen us, his boat was bearing down on my port side. I had left myself with a very slim chance of avoiding a nasty collision.
With about three boat-lengths to spare my wife and I let out loud shouts. A head poked around the edge of the on-coming jib.
Luckily we both headed up and and stopped our boats within about a boat-length of each other. If one of us had bore off the results would have been disastrous.
I shouted a few choice words at the other skipper, he hollered back a sincere apology and we were on our way.
After the pulses had settled I thought about the near-miss. It was brought about by sheer stupidity and arrogance on my part. Sure the guy should have been more aware of his surroundings, but I was fully aware. I had been watching his approach with tons of time to avoid the crash. Instead I adamantly stuck to my 'right of way' and almost created a situation that would have certainly done significant damage to both of our boats and, most likely, caused serious injury aboard both of the vessels.
It was definitely a wake up call!
To my wife's credit she never said, "I told you so." but in this case, as in many others, she is absolutely entitled to.
1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay
'Nautai te salutamus!'
Last edited by flyingwelshman; 07-03-2012 at 10:53 PM.