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post #251 of 281 Old 12-28-2011
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Been a few years since I was up that way

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Originally Posted by randyrhines View Post
My compass does have a red light, there are no beacons or lights on the entrance to the channel just a green and red cans, in the dark of night,
i was watching my position on fugawi on my laptop with Gps locater attached to a ubs port and taking my compass heading off that, on tiller steered Catalina 27 "no autopilot" i found the cans and got in the channel ok, but with out the laptop i never would have found it and ended up on one of the many shoals surrounding the entrance.
Seems to me that there is another channel further north that is lighted? Often times the best way to handle a problem is not to put myself in the situation in the first place. I have gone through Cape Hurd channel a few times and it does get pretty narrow in places and the rocks on either side are quite close and quite hard. I would not (as in never) try to enter such a channel at night only relying on an electronic chart on a laptop. As you say the laptop was bright and killed your night vision and what would happen if you took a wave on top right on top of the laptop when you were checking it?

If I was approaching the top of the Bruce Peninsula in the dark (possibly not avoidable because of the distance from Port Elgin (nice place btw), I would go further north and enter the lighted channel (big ships go that way and have for centuries). If I was in such a situation and there was no alternative channel available I would lay offshore for the night. Waves won't be as bad because the water is deeper. Good reason to learn how to heave-to with your boat. Even better alternative might be to leave Port Elgin nicely before dark and arrive at the top of the peninsula in the morning. Anyway, my thoughts as someone who gets increasingly cautious and careful the older I get - which is why I will be approaching the Cape of Good Hope in the, "there are old sailors and bold sailors, but ..." mode.

Reading your post made me think of an English sailor we met last year in Suva, Fiji. He tried to enter the channel through the reefs there at night when we was tired (singlehanded). The channel is not too wide but is lit pretty well and very large ships use the harbor. Anyway, he ended up on the reef and tore the keels out of both hulls of his pretty new catamaran. They recovered the boat and he is trying to get the money to repair the damage - been over a year so far.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #252 of 281 Old 12-28-2011
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Hey Killarney,

Bear with me as I am learning. I think I see the channel you are referring to. Only the green marker is lit. Why not the red as well.

Also, once you spot your entrance do you line yourself up with the white lit markers (10 miles ahead?), or do you just try to pick your way through the remaining unlit markers? Or both?
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post #253 of 281 Old 12-28-2011
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The beter plan might be to drop the hook and wait for dawn if possible. Sometimes it is best to plan your approach to be in daylight. The risk at night is a life-changer if you hit the rocks. Your plotter was OK but was your only input. GPS is unreliable enough that I would not want to trust it to save my butt in the dark in a strange place.
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post #254 of 281 Old 12-28-2011
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The Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are worthy of their title and command your respect. It is altogether fitting to call any one of them a sea, for they present the same awesome forces, and to the unwary, They will impose the same harsh penalty for foolishness
My experience was a teacher for sure, and now I am better planned and better prepared, my focus is more settled in distracting circumstances, that are bound to happen if you keep sailing challenging yourself to get better at it.
should sign this , "still dosent know athing"
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post #255 of 281 Old 12-28-2011
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No chart here

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Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
Hey Killarney,

Bear with me as I am learning. I think I see the channel you are referring to. Only the green marker is lit. Why not the red as well.

Also, once you spot your entrance do you line yourself up with the white lit markers (10 miles ahead?), or do you just try to pick your way through the remaining unlit markers? Or both?
I can't check a chart of that area and tell you. On the chart it should say what the range of the various lights is (this is in good conditions but at least you should have some idea when you might see them). If you can see two lights you can take bearings and confirm what the software is saying. Once you know where you are, you can usually find a course to, or near, your destination. Best to err on the side where there is the least problem. (Sorry I don't have chart to give you specifics). In any case, the best advice is to time your arrival for daytime. With a boat of your speed this would suggest an overnighter.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #256 of 281 Old 12-29-2011
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I get it. I've used a chartplotter in recient years to get through places at night I would of in the past had to sail around untill first light. Glad you made it in. I've made simular promises and broke them just as quickly. It's funny how even a shook up warm beer will taste so damn good in a situation like that! Yet another story to intimidate me of the Great Lakes!
where do you sail?
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post #257 of 281 Old 12-29-2011
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where do you sail?
I sail the Fla. key's, Bahama's, Western and Southern Caribbean

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 12-29-2011 at 12:59 PM.
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post #258 of 281 Old 12-29-2011
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Fair winds

Sounds like a great area to sail!
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post #259 of 281 Old 12-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I get it. I've used a chartplotter in recient years to get through places at night I would of in the past had to sail around untill first light. Glad you made it in. I've made simular promises and broke them just as quickly. It's funny how even a shook up warm beer will taste so damn good in a situation like that! Yet another story to intimidate me of the Great Lakes!
Yup I hear you! Had a fun time in the last MacMan race that kinda relates. We got caught at night with a spinnaker up when it got back winded, went out of control, laid us on our side a couple of times in a 35 foot Beneteau and of course the spinnaker halyard wrapped around the forestay at the top of the mast making it impossible to drop. Large waves, no steering control we cut the spinnaker sheet lines and after a 45 minute battle in the pitch black finally got things back to normal. The Captain was soo burnt by the adrenaline rush he imediately crashed for a few hours sleep, with his clothes and life jacket still on in the V-Berth. lots of "hind sight" to what we should do for the next race! I guess I should mention this took place on Lake Huron the week after the two people were killed on the Chicago Mac Race. Yup, I am gaining a lot of respect for the Great Lakes.

Last edited by VK540; 12-29-2011 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Left out location
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post #260 of 281 Old 01-07-2012
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Congratulations on handling a tough situation well. That whole you're not experienced unless (fill in the blank), a friend of mine is a cop and part of the training for new people is hitting them with a Taser so "they'll know what it's like". His argument is, then why don't you shoot them so they'll know what it's like?
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