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PBzeer 02-10-2008 07:41 AM

A Cautionary Note About Markers
This morning, I watched as yet another boat leaving Boot Key Harbor went on the wrong side of a marker and went aground, trying to go out through Sister Creek (5' depth). There is a marked channel coming into the harbor from the bridge on the west end (the creek is on the south). The harbor itself is in somewhat of an arc, with the bow on the south side. The marked channel follows the bow to it's apex, which is where Sister Creek is. There is a red marker at the mouth of the creek that on the chart is the number following the previous red marker in the channel. Being at the mouth of the creek though, it seems that people mistake it for a marker coming in, rather than out, so they put it on their port rather than starboard.

It seems an easy mistake to make, whenever you have multiple choices (coming in the Bueafort Inlet comes to mind). In this case, simply recognizing the marker numbers should have been sufficent to take the right course. So remember, anytime you enter such an area to study the chart BEFORE you get there, not when you get there.

billangiep 02-10-2008 08:48 AM

Thanks PB after looking at the chart here I can see how that would easily be done.

ebs001 02-10-2008 12:51 PM

"So remember, anytime you enter such an area to study the chart BEFORE you get there, not when you get there." Good advice, PB, I would say whenever you are unfamiliar with any area study the charts.

theartfuldodger 02-10-2008 12:56 PM

Was wondering does not the rule red right returning apply in your waters

billangiep 02-10-2008 01:31 PM

theart, yes generally red , right return but this is an odd situation. There are two channels that enter Boot Key from the Atlantic. I think the confusion is where they merge, or better yet where one ends and the other one starts. PB could explain better, he's there but the confusion looking at my chart is at marker #20?

Valiente 02-10-2008 01:31 PM

It depends whether the body of water is considered "an arm of the sea" or an actual harbour. There are situations like this on the Great Lakes, as well, that can baffle the unwary: Presqu'ile Bay, the Murray Canal, the Bay of Quinte and the St. Lawrence itself come to mind. Sailing directions and charts are quite important the first couple of times you go "down river"

PBzeer 02-10-2008 01:34 PM

In this instance the position of the marker makes it appear to be for the creek, rather than the harbor. If that were the case, then you would expect to pass it on your port side. But, as the numbering shows, it is a harbor marker, not a creek one.

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