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post #1 of 27 Old 06-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Worst navagation error

I like to win things so can anyone top a navigation error of 100 million miles?
The mist was just right and the angle was just right and their was no known shore lights in that direction.
I was convinced I was looking at planet.
It was a mast head light for a sailboat at anchorage. Probably one of those new led bright ones.

So beat that if you can.
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-30-2008
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Can't top that, but I will admit to seeing things out there where they didn't belong. Ghost ships, strange lights, etc. Now, after many years, I just ignore them.

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post #3 of 27 Old 06-30-2008
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If you take your sextant out and shoot the masthead light and the foremast light it'll put you on the ship about 99% of the time. (g)

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-01-2008 Thread Starter
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Sometimes you see things that can't be their but end up being their after all.
Sat night coming back to Westbrook emerging out of the mist at dusk we thought we saw a 19th century square rigger.
Sun afternoon the sighting was confirmed it really was an old style ship of some sort. Must be some Mystic CT seaport thing.
So I guess you guys can't compete with 100 million miles.
So lets make it easier.
Whats the strangest thing you thought you saw and what did it turn out to actually be.
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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Now, that's a personal question, David.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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Whats the strangest thing you thought you saw and what did it turn out to actually be.
Many many years ago, back in my stupid days when alcohol was consumed in great quantities, I am sailing along on a pitch black dark night. As I am sailing in calm waters, I see on the horizon what appears to be a light, but it is not red or green, it is more of an orange color. So I think maybe a commercial barge on a mooring perhaps or maybe a buoy with a special marker. The light is very small and very faint at first and it appears to be a couple of miles away. It is not flashing, so again I am a bit confused.

As I sail closer, it begins to get bigger, but I don't feel as if I am getting closer. It is very strange. The more I sail towards it, the light gets bigger and bigger, but at the same time moves further away. What the heck is going on?

After chasing the light for quite a while and not gaining any ground on it, and after more alcohol, I start to really be concerned and I think I am chasing some alien or something. Finally I come about and head for home and for the safety of our harbor, still very alarmed and now actually frightened at this object I have seen.

As I am sailing home and still consuming, I look over my left shoulder to see the beautiful orange glow of a full moon rising. I had been chasing the moon the whole time.

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post #7 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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Mine occurred on my first trip up the Chesapeake Bay, on a thick, hot, hazy day, with inexperienced "crew" aboard who were helping me with a delivery. The haze/smog was so thick visibility was only a bit better than in fog. This was pre-gps, with no loran aboard, so our fixes all day long had been d.r. from buoys and the rare glimpse of land through the haze.

Towards the end of the day's sail, as we neared the approaches to Annapolis, the bow of a large ship came vaguely through the haze, dead ahead. I made a course correction to avoid it, but the ship seemed to make a similar course correction, so I made a more deliberate and unmistakable 90 degree turn to port. Unfortunately, the ship seemed to follow suit, and its bows remained pointed right at us. I concluded the ship must be following a channel, so I decided to make a marked turn to starboard. Again, the ship seemed to follow suit. Was this guy deliberately trying to run us down?!

At that anxious moment, a wisp of wind thinned the haze a bit and gave us a better view of the "ship". Have you ever seen a Screwpile Lighthouse? Until that day, I hadn't either. Thomas Point Lighthouse was trying to run us down!! At least I got a good fix on our position, which was more than a mile west of my d.r.


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post #8 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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My strangest navigation thing was coming into St. Martin at about 4AM after a bumpy ride from the BVI's. It was very dark except for the lights of the island and stars and the shadows and reflections off the water made us think there were small cays all around us despite the clear water the chartplotter was showing us. Several times we made our way under power into what we thought was the harbor on the plotter only to turn back thinking we were going to run into an uncharted cay. Finally we just lay ahull and waited for the sun to come up...and all the cays disappeared and the harbor laid out in front of us just like on the plotter screen.
You cant trust your eyes at night...nor is it safe to rely on the plotter!

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post #9 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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On my Hunter, first day of taking it out post survey and purchase in Deale Md it was blowing 25knts on the nose as we headed north to the Annapolis area. After a hour we finally cleared the huge sand bar to the bay outside Deale and hooked north into 4 foot choppy waves. Mind you I had never taken this or any other boat onto the bay before this.
Haze and crude restricted visibility to about 1 mile, my wife and I pounded along at 4 knts. I had purchased a hand held GPS but it was below, after all once we turned north it was simple.
I got lazy when we came alongside a boat with "Annapolis" as a hailing point and decided to just follow it, even tho it seemed to be going eastward more than I thought was right - after all the skipper on that boat knew the local water more than I did. Besides, the bow out of the water slamming in the chop was disconcerting to a newbie, the wind was a a howling and I could follow a boat pretty easily.

Two hours later I saw a green bouy and went below to check it on the chart. The chart said we were in Eastern Bay, heading for St. Micheals on the opposite side of the bay and south of Annapolis. I finally fired up my GPS and calmly waited for 2 minutes for it to get it's signal sorted. Three hours into a five hour motor we were two hours off course.
Back around Bloody point and suddenly the fog lifted; the Bay bridge was hazy but there just seven miles north.
The five hour trip took 7 hours but we arrived in the Magothy river to 10kts of breeze on a sunny May day just in time to be photographed by our best friends.
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-01-2008
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Your biggest mistake was making the assumption he was headed for his home port.

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
On my Hunter, first day of taking it out post survey and purchase in Deale Md it was blowing 25knts on the nose as we headed north to the Annapolis area. After a hour we finally cleared the huge sand bar to the bay outside Deale and hooked north into 4 foot choppy waves. Mind you I had never taken this or any other boat onto the bay before this.
Haze and crude restricted visibility to about 1 mile, my wife and I pounded along at 4 knts. I had purchased a hand held GPS but it was below, after all once we turned north it was simple.
I got lazy when we came alongside a boat with "Annapolis" as a hailing point and decided to just follow it, even tho it seemed to be going eastward more than I thought was right - after all the skipper on that boat knew the local water more than I did. Besides, the bow out of the water slamming in the chop was disconcerting to a newbie, the wind was a a howling and I could follow a boat pretty easily.

Two hours later I saw a green bouy and went below to check it on the chart. The chart said we were in Eastern Bay, heading for St. Micheals on the opposite side of the bay and south of Annapolis. I finally fired up my GPS and calmly waited for 2 minutes for it to get it's signal sorted. Three hours into a five hour motor we were two hours off course.
Back around Bloody point and suddenly the fog lifted; the Bay bridge was hazy but there just seven miles north.
The five hour trip took 7 hours but we arrived in the Magothy river to 10kts of breeze on a sunny May day just in time to be photographed by our best friends.

Sailingdog

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