Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Yeocomico River, VA
Thanked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 10
I call this one "True Love"
My wife and I had just become engaged and were taking a night sail on the Great Egg Harbor Bay. We left Somers Point, NJ in my father's Catalina 30 and headed east to Ocean City. We turned south, opened the 9th Street Bridge, and continued in romantic bliss toward the man-made coves at 24th street. It was about 2300 when I turned toward my intended and boasted that not many people would enter this particular cove at night under full sail. She asked why and the words weren't 3 inches from her mouth when we grounded. Hard.
Since we were going about 5 kts, we both ended up in a heap on the cockpit floor. We started the wimpy Yanmar motor and proceed to wake up the neighbors with the repeated revving of the engine. One lady turned on her lights and called out asking if we needed help. After a while, we became unstuck and turned north back toward the marina.
At that time, the channel between O.C. and Somers Point only had a single unlit mark half way between the two shores. It's hard to spot with all the light pollution from the waterfront bars, a hospital, and roads. Since the whole bay empties through the O.C. Inlet a half mile away, there can be a cross current. We were sailing along minding our business, back in the romantic groove, when there was a massive CRASH and a rumble-rumble-rumble (you now where this story is headed). I jumped up thinking that we'd hit a boat, but there was nothing .... until the massive Red #2 Nun Buoy rolled by on the starboard side. They're REALLY BIG up close.
At first I was deeply embarrassed but ever the optimist, I realized the bigger picture. My navigation was SO good, I compensated for the current SO well, and my knowledge of the channel SO thorough, that I not only stayed in the channel, but hit the freakin' buoy. How much BETTER can navigation get? Heck, even GPS has an error budget! I don't think that my beau (now wife of 25 years) bought it.
The next day, I went back to the boat in daylight and my neighbor commented on the really nice red strip on the boat and wondered how it got there. Mumble, mumble, mumble, says I....... I got out the polishing compound before Dad found out. I'm not sure that I ever told him either.
Sabre 38 "Victoria"