Yeah, them buoys will sneak up on you.
I was out with the Baltimore Downtown Sailing Center a few years ago on one of the Wednesday open sails (show up, get assigned to a boat, go sailing) and we were out in the Middle Channel on a J/22 having a great time. Our skipper was sitting in the hatchway chatting while we were on a close reach on the starboard tack, and we were all swapping tales.
After sailing along on this tack for five minutes or so, the skipper pauses and asks nobody in particular, "Is anybody looking out ahead?"
The words are still hanging in the air when a giant nun buoy glides by on the port side a few feet away. A BIG buoy, about seven feet tall and five feet wide -- one of the main channel markers.
There's a shocked silence for a few seconds, and then the skipper says "That never happened." If we'd hit that sucker dead on it might have sunk us, or at least brought the mast down -- we were moving.
Needless to say, a good watch was kept for the rest of the sail.
S/V Free Spirit
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