Our radar screen has Variable Range Markers (VRM), circles that show how far away a “Target” is, and Electronic Bearing Lines (EBL), that show what angle the Target is relative to us. In case you are wondering what we are talking about, it’s sailing in fog using radar. With this info, we can track an incoming target and whether we might come together, or indeed collide. Thank God for the technology.
During our trip, we have had to sail twice using radar as our guide, and both times the fog was so thick we could not see incoming traffic until they were within a quarter of a mile. One has to wonder how, with the extent of space available in these waterways, vessels can come so close to each other.
Both sets of eyes are on the water. No shift changes. “On-coming target at 30 degrees starboard”, “another 10 degrees port”, my husband tells me. With binoculars, I stare for the ghost ship to appear from the mist. Sure enough, there they are. A sound of the foghorn to indicate we are here, can you see us? “They’re passing. Lots of clearance”, my husband reports.
Until the one encounter with a powerboat coming at us on our port side. We change course to starboard to avoid. Then we see him and he changes course to port putting us back on a collision course. WTF!! All we could do was turn 180 degrees to (hopefully) parallel his course and pray he didn’t ride up our ass. We think this is when he first noticed we were there. He moved, we moved, and eventually we got back on our intended course. Luckily we didn’t end up in a boat yard!
That was all part of an 11 hour and 30 minute trek crossing Queen Charlotte Strait leaving the Central Coast heading back towards home in swells of 2 meters with 15 to 20 knot winds, in the fog! What were we thinking!
This sums it up, “Our trip to the Central Coast went in like a lamb and came out like a lion”!
PS no pictures, it was too foggy!