Friends of ours had to move their boat back to their berth home after doing some warranty work from the dealership. So of course, I thought I’d volunteer and offered my “in training” skipper’s service. I will be going offshore with them mid July for a week; what better way to keep on learning!
We prepared all lines to raise the sail and were ready for 10 knots in the right direction. But the curse of the cruiser was with us and we had 3 knots on the nose. The good thing is that we had departed at 6am to be with the flow, so we motored for four hours in a very calm sea state.
Channel 16 was busy with a 30 ft and a 46 ft sailboat being aground on some shoal… may be the negative tie had something to do with it? We came across one funny barge, from far we thought it was a building they were transporting and on closer inspection it looked like all the goods from a construction site were piled up high.
Veering in and out of traffic you learn very quickly who has the right away, let’s try to battle against one of those going at 15 knots! You don’t ask twice, you alter course quickly and smile. This is when I realize that AIS is indispensable, this tool can alleviate a lot of the questions we had where is he going? What heading? For sure it eases your decision of course and speeds.
A good pair of binocular is also indispensable (wink to my better half!), you do need to be able to see if those ladder steps on the marker are still in the water, in order to judge if you can make it into the channel.
One thing I also learnt is that our life vests are so comfortable; you forget you are wearing it once you clip it on. After four hours we were back home for the boat in a perfectly executed reverse/turn docking by the captain.