Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Buoys, Navigating, and Randy Bachmann

This morning we left Bouchtouche at 6am, destined for the Charlottetown area. This is a somewhat ambitious day, around 80NM or so. At our cruising speed of about 7 kts, this is about a 12 hour day.

Part of our consideration this morning was timing for crossing under the bridge. Throught the Strait, the strongest currents occur at the narrowest area, which of course is right around where the bridge crosses. Now, they aren't super strong currents, only up to about 2 kts, but it's still much better to have that on your stern helping you along rather than on your bow. Unfortunately the timing doesn't work well for us this morning, and the best we can hope for is a slack current through the area, which happens at around 1 pm. If we had left any later, we would be fighting the current.

This morning's passage has a bit of a challenge in that it is still fishing season in this end of the Strait. The water is a little choppy, making it tough to see the buoys until we are quite close. At times this means a quick course change, so navigating this morning requires some concentration. Then, to make it even more challenging, our course was taking us straight into the sun, causing even more complications in trying to see the buoys.

The sun has now gone behind the clouds, so I'm able to type three or four words between scans and buoy avoidance manoeuvers.

Since we had to get up early this morning, Michelle has gone down below to take a nap. In the meantime, I'm navigating and listening to podcasts of Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - one of my favourite things to do when I'm alone on the helm. For anyone who likes the music of the 60's through 90's in particular, I highly recommend these shows - they are fabulous.

The sun is starting to peek out again and the buoys are getting challenging to see again. I love times like this.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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