Friday, August 29, 2008

Triple Current Day......

Thank goodness for Norm’s piloting skills! The last couple days have impressed upon me (Vicki) the value of good piloting skills. That may seem an odd thing to say because “of course they’re important”. I didn’t fully appreciate their value until we needed them three times yesterday and saw the consequence of someone else’s poor piloting skills the day before.
Yesterday was a triple current day. We encountered strong currents in a 90-degree bend in a narrow channel leaving York Harbor, then current crossing the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth NH, and then roiling currents and eddies at the mouth of the Merrimack River on the way to Newburyport, MA. Yep, we were a lot of places yesterday! Our intention was to stay for 5 days at the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Marina resort, but their mooring balls wouldn’t accommodate us. They were too shallow, not heavy enough, or too close to lobster pots or other boats. So, we moved on to Newburyport, MA which is described as the Nantucket of Massachusetts. We’re excited to be here for a few days.
The other experience that caused my appreciation of piloting skills to rise was the observation of another boat in York Harbor. There is a lot of current in the harbor and that captain of a 44 Krogen (a vessel about our size) was unable to control his boat. It was ugly, the current pushed him sideways as he was going down the channel and he smashed into a small docked fishing boat. We had fenders at the ready as his beam began bearing down on us at the dock; but, he gained control at the last minute and cruised by us! He was at the wheel and she was screaming instructions while running forward to aft and aft to forward as the boat hemmed and hawed in the currents and changed directions. Norm hates screaming and we have worked out hand signals and use headsets to communicate when necessary.

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