I see strange things out by Cape Flattery all the time. The confused seas, often violent and changing winds, and hostile coastline all combine to make it a very spooky place to sail.
One time it was about 2200 and the fog
was as thick as pea soup. I have the radar
on, but I had just installed it and was not comfortable with it. I see this object- dead ahead about 4 miles, and then the next sweep it is gone. Then there it is again- bearing down on us about 2 miles, and then it is gone. At that point I start getting this static ridden message on the VHF
, warning that there is a vessel going south near my location, with failing VHF
, no nav lights and marginal sails
...for all vessels to stay away. There is the object again...less than a quarter mile away. I turn my boat and try to hail her, she passes to portside and we can almost make out the object in the fog
. It appears to be an old ketch, windtorn sails
with a man and a lantern at the helm
, but the silhouette and signal are gone as she passes, and I never hear from it again.
The sea with its swells and wind
keep us busy for the rest of the night, and I often wonder what would have happened it I did not have a radar
, or for that matter, did I really see that at all, 50 km from shore in a awful forbidden area? What would someone really been doing out there that far in a disabled boat?