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Old 15-09-2013, 12:29   #1
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How do you feel about FOG?

Just returned from several weeks out. Had to make several very restricted entrances in zero zero conditions... Even with decent electronics it was quite the pucker factor...we have ROCKS up here. I kinda felt it was pushing my comfort zone. Just curious how others feel about it and how you set your limits.
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:10   #2
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Just returned from several weeks out. Had to make several very restricted entrances in zero zero conditions... Even with decent electronics it was quite the pucker factor...we have ROCKS up here. I kinda felt it was pushing my comfort zone. Just curious how others feel about it and how you set your limits.
Fog is always a challenge. I just left Maine where we had a lot of fog the last 10 days or so. Not only are there all the normal navigation hazards in Maine, there are also tens of thousands of lobster pots. These are really fun in the fog. I use GPS, Radar, amplified sound, and the radio and its still uncomfortable. Don't feel bad about being nervous in the fog, you should be.
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:20   #3
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Good time to anchor and fire up the coffee!
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:22   #4
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

It's an uncomfortable feeling, especially with amateurs not displaying running lights nor making sound signals. Non-radar-reflective vessels are also a concern. All-white boats don't show up well in fog. ... GPS is a great help in navigating, and radar provides clues about what is happening around you. Constant, intense attention is necessary.



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Old 15-09-2013, 13:25   #5
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pirate Re: How do you feel about FOG?

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It's an uncomfortable feeling, especially with amateurs not displaying running lights nor making sound signals. Non-radar-reflective vessels are also a concern. All-white boats don't show up well in fog. ... GPS is a great help in navigating, and radar provides clues about what is happening around you. Constant, intense attention is necessary.

That's not fog... that's a light mist...
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:20   #6
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Growing up in San Francisco I had to get used to fog or not sail...

Fog is challenging, but with good lookout and electronics it is not a problem.
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:22   #7
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

I agree, not fog. I start calling it for when it gets like it is in this photo. This was taken underway in Maine last week. There is a boat in this picture about 150 feet away. Can you see it?
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:53   #8
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

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I agree, not fog. I start calling it for when it gets like it is in this photo. This was taken underway in Maine last week. There is a boat in this picture about 150 feet away. Can you see it?
I saw it right away.

I have seen fog so heavy you could see the raindrops form right in front of your eyes. It was weird.
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Old 15-09-2013, 15:04   #9
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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Just returned from several weeks out. Had to make several very restricted entrances in zero zero conditions... Even with decent electronics it was quite the pucker factor...we have ROCKS up here. I kinda felt it was pushing my comfort zone. Just curious how others feel about it and how you set your limits.
I feel anxious thus more alert is my answer,
I suppose if you are in familiar waters it helps for draft restrictions and nav personally I normally get out the Channel and hit my lowest contour I can follow, at least it will keep me out of the way of the big boys.
My worst was a sea fog that rolled in from the channel at about 5 mph on a gorgeous summers day, by the time I got the family on board from the beach it was on us, the 8 nm ride home was interesting , we found a 18ft speedboat with 4 on board clinging to the canis rock buoy off Fowey which they had the sense to turn off the engine and listen , luckily it has a bell which led them to it. They followed us in on my plotter at dead slow 3knts, a bow sprit appeared to our port then a mast and then a cabin , vis was under 20ft, never seen it that bad before or since, we sat on our mooring and listened to 4 maydays in 20 mins between Fowey and Falmouth.
Fog is like any other nav or weather/ hazard you use all means available to you , personally I can't remember all the sound signals so I keep that standard issue flip sheet thing in my pocket !!!
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Old 15-09-2013, 15:26   #10
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Working on the San Francisco Bay I have to run through fog periodically. Without the right instruments like GPS, an electronic chart, an AIS transceiver, radar and have some local knowledge I would not consider it safe enough to operate in fog in a busy harbor like the SF Bay.

It is much the same as the difference between an aircraft operating in VFR or IFR. If you are operating in IFR conditions and don't have the instruments for it then you probably shouldn't be underway in it, especially if you are in a busy area with a lot of hazards.

If you get caught in fog in a busy area and you don't have the right instruments it might be best to find a designated anchorage, anchor and wait it out there.
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Old 15-09-2013, 15:44   #11
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Visibility in the photo on post #4 was less than 1/3 of a mile. Since boats under 20 meters in length must (Colregs) have a horn with a minimum range of 1/2 mile, the horn should (opinion) have been sounded. (My horn has a range of one mile, so I blow it when visibility is less than one mile.) Boats under 12 meters are to have running lights as much as 2 miles visible and boats 12 to 20 meters up to 3 miles visible (Colregs). Thus, those lights should (opinion) be shown when visibility is less than those distances.

Fortunately, we were out of the shipping channel on the one-mile wide strait.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:03   #12
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pirate Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Got caught in the English Channel one night on a 21ftr heading to Cherbourg in fog so dense we could barely see the bow lights... no wind so it was start the outboard and keep going...
Foghorns left, right, behind and ahead... we were crossing the shipping lanes... foulies on as the boom was raining with the fog rolling down the mainsail...
Just kept straight on at a steady 4kts and hoped the 2 reflectors were doing the job... seeing as we made it they must have..
did not get a break in the fog till 0930 in the morning when a path opened up ahead... as the fog slowly cleared other sailboats who'd been caught slowly appeared around us... the usual Friday night crowd
Been caught a few times since...
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:04   #13
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Visibility in the photo on post #4 was less than 1/3 of a mile. Since boats under 20 meters in length must have a horn with a minimum range of 1/2 mile, the horn should have been sounded. (My horn has a range of one mile, so I blow it when visibility is less than one mile.) Boats under 12 meters are to have running lights as much as 2 miles visible and boats 12 to 20 meters up to 3 miles visible. Thus, those lights should be shown when visibility is less than those distances.
We have an ICOM M-504 with a built in Fog Horn... It works great and can be activated from the Cockpit Mike.

Along the Coasts of Mexico and Central America most of the local fishermen, except in Costa Rica, would run without lights and would sleep between sets.

We had a very close call 20 miles off Guatemala, just missing a panga with three sleeping fisherman aboard.

After that we would run the Fog Horn on nights with no moons or reduced visibility to wake up the fisherman and try to avoid collisions.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:08   #14
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Re: How do you feel about FOG?

Fog can be beautiful, especially when it is distant.

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Old 15-09-2013, 16:14   #15
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Working on the San Francisco Bay I have to run through fog periodically. Without the right instruments like GPS, an electronic chart, an AIS transceiver, radar and have some local knowledge I would not consider it safe enough to operate in fog in a busy harbor like the SF Bay.

It is much the same as the difference between an aircraft operating in VFR or IFR. If you are operating in IFR conditions and don't have the instruments for it then you probably shouldn't be underway in it, especially if you are in a busy area with a lot of hazards.

If you get caught in fog in a busy area and you don't have the right instruments it might be best to find a designated anchorage, anchor and wait it out there.
I totally agree, I think the OP was referring to entering after being on a passage, designated anchorages is the key, throwing the hook in anything but may well create a nav hazard , but being a vessel then-- restricted in its ability to manoeuvre -- ! How would this stand in a legal stand point re col regs ? I'm only asking for some guidance , not being argumentative
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