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Old 15-06-2010, 15:46   #31
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Well then don't go to the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.

Damn near all there is is fog.
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Old 15-06-2010, 16:05   #32
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Well then don't go to the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.

Damn near all there is is fog.
Sh*t dude, in a forum about the Pacific Ocean and South China sea, and, having discussed fog and my deliberate avoidance of it, I think there's no danger of me visiting there. However, please be assured that if I do, I won't be approaching any channels in fog.

As a point of reference, I doubt there was any fog in Samoa at the time, but I'm prepared to be corrected. My point about approaching unknown bottlenecks, using GPS in areas where the locals don't bother, in difficult seas/winds/visibility remains.
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Old 15-06-2010, 18:00   #33
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I was initially inspired by Get a Life's comments about using radar to navigate.

Terribly sorry to have upset you.
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Old 16-06-2010, 10:38   #34
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Quite interesting to read what timing everyone takes to enter the pass. Some prefer outflow, others go for the low slack, some will go at the high slack. In some cases there is no slack, just less outflow, etc.. To everyone their own.

Our way was always to approach the pass with the GPS then eyeball while checking on the GPS how our eye piloting fares compared to the our GPS preplanned optimum track. We never entered solely by the GPS. If our eyes told us a story way different from what we envisioned while planning then we left, thought the issue over and either gave it another careful try or we gave up and went for plan B. Sure, one man in the rigging at all times while in coral.

It is very sad to hear the local govt charged the unfortunate crew for whatever it was reef damage or the use of the tow. Makes a lot of sense from the view of that govt anyway. There is the damage, there is the effort, there comes the cost. We never carried insurance, but this case proves we would have been wrong in places like Samoa.

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Old 16-06-2010, 11:38   #35
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A few observations that I don't think has been mentioned so far. Long time ago, before gps was operational, I did the passage from Apia to Assau. Already in Apia I was told by several yachties about the dangerous pass into Assau, and that I better be prepared to bypass the harbour if the swell was up. Timing is essential, I left Apia, together with a few other yachts late in the afternoon and arrived off Assau mid morning for best light (about 70 miles). In my case there was not a problem at all, as the trades and swell was down.
I don't think I would have entered in a situation similar to the one visible on the GE pictures. A danger here is that intuition and gut feeling can lead you to the wrong conclusion. It is natural to stay halfway between breakers, but in this case you have to have the breakers on the main reef very close on your port side. I use to tell myself "Stay with the devil you know", in situations like this. Normally the swell reveals the dangers if you know what to look for, but not necessarily so in this case, as the dangers to starboard are protected by the main reef from the swell. The GE pictures illustrates this fact. This is not an unusual situation, the entrance to nearby Niuatoputapu in northern Tonga comes to mind.
This is a situation when looking at the gps is totally useless. Once you are committed to enter, concentrate 100% on steering and what you see with your eyes, so that you can react instantly. It could make a difference.

Thomas
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Old 16-06-2010, 11:51   #36
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A few observations that I don't think has been mentioned so far....

Thomas

Great analysis, Thomas!
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Old 19-06-2010, 18:39   #37
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New potatoes are piece of cake in good weather. Wonder what the entrace is like in less than perfect conditions.

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