As you are an airborne pilot we can stop worrying about you :-)
No harm in having the mod cons. none at all. Just as long as you can stay safe without them!
The transition from airborne to seaborne pilot is a piecacake. You already know about dead virgins and about the essential trinomial: SDT. From there on you can do the calculations required for coast-wise pilotage in your head
The most difficult part of that transition is to become comfortable with the fact than when you reduce you speed to zero, you won't sink like a stone :-). You've got to become comfortable with the fact that you are going ten knots – not three or four hundred. And that you don't do your chart work
on an inadequate little pad on your knee as we did in my day as a glider pilot.
Somebody twitted me that what I do isn't adequate at night and in fog
. Well, yes it is, actually – but I don't DO night and fog
. Why would I? I sail for fun – not for money
. In the Salish Sea it's a rare time that you are more than an hour from a hidey-hole, so there is no need to “press on”. It can blow in the Salish Sea, though in the summer, in the middle of the straits, it gets BORING! There are summer afternoons when you can blow smoke rings and they will hang there for many minutes. But again, there is always a hidey-hole to duck into if it really does start to blow, and the wet patch you are sitting in isn't sea water
Fog can arise out of nowhere in just a few minutes, but it'll be just a smallish patch due to the complicated tidal flows of waters of different temperatures in these waters. When a patch appears, you just go around it, or you wait for an hour. till it clears. No need to enter it. I have never yet had fog arise all around me, but even if it did, within a minute or two, I would have updated my plot and know within thirty feet where I was, and DR would take me out of the patch. Safely.
In Canadian waters you can ALMOST always trust the BC Ferries to stick to their appointed tracks which are marked on the charts
. I'm not so sure the same can be said for the Washington
State Ferries. BC ferries are very diligent in sending a “securité” when entering Active Pass. If you are in the pass and a ferry
calls on Ch16 “entering Active Southbound. Concerned vessels please respond” you just quietly duck into Miner's Bay till the ferry
is gone. Crossing the ferry tracks coming out of the Swartz Bay terminal I like to stay half a mile off. If a ferry begins to move, which I will know because, in compliance the rules, I'm keeping my beady eye on them, I have plenty of time to skedaddle and show him my stern. No need to clutter the airwaves. Showing your stern is universally understood. At sea as well as on land ;-)!
I don't think I've ever had a reputation for being a wienie – but I AM safety-conscious. To the point that some people shake their heads and ask “Is that really necessary?” Comes from having taught a great many lubbers the rudiments :-)!