When your boat is drifting towards a lee shore, but still has two hours before running onto the rocks is it a big deal?
Ignorance really is bliss, that's for sure.
I don't know how many times I have almost sunk, no one does, like Donald Rumsfeld once said, "We don't know what we don't know."
I know this though -- one time crossing Rosario Strait heading into Thatcher Pass, we were all staring out the front and not paying attention to our sideways set (side drift) when out of the corner of my eye I caught a movement that turned out to be rocks coming at us fast. (full flood must have been 3+ knots) The current was forcing us sideways straight onto the rocks of tiny Pointer Island. I swung hard over and pushed her to full throttle, our outboard barely pulled us away with one hundred feet and two or three seconds to spare. I shuddered thinking of my family on board and almost quit boating right then and there.
Another time, just after leaving Sidney Spit to cross Haro Strait, when suddenly out of the dense fog loomed the green aid marking Mandarte Island. Once again I had not paid enough attention to the current set and was almost swept onto the rocks.
And again, once we ran out of gas in the "Narrows" and the current quickly whisked us towards an anchored construction barge under the new Tacoma Bridge. Quick action switching tanks averted an unpleasant incident with just minutes to spare.
So, I have admitted to three times that I know of, where my inattention to currents has almost had disastrous results. How many more are there that I don't know about, I don't know.
My problem is, I tend to watch where the boat is pointed or where I want to go and not where we are really going.
Ignorance is bliss, but is no way to skipper a boat.
|You wouldn't cross in front of a ship making 6 knots, |
so why pass barely upstream of rocks in a 6 knot current?