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Lessons of a lee shore

    We all know that hapless sailors get blown onto lee shores and that driftwood collects on lee shores warning us of the danger.  So it goes without saying that we avoid or at least pay respect to lee shores.  Not true sometimes.

    Last weekend   (labor day) we were tied up at an unnamed location and watched skipper after skipper bang into a float they were rounding as the wind and current dragged them sideways into it.  There was lots of room and many embarrassed drivers.

     Later that day we watched a thirty two foot Bayliner try to turn around close to a foot bridge between floats. His mistake was not respecting the current making the foot bridge a defacto lee shore.  He had plenty of room to begin with but as the lee shore got closer he ran out of time and then he compounded his problem.  He gunned the engine wide open hoping to complete his turn in time. The gleaming white hull hit the dock under full power, he drove a third of the way out of the water  and then he slammed it into reverse and drove backwards off the float into the float bridge. Interestingly his bow and hull that climbed the wood float showed no real damage but he cornered his transom crunching fiberglass over two feet doing thousands if not tens of thousands worth of damage.

    There is no moral or surprise ending here, it was a bad end of a great weekend. Some hours later with the tide change, the current reversed and the lee shore moved over to the other side.

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