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Redwing 30 - Blind River to Bruce Mines

After having sailed for a couple of years one gets lulled into a sense of security!  An even bigger boat, C&C Redwing 30, and it is now '98 and we are going from Blind River to Bruce Mines, which is after Thessalon and before Desbarats on the little chart on the map below.

North Channel

We also have a GPS now!  We plot the course and notice that there is a submerged rock marked on the chart, a foot or two or so under water.  Smart computer guys that we are, my two friends and I, we set the waypoint for that rock as it was given in the book on waypoints I had purchased some years earlier.  

We'll look out for it and then steer around it.

We are sailing along or motoring and we see a rock, two feet or so above the water, it has seagulls on it.  We check the GPS and we are close but not there.  We don't see any other rocks around - gee - that must be the rock!  GPS's are not accurate, the charts could be off, the waypoint could be wrong.

We keep going and I am on the helm and since I have made mistakes in the past I don't trust appearances anymore and I, do now, always keep a sharp lookout!  Damn, there is a rock under water about 100 yards in front and we are heading straight for it.  We would have nailed it dead on! Hard to port and lets head out a bit further!

What the hell were the three of us thinking when we decided that we had arrived at the rock?  The GPS said we were not there!  This rock we were seeing was above water!  The rock we going for, literally, was under water!

So another rule has been added.  Trust the GPS!  Don't plot for an obstacle.  Plot at least a 1/4 of a nautical mile away from the obstruction and give it lots of sea room.  Keep a sharp lookout!

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Copyright by Peter Deppisch, February 2006