Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Eye opening experiences in a boat
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:33 AM
OC OC is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: I've lost them all but I'm looking for new ones
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Not knowing where you are in a boat is a very scarry thing. How many of you have taken a good coastal Nav course? It's amazing the confidence they can build along with good seamenship values. One I recomend is designed by a small company out of Seattle called Starpath. They have many courses and all are serious, not your local 2 hour course by the Coast Guard Auxilery. Google Starpath and take a look.

Yes fog for us New Englanders and Northwesterners are big issues as the summer months get into full swing. I have noticed that most boats of all sizes have radar out here on the Puget Sound, a lot more than back East. I know it is hard to have that dome on a boat used for flyfishing but what a great invention and the cost for recreational boaters is very affordable now.

Some tips for fog I learned many years ago before Radar and GPS. Even on nice clear days it is good to do a good survey of your surroundings. On nice days I take a very good look around about every ten minutes. Things I observe are wind dirrection relative to sun position, wave dirrection and swell dirrection if there is one to sun postion. Then the sun position relative to the surrounding land. If you do this enough it becomes a natural thing to do and you really get to understand how many degrees the sun changes over a half hour or so, second nature. A good look around at the sea state can be helpful in your fishing too. If there is already some fog with visability I always am paying attention to sea state incase the fog really closes in. Even in heavy fog one can still see the brightness of the sun and its postion. If you know all mentioned above you can find your way home or at least close to home. We practice this a lot in foggy weather with radar and Gps on but we put a towel over the screens and just check them once in awhile unless a boat has come up on the Radar. What I have found if you do not use the sea state to your best interests is we all have a tendency to steer to the left and end up in the big circle game. I used to do search and rescue in Montana and they always taught us that a lost person will circle to his left most often. I wonder if lost folks below the Equator circle to the Right? Take the time to learn these observations so they become second nature and it could save your life. But it is also a great enjoyment having great observation skills in nature. I did not mention all the basic safety issues about fog, like stopping every minute or so and using your air horn and then listening for a resonse. You can learn about all that in a regular coastal course.

Does anyone know where I can buy one of the old tin fog horns with the wooden mouth peice. They were not as loud as the air horns of today but I really think the tone they had could give a much more accurate location of your boat. The modern air horn sound in a fog spreads out very quickly and it is hard to pin point where it is coming from.
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