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Sailing in fog or boating in fog can be pretty scary! You can't see boats near you!
Going out to explore the sea can be exciting. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a first-timer, the thrill is always the same. However, navigating the sea is not an easy task. Even on a typical day, you have to struggle to find your way.
So, when it comes to a foggy day, you must be extra careful and alert to ensure that you return to the docks safe and sound. Are you worried about the steps to follow and precautions to take? Don't worry. We will walk you through the ten steps you need to become an expert sailor on a foggy day.
It is crucial to sail slowly under foggy conditions.
Low speed is crucial when sailing in fog due to reduced visibility. Make sure you can gauge your surroundings before moving forward to reduce the risk of collision. No one would like to be in the position of hitting on something hard in the middle of the sea that will shatter the boat to pieces. Choose a comfortable speed. Take all the time in the world and follow all safety rules on sailing in the fog but don't compromise your safety.
As the captain, it is always better to stop, wait and look out for your life and the lives of others when you find the sight uncomfortable, especially at night. Drop that anchor and take slow breaths while humming onto your favorite tune. As the day progresses and the sun shines with all its might, the fog will surely clear away. Why risk your safety when you can easily wait for some time? However, this method can be applied if the channel is clear and has minimum traffic.
In a busy waterway, stopping can often be the worst thing to do. Other boats might come and knock you off in no time. Even if you have to stop, make sure to emit the proper sound signals so that people out of your sight know about your presence.
Continue reading to understand when and how to give the appropriate sound signals. If you want to know in detail how to anchor your boat, you can read our blog on "Anchoring, mooring, and docking - How to anchor your boat." Follow our online shop link to ensure making the right choice when anchor shopping with various options.
If you are riding a powerboat, you must use the signal horn frequently. Press the horn at least for 4 to 6 seconds so that it signals people. When the boat is drifting, give two blasts. However, if your vessel is on anchor, provide a short shot. The short one should be followed by a longer one and then another short one to wrap it up. You might also have a bell on the boat. In that case, you can ring it to alert the passers-by.
You can get a sound signal with a wide variety to choose from to keep all your worries at bay. These products come at an affordable price and have the ability to alert other boats in the distance. You can also get amazing discounts on sound signals for your boat.
You have a lot of responsibilities as a captain when sailing your boat. There is a need to keep a constant eye on the engine gauges and the navigational screen. Moreover, you also need to make sure where you are going and obey navigation rules.
In other times, it might not be a big issue, but when there is reduced visibility and fog all around, it is better to have a helping hand or two. Assign different tasks to each member. Make sure that there are people to look out, in all directions. Place one person each on the fore, aft, starboard, and port.
Just as it is necessary to make noise, blow your horns, ring the bell, and alert people and boats nearby, it is even more important to stay alert when sailing in fog. Due to reduced visibility, you must always look out for even the slightest sounds.
It's better to stay alert than paying the price later for injury, boat damage, and loss of life. Listen attentively for signals made by other vessels in the distance. Also, listen to the echo of your sound signals through the air. It will help you to understand if there is an object nearby. Your alertness will make sure that you reach the shore safely without the lack of visibility.
With the reduced visibility in the thick fog in the air, there is no use to strain your eyes to look farther or try and find other vessels. If you continue staring into the abyss aimlessly, you will only get distracted. Lots of times, sailors often end up moving in circles without even realizing and disregarding the GPS.
It is because they try to look farther in the fog without any results. Instead, you can use the fogged horizon as your point of reference. It might not help you a lot but will help you understand if the boat is moving forward in a straight line.
Try your best to get out of that congested waterway using your GPS and reach a calm, clear area. You would surely not want to hit into one of those fast-moving boats to end your journey with a bang! When you steer clear of that traffic, you can easily wait till the fog clears out and get to the coast or land safely without a blast into another vessel.
If you hear any near boats or noises, be sure to move in the opposite direction to reduce the risk of collision; move slowly to avoid big obstacles and vessels once you reach a still point, anchor your boat. Use your GPS frequently so that you are not lost when you anchored your boat once the fog clears up.
Foggy weather is the best time to make use of your navigational lights. Are you of the opinion that your navigation lights will help you only in the darkness? You're mistaken. Turn on those lights in the fog to ease out things as much as possible.
They might not help you much but help you be aware of your surroundings and avert an imminent danger. Look at various high-quality boat lights as it is a must-have if you wish to avoid blasts and sail smoothly to the coast in the fog.
Despite taking all the necessary precautions, an unforeseen circumstance might crop up out of nowhere. It is better to be prepared to deal with an emergency. Make sure that you have all the equipment required in a crisis. It is necessary to have at least the essential emergency equipment to ward off the danger.
Always be prepared for any injury, engine problems, rough wind, foggy air, any emergency at any point. Always be sure to have an extra light or lights near; light is extremely important; you don't want to end up in a serious emergency and have no visible sight to work with.
When you keep a tab on the waters' depth, it gives you a fair idea of where you are going. You can also avoid shallow waters in this way. You must be able to understand whether you are moving towards or away from the shore. Get a fish/depth finder from various for your boat today and become a pro at navigating in the fog.
Following these steps will help you to go boating on a foggy day without any worries. However, when there is a fog alert, it is better to anchor your boat, switch the engine off and wait till it clears away so that you can enjoy your boating to the fullest.
Always do your research and inform yourself on all topics before taking on the ocean; any part of the ocean holds great power and confusion for a person who is not sure of what to do, when. Sailing in the fog can be extremely dangerous if you are not equipped and informed. Reading, learning, and following these steps will help improve your knowledge for a future situation to increase your safety and help you get to the dock, land, or calm, clear waters.
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