Boating enthusiasts wouldn’t want anything getting in their way of adventure out in the sea – not even a heavy fog. Coursing through a fog is one of the most challenging and riskiest things to do in boating. Here are tips on how to be more skillful in navigating the sea, even if there’s low visibility in the area.
#1. Don’t look further
You don’t see much through a fog and if you try so hard to, you’ll be all the more disoriented. Use a point of reference – a fog horizon, which is the farthest point that you can spot an intersection between fog and water. Doing so will let you recognize if your boat has already changed course.
#2. Take your time
Just how slow should you go when coursing through a fog? Slow is when you can stop before hitting something. But even that level of speed isn’t enough. You may never know if another boat is already close by. In this case, you need to decrease the speed even further — go slower than slow enough.
#3. Make your presence known
Fog signals should be sounded. The Navigation Rules states the different time interval of sounds and what they mean.
For instance, a prolonged blast with not more than two minutes of intervals signals a powerboat underway or making way. A prolonged-short-short-blasts at no more than 2-minute intervals signals sailboat making way.
#4. Post extra lookouts
Having a companion is very much helpful when boating in a heavy fog. Lookouts should be posted on the bow and if possible, the stern. Let them switch locations so they can stay sharp and alert.
#5. Be alert for sounds
Not only will the lookouts be the ones to remain alert but also you behind the wheel. Boats, lighthouses, and buoys make noises and you’ll hear them before spotting them. Listen for sounds. Stop if you hear something, and then listen for more.