About Changing Navigation Patterns
1. There are sources that do a relatively good job at reporting changes. These include information from the USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers), some of which is reported for the east coast on East Coast Alerts which is a part of this section of the BoatU.S. site. This information is from surveys and position reports performed by professionals using sophisticated equipment. Check it out.
2. Even USACE surveys arenít gospel. For example, sometimes weíve observed that the survey will give the depths where the channel is supposed to be, and thatís very shallow. But they donít necessarily reflect the depths where the channel is now, which may have plenty of water. Often however, (not always) recent repositioning of buoys will reflect the best water when you get there.
3. There is no one easy way to navigate in inland waters. You have to learn, not only by reading books but also by experience. But, gaining that experience can be rewarding and fun.
4. Listen to others who have a lot of experienceónot with just one or two trips, but many. Thereís plenty of good experienced help out here.
5. Learn to recognize areas where change is more likely to have occurred. These include but are not limited to inlets (particularly smaller ones not regularly used by large ships), areas of fast current and sandy or mud bottoms, curves in a channel, artificial cuts, areas where currents cross or collide with one another, and areas in which there has been a recent severe storm.
6. Do not assume that reports on the internet or from other sources are accurate unless you are very familiar with the reporting source (the person who sends the report in) and know that he or she has at least several years of experience in the area. Do, however, be extra cautious anytime you hear a report of trouble, regardless of your familiarity with the source. Itís always better to err on the safe side.
7. Have Fun. You still can, all up and down the coast.
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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale