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Old 03-01-2016, 06:23 PM   #21
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I realize many oppose bottled water but referring here to the need for hydration. you'll never see me on a boat without an open bottle of water at my side. You'll rarely see me at home or on land without a bottle. At one time, long long ago, before I got smarter, it was a Coke. Always. First regular, then diet. But from childhood until the age of 35 or so that was it. Then replace by water. Haven't had a soft drink in over 10 years.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:27 PM   #22
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Ran 10 miles past the bay I was looking for in a C-Dory in light rain and fog using a chart plotter with a small screen with no route plotted in waters I had never been in before. When we ran into floating ice, I knew we were getting near the Columbia Glacier, just not exactly where. Five minutes of looking at features confirmed the chart plotter location and then I plotted a route. Later in the same boat in fog and heavy snow, I couldn't drive a straight line no matter what I did until I started using the compass. That was much better. Now I use Coastal Explorer with a 16 inch monitor and always layout routes with an autopilot maintaining course. That way when I turn the helm over to the wife I can just tell her to follow the black line.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:09 PM   #23
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Normally, I don't have a problem, but the last GF's house always screwed my sense of direction up. There were 5-6 short roads in the neighborhood to take getting there or leaving. Needless to say, I saw the scenic route more than once.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:26 PM   #24
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During an overcast day some 40 years ago, went around a Delta island 2 1/2 times while driving an automobile before realizing I was going in circles. (Haven't I seen that barn before?) The island's exit wasn't obvious. Does that qualify?
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:33 PM   #25
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To me...spatial disorientation from 3 dimensional sense input is a whole lot different than being lost on a road.


One will make you puke in a second if it is just right,,,the other isn't much more devastating than being embarrassed.


Hawgwash said it in post one...not many may actually know what he means.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:27 PM   #26
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In our first boat we were coming out of Adams Creek into the Neuse, we got hit by a fast moving squall line. We thought we would get out to open water before it got to us, but JUST as the channel does this little whoop-d-doo, we couldn't see 10' in front of the boat. Bess was on the bow trying to see what she could see. I had no GPS on the lower helm and no auto pilot. When I looked down, the compass was spinning like it was powered by a motor. Try as I might, I never really got a handle on it and I am sure we did at least one, if not two, full 360's in a very tight space. Luck for us, the line of showers lasted just a few minutes.

Did you ever close your eye and spin around in your office chair? When you open your eyes, there is always that funny feeling when you aren't facing the way you think you should be. Well, that event... was JUST like that!
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
To me...spatial disorientation from 3 dimensional sense input is a whole lot different than being lost on a road.
Years ago when I was doing my primary training for my private pilots license, my instructor had me do a lot of unusual attitude recoveries. I would close my eyes and he would spend 5 minutes flying the plane in such a way as to fool my equilibrium into thinking we were straight and level, when we were really in a steep climbing turn with rapidly falling airspeed. Or it would feel like we were in a steep bank turn when in reality we were straight and level. I enjoyed it, but it was always a surprise.

As soon as I got good that that, he made me put on a hood and my recovery had to be entirely on instruments (this was only for a primate ticket that would be used entirely under VFR). I know what Hawgwash is talking about. It is pretty amazing to experience.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:50 PM   #28
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Not being familiar with the area, I was slowly heading South from Upper Pt. Judith Pond, RI in a heavy early morning fog and lost the channel. I began to experience a bit of vertigo and started to worry about grounding when from out the fog a boat came barely into view and without any prompting from me the Capt. yelled steer 240 degrees which cleared my head and brought me directly back to a channel marker. This enabled me to regain my bearing. When I looked back to shout out a thank you he had disappeared back into the fog. At the time it felt kind of comforting and ghostly like you might find in an old sea story.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:09 PM   #29
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It happened to me once. Leaving a harbor at night in fog. Lights marked the ends of a breakwater. At the end of the main channel, with jetties on each side, just before the breakwater, it was necessary to turn 90 degrees to port, travel 150' past the breakwater, then back 90 degrees to starboard. Conditions also included heavy swell and a loud foghorn a few hundred feet away. Anyway, somehow I got disoriented and turned almost 180 degrees to port, heading toward the beach, which of course had no echo return. In my moment of confusion, I was convinced that I knew better than my instruments which way to go. Fortunately, I ignored my instincts and turned hard to starboard before hitting the beach. It was as if I was in the twilight zone.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:30 PM   #30
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Probably happened to me several hundred times....that's where training to grasp info from instruments quickly and calm yourself and focus on letting external guidance reset you internal gyro is critical.

...
In fact, this happens much more to us then people realize. We remember it when boating, flying, etc because the consequences are many times scary if not dire.

We have a map in our brain for spatial orientation. In addition we have timers and mechanism to measure distance.

It's kept us alive for millions of years.

So even in the face of facts telling us differently, we ignore the facts. Only after do we think what was i thinking.

Just yesterday i had to go to a city office downtown near Wall Street. As I'm walking east, the few blocks from the subway to the address, I pictured the building on the north side of the street. As i get to the address, i realize it's across the street.

I get in and out in record time, less then 20 minutes.
Having now an hour to kill, i decide to get a beer in a well known bar I'd passed.

I start out walking "west" then my reasoning really got strange:
1. I don't see the bar i was looking for, but instead see a few different places, also well known that i know i had not passed before.

2. So, i look at Google maps, instead of being back on the west side, it shows me to be almost at the East River. My thought: "Google is confused again "

3. I wonder why it's so bright to the north. Strange i think, feeling I'm so observant.

4. Finally, with the East River in plain sight and Brooklyn too, I realize I'd been walking east the whole time.

From the get go, my brain put the office on the north side, so upon exit, i turned right instead of left and then proceeded to NOT ignore, but to rationalize away, why NOTHING ELSE, was where it should have been.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:41 PM   #31
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It's good to have a recognizable landmark to orient one's self; in this case Mt. Diablo:

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Old 03-01-2016, 11:27 PM   #32
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Quote:
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From the get go, my brain put the office on the north side, so upon exit, i turned right instead of left and then proceeded to NOT ignore, but to rationalize away, why NOTHING ELSE, was where it should have been.
Happens to me sometimes getting off a subway.

Some of the canyons on Lake Powell are so twistty, so narrow and so high, it is easy to get bent in half real quick. You can see daylight above but no sun. A lot of places, the only way out is in reverse. I made a wrong turn in a maze. Everything closed in......
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:34 AM   #33
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When boating, I don't get lost or turned around.....but I have seen some interesting places that I hadn't originally planned to go to.

As I get older, I find my memory plays tricks. Traveling the second time down the AICW, 2 years after the first, and in the opposite direction, things weren't as I remembered them. Some sections were much shorter than expected. Some didn't look anything like what I expected from the opposite direction. There were some spots that I vividly remember and never saw. Then there were the sections where the waterway was moved to a different county in the last 2 years.

That's when I start second guessing myself. Did I miss a turn? Have to keep checking for yellow triangles and squares (ICW markers on navigation aids).

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Old 03-02-2016, 11:10 AM   #34
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Once it wasn't me but my crew of two buddies who had the helm for a few hours at night. We were returning from an offshore fishing trip, with the understanding that I was to be awakened when we were two hours off, or if we got within a specified CPA/TCPA of another vessel. That would put me at the helm in the more difficult waters. All they had to do was keep watch, the auto pilot would do the rest. My buddies saw the lights of Palos Verdes and that gave them a good sense of position that, for whatever reason, neither the chart plotter nor the radar could provide. Being good guys, they decided to let me sleep a bit longer.

In any event, I was suddenly awoken by their screams of "Palos Verdes is moving!". Apparently, a freighter had managed to come between them and Palos Verdes. From that point they mistook the frieghter's lights for those of Palos Verdes. When they realized that the autopilot was taking them closer toward Palos Verdes than it should, they turned to port, repeatedly. Finally, it dawned on them that Palos Verdes was moving.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #35
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Pucker factor increases for about 15 seconds every 2-3 hours when travelling. I will forget to turn the page on the chart and suddenly realize the marks on the chart and the GPS disagree. Turn pages and all is right with the world and calm returns.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:48 PM   #36
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In my Bayliner I was used to traveling at 24+ mph, and everything was where it was supposed to be. When I switched to the Willard I kept having "deja vu" moments, where every bay and point looked like the one I passed before. Then I realized I was going so slow it WAS the same place I saw before :-) There certainly is a learning curve to traveling at 6 knots...
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #37
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:05 PM   #38
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Based on many posts....hope many of you never get caught in dense fog at night in a good chop and restricted waters or am amazed that you have never lost it in those conditions.

When you lose track of where you are, but have sight of objects and basic up and down, is no big deal...true disorientation can be a killer if you don't stay proficient with your gear.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:57 PM   #39
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Obviously PS knows. And I agree 100%. Like him I have been "lost" lots of times. Slow to a crawl, take stock, get your bearings (compass and chart) befor continuing on your way. Lots of times I have been going the exact opposite direction I thought I was and rationalized everything I saw, even though I had seen it many times befor. Even changed the charts from north up to course up trying to figure it out. The old reliable compass was even wrong for some reason. I was obviously right, just couldnt figure out why all my input was wrong.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:09 PM   #40
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PS,

I've been there in thick fog, absolutely calm conditions with bright sun illuminating the fog. I was traveling on autopilot and nothing seemed right. I thought I was looking at a rock on the port bow, but no radar return, and nothing on the chart. I corrected for it anyway to starboard, and it was still there. I'm running at maybe 4 knots and still nothing is as it should be. I never did discover what I was seeing and confusing me, but it never got any closer and when we got out of the fog about 5 minutes later the rock was gone. With no visual references vertigo was taking effect if I didn't look at the surface of the water near the boat.

I've had the same experience skiing in the fog when you can see your skis but not the snow or slope below you. I have fallen over with exactly zero forward speed because I thought I was leaning into the slope and the ground was really flat. The lack of a visual reference takes away normal feelings of balance. We call it skiing in the milk bowl.

Tom
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