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Old 08-07-2017, 11:36 AM   #1
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Lack of Nav lights

Saturday we came back into Gig Harbor in the evening. We arrived at the Gig Harbor entrance just after Sunset. The smoke from the BC fires made it a bit darker. The entrance to Gig Harbor is a very narrow opening with a fair amount of current on the ebb or flood.

We had turned on our running lights about 30 minutes prior as visibility had dropped a lot. Even though Sunset came at around 8:30, the sun had dropped below the surrounding cliffs and hills quite a bit earlier.

Entering the harbor there were a number of fishermen heading back home in their outboards. They were using their running lights. However, there was another 40 something cruising heading in that didn't have any lights on. There were two boats leaving the harbor. The first was an older 30 something cruiser whose only lights were the interior salon lights. Even worse, behind them was a Puget Sound Towing Service boat leaving the harbor with only their anchor light turned on.

I don't operate at night all that often, but in the winter it is hard to avoid since dusk comes so early. In the past I don't recall seeing so many boats who fail to use running lights. I hope this isn't a trend around here.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:49 AM   #2
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I see that from time to time on this side of the state too. I don't know what they're thinking (or drinking) that makes them forget to turn the lights on, but it pi$$es me off.


What I see occasionally is a jerk who owns a GFBL boat who runs up and down the Columbia well after dark without any lights. At over 55mph. I know who the boat owner is and it doesn't surprise me a bit. He's one who will sit around all day drinking, then take some people out for a "thrill ride". When he does that, he thinks it's funny to be racing along at 50+ then crank the wheel over hard and throw the boat into a slide. One time a couple of years ago when he did that a friend of mine who was on board got tossed around inside the cockpit, thrown against the gunwhale and broke a couple of ribs.


And people wonder why I won't go out on his boat with him. Go figure.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Lack of Nav lights

I did send a message to Puget Sound Tow describing what I saw. I make mistakes all the time and appreciate a reminder when I do. I figure they would as well.

GFC, your example seems to beg for LEO intervention. A well timed phone call may have a breathalyzer waiting for him when he docks.
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