Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-20-2022, 07:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
av8r's Avatar
 
City: Anacortes
Vessel Name: Selah
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 40
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 289
Problem in the Swinomish Channel

There was a thread a while back where somone dicussed the difficulties of transiting the Swinomish Channel. Having done it several times, including high tide, low tide, fog and rain, it doesnít seem too challenging, but this captain found otherwise. These photos were taken today about 1200. I have no idea what happened and havenít found any info but it appeared the boat was on its side on the wrong side of the tailings piles on the south side. He may have gone aground on the pile and then fallen off it sideways as the tide went out. Rule 1 for the channel, stay in the channel. A bad day.
Attached Thumbnails
963C2958-6757-4C70-A2A6-8A6DFB750A81.jpg   720AA6B8-574F-445B-8385-48AFB79824C5.jpg  
av8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2022, 11:02 PM   #2
TF Site Team
 
slowgoesit's Avatar
 
City: Puget Sound
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Model: 50' Beebe Passagemaker
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2,067
Reminds me of the folks we helped in Hawaii who were arguing as to which side of the red buoy they were supposed to be on shortly before they ran up on the reef . . . . Spoiler Alert, the wife was right, and the husband was the skipper of a nuclear ballistic missile submarine . . . .
__________________
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Model: 50' Beebe Passagemaker
slowgoesit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 12:21 AM   #3
Guru
 
AlaskaProf's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Vessel Name: boatless, ex: Seeadler
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowgoesit View Post
and the husband was the skipper of a nuclear ballistic missile submarine . . . .

"I have "people" who take care of those details."
AlaskaProf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 12:26 AM   #4
Guru
 
AlaskaProf's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Vessel Name: boatless, ex: Seeadler
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by av8r View Post
... it doesnít seem too challenging, but this captain found otherwise.

Is this on the straight stretch west of "Hole in the wall"? Hard to imagine.
AlaskaProf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 08:50 AM   #5
Guru
 
Moonfish's Avatar


 
City: Port Townsend, WA
Vessel Name: Traveler
Vessel Model: Cheoy Lee 46 LRC
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,428
Our late friend Capt. John Aydelotte who owned Vessel Assist/Tow BoatUS in Cornet Bay for many decades always referred to the south channel as "The Million Dollar Mile"...
__________________
Darren
Port Townsend, WA
m/v Traveler - '79 Cheoy Lee 46 LRC
https://www.pacificnwboatertested.com
Moonfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 09:53 AM   #6
TF Site Team
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
Our late friend Capt. John Aydelotte who owned Vessel Assist/Tow BoatUS in Cornet Bay for many decades always referred to the south channel as "The Million Dollar Mile"...
In Silva Bay we have "shipyard rock". The mark is a standard Port hand Green, with Fl every 4 seconds.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 09:55 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
av8r's Avatar
 
City: Anacortes
Vessel Name: Selah
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 40
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
Is this on the straight stretch west of "Hole in the wall"? Hard to imagine.
Yes, about halfway between the west entrance and Goat Island.
av8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 11:14 AM   #8
Member
 
City: Clearlake
Vessel Name: Wanda June
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 21
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 10
I keep my boat in La Conner, and am in and out of that channel all the time.

I saw a boat once, coming from the south, and turned too early into the channel. Ended up about where this one was, on the wrong side of the breakwater.

At high tide, the breakwaters are under water and the north/south current can push you over one even when you think you're pointed down the middle of the channel. Scares me to death when I'm going out in the fog and trying to keep to the side to avoid any oncoming traffic.

A couple weeks ago, in the middle of the "dredged" channel, with the tide at -2.5, my depth sounder registered less than 4 ft, with a foot left to fall.

This is not a place to let your guard down.
ScottRhodes13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 12:15 PM   #9
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,559
Anybody can make a mistake in this channel if your not constantly updating your position.

And on very low tides water depth is always fairly skinny at low tide at the so. entrance. I went across the so. entrance w about 6” below keel. Numerous other times w a little more water. I slow down and survey my position carefully w less than 1.5’ of water.

Boat wakes are another problem. Have a plan .. A and B. Attack at an angle (about 30 degrees) depending on relevant variables.
__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 12:36 PM   #10
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRhodes13 View Post
I keep my boat in La Conner, and am in and out of that channel all the time.

I saw a boat once, coming from the south, and turned too early into the channel. Ended up about where this one was, on the wrong side of the breakwater.

At high tide, the breakwaters are under water and the north/south current can push you over one even when you think you're pointed down the middle of the channel. Scares me to death when I'm going out in the fog and trying to keep to the side to avoid any oncoming traffic.

A couple weeks ago, in the middle of the "dredged" channel, with the tide at -2.5, my depth sounder registered less than 4 ft, with a foot left to fall.

This is not a place to let your guard down.
I think you've figured out the cause. Looks to me like his keel hit the rocks, rolled him on his side and pushed him over to the mud flats. If he'd come from the south across the mud flats at high tide I'd expect to see how bow burried in the rocks.
Attached Thumbnails
Swin wreck.jpg   Swin wreck chart.jpg  
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 02:09 PM   #11
TF Site Team
 
slowgoesit's Avatar
 
City: Puget Sound
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Model: 50' Beebe Passagemaker
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2,067
Any idea what type boat?
__________________
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Model: 50' Beebe Passagemaker
slowgoesit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 06:12 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Miz Trom's Avatar
 
City: Hernando Beach
Vessel Model: Downsizing
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 454
Looking at the photo from Portage...


I see a breakwater right alongside the red channel markers, and Mr. Rhodes pointed out the breakwater is under water during high tide. Yep, that's a bad grounding waiting to happen.


My goodness, I feel sorry for the skipper. There but for the grace of God go I.


Reminds me of the time we were on the Tennessee River at dusk, tired and cold, and saw the Watts Bar marina but didn't see the entrance or any channel markers for the entrance. I jumped on the radio and requested local knowledge. Fortunately, someone was monitoring, and directed us almost a mile downriver.


Leaving the next morning, the light of day (and my polarized sunglasses) revealed all of the just barely submerged rocks surrounding the place.


Cheers,
Mrs. Trombley
__________________
Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.
Miz Trom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 09:37 PM   #13
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
Looking at the photo from Portage...


I see a breakwater right alongside the red channel markers, and Mr. Rhodes pointed out the breakwater is under water during high tide. Yep, that's a bad grounding waiting to happen.


My goodness, I feel sorry for the skipper. There but for the grace of God go I.


Reminds me of the time we were on the Tennessee River at dusk, tired and cold, and saw the Watts Bar marina but didn't see the entrance or any channel markers for the entrance. I jumped on the radio and requested local knowledge. Fortunately, someone was monitoring, and directed us almost a mile downriver.


Leaving the next morning, the light of day (and my polarized sunglasses) revealed all of the just barely submerged rocks surrounding the place.


Cheers,
Mrs. Trombley
And the ebb runs across the channel north to south. Easy to get set onto the rocks if not paying attention. There are range markers to assist keeping in the channel but you have to use them.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Trawler Forum mobile app
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 10:58 PM   #14
Guru
 
AlaskaProf's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Vessel Name: boatless, ex: Seeadler
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,857
Quote:
There but for the grace of God go I.

It's not that hard; only requires that you have basic skills and pay attention.


I've run it in boats from 22' to 43', sail and power. The only challenge I ever encountered was the azzhole coming the other way "taking his half in the middle."
AlaskaProf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 12:32 AM   #15
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3,316
I transit this cut on a regular basis. I don’t find it particularly challenging and yet I see boats ending up on the break water rather frequently.

On the one hand, the breakwater is below the surface during a significant portion of the tide cycle. You see nothing but miles of murky water in almost all directions and there is a red can off to south that could fool you into thinking it’s marking the entrance when it’s in fact far south of the entrance. One look at a chart would tell you how dangerously shallow the area is. However, I can certainly see how some one who is not paying attention could get confused and wander into the breakwater. I just don’t see it happening to some one who is paying attention.
tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 09:40 AM   #16
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
I transit this cut on a regular basis. I donít find it particularly challenging and yet I see boats ending up on the break water rather frequently.

On the one hand, the breakwater is below the surface during a significant portion of the tide cycle. You see nothing but miles of murky water in almost all directions and there is a red can off to south that could fool you into thinking itís marking the entrance when itís in fact far south of the entrance. One look at a chart would tell you how dangerously shallow the area is. However, I can certainly see how some one who is not paying attention could get confused and wander into the breakwater. I just donít see it happening to some one who is paying attention.
With respect to the old salts and certainly not aimed at tiltrider1. Learn to use ranges. The easiest thing there is for accurate positioning in a place like this as long as you can see them. There is a range for that portion of the channel. More accurate that GPS + plotter.



Click image for larger version

Name:	1658500063170.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	33.1 KB
ID:	130513Click image for larger version

Name:	1658500140746.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	32.1 KB
ID:	130514Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20220722-073802_OpenCPN.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	48.8 KB
ID:	130515Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20220722-073537_OpenCPN.jpg
Views:	47
Size:	84.5 KB
ID:	130516

Sent from my SM-T500 using Trawler Forum mobile app
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 09:52 AM   #17
Guru
 
Bob Cofer's Avatar
 
City: Bayview
Vessel Name: Puffin
Vessel Model: Willard Vega 30
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,363
A bit more info. This happened around 2100 on Saturday night. We came through on Sunday morning. The vessel was approaching from the south and was unfamiliar with the area. They were no where near the channel but were trying to cut the corner and get into it. As has been previously noted the channel is clearly marked on the charts but from the helm at high tide it looks deceptively wide open especially at dusk on a very high tide. Fortunately no one was injured. Boat is a total loss.

Portage_Bay,
There is no range going Northbound, only south.
__________________
What kind of boat is that?
Bob Cofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 10:28 AM   #18
Guru
 
City: West coast
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cofer View Post
A bit more info. This happened around 2100 on Saturday night. We came through on Sunday morning. The vessel was approaching from the south and was unfamiliar with the area. They were no where near the channel but were trying to cut the corner and get into it. As has been previously noted the channel is clearly marked on the charts but from the helm at high tide it looks deceptively wide open especially at dusk on a very high tide. Fortunately no one was injured. Boat is a total loss.

Portage_Bay,
There is no range going Northbound, only south.
One lesson I learned, and fortunately I was paying attention, is to be careful with the autopilot.

I carefully entered a course on my newly installed Furuno, and set the way points to go well clear of rocks guarding a reasonably narrow channel I was going to go through. (And I know this channel reasonable well).

The autopilot initiated the turn well before - unreasonably early but any standard except more open water - the way point and wanted to cut the corner taking me over the rocks so I took manual control over.

I went onto the menu settings and changed the setting to make sure the turn initiation occurs much closer to my way point. I recommend others review their settings just in case.

I wonder if that is what happened to them ?
bowball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 10:29 AM   #19
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cofer View Post
A bit more info. This happened around 2100 on Saturday night. We came through on Sunday morning. The vessel was approaching from the south and was unfamiliar with the area. They were no where near the channel but were trying to cut the corner and get into it. As has been previously noted the channel is clearly marked on the charts but from the helm at high tide it looks deceptively wide open especially at dusk on a very high tide. Fortunately no one was injured. Boat is a total loss.

Portage_Bay,
There is no range going Northbound, only south.
That was a high tide at that time. Unfortunate for him. On a lower tide he'd have probably just gotten stuck on the mud flats and freed himself on the next tide.

Yes the range markers are across from the Swinomish Channel entrance on Dugualla Bay and easier to use when transiting westerly towards the markers. However thay are very usable when transiting away from the markers in an easterly direction by looking over your stern. I've been running that channel long before I had GPS when using the range was the only way to be sure I was in the channel at high tide. Often on a boat without a fly bridge so I ran with the wheel house door open to check my position frequently.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Trawler Forum mobile app
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2022, 09:47 AM   #20
Guru
 
Bob Cofer's Avatar
 
City: Bayview
Vessel Name: Puffin
Vessel Model: Willard Vega 30
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
That was a high tide at that time. Unfortunate for him. On a lower tide he'd have probably just gotten stuck on the mud flats and freed himself on the next tide.

Yes the range markers are across from the Swinomish Channel entrance on Dugualla Bay and easier to use when transiting westerly towards the markers. However thay are very usable when transiting away from the markers in an easterly direction by looking over your stern. I've been running that channel long before I had GPS when using the range was the only way to be sure I was in the channel at high tide. Often on a boat without a fly bridge so I ran with the wheel house door open to check my position frequently.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Trawler Forum mobile app


Bit tougher to do on our new boat so I have a set of landmarks that I use when heading northbound. We are moored in LaConner so this is an every time thing for us.

As for relying on the chart plotter, I donít trust it in the channel and rely on the depth sounder and range markers.

Also be careful as the latest LNM notes the the Green 13 marker has been relocate farther North. Doesnít seem like a very good idea to me.
__________________
What kind of boat is that?
Bob Cofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012