Saturday, November 28, 2009

Learning To Read The Water

Conditions in many areas in the Bahamas require that you follow Visual Piloting Rules (VPR). Basically, this means that someone stands on the bow of the boat to tell the person at the wheel when to turn to avoid hitting something, usually a rock or coral head. The person on the bow “reads the water”: dark blue=deep water, light blue=shallow water, brown=seagrass, black=corals. This is most easily done when the sun is behind you. One VPR area we traversed was across Yellow Bank from Rose Island to the Exumas. As you can see in this picture of our chart, Yellow Bank averages 2-4 meters (about 6-12 feet) water depth. See the small crosses on the charts? Those tell you that there are coral heads and rocks that you need to look out for. It was actually pretty easy to identify areas to avoid. As you can see from the picture to the left, the black spots show up clearly, and we had no problem avoiding them. It’s nice when something is easier than you expect it to be.

1 comment:

  1. It is sure scary the first time before you realize how easy the coral heads are to does not make it less exciting though...