The title of this blog sounds kind of familiar doesn't it? Look at the picture and imagine this wall of decreasing visibility approaching your vessel. If you go out on the water, for whatever reason, you will someday encounter this scenario. It comes in a wide variety of forms; fog, rain, snow, smoke, day or night it will appear. This risky encounter doesn't have to be the end of your voyage, but it does absolutely require you to engage other senses to navigate safely through the situation. The proficient use of advanced electronics such as Radar and GPS can be of great value if operated effectively and the information received is interpreted correctly. There is no room for error, everything at stake, the final decisions to be made by you, the person in charge of piloting the vessel.
Something else happens almost immediately as the ability to see diminishes. The sensory input of hearing sounds now takes an even more profound importance to your journey. By listening, you can discern whether the object is close by, approaching, crossing, and even moving safely away from your position. This ability does take some practice and it is very achievable with time.
The next time you experience this unwanted situation while underway, slow down , affix your navigational position with waypoint and intently listen to what is going on around your location. You'll be amazed at how keen your sense of hearing becomes in times like this.
Integrating sensors like Radar, GPS, infrared vision, and other advancements to your capability of hearing will serve you well in your safe passage.