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    Re: A few questions for the pros
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2005 Jun 17, 00:36 -0500

    > Shipping lanes are intended to separate traffic going in different
    > directions (eg, up-lake and down-lake in your example) by providing
    > specific areas for vessels to operate in while going in opposite
    > directions.  With respect to the issue you raise about a commercial
    > vessel being out of the charted lane, most commonly the regulations
    > would specify that it must remain in the charted lane as long as it was
    > transiting in the direction of the lane (and of the proper size to be
    > required to use the lane).  But they may be a bit more lax with a vessel
    > going in the direction of a lane that strays outside of it by getting
    > too far off center.
    Thanks Lu, David, Carl et al
    In the process of downloading Coast Pilot 6. Point blank, how far off the
    center of a lane can a vessel stray in general?  At some point the lanes
    converge at the harbor or a distance away from the harbor, and tolerance
    should be pretty tight?  If it's a case of go anywhere you please, what good
    are lanes?
    In our case, the vessel was coming from the northwest.  Our course from
    Chicago to Michigan City was approx. 108 d, and the freighter was running
    approx. 140 d.  Suspect she had crossed the multitude of northbound and
    southbound lanes to the west at close to a right angle. After our encounter
    she did alter course, so guess she was slipping into a southbound lane to
    her destination.  But it was a bit of a surprise to see a big ol' gal 5+ nm
    outside the lane.
    I have noted the occasional article in sailing magazines by folks who make
    their living on large vessels--and also pleasure sail--about proximity
    between pleasure craft and commercial vessels. As a racer, a one-foot miss
    is as good as a mile to me.  It appears to the mariner on the bridge of a
    large commercial vessel, anything less than a mile from a pleasure craft
    (whose skipper's knowledge/skills are unknown) is a very uncomfortable
    situation for the commercial driver; so try to conduct myself in a manner
    where everyone is not only safe but comfortable.

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