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The photo ac­com­pa­ny­ing Tom’s Tip Don’t Get Caught (Novem­ber) is of a North Car­di­nal mark. The tip “when in doubt travers­ing a cross cur­rent, go to lee­ward of an ob­struc­tion” needs to be tem­pered with the caveat, “know what’s to lee­ward of that ob­struc­tion.” If the cross-cur­rent in the pic­ture is southerly then, if go­ing to lee­ward of that mark, you would be sail­ing into danger. In this case pru­dence would sug­gest chang­ing course to stay well north of that mark.

— Colin Min­chom, Bos­ton, MA

In prin­ci­ple and in the ab­sence of a chart, you could well be right. In the wa­ters many of us sail, how­ever, large North Car­di­nal buoys such as this are of­ten put there for the guid­ance of big ships only. The shoal this one guards has 4 me­ters over it at low­est as­tro­nom­i­cal tide, which means that at mean level the depth is about 7 me­ters. The shoal is sit­u­ated 0.8 nau­ti­cal miles south of the buoy, so the side one opts to pass it is im­ma­te­rial in terms of depth—Tom Cun­liffe

— Tom McDon­agh, Ac­ton, MA

I took this photo in the early morn­ing as fog en­veloped the Clai­borne Pell New­port Bridge.

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