|ARC Staffer Nick at Bermuda Radio|
We arrived in the area just before midnight last Friday. The entrance to the Town Cut is very challenging as it intersects with the channel taken by the cruise ships. As a result, the area is congested with red buoy lights. I was below deck on the chart plotter and a walkie-talkie directing the crew. Since I could not see what they were seeing, I did not realize how confusing it was above.
All I could see was the screen and the direction we were traveling. The further they steered us off course, the more I yelled "turn to port" over and over. Finally, I stood in the companionway and hollered, "What is it about "port" (left) you don't understand?!?" I could see us going up the cruise ship channel and getting near an area of 1-2 meters of water with a rocky bottom in our path if they turned in the wrong place.
|This is what Bermuda Radio sees from its perch on the hill.|
Next I saw Trillium turning around the other way - to starboard. Just then Bermuda Radio called us to see what was going on. Fortunately, the crew saw S/V Magnetic Sky coming up behind and decided to let them go through the channel and Town Cut first. Then we followed them in. Thank you Magnetic Sky!
At the time, it was alarming not to know where to go. Afterwards, we had many good laughs about "port."
I was surprised to see only one person manning the whole operation on the week-end and at night. I guess there is not as much traffic then as during the week days. During high traffic areas and hurricanes, other staffers are on duty. They even sleep on the floor in sleeping bags to keep up with the round-the-clock demands.