Planning and Constructing Restricted Water Tracks
The most critical track the QM will construct is the restricted water
track. This is because the ship is at its most vulnerable time when
transisting dangerous channels. You must plan for all contingencies. It
seems that Murphys law applies most often when a ship is in a channel.
Chart selection: Professional and thorough chart selection and
preparation is the foundation on which safe piloting through restricted
water tracks is based.
Effective chart selection requires a combination of skill and judgment.
Here are some questions to consider when selecting charts for restricted
Has the best scale chart been selected for the given area?
Have conspicious NAVAIDs been lost due to choosing the largest
scale chart available?
Are the latest editions of selected charts available?
Research: During the research phase, all reference material on the port
should be consulted and notes made. Often port directories and fleet
guides will provide invaluable data concerning entering or departing a
given port. Often information concerning best approaches, traffic
separation schemes, tidal currents, berths available, channel depths, and
so on are listed.
Taking detailed notes on this information will speed the process of
constructing the restricted water tracks. Once you have gathered
information about the port and selected the charts to use, you can start
the actual laying down of tracks.
Before you can lay down the actual tracks, youll have to learn about
red and yellow soundings, turn bearings, highlighting dangers, and
danger bearings and angles.