Narooma Entrance Bar, Austrailia

Narooma Web Site, SatellitePic.

There is much to be learned from the pictures and comments about bar crossings. (The sat pics may not load automatically in Google Earth.)

I direct your attention to the picture with the boat in the air. Note this: it did not get airborne like that just by standing still. I estimate it was going about 8-12 knots at the moment it topped the crest of the wave. Boats that have done similar things have done great damage to the boat and sometimes to the occupants, I can recall such an incident at Tillamook Bay Sat.Pic., Oregon a couple of years ago. Damge to the boat: over $100K, severe injuries to one of the crew. This sort of thing comes under the heading of: only done once: before you knew better!

Nehalem Bay Entrance Sat. Pic, Chart: on the Oregon coast is about the most similar entrance to Narooma that I can think of. Examine the Chart, notice that the deep water at Nehalem entrance is only about 12-15 feet deep and is so narrow (100 feet) that even a small boat would have trouble turning around without passing over much shallower water. This assumes that the operator would even know where the deep and shallow water was, as the sand bottom topography changes day by day. Deeper water is safer!

Myself, I have had several boats in the breakers without getting airborne or doing any damage. The trick is to stay out from under the curling break and have no way on(no speed) when topping the crest; the biggest wave being about 30 feet high. That might seem like a big wave, but the period was about 15 seconds and such a wave is not steep.

1. Deeper water is safer.

2. There are basically two types of breakers, plunging and spilling. Plungers are the more dangerous.

3. If in the breakers, don't get in a hurry, or you will get airborne. Boats do not make good airplanes.


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