Yikes! The depth-sounder beeps, and I twitch,
There’s a red one — a green one — but which?
Whew, I’m glad they’re not pink,
For these nav-aids, I think,
Are quite Christmassy here in the Ditch.
Anyone who has “done the Ditch” knows how critical the red and green markers are. After grueling sun-up to sun-down days at the helm, we see them in our sleep and sometimes have nightmares about going on the wrong side of one.
For you landlubbers (and Lee), here are some photos of the markers I mention above.
Top to bottom:
- What happens when you miss a marker. (The haze here is from a wildfire, no relation to the wreck.)
- Another red one — with an eagle perched on it.
- This is what a green one looks like in the fog. Or is that a red one? Believe it or not, this is the Georgia-Florida border. Where are the palm trees?
- Here’s what the markers look like on the chart — Hell Gate was aptly named. No range markers, just aim and hope.
- Barry smiles in relief after he makes it through Hell Gate. It only **looks** like there’s water there.