The hypothetical voyage from Manasquan Inlet NJ to Raritan Bay (around the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ)

You are the Captain of a large yacht which is carrying about 10 of your family and friends on a trip from Manasquan Inlet northward to Sandy Hook along the NJ coastline. Your yacht can handle heavy weather and the weather reports indicate that a squall usually an intense but short lived storm is approaching the coast from the north directly into your intended pathway. When you find the image of the NJ Coast on the Chart you will see purple lines which indicate the approach channels of ocean going ships into New York Harbor.

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These purple corridors are somewhat similar to aircraft approach patterns to airports but they are not stringently enforced and managed by Marine Controllers. Now the problem! Your boat can maintain a maximum speed of ten knots about 14 miles per hour. You as the Captain need to decide if you can get to the safety or Raritan Bay before the storm gets to your intended course. You can try to make a run for it or head further out to sea and avoid the possible intersection and collision with the container ships heading toward New York Harbor . Going back to Manasquan is not allowed!

Tools and Aids to make your decision:

You have a compass and chart which provides water depths along your intended course. You should use the time speed and distance formulas referenced on the site to calculate when you will reach safety before the storm arrives at Sandy Hook. The storm is moving at 5 miles per hour. To use the formula you need time which is what time it is when you decide how to proceed,your boat speed and the distance between where your location is and your destination. Remember if you have two variables you can using basic equations find the third.

So what is your decision head out to sea and ride out the storm or speed up and try to get to Raritan Bay before the storm hits. Remember squalls are short lived but winds can go from 5 knots to over 100 knots in the span of minutes.

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