Peter called me up one day, years back, asked me if I could ride over & back with him, from Waiheke Island to Half Moon Bay in Auckland, on the ferry that he was skippering that day. Peter said he had a question for me that could only be answered on a trip to the city & back, so down to the ferry I went, hopped onboard and into the cockpit I went. After he got us out of the bay he got me to take the control… it was a simple joy stick, turn left, right, port, starboard, whatever you like, off we went, all very easy, out & across the Tamaki Strait and then I headed it towards the narrow channel, enroute to Half Moon Bay, when Peter said to me,
‘Now then Doug, which way do you plan on entering this channel ahead,
as in between which markers?’
I replied… ‘Red right returning Peter, always!’… meaning I was going to enter the channel with the red marker on our right & the green on the left.
Peter smiled & said… ‘Not on my watch you aren’t!’
I looked at Peter and said ‘Then what do you suggest?’
Peter said this was why he wanted me along that day, to see it for himself. I’ll explain, in Canada & the US waters, when you return to a port, or head up a river, you always head between the markers with the red on your right. Easy enough to learn… Red-Right Returning, but Peter said ‘Not on my watch you aren’t, because that’s only for Can/USA,
the rest of the world is Green-Right-Returning!
Oh nooooo, the first thing I thought was I wonder about the Exxon Valdez, and of course I re-alligned our passage direction ahead, we were on a ferry, with people & cars & with Peter’s watchful eye on me, somehow we made it there & back that day, to live another day.
Thank you Peter, it’s changed my whole point of view on the water here on these NZ shores… it’s taught me to get a thicker hull!
If you happen to see this it would be nice to hear from you, if you’re still out there… firstname.lastname@example.org
News Flash UPDATE 23 May 2016:
I’ve been looking for Peter for years, I can now finally say Peter has been Found, and thank you Stradbroke Ferries, it’s been an arduously long journey, 3 days since I posted it in here & on Facebook… thank you!!