You are driving down a narrowing highway in the dark.
There are no curbs or guardrails.
Suddenly, some one passes you at high speed and flings muddy water on your windscreen.
Did I mention you don’t have wipers?
This is pretty much what happens when a high speed or large propeller boat goes by on the water.
Trailing from their props is a skein of air and water-vapor filled bubbles.
The spinning action traps them in a writhing tube that takes a long time to dissipate or rise to the surface.
Because sailboats have depth sounders with wide angle reception (to compensate for heeling) these bubbles cause false depth readings for quite a while after the other boat passes.
Unfortunately, these readings are almost always roughly equivalent to “run aground depths.” Today, Friday (of course), through some “eye of the needle” spots, our depth sounder spent more time delivering false readings than true. Ah well, grit and bear it. The run from Wrightsville Beach to Mile Hammock (Camp LeJeune) is very pretty and except for New River Inlet very straightforward. So, this time, no big deal. We knew it would be a good day when a bridge tender opened early for a government vessel and stayed open 15 minutes so we could pass through a congested, high current area rather than making us wait an hour plus. Unusual [that long] and very welcome.