Whiskey Gulf is Active
03 August 2010 | Deep Water Bay
Whiskey Gulf is the identification for a controlled entrance undersea weapons test range that occupies much of the southwest part of Georgia Strait north of Nanimo. There is a safe transit area located INSIDE the designated restricted area. All day today we have listened to channel 10 and 16 as boats were intercepted by helicopters and boats and directed OUT of Whiskey Gulf. When it is hot, they ARE shooting torpoedos....really. So, the first problem is that you might be targeted (some would say by accident?). The second problem is that you are going to be identified breaking the rules. So...it's easy right? Just don't enter Whiskey Gulf (something like just say no). Simple. Right. ....naive...There are lots of boats today that are failing this simple requirement.
A look at the chart shows that there is no easy path around Whiskey Gulf on the west side of the Strait of Georgia. There is an area WITHIN Whiskey Gulf designated by coordinates A,B,C,D where apparently things get serious. Outside of that but inside Whiskey Gulf there is a 1000 yard corridor designated by a dotted line in someone's imagination (IT IS NOT ON THE CHART) and written about in our guide to the area. I've plotted it on our chart (we can put an overlay onto the electronic chart manually). Tomorrow we will enter Whiskey Gulf and transit that allowed area. Then we will know whether it is really allowed. Listening to the radio suggests maybe there is ambiguity that is not completely clear. We'll call Winchelesa Control (the controllers name for Whiskey Gulf) before we enter. I think I have it right. I hope so.
I'm not worried about a torpedo, I'm worried about breaking a federal rule that someone takes real seriously because I don't completely understand the corridor idea. I tend to over-worry these things.