There is a Harbor here, Hilo Bay. It is relatively large compared to some of our other ports. While in transit inbound towards the main basin, one must pass a few very shallow rocky spots. If you stay on the range line you pass very close to a lighted buoy marking a dangerous rock.
But if you go off range on purpose, staying north of the range, you are still within very deep water and a safe distance away from the rocks. So that’s what I and some other pilots do.
Cruise ship Captains refer to me (and others) as
“The ones that do the Wiggle” on the way in.
They are perplexed as to why we go off range on purpose. I’ve explained it a thousand times during my MPX. To deaf ears.
To be clear, I’m not defending the CRP situation. I wasn’t there.
But it’s true that there are times that NOT being on the range is safer. Like when we enter Honolulu Harbor and elect to stay ‘upwind’ on the entrance range on a blustery trade wind day. Doing this on a large box ship, tanker in ballast, or cruise ship is a routine effort. Regular Captains that call here frequently know what we are doing. Others, if they say anything, I’ll explain what’s happening. But the observant ones can usually see it themselves.