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VIDEO: Threading the needle

Transiting an inlet with a good sea running requires experience, timing and the right touch on the throttles.

Threading the narrow, rocky inlet at Depoe Bay, Ore., which separates the so-called “world’s smallest harbor” from the Pacific, leaves very little room for error, as these three videos so vividly show.

Click play to watch.

Click play to watch.

Click play to watch.

And when things don’t go exactly according to plan, the skipper remains calm and makes a nice recovery. Panicking never helps.

The February issue of Soundings contains a dramatic account by Capt. Richard Thiel of coming into Florida’s Jupiter Inlet many moons ago.

“We were headed down the face of a wave and in all likelihood would bury the bow and probably pitchpole,” Thiel writes. “It looked as if we were going for a swim.”