An anchoring danger & Pelican Lights - Page 11 - SailNet Community
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post #101 of 124 Old 03-28-2007
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I do like Catalinas... When I was a member of the Naval Sailing club in San Diego Ca. We had Catalina 27s and Catalina 22s for our club fleet. Retired in 01/79.
My second boat was a Catalina 30. That was years ago. The Dearly Departed (she is in Calif. and I am here in Louisiana) sold it while I was at sea on a MSC ship. Should have hung onto the boat. But that is in the past and not to fret over. But am actively looking for another boat. Plus a marina here close by in Louisiana... Many of them got wiped out due to those devastating Hurricanes we had two years ago... In fact many of the small towns that got wiped out, have never really recovered... and New Orleans is complaining?? They got off lightly compared to many of the other areas that were hit.
But that is neither here or there in this thread. But for the lack of marina's around here.

Those plastic Flaminos remind me that many times I could tell where the shallow water was because of the birds wading farout from shore. Well? Whatever works in staying afloat right!?

Oh when you are anchoring here in the Gulf of Mexico or the Bayous be careful where you drop your hook. There are a lot of pipe lines on the bottom and you need good charts to know that you won't drag into one of them. And end up kissing your buns good bye. Better to hang off a platform... but stay awake or end up being wrapped around it.

Have Fun and a safe trip.

Last edited by Boasun; 03-28-2007 at 07:55 PM.
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post #102 of 124 Old 03-28-2007
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Got your attention, I guess!
If you re-read my post I think that you will find that I was more than open about single-handers need to sleep. I was not, perhaps, as gracious about the tender. That was not my intent. The point on either example, is that conscious decisions are made about matters of seamanship, usually prior to departure. It could reasonably be construed, in certain circumstances, that single handing is, in and of itself, unsafe and makes the vessel unseaworthy. Do I believe that those circumstances are frequent? No, I do not. But they do exist. When you make a decision to single hand you are also taking on additional responsibility due to your possible inability to stand either a navigation watch or an anchor watch. That decision was not made when the fog rolled in while you slept. It was made before you left the dock. Of course you have a right to single hand. But that, in no way, reduces your obligations to proper seamanship. If the fog rolls in while you are sleeping, while anchored, and you are not playing your tape of ringing bells (some ships actually have such that are played over a speaker), and you are allided with by another vessel, you are going to be found at fault, or contributory to the allision. That is the way it is. You don't get a special exemption because you're a yachtsman.

If I elect to speed while driving my car and get a ticket, my defense cannot be centered around the fact that the car was a Ferrari and capable of travelling safely at that speed. If I hit a horse with it on the interstate they are not going to hold the owner of the horse liable, they are going to ticket me because I am breaking the law. Once that is established, the horse's actions are moot. You are in the same position on your boat. You are entitled to do as you damn well please, as long as you are willing to pay the price. The price may be a citation, or it may be your life.

Ken Barnes took a lot of heat on this site, and probably rightly so, for exhibiting poor seamanship. His was an unusual case. Most offshore sailors, whether single handing or crewed, are quite safe offshore. The vast majority of maritime accidents happen relatively near shore, if not in sight of land. Certainly groundings do! Boats collide all the time, in perfect visibility and in fairly open water. Seamanship is even more at a premium when in congested areas, and near shore in general. If you make it past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel without a collision you've probably got a real good chance of not being in danger of one until the Strait of Gibralter. Those are just the odds.

If you are anchored, as a single hander, you should probably be getting up periodically to check on your condition. How will you know if your anchor is holding at the turn of the tide? How will you know if another vessel has arrived and anchored too close to you? How will you know if fog is setting in? Now, I am not so naive as to think that even crewed sailboats, say with husband and wife, are standing proper anchor watches either. They want to sleep together. So be it. You may object to my position all you like, but i do not feel that you can make the case that you are exhibiting proper seamanship by those practises. You may be fine 999 times out of one thousand, but in the one time, where conditions change and you are incapable of standing an anchor or navigation watch you will be guilty of poor seamanship, if not worse. And that was a decision that was possibly made before you ever set sail. Like Mr. Barnes.

The sea allows us virtually complete freedom. A master of a vessel, be it a sailboat or freighter, is in complete command of his world about him. That is why he or she is called, Master. But, there is never any freedom that doesn't hold responsibility. BTW, an anchor watch on a merchant ship is comprised of 3 people, the mate on watch and 2 seamen. When you have a Coast Guard issued license and hundreds of millions in ship and cargo, you are held to a pretty high standard of responsibility. That's why the master always loses his license, even though he was reasonably sleeping, and the third mate on watch screwed up. The master is supposed to somehow know the third mate is screwing up. That is real responsibility. I don't think I ask too much.

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post #103 of 124 Old 03-28-2007
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"A TPWD (texas parks and wildlife) officer pulls aside a boat thats been a bit brash about his speed and demeanor. He asks, and gets permission to board. While on board, he asks about PFD's. "
Nice concept, but in most places they couldn't legally refuse his request to board--which would either leave the officer up on charges of entrapment, or at any rate, the boaters free since they (presumably) legally have the burden of allowing a peace officer to board for an inspection, and as a police action that overrides other obligations. The onus could be on the officer.
He'd be smarter to just act like an old time Irish beat cop and take his nightstick to the console or windscreen. Oh, wait a minute, guys got sent up on charges for that too, didn't they?

Bottom line, they'd all be better off figuring out who regulates the lake--and regulating it. Or, since Texas has a Naval Militia, asking the Governor to commandeer that vessel and skipper and place them on active patrol duty. "Sorry Sir, we need your boat, you're on active duty now." (Legal in most states for most males between the ages of 18-45.)
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post #104 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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technically, its a corps lake, but they don't have so much as a life raft here. its oklahoma on one side, and texas on the other.

I know the story is true cuz I was sitting in court beating a speeding ticket when the twpd and the "perp" were there ahead of me. The judge upheld the fine.
does the phrase "you ain't from around here are ya" mean anything to ya?

I beat mine due to the sign for the speed limit coming into town was gone. (darn lucky)

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post #105 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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For anti collision purposes in aviation. strobes are the 'de-facto' usually white. I used one in daylight only that was unfeasibly powerful and used to switch it off when joining home base if it was a bit dull. It was highly visible. would it be 'legal' or advisable to use these in a marine environment on. (obviously not as powerful as I was using if it was to used at night)

Another aviation practice is for airliners to light up the tail end when making night approaches. Originally designed for advertising purposes, it proved invaluable in anti collision uses because of the high visibility. Lighting sails a bit at night (using deck lights) could be useful if night sailing in busy waters methinks, because the light is reflective, it doesn't interfere with night vision. The same cannot be said about strobes of course.

What is the law on this? I can see plenty of rules about what must be displayed but nothing on what can't.
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post #106 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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I think I learnt a long time ago, before I forgot who Altzheimer was, that SOLAS/Colregs only allow white strobe lights for emergency use at night when underway. It is equivalent to shining your mega shiny search light at the approaching bridge (and getting a "my giga blinding beam is bigger" in return).
I'm sure someone with a handy lighting table will correct me.
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post #107 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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"does the phrase "you ain't from around here are ya" mean anything to ya? "
Yup, small town courts are the same the world over. And in all 50 states, the Capitol District, and the eleven Insular Territories (to use the latest PC phrase.)

"would it be 'legal' or advisable to use these in a marine environment on."
IIRC the US Inland Rules restrict or enumerate the white strobe to emergency signalling, and it is commonly used for that purpose. If there is no law against using it as a "marker light", you could (and arguably should!) still be given a summons for a false distress signal for using one any other way, because anyone who sees the white strobe will act on the basis of seeing a distress signal. (At least, in the US they will.)

Unless you are a Florida school bus, they seem to think drivers can't figure out what an eight foot wide, ten foot tall, big chrome yellow vehicle might be, so they stick white flashing strobes on the back of the roof to make sure anyone following the bus is now blinded by the light. (That's what happens when you force a proudly self-proclaimed redneck cracker state to support mandatory education, it's a good reason to ban school busses as a public menace too.)
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post #108 of 124 Old 03-29-2007 Thread Starter
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I respect you position. I was probably a little harsh yesterday, thus apologize. However, I doubt you and I will ever see eye-to-eye on that. If you feel you should always take three to four people with you everytime you set foot on a boat and go cruising, one or two of which you will never see as they will be sleeping when you are awake, then that is what you should do. I respect you and them for that. However, maintaining an anchor watch... even on a husband-wife boat, is near impossible. The practicality and reality of it is not worth mentioning.

As far as seamanship, I will guarantee you that this dad does not take it lightly. However, I do not think that my decision to not maintain an anchor watch everytime my hook hits the water is a lack of seamanship, no matter what the regs say. Instead, I would venture to say that the regulations leave out the reality of the yachtsman in place of the neccessities and common sense of a commerical ship. Do I think the commercial ship should have to live up to a higher standard than the yachtsman? Yes I do.

I will give you a driving example, since you brought it up. I will try and outline it as it was explained to me, but will likely miss the exact pieces of it. I am not a judge or lawyer, so please forgive the small inaccuracies: My father in law sat on a trial about a year ago. It had to do with a young girl and her girl friend that were VASTLY speeding through a red light (very high rate). They hit a man turning left, who had a protected green arrow. They ran the red light, speeding, he had a green light, protected arrow. They found him half at fault. Why? Becuase Texas law designates that you CANNOT proceed through an intersetion until it is clear. His argument, other then the fact that they ran the red light, was that at the speed they were travelling, there was NO way he could have seen them. Impossible. However, the judge said the law is the law and he broke it. Now, who was right? It is an illconceived law missplaced and missdirected. The intent is to make people be vigilant and look both ways before entering into a intersection (even with a green light). The reality is that it is impossible to ever enter a intersection knowing it is absolutely clear.

The same argument can be applied to the anchor watch & Colregs. A good idea for the commercial ship and crew, but illconceived and missdirected for the yachtsmen. Proper seamanship does not mean dropping you hook outside of a shipping lane, turning off the lights, and going to bed. No way. That is insanity. However, nor does it mean anchoring somewhere off of an island, in fine weather, hook firmly in place, and sitting up all night long waiting for the off chance a boat might pass by. Now come on!!

Most of seamanship is common sense and its practice. I doubt you would dissagree with that.

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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 03-29-2007 at 11:12 AM.
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post #109 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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One might note, with regard to not keeping an anchor watch, that in some areas there are both "general anchorages" and "special anchorages" marked in the charts and distinguished by law. In the former you are required to keep an anchor watch and sometimes radio watch as well. In the latter, you are allowed to simply drop a hook and go black. Which is why they are often formal mooring fields!
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post #110 of 124 Old 03-29-2007
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I still would be a bit hesitant about going "Black" even in a "Special Anchorage." There simply are too many idiots out there that have no clue.

I have seen the Poker Run Boats running crazzzzy sppeeeds at night in conditions with very little visibility. When anchored, I still am going to light up even if it is in a Special Anchorage. Like Mr. Rogers would say, "Isn't that Special"
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