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  #11  
Old 05-26-2011
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Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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"This is quite a bold and untrue statement you have painted with a broad brush and would leave you beleive that the Baltimore Inner Harbor and the Patapsco are one in the same and that its is a roiling wake filled mess."

Chef, were you around when the U.S. Coast Guard held hearings at the Customs House pertaining to commercial and recreational traffic conflicts in the Patapsco River? Yeah, I didn't think so. However, there were two days of hearings, and there were complaints lodged by several commercial entities pertaining to exactly that problem. I was there as a representative of the press for Charter Industry Trade News. There were also reporters from the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Washington Times, and several other publications. I interviewed the Coast Guard Commandant in Baltimore when the hearings concluded and published an article in the trade news the following month. At the time there were a fair number of sailboats sailing upriver of Key Bridge, and from what I personally witnessed last summer, the number hasn't decreased any from when I wrote the article 15 years ago. Most of the complaintent testimony at the hearings were from tug captains who pushed and towed barges in and out of the area. There were also complaints from large commercial vessel captains as well.

YOU are the one painting with a bold brush. And, the OP didn't say which direction they were headed from to reach White Rocks--he merely stated he was headed back to White Rocks and the freighter was inbound. You are right, however, that MOST of us are smart enough to keep out of the path of commercial traffic and sail outside the designated channels and deadly encounters between commercial and recreational vessels, are hopefully, a thing of the past. The key word here is MOST--NOT ALL! The problem still exists.

Gary
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2011
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Traveling

By the way I saw from the top of the Key bridge as I was traveling over it at this time. and heard the frieghter give the 5 blasts on his horn he was inbound at the turn of the Brewerton Channel off the Chesapeake Bay into the Patapsco about Red Bouy 4 between North Point Shoal and Old Road Bay. About 2 miles East of the Key Bridge. There was an outbound frieghter under the bridge and the two ships would have passed wthin about 10 minutes as the outbounder was just beginning to pick up speed. The OPs good question was who were the horns blast directed at. There was no danger of collision between the 10 or so sailboats racing who were crossing the channel to White Rocks as they do every Wednesday night and the ship, it was just the ship giving a simple warning to the sailbaots that he was in the vacinity as was comming down the channel. It was a safety warning and showed common sense. No one appeared to be in any iminent danger at all. And from that you infered this big catastophe waiting to happen zone.?

Well its a good thing you keep your sailing vessel in that quiet sailing area of Perryville you wont have to worry about gettting distracted and then run down by one of the those big bad tugs, frieghter captians, or runaway barges. Unlike you who has written about the area, I have sailed the area for the 15 years while you were away and have not seen very much of your ALLEGED conditions you so witnessed. You bold brush paints an untrue picture, thats what I am protesting. I am willing to bet there are far more close calls an incidents in the Elk River run down from the C&D canal with sailing vessels and barges, tugs and frieghters than in the Patapsco. Thats the area you sail in isnt it>

So the true test. Prove what you say. Give us EMPIRICAL evidence of your bold brush painting. How many accidents or near accidents have actually occured in the area you have said is so dangerous? How many people have been hurt? What are your numbers? Is it anymore dangerous than say Harve de Grace near where you are? Were there more boating accidents on the Patapsco then say the Severn. Surely you have statistics to prove your boastfull claim other than some testoimony of the special interst groups you represented at some Coast Gaurd Hearing of which there are many on many different issues in this area..

Like most reporters you are quite practiced in the hyperbole of the printed word. We all know how journalists like to take a molehill and build the mountain...otherwise it would be boring to read.

I sail the area regularly amd have for many years. I have many friends who sail the area. have never heard any stories of any of them tangling with a barge, tug, frieghter or any commercial ship. Most of us have had encounters with the occasional powerboater. See Traveling Easy, most of us have the commmon sense to respect the big boys and stay out of their way and not play in the channel. Thats why you will not find any incidents of mishaps involving sailboats and commercial ships on the Patapsco. Prove me wrong with some hard examples. Find statistocs which show this area has more boating accidents per number of boats using it than any other area. I am willing to change my mind if you can find REAL evidence, not the musings of a person who makes a living exagerating things in print.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 05-26-2011 at 11:23 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-27-2011
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NAH! It's not worth my time.

I'm outa' here!

Have a good life,

Gary
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Old 05-27-2011
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Jas-
I'm not sure what model of VHF you have, but in addition to the "dual watch" you can set the radio to scan a variety of channels and it'll stop on whichever channel there is a signal on.

In the Chesapeake, I find that scanning 16, 13, 68 and 78(? can't remember the last one) to be very useful.

This gets me whatever the Coast Guard is doing, the bridge tenders, cruiser & marina chatter, and I can hear the fishermen discuss where the fish are biting, so I can stay away from them.

Technically, all vessels are required to monitor 16 in case there is a vessel in distress nearby. You can call anyone on 16 and then immediately request that you shift the conversation to a "working" channel like 13, or one of the higher channels.

I've been warned of squall lines at least twice by keeping 16 in the scan pattern and it's saved me from getting caught with my pants down.
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Old 05-27-2011
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Quote:
So the true test. Prove what you say. Give us EMPIRICAL evidence of your bold brush painting. How many accidents or near accidents have actually occured in the area you have said is so dangerous? How many people have been hurt? What are your numbers? Is it anymore dangerous than say Harve de Grace near where you are? Were there more boating accidents on the Patapsco then say the Severn. Surely you have statistics to prove your boastfull claim other than some testoimony of the special interst groups you represented at some Coast Gaurd Hearing of which there are many on many different issues in this area.. Chef2Sail
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NAH! It's not worth my time-Traveling Easy
No proof...just a lot of hot air and hyperbole just as I speculated.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Jas-
I've been warned of squall lines at least twice by keeping 16 in the scan pattern and it's saved me from getting caught with my pants down.
Years and years ago, before there were shoulder belts in cars, and the push to encourage people to wear their seat belts was just winding up, I was an on again, off again seat belt user. As it happened I one day was involved in a collision where I probably would've been seriously injured had I not been wearing that seat belt. That turned me into a conscientious seat belt wearer.

Likewise, I used to be kind of lax about monitoring channel 16. I knew I should, both for our safety and the safety of others, but I wasn't real consistent about it. Then, season-before-last, luck struck again. This happened to be a day when I'd remembered, and so we'd been monitoring channel 16 all day. At one point, literally "out of the blue," a gale warning was issued by the closest Coast Guard station, based on a report from a nearby yacht club's instrumentation and observations. We had just enough time to get the iron genny cranked up, her nose pointed into the wind, and the sails down and minimally secured when it caught up with us. Had we not received that warning when we did, we could have been in quite serious trouble.

The wind was loudly whistling thru the rigging. We can normally easily do over 6 kts on the iron genny. We couldn't even make 3. One sailboat south of us was in real trouble and calling for CG assistance. Multiple powerboats were in trouble. A slip neighbour returned with their headsail furling system fouled and the sail badly torn.

I'm a lot more conscientious about monitoring channel 16 ever since that.

Jim
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Old 05-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

I'm a lot more conscientious about monitoring channel 16 ever since that.

Jim
+1 - be there, done that. I monitor 16 and the appropriate VTS channel when near traffic lanes and at night or in fog.

BTW - a few crashes while rallying has thoroughly convinced me about seatbelts.
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Old 05-27-2011
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+1 I monitor now for a similar reason. Check the IPAD2 or droid every hour when the weather is iffy to look at the doppler radar.

Also last year we were close enough on a distress call to be the first to arrive and prevent a situation from escalating to bad

No need to tempt the fates
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Old 05-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Technically, all vessels are required to monitor 16 in case there is a vessel in distress nearby.
If you are not required to have a VHF radio, i.e. you are a voluntary vessel, you are not required to monitor channel 16 if you have a radio with DSC. Still a good idea to monitor channel 16, but not an FCC requirement for voluntary vessels with DSC radio's.

Eric
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