Crossing VTS Traffic/shipping lanes - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007
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Crossing VTS Traffic/shipping lanes

Is there a protocol for crossing VTS lanes? Some I know issue a securite' but others just watch for traffic. Specifically the Rosario straight in Pacific NW which can be up to 5 nm across. Do you contact Seattle traffic service or issue a securite? I am aware of VTS zones but no one has ever explained if there is an exact protocol?

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Old 12-27-2007
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I've crossed Rossario and most other straights and passes in the area dozens of times (except Puget Sound) and have never used securite' or contacted Seattle trafic, nor have I ever heard anyone else on the radio do so just for crossing. But I think I would if visability was restricted.

Last edited by kiprichard; 12-27-2007 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 12-27-2007
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Cross as close to perpendicular to the VTS as possible, to reduce your transit distance/time as much as possible. You should contact the VTS control to let them know you're there.
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Old 12-27-2007
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I concur with sailingdog's advise. VTS reporting has the advantage that the VTS operators will be aware of traffic well out of sight that may be closing rapidly. That traffic will also be aware of your presence and intentions via the VTS operators. Should you encounter difficulties of any sort, you'll have the advantage that VTS and concerned traffic has already been on the lookout for you. Securite' by all means in fog-I rec. every fifteen minutes depending on situation. I'd also rec. not being in a traffic seperation zone in fog if it can be avoided.
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Old 12-30-2007
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Everything you need to know about Puget Sound VTS is at their website, summarized nicely in this pamplet and this flyer.

There are specific VTS channels you can monitor for different areas of the sound - 14 south of possession point and bush point, 5a north of there. Note that channel 16 is specifically _not_ VTS traffic and many commercial vessels do not monitor it. I believe Seattle asks that you just listen, not notify, although in fog I would probably notify. Everything is detailed in those two links.

I cross the VTS all the time, but I primarily day sail in a portion of puget sound where the VTS traffic can be spotted way ahead of time and the lanes are pretty narrow. Those big ships move helluva fast, if I can see one at all I stay out of the VTS usually.


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Last edited by tenuki; 12-30-2007 at 12:38 PM.
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Thanks a bunch tenuki...actually crossing west coast of Cypress Isl to Peavine Pass so not very far..at think the lane is less than 1nm at that point....
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Old 12-30-2007
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TENUKI ,thats not your boat is it ???
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Old 12-30-2007
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hahaahahaha, nope. stupid power boater, not my pic either, off the coast guard site.
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Old 01-12-2008
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Good advice and information Tenuki, thanks.

Sab-when crossing from Cypress to Peavine, if you are at the south end of Cypress it's about 2NM over to the Blakely shore. Tugs and ships heading southbound can be hidden by the north end of Cypress and if the current is ebbing hard they can be on you in short order. When the current is ebbing a local trick is to go north on the inside (Cypress side) of Strawberry Is., there is a reverse current there that will help you out and then you can cross almost straight over to Blakely/Peavine. I have never heard anyone issue a Securite in Rosario except in fog, and rarely even then. Be aware that the Washington State Ferries use Peavine Pass occasionally (they use it as a back up route during high winds), which can be a real shock if you turn the corner to the south riding a nice 4K current only to see a monster ferry heading your way!

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Old 01-12-2008
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That boat is probably resting nicely on the bulbous bow. I do not think he was successful at cutting off the evil spirits. btw, that was a very, very slow speed collision.
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