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post #61 of 69 Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
But these guys, generally, know what they're doing.

It's the "yahoos," such as those described by Maine Sail, who typically stay in harbor when it gets dark, especially when it's foggy.
Catamount,

The only issues for you and I at night in the fog is pot buoys. If you think they are bad in 30 foot vis in the day.... Been there. At night in pea soup is an odd feeling, fun but odd. All you'll hear is thump, rooooollllllll, thump, rooooollll of the pot buoys rolling down your top sides or under your hull.. Also anything, even red light, kills my night vision in the fog in a bad way, though everyone is different in this regard.. Haven't really figured out why but it must be something about the total blackness of it and how your eyes adjust..

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post #62 of 69 Old 01-09-2010
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I have noticed that an awful lot of captains don't sound the fog signals as required. The main excuse it bothers them and their crew while they are trying to sleep... Another is that it is to much bother. And a Myriad of other excuses for not doing so. Talk about Idiotic reasons and excuses for endangering the other vessels that are out there. But then you have to consider their frail egos on this and slap them hard.

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post #63 of 69 Old 01-09-2010
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Down East

I wonder if others find this to be true?

The further down east I go, the safer I feel in the fog. On Cape Cod, fog is relatively rare, and when it happens, lots of inexperienced boaters get caught and don't know what to do. Last summer, in a single day, I was nearly run down by a couple of large sports fishing boats that appeared to be heavily loaded with electronics.

On the other extreme, in Nova Scotia, if you decide you won't move in fog, you might not move for a long time. More folks up there seem to know how to keep a good watch in restricted visibility. I've never had a problem in fog down east.

I think some darwinian law is in effect as you head down east. Self selection seems to thin out the population of ....
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post #64 of 69 Old 01-10-2010
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I would add another safety tip to all the good advice listed above. An occassional security call on the VHF stating your position, speed and heading is very important. I also have "Zorro" on board. Zorro is a hyper Schipperke that directionally barks at vessels that we may only see on radar. The negative trade off is that he also barks on the clear days. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
I laughed when I read this, thinking of other Skippers briefly panicking and quickly rechecking their Radar/GPS/Charts having heard a barking dog, before they had visual contact with Captain Zorro and his boat! ter
I windsurf at the Golden Gate in SF, and have been caught in fog a couple of times. Both times heavy fog followed me across the Gate in clear conditions (I would have been doing 15-30 Knots), and I had no idea until I Gybed as was looking at a wall of white! It is amazing how quickly fog can move, and how disorienting it is, once you're in it. Having no instruments and only the horns on the Bridge to navigate by, I soon learned that I couldn't trust my senses, as they were telling me the bridge was moving! I also found myself wondering; "was that horn on the bridge or a tanker?". Fortunately, it was the bridge, and the wind persisted long enough to get me back home which is often not the case when you are actually in the fog. An interesting experience but not recommended, and to be avoided if possible! It made me realize how quickly pilots (i.e., John Kennedy Jr.) can get in serious trouble in IFR conditions if they don't trust their instruments!

Last edited by L124C; 01-10-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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post #65 of 69 Old 01-10-2010
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The dog comment reminded me of an interesting fog signal that I heard this summer. Someone had mounted a car horn on their boat and honked twice every 30 seconds. The fog signal was not very helpful and it ended up being a sailboat under power but it sure was funny to listen to.

Something that I feel is a design fault with the standard horizon VHF with loudhailer that we use is that when you set it up to do the fog signal, the VHF no longer works. We realized it after a few minutes of the radio being completely quite on a really foggy day mid summer.

A note on security calls on the radio. As a commercial operator for 9 years, many of the calls coming from pleasure boats were very frustrating to listen to. The people making these calls did not understand that airtime is limited and that they cannot make calls almost constantly on the radio. Some of the calls went on for close to a minute and were filled with useless information then repeated every 10 minutes. The purpose of making the call on the radio is to alert others that you are transiting a high traffic area and to establish contact with targets with a close CPA if necessary. Unless someone is plotting you on a GPS interfaced radar, reading out coordinates is pretty much pointless, it is much better to say something like "presently passing the PB buoy, west Penobscot Bay". No one ever takes the time to plot each vessel position as it is called out on the radio and if no geographic position is given, they don't even know if the vessel calling is anywhere nearby or not. The people that are plotting you on radar will call you anyways since they already have the coordinates. If someone calls back and you go to a working channel, then coordinates can become helpful for double checking but that does not tie up 16. The vessels that really matter are things like tugs and tows or freighters. Things that move quickly and are not maneuverable should be given the airtime by the pleasure boaters. The fact of the matter is, many pleasure boaters hold course and speed until they can visually see the target anyways so they are just getting a warning that they are about to see something.

I apologize for the rant of radio etiquette but it can be extremely frustrating to be unable to establish radio contact with a target because someone in a 25' center console is making a 45 second security call(trust me, this has happened a lot). I have worked on the boats that are not maneuverable and keep working even when it is foggy and we do our best not to run pleasure boaters down but everyone needs to think of the big picture rather than their 300' bubble of visibility. I sail for pleasure as well and sound fog signals and listen to the radio but I don't give a call unless crossing a major channel or something like that.
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post #66 of 69 Old 01-11-2010
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Small dogs do make good fog horns.....

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post #67 of 69 Old 01-11-2010
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Small dogs do make good fog horns.....
But can they do a long and 2 shorts within 2 minutes? Or do you have restrict yourself to being under power.

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post #68 of 69 Old 01-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klem View Post

A note on security calls on the radio. As a commercial operator for 9 years, many of the calls coming from pleasure boats were very frustrating to listen to. The people making these calls did not understand that airtime is limited and that they cannot make calls almost constantly on the radio. Some of the calls went on for close to a minute and were filled with useless information then repeated every 10 minutes.

The purpose of making the call on the radio is to alert others that you are transiting a high traffic area and to establish contact with targets with a close CPA if necessary. Unless someone is plotting you on a GPS interfaced radar, reading out coordinates is pretty much pointless, .... No one ever takes the time to plot each vessel position as it is called out on the radio and if no geographic position is given, they don't even know if the vessel calling is anywhere nearby or not. ....

I apologize for the rant of radio etiquette but it can be extremely frustrating to be unable to establish radio contact with a target because someone in a 25' center console is making a 45 second security call(trust me, this has happened a lot). I have worked on the boats that are not maneuverable and keep working even when it is foggy and we do our best not to run pleasure boaters down but everyone needs to think of the big picture rather than their 300' bubble of visibility. I sail for pleasure as well and sound fog signals and listen to the radio but I don't give a call unless crossing a major channel or something like that.

The vessels that really matter are things like tugs and tows or freighters. Things that move quickly and are not maneuverable should be given the airtime by the pleasure boaters. ...
This seems a very fine advise to me.

I share Klemīs opinion.

Perhaps I can ad something, regarding ships and pleasure boats:

You can always easily see on the radar a freighter or a ferry, but the opposite is not always true. Sometimes, sailing with waves of 3 or 4 meters, a sailing boat is nothing more than an intermittent weak signal.

If I have a collision course with something big that maintains a steady course, I will change course at 2 or 3 miles of distance. If you think that you have plenty of time remember that some ferries go at 30K (and most of them will not go slower in the fog) and that means you have around 5 minute till collision point .

Only if after doing this I am still in a collision course (because the ship had also changed course) I will try a call on channel 16 to know about his intentions. And I will not wait for an answer to change again my course and this time in a radical way, something like 45š, till I am sure I am not in a collision course anymore.

Playing with the big boys is a bad idea.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 01-11-2010 at 02:01 PM.
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post #69 of 69 Old 01-11-2010
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Quote:
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This seems a very fine advise to me.

I share Klemīs opinion.

Perhaps I can ad something, regarding ships and pleasure boats:

You can always easily see on the radar a freighter or a ferry, but the opposite is not always true. Sometimes, sailing with waves of 3 or 4 meters, a sailing boat is nothing more than an intermittent weak signal.

If I have a collision course with something big that maintains a steady course, I will change course at 2 or 3 miles of distance. If you think that you have plenty of time remember that some ferries go at 30K (and most of them will not go slower in the fog) and that means you have around 5 minute till collision point .

Only if after doing this I am still in a collision course (because the ship had also changed course) I will try a call on channel 16 to know about his intentions. And I will not wait for an answer to change again my course and this time in a radical away, something like 45š, till I am sure I am not in a collision course anymore.

Playing with the big boys is a bad idea.
This is were the AIS is becoming more & more appealing in having on board my vessel... It lets others with AIS know were I am at.

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