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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 01-21-2012
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Rocks in the SF Bay

I thought it was amazing that the rocks the Cruise ship hit in Italy last week were not marked with a buoy, given the apparently common practice of Cruise ships strafing the coastline on the island. I thought, "that would never happen here" and consulted the NOAA SF Bay Chart.Chart 18650
As I suspected, Harding rock has a buoy and Blossom in defined by one very close. However Shag and Arch rocks have no buoys and are apparently in the Westbound traffic Lane! All these rocks show a MLW depth in the mid 30's. I've always heard that there is a fear that a tanker is going to rip itself open on these rocks, and that thought is often given to blowing them up (I think Blossom was already blown up once to bring it to it's current height). I realize that a Harbor Pilot SHOULD know were these rocks are and be able to avoid them (though remember.... the Pilot of the Cosco Busan forgot where the Bay Bridge was!). However, if I'm reading the chart correctly, with much less than 1/2 a Nautical Mile between the rocks, they are threading the needle Westbound between Shag and Arch, especially given the strong currents in that area. Buoys with radar reflectors would probably be a good Idea! Hope I'm missing something! Thoughts?

Last edited by L124C; 01-21-2012 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012
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However, if I'm reading the chart correctly, with much less than 1/2 a Nautical Mile between the rocks, they are threading the needle Westbound between Shag and Arch, especially given the strong currents in that area. Buoys with radar reflectors would probably be a good Idea! Hope I'm missing something! Thoughts?[/QUOTE]

A good example as to why commercial traffic can't try to avoid a sailboat without a motor that has lost their wind.

Dabnis
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Old 01-22-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
A good example as to why commercial traffic can't try to avoid a sailboat without a motor that has lost their wind.
Dabnis
A little off topic, but hence, this rule:
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel that can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
My rule: "He's working, I'm not. He shouldn't even have to think about me!"
Now...about those rocks.
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Old 01-22-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
A little off topic, but hence, this rule:
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel that can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
My rule: "He's working, I'm not. He shouldn't even have to think about me!"
Now...about those rocks.
Right, 30 feet is not a lot. I wonder what the one time cost to blow them apart would be compared to the initial and ongoing cost for bouys would be.
The other alternative would be to wait for a massive disaster and the do something about it?

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Old 01-22-2012
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what or who ever is to blame in this incident,ultimately the cause is SH** HAPPENS and somewhere,someday it will again
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Old 01-22-2012
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Hadn't heard the cruise ship hit an un marked hazard. The picture I've attached makes it look like it was lighted pretty good.
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Rocks in the SF Bay-cruiseship.jpg  
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Old 01-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capttb View Post
Hadn't heard the cruise ship hit an un marked hazard. The picture I've attached makes it look like it was lighted pretty good.
Not sure if you are serious, but in case you are:
The picture you posted is the place where the ship was beached after the accident (the only thing the Capitan apparently did right!) to keep the ship from sinking. NOT the place it initially contacted the reef.
The initial damage is apparent on the other side of the hull which is now out of the water, complete with a huge boulder, embedded in the hull.
In depth (no pun intended!) discussion here:
No comments? skipper of the Concordia
Besides....as this unbelievable satellite view shows, even beached, the ship is not nearly as close to shore as your photo implies. Telephoto lenses can be very deceiving. Now..about those rocks in SF!
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Rocks in the SF Bay-costa-concordia-cruise-ship-satellite-photo.jpg  

Last edited by L124C; 01-25-2012 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012
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what or who ever is to blame in this incident,ultimately the cause is SH** HAPPENS and somewhere,someday it will again
Yeah....but THIS was some stupid S***!
I'm thinking not marking or shortening those SF Rocks is probably about as stupid, unless someone can enlighten me.
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Old 01-31-2012
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Upon approach to the SF Bay, large ships are required to meet a pilot ship at the vicinity of the lightbucket or 'SF' buoy, about 16 nm from shore. A local pilot is then transported aboard and is responsible for piloting through the local waters. They must then stay in *very* clearly marked deep water channels while transiting the bay. However, this is not always foolproof, and not always because of dangers lurking beneath the surface. For example, apparently rocks were not the problem for this particular pilot.

I'd add that blowing up a few rocks in the SF Bay would be a ridiculous charade given that much of the bay is far too shallow to accomodate a large vessel. That is why there are deep water channels. It's like suggesting you cut down many of the trees close to the edge of a large throroughfare; the problem isn't the forest, it's keeping the cars on the road.
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Last edited by sfchallenger; 01-31-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfchallenger View Post
Upon approach to the SF Bay, large ships are required to meet a pilot ship at the vicinity of the lightbucket or 'SF' buoy, about 16 nm from shore. A local pilot is then transported aboard and is responsible for piloting through the local waters. They must then stay in *very* clearly marked deep water channels while transiting the bay. However, this is not always foolproof, and not always because of dangers lurking beneath the surface. For example, apparently rocks were not the problem for this particular pilot.
Not exactly sure what you are trying to say here. However, If you are trying to reassure me, it's not working! I already cited the COSCO Busan incident. If Pilots can hit bridges, they can surly hit submerged rocks. Obviously, the bridge isn't going anywhere, though there are options with the rocks. As far as I can tell, the rocks in question ARE IN the "clearly marked channel". See the link in the OP.
I'd add that blowing up a few rocks in the SF Bay would be a ridiculous charade given that much of the bay is far too shallow to accommodate a large vessel. That is why there are deep water channels. It's like suggesting you cut down many of the trees close to the edge of a large throroughfare; the problem isn't the forest, it's keeping the cars on the road.
Again, look at the chart that is linked. It appears to me that two rocks are in the Westbound channel (Northwest of Alcatraz). As I also noted, some of the rocks have already been blown up to bring them to their current elevation. So somebody was concerned, and didn't think it was a "charade"! The question is, are they in the channel, and if so, is the MLW depth in the mid 30's deep enough? Or at least, should they be marked with Nav aids?

Last edited by L124C; 02-01-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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