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Old 06-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #21
Scraping Paint
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It appears the boats in the photo are all or mostly anchored. Probably on one of Eric's famous short scopes. It would be cool to be a fly on the wall, or perhaps a gull in the air, if a 40 knot wind blew through the anchorage. They'd be untangling anchor rodes for months.

I think in this case the Chinese rules of the road should apply. We've been driving all over the place in China the last few days and we've learned a lot about how it all works. Turns out the Chinese are not bad drivers. Actually they are far better drivers than the typical American, which is why the lifespan of an American attempting to drive in China is measured in minutes.

The following is true---

Here is the number one rule of driving in China: a vehicle in the main flow of traffic has the right of way. Always, every time, no exceptions.

The number two rule of driving in China is: any vehicle trying to enter the stream of traffic or change lanes in traffic does not have the right of way. Ever, never, no exceptions.

The driver trying to enter the stream of traffic or change lanes has a split second to determine if the driver he's trying to merge in front of will let him in or not. Remember, the driver in the main stream of traffic has no obligation whatsoever to let the person in (and he rarely does). So the driver who wants to merge also has to judge if he can make it in if the driver in the main stream of traffic won't back off for him (which he almost never will).

If the merging driver determines he can merge in and is successful, terrific. But if he determines wrongly and either hits a car in the main stream of traffic or a car in the main stream of traffic hits him, HE is the one at fault and he gets the ticket and fine. An accident, regardless of who hit who, is NEVER the fault of the driver in the main stream of traffic. It is ALWAYS the fault of the driver who was attempting to merge.

As irrational as this sounds, it works wonderfully because the Chinese are, for the most part, extremely skilled drivers and they can pull off both the judgment of the other driver part and the operation of the vehicle part. It's all tied into the culture's perception of personal space. They are as confortable operating vehicles within inches of each other--- and I mean inches--- as we are operating them with a car length or two or three between us and the next guy.

So if all those boats in the photo were underway, a Chinese boater would feel right at home. But the Colregs would have to be rewritten to state that any boat underway in a straight line would be a stand on vessel while any boat altering course to cross that boat's projected track from either side and at any angle would be the give way vessel and if that vessel did not give way and caused a collision that vessel would be solely responsible for the collision.

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:13 PM   #22
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Our now 21-year old daughter spent her junior year of high school in China. She decided early on not attempt to drive there... Which was wise, as even today she is a terrible driver! (Unlike her two sisters who are excellent drivers.)

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