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Old 09-20-2015, 10:41 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
MarkPierce: Your post #28 in regards to ships signalling when approaching "a plethora" of sailboats in a channel "one prolonged blast" is the proper signal. Considering the smaller boats cannot all be seen by the approaching ship or obscured by other sailboats.
No, not really.

"(d)When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. This signal may be supplemented by a light signal of at least five short and rapid flashes.
(e) A vessel nearing a bend or an area of a channel or fairway where other vessels may be obscured by an intervening obstruction shall sound one prolonged blast. This signal shall be answered with a prolonged blast by any approaching vessel that may be within hearing around the bend or behind the intervening obstruction."
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by omc View Post
Is it your own boat on the pic ? GB motor yacht ?
It's not my current boat. But that was my boat for a few years. And it is a 42' GB motor yacht.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:23 AM   #83
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Capt.Bill11: Having spent no little time on the larger ships, the prolonged blast when you know there a vessels that you can't see is a fairly common signal. The five blasts would certainly be in order under the the conditions that you fail to understand the intentions of the other vessel. Given MarkPierce's post there would not necessarily be any confusion of signals since there had not been any signals to begin with. The ship is making it a point to say "I know you are out there but I can't see you". Tows use the same signal when coming around a bend especially when the can assume someone is around there but have failed to make radio contact for whatever reason.

To state that the signal "means nothing" is certainly not true. It means exactly what the rules dictate it means and is probably used to protect the pilot from a claim that when he lost sight of the vessels did he signal such ?

One would have to consider that the problems expressed by many on here as to sail boaters is that through forums like these, verbal communications at the club, where someone says "you are a sailboat therefore you always have the right-of -way, they take that as gospel rather than learning the rules. That being said one pro-longed blast of the whistle does mean something.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:55 PM   #84
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In further support of the one prolonged blast being the proper ship signal when approaching a plethora of sailing vessels in a channel, is the nature of the one prolonged blast itself. There are three instances within the rules where a one prolonged blast is provided. 1. ship at anchor 2. Inland departure 3. As noted above when vessels may be obscured. The signal is one of the few that does not signify an action on the vessel making the signal. In other words it does not signal that "I am altering my course.." or "I am going astern". It is used in all cases as an attention getting signal only. It may or may not be followed by the proper passing or overtaking signals as may be appropriate.

In the situation that was presented in MarkPierce's #28 post it is evident that was its intent. If on the other hand, the ship while approaching numerous sailboats had sounded one or two short blast then five or more due to the nature of the sailboat operators can you imagine the confusion that would have created ?

I am confident that the intent of the ships sounding the one prolonged blast is to gain that attention from the other smaller and obscure sailboats and if not indeed wake them up then at least make them find their radios and / or pay attention and look at the situation.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:38 PM   #85
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If you say so.

But it's pretty clear that in the situation Mark describes the vessels are not obscured by a "bend" or "obstruction". And that their intentions are in doubt.

And those are the criteria I have always been taught as to when to use the single prolonged signal. (And its the way I have used it.) As well as being taught what are the proper circumstances to use the 5 or more signal.

I was taught this by people who had literally been on vessels ranging from nuclear subs to super tankers. So I would hope that between that and the fact that they teach the rules on a continuous basis they would have at least some idea what they were talking about when it comes to how and when the signals should be sounded.

But you never know.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:49 PM   #86
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I do not agree however with your assertion that Enterprise Channel isn't narrow:
Jim;
I would love to sit in your KK cockpit with a Blue Buck and big old paper CHS 3461.
The first three elements I would be looking at for that route in a "slow" boat would be tide, wind and current. On Friday all three were in your favour, as was visibility.

"Narrow" is, in large part, a state of mind and I understand your perspective on that and respect it.


Narrow to me are (locally) Narrows Inlet, Cockburn Bay, Squitty Bay, Pirates Cove, Smugglers Cove, Hidden Basin and, if only because of currents, Dodd Narrows. Yes, Enterprise has kelp but there is still plenty of water under a +/- 5' draft through there. A key though is how much open water and visibility there is to asses things before the very short run through the tight part.

I'm wondering if you were apprehensive about going through there in the first place and just didn't plan far enough ahead or go through the mental "what ifs." We need to face like challenges but need to be as prepared as possible and maybe, just maybe that day was a good one to just go south around Trial Islands.

Nervousness can be a good thing but can also be just as crippling as over confidence and I think there is lots for all of us to think about in threads like this.

But what do I know, I don't have a vessel in my profile and it's unknown if I'm married or not.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:09 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
If you say so.

But it's pretty clear that in the situation Mark describes the vessels are not obscured by a "bend" or "obstruction". And that their intentions are in doubt.

And those are the criteria I have always been taught as to when to use the single prolonged signal. (And its the way I have used it.) As well as being taught what are the proper circumstances to use the 5 or more signal.

I was taught this by people who had literally been on vessels ranging from nuclear subs to super tankers. So I would hope that between that and the fact that they teach the rules on a continuous basis they would have at least some idea what they were talking about when it comes to how and when the signals should be sounded.

But you never know.

Right. He had the group of vessels in sight, thus, the "here I am" situation is not applicable.

If he was trying to warn those vessels of his presence and thought there was danger, 5 blasts is the correct signal.

I don't agree with the idea of 1 blast being quicker than 5 so it's OK to sound 1 blast. It can be done, of course, it's just not correct and could be confusing.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:19 PM   #88
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I'm speculating that Mark's observations are in his home waters of San Francisco Bay, where there are many RNAs. The ship is in a channel and restricted, even if it doesn't appear to be a channel unless a chart is consulted.

Rule 9 would apply. One long blast would certainly be effective to clear apparent traffic and warn unseen traffic.

Ships may also sound one long blast when leaving their berth. In the Navy, that meant when the last line was cast off. The merchant mariner often elects to wait until he is actually underway and progressing forward.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:29 PM   #89
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Talking about ships and sound signals reminds me of coming up the BiggMiss late one night, or early one morning as the case was. I was in my 48 sporty cruising at a leisurely 8 knots or so. I was a few miles into S.W. pass not yet to the head of passes. I had forgotten to turn my VHFs volume back up, all three of them. Everyone else was asleep. My radar was on full forward, autopilot following my "safe track". Basically I was in the middle of the river, traffick was unusually slow that night. Next thing I know my flybridge is lit up like LasVegas. I immediately looked astern to see the bow of a HUGE ship behind me. Close. I turned my VHF up and called on 16 while giving him every bit of air my horns had in 5 shot bursts. The captain returned with "this is the cruise ship (forgot the name)" and politely asked me to take one side or the other as he needed the middle. I obliged. After the pass I asked why he didnt signal his intentions instead of setting my bridge on fire. His response,,,,I didnt want to wake the passengers!!!! This conversation was on VHF channell 16 so I asked if USCG NewOrleans sector had copied. They affirmed. I learned a lot from that encounter.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:54 PM   #90
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[QUOTE=JDCAVE;371278]

What would you suggest I should have done in this instance?





Punched the heading hold button on the autopilot, pushed the power lever full forward, and jumped overboard.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:31 PM   #91
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CaptBill11: I am glad that you were taught the proper use of the sound signals from those on tankers and nuc. subs. I have yet to have operated the nuclear subs and doubt that I will, but I have operated and been the pilot on all sorts and sizes of vessels. Employed for years as master of unlimited tonnage STEAM AND MOTOR VESSELS AND FIRST CLASS PILOT LOWER MISS. RIVER. The largest vessel having piloted routinely was over 10,000 HP and 1100 feet in length. I was pilot on side wheeled steam boats when the VHF was still a novelty to many. So I am very aware of the use of sound signals. If you yourself have not been on a large vessel then I can certainly see where you might THINK that those numerous sailboats were not obscured but you best believe they were. Depending on the location and the load/unloaded nature of the ships and its wheelhouse it is very common not to be able to see other vessels that are under 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile away. Just like the semi-truck's notice "If you can't see my mirror I can't see you". Obstruction from the vessel itself. Or perhaps the neighboring sailboat is hidden behind someone's jib or spinnaker.
Let's look at it from the smaller vessel's point of view considering that vessels operator is knowledgeable concerning the rules. He hears one prolonged blast. A mental checklist is then gone through. A. Is it Foggy? if no go to B. B Is a vessel nearby leaving a dock? If no then C. C Is there a vessel that I can not see or can't see me ? If I can not see into the other vessel's wheelhouse whether from his bow section or a sail or other item then that vessel's pilot can not see me. Operate your vessel appropriately.

Considering Mark's comment it would appear that the pilots of the ships operating in his area use the prolonged blast for the purpose in compliance of 34e of the rules indicates that they too are aware of the sound signals as your friends may have been on nuc. subs. Do you think they have less knowledge or experience than your friends ?

It was not my purpose to belittle your comment as to the meaningless of a prolong blast. It was my purpose to explain the nature and reasoning behind the evident use of the prolonged blast and not to let people leaving this post believe that it is useless and/or inappropriate signal.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:03 PM   #92
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Whatayathink? One long blast or five?
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:04 PM   #93
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What you should have done is painfully obvious.

You should have, determined and corrected the cause of stalling before venturing out, period.

The rest is a typical day on the water.

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Old 09-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #94
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What should I have done?

I had zero success radioing sailboats on my trip from Florida to Texas, and not much more success radioing power boats when wondering what their intentions were. I pretty much quit trying the radio and just slowed down and figured they would cut in front of me or make some other bonehead move.

Maybe I was using the radio wrong, but I got great responses on the radio from all barge captains I contacted, do don't think that was it. 😁

When I was about 50 miles from home after my long trip I saw a small oyster/shrimp type boat off in the distance and moved over some for a port to port pass. He got closer and I moved over more to starboard, but he didn't make a move and headed strait for me. I radioed. Crickets. Moved over more, no adjustment from him. Blew my air horn as he was getting closer and moved into about 4.5' of water and stopped. He just chugged right pass me as I sat there stunned, and he acted like he never saw me. The helm was way aft in the pilothouse so maybe he didn't see me? I dunno.
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:31 PM   #95
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As far as VHF contact goes, when I try and contact commercial vessels on 16, I usually get no response. Coast guard comes on and tells me to contact them on the VTS channel. I always get a response there. I emailed VTS last year about whether I should contact vessels on VTS, and they replied that safe passes can be discussed on the VTS channel. In ALL instances, the respondent thanked me for contacting them. I presume they are reassured that I am sufficiently concerned and aware of the circumstances.


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Old 09-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #96
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Now that is something (VHF contact) that is confusing. 1/2 of the GICWW is 16 the other is channel 13, Lower Miss. River I guess from head of pass to Red Stick is channel 68, and I think Houston VTS area is something else altogether. Local knowledge is key and I am not afraid to ask.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:34 PM   #97
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I have found that if you have AIS (I do) and call the commercial vessels by name, you get a much better response. They can see you on their AIS and they are almost expecting you to call IMO.
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:13 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by ulysses View Post

Considering Mark's comment it would appear that the pilots of the ships operating in his area use the prolonged blast for the purpose in compliance of 34e of the rules indicates that they too are aware of the sound signals as your friends may have been on nuc. subs. Do you think they have less knowledge or experience than your friends ?

It was not my purpose to belittle your comment as to the meaningless of a prolong blast. It was my purpose to explain the nature and reasoning behind the evident use of the prolonged blast and not to let people leaving this post believe that it is useless and/or inappropriate signal.
One question, is that the way you use the one prolonged signal?
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:32 PM   #99
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Five or more quick toots sound like "panic time" to me and have yet no need. I make course/speed changes before that. I know the intent of a burdened boat that maintains its heading/speed after it should have adjusted: it will continue because it's ignorant of my existence or the rules or misjudges speed/distance calculations. ... Situational awareness is key.

"Rule 17- Action by Stand-on Vessel Return to the top of the page
(a) (i) Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

"(ii) The latter vessel may, however, take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules."

Making the "panic" signal may cause the other boat to make an unexpected maneuver.

There may be an occasion when making a prolonged signal before the critical moment (when the other boat should adjust) to let them know of your existence such as when their course is erratic. This would apply also to the burdened vessel's viewpoint.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:27 PM   #100
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Just to clarify for those that may actually still be following this, there is no such thing in the COLREGS as a "panic" signal.
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