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Old 03-29-2023, 04:03 PM   #1
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Honking and more honking

We just heard the most horn work short of a marching band. A departing cruise ship sent out so many longs and shorts, I was totally confused. This was off a deep sea mooring, a simple straight out departure, with no traffic. We are 1/2 mile aft at anchor.
I even asked on ch 12 what the sigs meant, but no reply. I didnt count, but over 20 honks. At #5 i thought there was trouble, but the honks kept coming, longs and shorts.
Oh well, entrainment is difficult to find when u have been out a few months.
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:11 PM   #2
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We just heard the most horn work short of a marching band. A departing cruise ship sent out so many longs and shorts, I was totally confused. This was off a deep sea mooring, a simple straight out departure, with no traffic. We are 1/2 mile aft at anchor.
I even asked on ch 12 what the sigs meant, but no reply. I didnt count, but over 20 honks. At #5 i thought there was trouble, but the honks kept coming, longs and shorts.
Oh well, entrainment is difficult the find when u have been out a few months.
Sure it wasn't "When the Saints Go Marching In".....

I never hear a commercial ship abuse whistle signals ...but reading about the Great Laker ore boats and other regional vessel toots... I guess I just have to wonder......
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:26 PM   #3
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His identical neighbor departed a few minutes later. One toot.
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:33 PM   #4
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Horn controller failure, either human or mechanical.
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Old 03-29-2023, 07:39 PM   #5
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The multiple honks signify "No Covid on Board". Rarely used.
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Old 03-29-2023, 08:20 PM   #6
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Danger signal is 5 or more short blasts. Doesnít have to stop at 5.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:04 PM   #7
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Could have been a hazard you could not see from your vantage point, like maybe a small craft in the way.

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Old 03-30-2023, 07:21 AM   #8
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Why channel 12 and not 13? Not sure they would have bothered to answer, but generally they'll be listening on 13 and 16 when leaving port.

My first thought was "lifeboat drill." That would include the 5 or more short and rapid blasts, and possibly others, up to and including "continuous sounding with any fog-signaling apparatus" and/or a Morse code SOS on the whistle. I believe that has to be conducted within the first 24 hours of the cruise, and you said they were coming off a mooring, so maybe not.

There are other drills required of the crew which include actually launching a life raft, but those are generally run dockside, not while steaming away from a mooring.
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Old 03-30-2023, 08:15 AM   #9
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Weebles is docked at Cruiseport Village which is part of the Ensenada cruiseship terminal complex. There are usually 4-5 cruise ships a week. There is no rhyme or reason to the ships' whistles sequences there either. Best I can tell is a 12-year old sometimes sneaks on to the bridge. In some areas - Ensenada included - Channel 14 should also be monitored. Channel 13 is bridge-to-bridge (HERE is the FCC listing (PDF) of VHF channels and usage)

By far my favorite ships whistle is the Disney Wonder. At noon, their horn blows "when you wish upon a star...." They also have sculptures of characters on their stern (attached).

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Old 03-30-2023, 08:41 AM   #10
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was the captains birthday
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Old 03-30-2023, 08:52 AM   #11
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Lost in the fog or the horn version of "If you can't tie a knot, tie a lot!"
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Old 03-30-2023, 08:52 AM   #12
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Was it a Princess cruise? ;-)

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Old 03-30-2023, 09:14 AM   #13
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Maybe the skipper was just extra horny!


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Old 03-30-2023, 09:54 AM   #14
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Was it a Princess cruise? ;-)


Oh God help us! Please hope this doesn't spread to boats like the old JC Whitney musical horns.
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Old 03-30-2023, 03:30 PM   #15
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They MAY be monitoring Ch 13 VHF but if it's busy...not so much as they would have to be on port ops/pilots freqs.

Canaveral Pilots Association
P.O. Box 816
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Radio: Pilots monitor VHF Channel 12.
Telephone: To order pilot, (321) 783-4645
Fax: To request information, (321) 783-6268


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USCG VHF Channel 16
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Old 03-30-2023, 04:09 PM   #16
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I wouldn't think they'd answer calls from recreational boats on port ops or pilot's channels, but like everything else you need to know the local practice.
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Old 03-30-2023, 04:25 PM   #17
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I wouldn't think they'd answer calls from recreational boats on port ops or pilot's channels, but like everything else you need to know the local practice.
A port ops channel is a working channel...work on it or get off...... easy to google the frequency.

Pilot channels use if you need to coordinate whit a ship under pilot control.
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Old 03-30-2023, 08:20 PM   #18
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The multiple honks signify "No Covid on Board". Rarely used.
You are making that up?
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Old 03-31-2023, 08:35 AM   #19
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SOLAS requires that all cruise ships sound the 'MUSTER' signal at the beginning of a cruise so that the guests understand what it sounds like, so when they hear it again, they know what to do.

The 'Muster' signal is [7 Short blasts, 1 Long Blast]. From the last few cruises I've been on the short blasts seem like 2-3 seconds and the long blasts seem like 6-8 seconds. The last cruise I went on was on MSC (a few weeks ago) I had even mentioned to my wife the long blast seemed amazingly long.
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Old 03-31-2023, 12:42 PM   #20
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I think cruise ships do all kinds of weird (non-standard) things. We were on board out of Trieste, Italy when the new Majestic Princess left on her maiden cruise in 2017 -- well, actually was just kind of a half-capacity preview or shake-down cruise, kind of like the soft opening to a restaurant. I kept thinking of those lines from the movie Titanic -- "The dishes had never been used, the sheets had never been slept on." The regular blasts start at 3:00 minutes on the slider, but then if you wait another few seconds, the horns launch into a few bars of the "Love Boat" theme, like the Sky Princess link above. That was an incredibly loud departure -- marching band, loud music on deck, fireboats, daytime fireworks that could hardly been seen, and then those horns.

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