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Old 10-05-2010, 19:50   #61
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That's so messed up, but us yachties have to stay vigilant. We had a similar incident occur at Mackey Shoals at 0200. I had the engines standing by as this nut job driving an inter island freighter beared down on us. We were making about 9 kts running (47' cat) and I had a feeling about this guy. Good thing as a full power turn by us juked him on the wrong side of the light and we flew clear. I've been here full time now for 10 years and vigilance is cay. The next night crossing-situation will see me standing by with a high-beam, a hailer, and a Mossberg!
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:23   #62
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this coming from somebody who is wintering in morocco?
Morocco's cool...except in Hollywood
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Old 19-05-2010, 14:46   #63
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John, that's a horrible story. Glad you weren't hurt, and it truly breaks my heart that you lost your boat.

I'd sail with you any time.

Carl

So, today I learned something new, and that's a good thing: 1) insurance companies don't like single handed boaters and it's not a good idea to flash another boat.

Shame you didn't have an AK on board that night. You certainly would have been justified in lighting up that white structure with 762x39 lead.
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Old 19-05-2010, 17:02   #64
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Tangeling with a warship is a no win situation. If it had happened in today's world we would have probubly been fired on as possible terrorists.
This reminds me of a story - only partially relevant. Many moons ago I was sailing as a crew (paid for my experience) near Gibraltar. The owner/captain was a true Brit.
As we are making a crossing, a freighter appears to be crossing from port side and on definite collision course. It's a trivial matter for us to go down a few degrees and pass behind him, that's what I would do on my own boat. The cap-n would have none of it. He lectures us (me, primarily, since I suggested turning) and proclaims that a sailboat shall have a right of way vs. any motorized vessel, and he will stand on and move not an inch - the freighter has to turn. So, he keeps going and we are getting closer. The cap-n goes down, picks up a VHF and proceeds to hail them and request that they turn. Nothing happens, as expected. By this time we are may be 100 yards away, closing fast. At a very last second our capn. finally turns rapidly, we luff and bob around not 10 feet from freighters side by this time, barely missing it. We could see the crew assembled up there at the rail, shouting something less than pleasant to us in what appeared to be Portuguese. Once they pass, capn. grabs the VHF and proceeds to call Tarifa traffic control and lodge complaint about the freighter that didn't yield to Her Magesty's ship or something like that. You could hear muffled laughter on the other end.

This is not where the story ends. Not a few hours pass, and on the horizon appears another vessel, going in approximately the same direction as a freighter before us and most definitely on collision course too. This other vessel happens to be USS Dwight. D. Eisenhower (an aircraft carrier, over 1000' long). We stay the course for a while, and I am biting my tongue. It is obvious the cap is thinking of how to get out of this one. At some point (I really need to learn to shut up) I ask whether this one has to give way to us as well, being a motorized vessel and all. Oh man, he was ready to blow his whistle. I suppose that gave the guy an excuse to do something so then we did turn, passed astern (man, there is a HUGE wake behind that thing and it's darn scary to see what amounts to a skyscraper on it's side making something like 25 kts). Anyway, the guy didn't like me very much from that point on.

I am not sure if this story adds much value to the discussion.
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Old 20-05-2010, 23:38   #65
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The cap-n would have none of it. He lectures us (me, primarily, since I suggested turning) and proclaims that a sailboat shall have a right of way vs. any motorized vessel, and he will stand on and move not an inch - the freighter has to turn.
There is right and there is dead right.
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Old 21-05-2010, 16:43   #66
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There is right and there is dead right.
I'd rather be safe when it comes to boats. May be that's why I have to keep tacking and altering course and never get anywhere unless I am the only one on the water
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Old 23-05-2010, 07:08   #67
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If by maintaining course you cause an accident you are at fault. Reguardless of the rules, if you cause damage or injury by your actions, you are responsible. A deliberate action that causes damage or injury is your fault. Peroid! Also, a warship has the right of way over you. Cause him to run you down by getting in the way and it does not matter if you are right or not. Dead is dead. Like the man said; "There is right and there is DEAD right."
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Old 23-05-2010, 08:16   #68
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In the real world, the COLREGS and other maritime "rules of the road" are not worth the paper they are printed on. In many countries, there are no "rules of the road" published and even if there were, the locals on boats cannot read and write anyway. Local fishermen go out for days in little row boats or minimally powered boats with maybe a flashlight but more than likely nothing. It is very difficult to see these guys at night and even radar only returns a tiny blip which can be confused with a wave top.
- - Commercial ships, tugs, and tows about half the time are not lite at night. Tows rarely have any lights at all on at night. I know first hand because I pass them every time I do a night passage between Grenada and Trinidad.
- - Even in USA waters I have had encounters of the close kind with tourist boats and gambling ships and shrimpers who are practicing the "might makes right" or the slang "rule of tonnage." The fact of life is that damage or loss of your vessel to them is a minor inconvenience handled by the big corporate lawyers who can bankrupt you with legal fees should you protest.
- - In the real world you sail by the what I call "Defensive Sailing" just like on land in your car you are taught "Defensive Driving." You take the initiative to stay out of the way of anything bigger or crazier or stupider than you. You take the initiate to have radar or night vision to locate the unlighted dinghy's, panga's, and commerical freighters/tugs/tows - and stay out of their way. Then you will have a pleasant and very rewarding and very uneventful life on the seas.
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Old 23-05-2010, 08:54   #69
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True... the reg's are there for the lawyers to argue over AFTER the event...
many times I've had a head on situation and altered to Stbd.. only to have them mirror my move almost instanly by going to port
Laws don't stop collisions or crime...
they're there to punish you for being caught out...
How much money you have decides the verdict and possible sentence.. if any...
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Old 23-05-2010, 09:13   #70
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The cap-n would have none of it. He lectures us (me, primarily, since I suggested turning) and proclaims that a sailboat shall have a right of way vs. any motorized vessel, and he will stand on and move not an inch - the freighter has to turn. So, he keeps going and we are getting closer.
Aside from being a silly point of view it isn't true. The least manouverable boat has the right of way, which in the case of giant freighters often means them.
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Old 23-05-2010, 09:14   #71
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Man, this has been an extremely valuable thread. John, thank you for starting this thread, and man, am I sorry for your loss. Like you, I am on Social Security, and I will soon be living aboard again. To all who have contributed with stories, thank you. Now to finish construction of my cutter, and maybe, just maybe, to locate one on those cheap AKs .....
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Old 23-05-2010, 09:53   #72
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Be nice to Have a James Bond Type Torpedo launcher for these rare instances. Blow the F%#$ers up !
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Old 23-05-2010, 11:43   #73
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Aside from being a silly point of view it isn't true. The least manouverable boat has the right of way, which in the case of giant freighters often means them.
You are correct, and these vessels were inside established shipping lanes in a relatively narrow straights of Gibraltar. At the time I decided not to press the point too far for fear of becoming fish food . That person was actually highly certified by RYC (which is strange, since in my experience people certified by RYC were otherwise very knowledgeable). In fact, when he was forced to turn away from the aircraft carrier, his muffled explanation was along the lines of "military ships having some additional rights of way" or some such.

I suppose the moral of the story for me was to never blindly trust someone elses judgement and always use my own sense to consider the best approach to anything, no matter how well certified they are.
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Old 23-05-2010, 12:45   #74
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You are correct, and these vessels were inside established shipping lanes in a relatively narrow straights of Gibraltar. At the time I decided not to press the point too far for fear of becoming fish food . That person was actually highly certified by RYC
A self opinionated arrogant assholes just that.. no matter his certification, your tested on ability not attitude.. which is easily hidden on the day...

TCZ's are crossed at 90deg to the flow and course's are only altered to pass astern of vessels in the FLOW in the interest of safety...

not sure if I've expressed that right but basically.. you keep out of the way and cross as quickly as possible... Don't Jaywalk..
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Old 23-05-2010, 14:27   #75
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I have shined the bridge of a freighter. Leaving P.V. Mexico for Cabo halfway across. Blowing a stink, hand steering, because the a/p won't keep up. Lights come over the horizon, and I am just keeping an eye on it. She's getting closer, so I flash the sail. Time passes, and she's getting closer, so I keep the spot light on the sails. She's getting closer, so I call on the radio. Still dead on my stern, and coming on quick with my nerves jumpy.

I am thinking he can't see the light on my stern with all the wave action, and deep troughs. My nerves are now out of my skin, so I sweep his bow with the spot light. Still no deviation in the freighter's course. One hand on the tiller, and the other calling through the mic, and no reply.

The freighter's so close now I am practically peeing on myself. I light up his bridge which in my mind's eye is nearly towering over me. I have tacked thinking this is the last thing I will accomplish in life. Throw the spot light on the bridge shaking it madly. What seems like the last second, and the freighter blasts it's horn, and turns sharply. Fortunately he turned to strbrd as I tacked to my left. I am hoping that was a GOOD cup of coffee he went for........i2f
I have to ask - why didn't you ease sheets five minutes earlier, drop to leeward 200 yards and let him slide through to weather of you.? No need for radio, lights or to pee yourself.
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