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Old 03-04-2014, 02:07   #31
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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And this is wherein all the problems lie. Dockheads 'generation' uses metres. Well, Im not sure of what generation Mr Dockead is in but my generation, and Im in my 50s used feet and inches... we used pounds and ounces and we used pounds shilling and pence.. (admittedly only until the 70s but the 60s were my learning period)... sue me.

Sailing is the one sport/pastime/lifestyle where we can freely mix all the different words and nod wisely as any Barnacle Bill reels off all the phrases, and yet although we know the words, we dont always know the exact measurements......

30 metres (meters) to me is as close to 100 feet as dammit. A 10 metre vessel to me is 33 foot give or take. I am not able to visual a metre without seeing it in feet.
When I work out body weight for medication quantities, I have to mentally convert into pounds and ounces to get a real feel for what Im doing.

So when Mr dockhead said the vessel was a couple of cables away, my mind immediately said "wow...... too close man!" without knowing the exact measurement.......... and caring even less...... having to spin the wheel hard over and quickly is too close. The EXACT measurement was irrelevent..

but whatever he said...... it was only a couple of feet away from disaster

Us old salts.. (farts, luddites.. etc.. insert favourite word here)
I grew up in the states (feet/inches/ozunces/pounds/american tons) moved to europe(meters/centimeters/metric tons/Imperial tons/kilograms)

Cables and fathoms are rarely used these days, although they are actually well worth knowing. And I agree to me a cable is damned close to 100 feet
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:54   #32
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

One would guess that the tanker had AIS and radar and should have been aware of Dockhead in the little plastic floaty thing, also busy channel they would have had active watch and steering. If so is this a case of "I'm bigger, there are heaps of little plastic floaty things around, GTF outta my way"?

Just asking for an indication as to what behaviour to expect from shipping or what size of radar reflector to install
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:55   #33
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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One would guess that the tanker had AIS and radar and should have been aware of Dockhead in the little plastic floaty thing, also busy channel they would have had active watch and steering. If so is this a case of "I'm bigger, there are heaps of little plastic floaty things around, GTF outta my way"?

Just asking for an indication as to what behaviour to expect from shipping or what size of radar reflector to install
dont expect ANYTHING from shipping. Just get of the way.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:58   #34
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparau View Post
One would guess that the tanker had AIS and radar and should have been aware of Dockhead in the little plastic floaty thing, also busy channel they would have had active watch and steering. If so is this a case of "I'm bigger, there are heaps of little plastic floaty things around, GTF outta my way"?

Just asking for an indication as to what behaviour to expect from shipping or what size of radar reflector to install
A small radar reflection is something a big ship aims for to know its on track...
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:15   #35
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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A small radar reflection is something a big ship aims for to know its on track...
Sort of like marine pac man?
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:18   #36
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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Sort of like marine pac man?
Oh yes.

A really large ship would'nt feel a thing. Maybe someone later would notice the lack of a blip on the screen, that is if there is anyone looking at the screen.

Its a crap shoot out there!
g
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:55   #37
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Dockhead, if you please a quick question, was any of the vessels using proper sound signals per COLREGS? I have sailed in foggy and rainy conditions using sound signals to avoid bumping into other vessels. Everybody, just needs to slow down and/or stop while using sound signals to communicate. Also, if it is available, using channel 13 for bridge-to-bridge communications. Don't get me wrong, I am all for technology, but the old ways can still be useful. Paul
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:15   #38
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

There is not much room in the Solent for large shipping so they
are usually restricted in their ability to manoeuvre so you have to expect
the unexpected. It is always prudent to keep out of their way even if you
do have right of way or think you do!
I don't have radar and would have slunk back to my berth
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:31   #39
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

30 years ago, in the River Ribble, I left my mooring at Stannah early morning, and headed to the sea. A thick, I mean huge, I mean all encompassing fog came down. By the time I decided to turn back, I had the horn sounding. The silence was eerie. Suddenly right in front of me, I could see a red light, then a green light in exactly the same position. I hit the reverse and stopped dead. I gently turned and inched back to the mooring I had left 20 minutes before, slowly and painfully.

When the fog cleared a couple of hours later and I headed out again, It turned out that a fishing trawler had sunk. One of the other trawlers had put a line to it and was holding in place, and another one was circling around it. Hence the red/green starboard/port lights I made out.

Couldnt understand why they didnt sound a horn though. the feeling of that day is still with me. A cold, dread of bumping into things.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:15   #40
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Fog is horrible - I hate it.

I've been caught out a few times and always breathed a sigh of relief when it either lifted or I made harbour safely.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:27   #41
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Our radar is always turned on while underway, a continuous lesson on how to use it along with our AIS.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:54   #42
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

On a bright sunny afternoon, decided to go down to my chart table and plot a X position from my compass bearings. Came back up and I was totally in fog. 3 minutes max. Couldn't see 20 ft off the bow. Spent the rest of the afternoon crawling my way toward a cove by listening to the surf on the rocks. Got in just as it was dark. Very lucky I had taken that fix.

Never again. Buy radar.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:17   #43
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Radar doesn't always help. A couple of years ago we were returning from Santa Barbara to LA via Catalina Island. The fog was thick, could not see our bow pulpit kind of visibility. We heard a USCG Securite message advising that a US nuclear submarine was approaching LA harbor and all vessels must keep 1000 yards away from it.

All well and good but we couldn't see 20 yards much less 1000. Does a US nuclear submarine show up on recreational radar? I still don't know. It didn't show up on ours. We heard another boat ask the Coast Guard where the sub was so they could stay away from it but for security reasons the USCG would not give its position.

After worrying for a few minutes my wife got on the VHF and called the USCG with our position and heading and our intended destination and asked if we were any danger to the sub. A very nice young Coast Guardsman promptly answered her with a very polite Southern Drawl, "No ma'am, you just stay on your course and you'll be alright."


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Old 03-04-2014, 07:32   #44
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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Cables and fathoms are rarely used these days, although they are actually well worth knowing. And I agree to me a cable is damned close to 100 feet
You mean damn close to 600 ft?
If you happen to use American charts in any of your travels, you'll get to use fathoms, otherwise as you said, not used much. OTOH, the cable is used plenty - we still do distances in NM (and I assume your radar measures in NM), so whether you use it as such or not, every tenth is a cable.

Now that we've got all that squared away, how about a bit of trivia? Does anyone here know what a 'data mile' (aka 'radar mile') is?
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:33   #45
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Poor man's radar: take funnel, rolled magazine, or in my case used clorox bottle bailer without the top on. Hold to ear. Blow on fog horn. Listen for reflections.
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