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Old 26-09-2013, 05:32   #121
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
The sound between Helsingør/Helsingborg is just over 100 ships per day (sound is 2.25NM wide) but the crossing ferries average a couple of hundred crossings per day also
Yes, I was trying to post something about that before and my computer burped and lost it.

The Oresund is one of the busiest straits in the world with, as Carsten said, around 100 transits a day. The entire traffic between the Baltic and the rest of the world must go either through there, or through the Kiel Canal (which serves a similar volume of traffic), and there are 100 million people living around the rim of the Baltic Sea. This ranks the Oresund as one of the most terrifying places for sailors with traffic similar in scale to the Bosphorous and the Straits of Malacca.
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Old 26-09-2013, 05:42   #122
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, I was trying to post something about that before and my computer burped and lost it.

The Oresund is one of the busiest straits in the world with, as Carsten said, around 100 transits a day. The entire traffic between the Baltic and the rest of the world must go either through there, or through the Kiel Canal (which serves a similar volume of traffic), and there are 100 million people living around the rim of the Baltic Sea. This ranks the Oresund as one of the most terrifying places for sailors with traffic similar in scale to the Bosphorous and the Straits of Malacca.
Well, as with you, you end up getting used to it. First few times, you can get pretty damn nervous. First several night journeys result in a dry mouth and the uncontrollable urge to pee.

I've been through in the fog (without radar or AIS) several times.

Still recovering
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:08   #123
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Busy shipping areas are certainly a challenge.
However one major advantage is that everyone is working hard to keep a great lookout. Generally you are much safer assume (in reasonable visibility) that ships have seen you.

Meet a commercial ship in the middle of nowhere and its much more likely that the watchkeeping standards are poor.

The rules don't change and there to protect us, but there is still some leeway in the practical application of these rules.
I wonder if these different experiences have heavily influenced the divergent strategies that are expressed in these types of threads.
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:20   #124
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
the only U.S. West Coast port to make the top 100 world ports is Los Angeles, which handles about 60 million tons a year -- see: http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/PDFs/...NGS%202011.pdf.
You've overlooked Long Beach, which is also in Los Angeles. You're also looking at the bulk cargo standings, whereas those are primarily container ports. Combined, Los Angeles and Long Beach would rank 8th for TEUs. By the nature of the North American transportation network, Vancouver is the de facto major bulk port on the US west coast.
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:23   #125
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Busy shipping areas are certainly a challenge.
However one major advantage is that everyone is working hard to keep a great lookout. Generally you are much safer assume (in reasonable visibility) that ships have seen you.

Meet a commercial ship in the middle of nowhere and its much more likely that the watchkeeping standards are poor.

The rules don't change and there to protect us, but there is still some leeway in the practical application of these rules.
I wonder if these different experiences have heavily influenced the divergent strategies that are expressed in these types of threads.
Yes, I think you are right on all counts here.

First of all, in an intensely busy place like the Oresund or the Channel, probably very few ships are out there not keeping a very sharp watch. Everyone -- including sailboats -- will be doing very systematic collision avoidance, because you can't really get away with anything else. So this is of course a big advantage. Collision avoidance is a big dance in which everyone participates. You can't dance the dance if you don't know the Rules and follow them.

Way out at sea, standards of watchkeeping are going to be far worse and just being seen becomes a much greater challenge, relative to others.

In shallow inshore waters like around Florida, and probably in narrow places like the Solent and Puget Sound, the challenge becomes yet something different again -- probably mostly anticipating what ships are going to do, and staying out of those places when shipping is about. You don't always see ships on a steady course from 10 miles away in places like that -- they are often maneuvering and sometimes following a channel. The formal Colregs dance probably does not occur nearly so often in places like this (which doesn't mean you get to simply ignore them, however).

So where we sail of course deeply influences the way we look at collision avoidance.
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:24   #126
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I wonder if these different experiences have heavily influenced the divergent strategies that are expressed in these types of threads.
You're correct in this. On another thread, there were a number of advocates of "just turn and run". This is actually an ok tactic are in open water with few or no other ships. It simply doesn't work if you have a number of large ships and multiple leisure boats around you. Turning and running, may get you out of the way of 1 boat, but put you in the way of another boat. Or you can end up screwing someone else's maneuver all to hell, if they think you are going to follow the Colregs.
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:33   #127
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
You've overlooked Long Beach, which is also in Los Angeles. You're also looking at the bulk cargo standings, whereas those are primarily container ports. Combined, Los Angeles and Long Beach would rank 8th for TEUs. By the nature of the North American transportation network, Vancouver is the de facto major bulk port on the US west coast.
You're right, I did overlook Long Beach (world #52), which should be counted as one with the Port of Los Angeles (world #65). Thanks for the correction. Together they make about 130 million tons of total cargo, still pretty small potatoes compared to Rotterdam (world #4). And the biggest port in the Pacific coast of North America is, of course, Vancouver (world #30), with about 123 million tons of total cargo.

The rankings of container ports are different, as different ports have a different proportion of containers versus bulk cargo. But the figures above are total cargo including containers, which is more relevant to total ship traffic as seen from the poor sailor's point of view.
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:45   #128
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
You're correct in this. On another thread, there were a number of advocates of "just turn and run". This is actually an ok tactic are in open water with few or no other ships. It simply doesn't work if you have a number of large ships and multiple leisure boats around you. Turning and running, may get you out of the way of 1 boat, but put you in the way of another boat. Or you can end up screwing someone else's maneuver all to hell, if they think you are going to follow the Colregs.
In my opinion, "just turn and run" is an ok tactic only when either (a) you have some place to run to, close enough that you can get there in time, and where ships can't go because it's too shallow, etc.; or (b) you know the usual routes of ships in your area and have a decent idea of where the ship will pass by.

In open water, I submit: (a) you cannot easily detect a collision course in the first place, and (b) when you do (absent AIS), you can't tell with much accuracy where your course will intersect with that of the ship, and so (c) you can't easily determine which way to dodge to open up the CPA, and besides that (d) your low speed relative to that of the ship gives you much less ability to open up the CPA, than the ship has.

Therefore, in open water in a situation where you suspect a collision course exists, I would concentrate rather on (a) making sure you are seen; (b) establishing contact in order to determine the ship's intentions; and (c) holding still so the ship can make the maneuver.

And if after trying all of that, you can't be sure that you were seen, and can't make contact, then Plan B, in my opinion, should be an extremely careful calculation of the crossing using a hand bearing compass (all of this assumes you don't have AIS) and/or radar, in order to be able to execute a maneuver which you know will take you towards safety, instead of under the other vessel's bows.

What I really strongly object to, which caused some unhappiness in the other thread, is not the idea of maneuvering yourself when you're supposed to be the stand-on vessel. That's actually quite ok if you have reason to believe that the give-way vessel is not taking action (that is, if you believe it after having made reasonable attempts to determine whether or not the give-way vessel is taking action). It's also quite ok when a risk of collision hasn't yet arisen, but you know enough about where ships go in this area to anticipate that you might have a problem, and you can go to where they can't. What I really strongly object to is the idea that it's simple -- just see and run, problem solved. This idea assumes a lot of wrong things -- like, it's easy to see even out to the horizon whether you have a problem or not, and it's easy to dodge out of the way. For all the reasons we have discussed, neither of these things is easy.
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:02   #129
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
But the figures above are total cargo including containers, which is more relevant to total ship traffic as seen from the poor sailor's point of view.
I doubt it. Tonnes and TEUs are not equivalent. But we digress. This whole "I have more traffic than you" argument doesn't change the fact that no matter where we are, we deal with ships individually, not 400 at a time - usually
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:07   #130
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In my opinion, "just turn and run" is an ok tactic only when either (a) you have some place to run to, close enough that you can get there in time, and where ships can't go because it's too shallow, etc.; or (b) you know the usual routes of ships in your area and have a decent idea of where the ship will pass by.

In open water, I submit: (a) you cannot easily detect a collision course in the first place, and (b) when you do (absent AIS), you can't tell with much accuracy where your course will intersect with that of the ship, and so (c) you can't easily determine which way to dodge to open up the CPA, and besides that (d) your low speed relative to that of the ship gives you much less ability to open up the CPA, than the ship has.

Therefore, in open water in a situation where you suspect a collision course exists, I would concentrate rather on (a) making sure you are seen; (b) establishing contact in order to determine the ship's intentions; and (c) holding still so the ship can make the maneuver.

And if after trying all of that, you can't be sure that you were seen, and can't make contact, then Plan B, in my opinion, should be an extremely careful calculation of the crossing using a hand bearing compass (all of this assumes you don't have AIS) and/or radar, in order to be able to execute a maneuver which you know will take you towards safety, instead of under the other vessel's bows.

What I really strongly object to, which caused some unhappiness in the other thread, is not the idea of maneuvering yourself when you're supposed to be the stand-on vessel. That's actually quite ok if you have reason to believe that the give-way vessel is not taking action (that is, if you believe it after having made reasonable attempts to determine whether or not the give-way vessel is taking action). It's also quite ok when a risk of collision hasn't yet arisen, but you know enough about where ships go in this area to anticipate that you might have a problem, and you can go to where they can't. What I really strongly object to is the idea that it's simple -- just see and run, problem solved. This idea assumes a lot of wrong things -- like, it's easy to see even out to the horizon whether you have a problem or not, and it's easy to dodge out of the way. For all the reasons we have discussed, neither of these things is easy.
WE are in complete agreement.
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:48   #131
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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I doubt it. Tonnes and TEUs are not equivalent. But we digress. This whole "I have more traffic than you" argument doesn't change the fact that no matter where we are, we deal with ships individually, not 400 at a time - usually
Well, I'm only going by what is written there.

But in any case -- this line of discussion started in an attempt to compare the relative scale of ship traffic in different places. I think an order of magnitude is about close enough for those purposes. It is slightly interesting, I guess.

As to how many we deal with at a time -- umm, I very often have two or three, and sometimes more, with whom I am in a risk of collision situation. That is the nature of Channel sailing where the ships line up a mile or two apart as far as the eye can see. If they were all on the same course, one following the other, this would not be a problem, but they tend to be offset from one another.

I bet Carsten deals with the same kind of thing.

It means that if you maneuver out of the way of one, it might put you right under the bows of another. It also means a dramatic and maybe unmanageble increase in workload, if you're doing it by hand with a HBC. Even after getting AIS, I keep a pad in the cockpit for writing down the bearings -- no way to keep up with it in your head (at least my head) when there are multiple bogeys.
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Old 26-09-2013, 08:05   #132
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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post

Meet a commercial ship in the middle of nowhere and its much more likely that the watchkeeping standards are poor.
Across the Atlantic with the benefit of a good radar return my experience has indicated the opposite . Though small sample size, not much out there but the ones that are seem to do a change of course many miles away if a situation was likely and the few I've radioed to say thanks come across as being professionally run. Much respect for them.
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Old 26-09-2013, 08:16   #133
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Has anyone here ever contacted the Seattle vessel traffic team?

I've never heard of them.
A lot of the stuff you noted earlier as mystifying (commercial traffic outside the lanes, for instance) will become a lot more clear if you happen to listen in on 14 while you're out there.

You don't have to be a commercial vessel to contact Traffic. Just hail them, give your departing point, destination, and speed; they'll quickly tell you if there is any other participating traffic you should be concerned about.

If there is, you can either contact that vessel directly to arrange your crossing or let Traffic know your intention. None of this obviates your obligations in VTS (eg, not impeding traffic in the TSS lanes) or under COLREGs, but it certainly can ratchet down the tension level, and make the whole busy mess seem a lot more comprehensible at the same time.
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Old 26-09-2013, 09:52   #134
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As to how many we deal with at a time -- umm, I very often have two or three, and sometimes more, with whom I am in a risk of collision situation. That is the nature of Channel sailing where the ships line up a mile or two apart as far as the eye can see. If they were all on the same course, one following the other, this would not be a problem, but they tend to be offset from one another.
That's the nature of any TSS. Ultimately you deal with each ship on an individual basis, whether they are spaced far apart or in quick succession, or even concurrent. You may have to consider that how you deal with ship A is going to affect what you do with ship B, but in the end each one is its own little puzzle. I'm no stranger to this either. And while Puget Sound is relatively quiet, it is not unheard of to be dealing with two ferries crossing in opposite directions, with a deep-sea in the lane and a tug with a log-boom running up the inside.
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Old 26-09-2013, 10:48   #135
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It's the position of Dover VTS that you cannot sail in the Dover Straits TSS without impeding commercial traffic. You will get an earful from VTS for trying, and will be ordered into the ITZ. I don't know about other places but Dover Straits handles 400 ships a day - a ship every four minutes. Sailing in that TSS is like riding a bicycle on a German autobahn - insane even if it might theoretically be legal. That's why the ITZ is there.
I know that , was just making the general point that entering a TSS is not in itself impeding

But of course and the COLREGS point it out the inshore passage is available for just the likes of us

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