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Old 20-09-2013, 05:11   #166
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Just to restate what the Fisher skipper said

"I had been fogged in at James Island after crossing the Straits a couple days earlier. As Friday approached, skies were clearing, so I set out for your gathering. I made it half way, as now you have seen.
I've been sailing these waters for over 50 yrs, and never considered the State Ferries to be a hazard - until now.
It literally came up from behind, without horn, and quickly while I was at the wheel listening to traffic and making some radar screen adjustments just for testing."

He wasn't "down below" he was in the wheel house conning the boat.

The Ferry captain , if the statement is true, bears the vast majority of blame. She simply did not see the sailboat, or if she did, made an automatic assumption like Raku, that th sailboat would get out of the way.

On the face of it a fairly open and shut case.

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Old 20-09-2013, 05:52   #167
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Coops View Post
Wasn't Carsten that you quoted Raku.

Coops.

Sorry, Coops. I use the system's quoting system. I can't explain why this sometimes happens unless it's that I use a Macintosh and the interface doesn't mesh perfectly. I have no idea.

It's happened before and my guess is that it will happen again.

In any case, this thread was never intended to discuss the research methods of science vs. historical documents vs. legal. When it goes that far afield, and heated, IMO people just want to argue, and I don't want to be a part of it. The law degree JD stands for "juris doctor," and the tradition of considering a law degree the equivalent of a Ph.D. goes back many centuries to the first European universities. I'm very familiar with advanced degrees. In our immediate family there were seven, including the mentioned medieval history. No master's degree requires three years of intensive study. The only difference is that legal research simply does not lend itself to the type of original research my husband and I had to do, or the more expository (although heavily researched) style among the three advanced degrees my two daughters have. Then there's my sister and mother-in-law who both earned advanced degrees in French, requiring yet again a different style of research.

What all those kinds of research have in common is that they are looking for some kind of trend that can be applied to a group of people. Legal research is more or less opposite of that, looking for isolated cases to apply to yet another isolated case. It is something law students do for three years. Instruction in both reading and writing "leagalease" is part of the coursework.

The end result in all the programs is the same. They produce professionals who both understand the research in their field and know how to conduct it themselves. The joke in graduate schools is that one gets a master's to get a raise, but a Ph.D. to get a grant. But the kind of research done in other fields does not lead to more competency as a lawyer.

"A law degree in the United States that was originally designed as a replacement to the Bachelor of Laws degree. A Juris Doctor or Juris Doctorate (JD) represents professional recognition that the holder has a doctoral degree in law. Due to the length of study that most lawyers in the U.S. have to take to attain a law degree, the name change reflected its status as a professional degree."
Juris Doctor (JD) Definition | Investopedia
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:03   #168
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Just to restate what the Fisher skipper said

"I had been fogged in at James Island after crossing the Straits a couple days earlier. As Friday approached, skies were clearing, so I set out for your gathering. I made it half way, as now you have seen.
I've been sailing these waters for over 50 yrs, and never considered the State Ferries to be a hazard - until now.
It literally came up from behind, without horn, and quickly while I was at the wheel listening to traffic and making some radar screen adjustments just for testing."

He wasn't "down below" he was in the wheel house conning the boat.

The Ferry captain , if the statement is true, bears the vast majority of blame. She simply did not see the sailboat, or if she did, made an automatic assumption like Raku, that th sailboat would get out of the way.

On the face of it a fairly open and shut case.

Dave
NO. I did NOT make an "automatic assumption that the sailboat would get out of the way."

I said the *I* would have just gotten out of the way, and that I think it's the prudent thing to do when you're teeny and the other boat is very big.

I do not know if the skipper of the sailboat told the truth. it's just *possible* -- unlikely for sure -- but *possible* that the sailboat skipper is either not being wholly factual or has selectively edited some of what happened. It's just *possible* that the sailboat skipper might even have powerful motivation for not telling the whole story, or not telling it with 100% accuracy.

Meanwhile, the ferry boat captain has no doubt been restrained from telling her side of the story to the media. I single-hand my boat often enough that I know to look over my shoulder. You have to know what's behind you, because he or she may well be a yahoo who drives the way many Florida drivers do: "If I'm behind the wheel, I am the "stand-on" car -- even if I'm not moving! If I want to be in your spot, you'd better move over, because here I come. I will cross three lanes of traffic at 60 MPH to get to that left turn lane because it's what I want at the moment. And since I want to go there, I have the right to go there -- right now ..." etc.

In this case the sailor was apparently fiddling with electronics. I had a yahoo ready to steam up my exhaust pipe while he was on autopilot, sorting out lines on his cabin top. For those who don't see the connection, neither were paying attention to where they were going while in a heavy traffic area.

Just the fact that this guy had sailed the area for 50 years and hadn't considered the ferries a hazard says a whole lot about him, and it ain't good.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:15   #169
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
NO. I did NOT make an "automatic assumption that the sailboat would get out of the way."
true, heres what you did say

""I can't imagine why a ferry captain would think a small sailboat WOULDN'T get out of his way. "


Angels on a pin maybe!




Quote:
I said the *I* would have just gotten out of the way, and that I think it's the prudent thing to do when you're teeny and the other boat is very big.

No you said the line above.


Quote:
I do not know if the skipper of the sailboat told the truth. it's just *possible* -- unlikely for sure -- but *possible* that the sailboat skipper is either not being wholly factual or has selectively edited some of what happened. It's just *possible* that the sailboat skipper might even have powerful motivation for not telling the whole story, or not telling it with 100% accuracy.
On the basis of what we have, why are you defending the ferry that DID run him down. Next you'll be saying the fisher has WMDs on board. Sure kept obfuscating and making things up.

Quote:
Meanwhile, the ferry boat captain has no doubt been restrained from telling her side of the story to the media. I single-hand my boat often enough that I know to look over my shoulder.
what in the land of free speech

Quote:
You have to know what's behind you, because he or she may well be a yahoo who drives the way many Florida drivers do: "If I'm behind the wheel, I am the "stand-on" car -- even if I'm not moving! If I want to be in your spot, you'd better move over, because here I come. I will cross three lanes of traffic at 60 MPH to get to that left turn lane because it's what I want at the moment. And since I want to go there, I have the right to go there -- right now ..." etc.
IN most countries actions like that end up with a man in a cap writing things in a notebook.

What you have just said again is "might is right" or the tonnage rule. The fact is the COLREGS are there for a reason. You dont seem to know them or even understand them

Quote:
In this case the sailor was apparently fiddling with electronics. I had a yahoo ready to steam up my exhaust pipe while he was on autopilot, sorting out lines on his cabin top. For those who don't see the connection, neither were paying attention to where they were going while in a heavy traffic area.
He said he was steering and adjusting his radar, not unusual and quite typical , especially since he had been in low visibility some time just previous

[QUOTEJust the fact that this guy had sailed the area for 50 years and hadn't considered the ferries a hazard says a whole lot about him, and it ain't good.[/QUOTE]

I think he meant that he never had a problem with ferries before.


I mean Raku, why defend the indefensible. The Fisher skipper may have been slightly preoccupied. equally he had no specific reason to be constantly looking over his shoulder. Its easy to say that he should have been looking in the right direction AFTER the event. He may have a small blame attached, but he was on the face of it run over from behind, case closed.


( Look at the Dutch Courts decision on the recent von Humbolt collision, case closed)

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Old 20-09-2013, 06:42   #170
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
true, heres what you did say

""I can't imagine why a ferry captain would think a small sailboat WOULDN'T get out of his way. "


Angels on a pin maybe!



Sorry if you confused my speculation for a definitive statement on the colregs. I didn't say anything about colregs in that statement, and yeah, I WOULD expect a small boat to get out of the way of a big ferry -- or cruise ship -- or freighter.





No you said the line above.




On the basis of what we have, why are you defending the ferry that DID run him down. Next you'll be saying the fisher has WMDs on board. Sure kept obfuscating and making things up.

I'm NOT defending the ferry. I don't know who is right or wrong -- and neither does anyone else here. I'm saying that we don't have all the facts, and that the one who has spoken has powerful motivation to not be truthful. Reading in between the lines instead of asking for clarification can lead to a lot of confusion.

what in the land of free speech



IN most countries actions like that end up with a man in a cap writing things in a notebook.

What you have just said again is "might is right" or the tonnage rule. The fact is the COLREGS are there for a reason. You dont seem to know them or even understand them


No. I have NOT said "might is right." Not EVER. Nor would I. Where you think I don't understand the colregs, I'm beginning to think you have very poor reading comprehension skills, because you are reinterpreting what I have said and then responding to that.

It's sometimes what people do when they want to bicker. Just sayin' ...




He said he was steering and adjusting his radar, not unusual and quite typical , especially since he had been in low visibility some time just previous

Actually if I was out of the fog I would look all around and be glad I could.



[QUOTEJust the fact that this guy had sailed the area for 50 years and hadn't considered the ferries a hazard says a whole lot about him, and it ain't good.
I think he meant that he never had a problem with ferries before.

I think he meant what he said.

I mean Raku, why defend the indefensible.

I'm not.

The Fisher skipper may have been slightly preoccupied. equally he had no specific reason to be constantly looking over his shoulder.

Remind me never to sail with you. The reason to frequently look over his shoulder is that big boats like ferries move very fast. However, it is easy to get so absorbed in the technology that one doesn't do that.

Its easy to say that he should have been looking in the right direction AFTER the event.

It's easy to say it before the event too. He was the only one on board, so it was up to him to maintain SUFFICIENT watch to avoid a collision. I'm not saying the ferry was not at fault. I'm just pointing out a failure on the part of the skipper of the sailboat.

He may have a small blame attached, but he was on the face of it run over from behind,

And if he had been maintaining an ADEQUATE watch he would have had the choice of getting out of the way or counting on a very big boat to not hit him.

We don't know when or how he moved into that position. Ever hear of the staged auto accident, "swoop and stop?" The stager swoops in front of a car and immediately slams on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision. It's an insurance scam, but people do that sort of thing all the time just because they ... DON'T LOOK BEHIND THEM BEFORE MOVING. We do not know how long this sailboat was in front of the freighter. I know that it's easy for my boat to go off course while I'm looking at a paper chart. It happens. It could have happened this time, that he went off course while focused on his electronics. Didn't have an autopilot, or forgot to turn it on, or it hiccuped and went off in a new direction and he didn't notice.

case closed.

Not at all.

( Look at the Dutch Courts decision on the recent von Humbolt collision, case closed)

That was not this accident. That was that accident. We don't know what happened in this accident yet, but I have seen sailboats nearly be in accidents (or be in one) because they weren't paying attention and their boat strayed onto a collision path. It happened to me -- some idiot depending on his autopilot and not even anyone at the helm got too close to me, and then his autopilot had a BIG hiccup and went right across my stern. This is the same guy who was sorting his lines on the cabin top two weeks later. I know THAT guy doesn't tell the truth about accidents. He has probably been sailing for 50 years also.

Oh yeah -- as he left bottom paint on my stern he yelled (exact words): "I had the right of way! I was on course!" There are idiots out there who have just been lucky.


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Old 20-09-2013, 06:46   #171
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Local condition's in that area define a great deal of the problem. Traffic converges just west of the accident location from three separate passes. The ferry must cross the channel at 90 degrees to a continuous flow of east/west traffic. Strong variable currents are present except momentarily at slack water. Even worse, there are continuous sail operations in the area of west sound which is just to the west of the ferry dock. If I paint a picture of heavy traffic and restricted navigational space you begin to get the picture. I use one of several real time phone apps to check for ferries before I enter any of the affected areas and always have a plan to either get out of the way, or wait for ferry traffic to pass before proceeding. Often you cannot even see the ferry when he is already a major hazard. Vigilance is mandatory.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:47   #172
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

It all reminds me of a joke. A federal water management official arrived at a big ranch in Texas and told the owner he had to inspect all the land for water usage. "OK," the owner said, "But stay out of that field over there."

The official pulled out his badge and said, "Do you see this badge? This badge is issued by the federal government! It gives me the right to go ANYWHERE on your property, sir. ANYWHERE! Do you undersatnd me? Do we have an understanding?"

"Sure do," said the owner, and he went on about his business.

About 45 minutes later the owner saw the official running VERY fast in the field he'd been told to stay out of. The owner's prize bull was chasing him, and gaining on him. "Do something!" hollered the official.

"I can't do anything," the owner said. "SHOW HIM YOUR BADGE!!!!"
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:49   #173
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Local condition's in that area define a great deal of the problem. Traffic converges just west of the accident location from three separate passes. The ferry must cross the channel at 90 degrees to a continuous flow of east/west traffic. Strong variable currents are present except momentarily at slack water. Even worse, there are continuous sail operations in the area of west sound which is just to the west of the ferry dock. If I paint a picture of heavy traffic and restricted navigational space you begin to get the picture. I use one of several real time phone apps to check for ferries before I enter any of the affected areas and always have a plan to either get out of the way, or wait for ferry traffic to pass before proceeding. Often you cannot even see the ferry when he is already a major hazard. Vigilance is mandatory.
Of course, and it sounds like a lousy place to be fiddling with electronics while sailing single-handed.

You'd think after 50 years the sailor would have known what you're saying about the area. Big boats sometimes have very restricted fields of vision, and if you get close enough to them, they will not be able to see you -- not even know you're there.

I don't know for a fact that the sailboat was irresponsible, but I know not to take what he said to the media as gospel.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:54   #174
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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I said the *I* would have just gotten out of the way, and that I think it's the prudent thing to do when you're teeny and the other boat is very big.
This statement reflects two different and both very fundamental misunderstandings, and stubborn misunderstandings, since we've discussed this before. I used to be against any kind of licensing for operating a sailboat; when I read this sort of thing it really makes me question whether people should really be allowed out on the water to mix it up with shipping without having been made to prove that they have a basic understanding of both the rules, and the geometry of crossing situations.

First of all, if you invent and then follow a simple rule of "just get out of the way", you will often be in violation of the rules, and you will often create dangerous situations. The rules do not boil down to anything like this and you cannot substitute this nonsense for knowing them.

Second, "just get out of the way" will not save you in very many situations as a simple result of the geometry of a crossing with a larger, faster vessel. An overtaking case like the OP's case is an excellent example. If you are being overtaken by a large, fast commercial vessel, you MUST hold your course and speed as required by the rules so that you don't mess up the commercial vessel's calculation of the crossing. In such a case, it is just about impossible for the overtaken small sailboat to do anything, because by the time you recognize that the overtaking vessel is not avoiding you, you already cannot, in most cases, get clear. So overtaking of a small, slow vessel by a large, fast one is a rare case where the responsibility is almost 100% on the overtaking vessel, simply because the overtaken vessel has almost no means to do anything.

Why is that? At 5 knots, say, you move 0.83 cables per minute or about 2.6 meters per second. If you have a maximum rate of turn of 12 degrees per second, then you can turn 90 degrees to your former course in 7.5 seconds. So to get clear of a vessel bearing directly down on your stern, and which has a beam of 25 meters -- if being "clear" means say 50 meters from the ship's side (less than that and you'll be sucked into the bow wave, and even that is not really a safe distance) -- then you need about 35 seconds.

That vessel bearing down on you at 20 knots is moving at more than 10 meters per second. So in the 35 seconds it takes you to get sort of clear, that vessel will have moved more than 350 meters which is almost two cables (!). So if you are going to "just get out of the way", you will need to have precise data about his course, and you will need to have determined which way to "dodge", and you will have needed to have calculated all that no later than by the time he is at least 2 cables off. And you also need to be absolutely certain that he is holding his course. And if you screw up the calculation, if you have even slightly erroneous data, or if you are wrong about whether or not he is holding his course, then you have a 50/50 chance of dodging not to safety, but right under his bows.

THAT is why you are required to hold your course and speed while being overtaken until you are "in extremis". Since when you are in extremis is already too late to do anything, in most cases, in this kind of overtaking situation, for the geometrical reasons explained above, there is rarely anything for a slow, small vessel in an overtaking situation to do but hold course and speed so you don't screw up the maneuver of the overtaking vessel.

I say again -- the rules require you to hold course and speed when being overtaken until you are sure that the other vessel is not maneuvering. The rules do not permit you to dodge around willy-nilly according to your own invented rules. And in fact, dodging around willy-nilly, "just keeping out of the way", is reckless bad seamanship, the kind of behavior commercial mariners hate us for.The only time we are permitted to "just keep out of the way" is prior to a risk of collision arising -- meaning, staying out of a channel, for example, in the first place, in a harbor situation, something we all do when we can. In open water, that moment will usually have come and gone before you ever know the commercial vessel is there, unless you have AIS and are keeping a sharp watch on it.

So ALL OF THAT is why saying "just get out of the way" is dangerous bad advice, wrong advice, which could kill someone. Which is why I cannot be silent while this pernicious foolishness is touted in these pages.


You say "*I* would have just gotten out of the way" -- this means, you don't understand what you are required to do in such a situation, and it means you also don't understand what it takes to get out of the way in such a situation. You would not have gotten out of the way -- you would have been run down, and in case the other helmsman was actually maneuvering to avoid you -- something you would not have been able to determine without AIS -- your "just getting out of the way" maneuver would have ruined his calculation of the crossing, increasing the risk of collision. I would suggest getting some instruction, or at least, doing some reading.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:58   #175
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That was not this accident. That was that accident. We don't know what happened in this accident yet, but I have seen sailboats nearly be in accidents (or be in one) because they weren't paying attention and their boat strayed onto a collision path. It happened to me -- some idiot depending on his autopilot and not even anyone at the helm got too close to me, and then his autopilot had a BIG hiccup and went right across my stern. This is the same guy who was sorting his lines on the cabin top two weeks later. I know THAT guy doesn't tell the truth about accidents. He has probably been sailing for 50 years also.

Oh yeah -- as he left bottom paint on my stern he yelled (exact words): "I had the right of way! I was on course!" There are idiots out there who have just been lucky.
Wow.... how much did it cost to fix the damage...
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Old 20-09-2013, 07:21   #176
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Wow.... how much did it cost to fix the damage...

I was extremely lucky. The previous owner had put pvc covers on the stays and shrouds. My boat has a split back stay. A friend was at the helm, and I watched as this yahoo's anchor caught on the stay -- and then the pvc rolled it off. He just put a few superficial nicks on the transom. if that anchor had caught, I think he might have pulled the whole rig down, or brought my rig onto his boat. I'm NEVER taking those covers off!
From where I was sitting, it looked like the anchor was going to hit the woman at the helm right in the chest, but it missed her, and it missed the other backstay.

There was nothing we could do. We were close hauled. If she'd pointed more into the wind we would have slowed and he would have hit us much worse. if she'd fallen off we would have sowed down and been hit worse. She was incredible, nerves of steel.

He didn't realize his bow was 10 ft off my stern before his autopilot malfunctioned because his view was blanketed by his headsail, but someone was on my cabin top taking pictures of his boat, and the fellow just kept snapping as all this took place. That's how we know no one was at the helm -- or even near it.

However, we were towing the phtographer's dinghy, and as my stern didn't yet have a motor mount on it, he left his outboard on the back of his dinghy. The other boat of course went across his painter, flipping the dinghy upside down. It was fairly rough water, and my friend had to right his dinghy, pull it along side, climb down the side of my boat into his dinghy, and bail it out. It was about $300 to fix the drowned outboard. I was impressed that his painter withstood the strain of all that.

When I saw the same yahoo steaming up toward my ass again two weeks later, I didn't shout out about colergs. I just peeled off to port and watched him pass me by. He never even knew there was a boat in front of him.

Personally I don't think he should be driving, much less sailing.
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Old 20-09-2013, 07:27   #177
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Sorry, we are currently performing scheduled maintenance. We should be back online shortly.
Oops, you posted at just the wrong time! Don't worry, we preserved your post, you can copy this and paste it back into your post once we are live again:

What a bunch of BS. On a test I would have regurgitated the rule. On the water, i would have gotten out of the way. Sorry, but we've moved to "blunt" and I guess there's no going back.

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED in this situation, and yet you're going on, and on, and on. You can't talk about the accident, so you're trying to use me for a trampoline. The FINAL rule -- the rule that is over all the other rules -- is to do whatever is necessary to avoid an accident. Getting out of the way avoids an accident.

And it's my sailboat. If I want to change course, I can. If it happens to for the purpose of avoiding a collision, that's my right. That's in the colregs too. I am allowed to change course. And sweetums, I never would have been that close to the ferry to begin with. I don't know why the skipper of the sailboat was, and neither do you, but at some point the rule for everyone is "do whatever is necessary to avoid an accident." That means stop fiddling with your electronics, look around, and get out of the way.

You can go on forever about other choices but i think (to be blunt) that it's you showing off. I really don't think the ferry is going to run aground because I got out of its way, and believe me, I would have plenty of time to do so.
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Old 20-09-2013, 08:54   #178
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It cracks me up when people make posts and then spend 10X as many posts defending easily seen points of error on their part...rookie statements to boot....then get all wound up when their errors are pointed out.

Funny how some of us have actually been applying the COLREGs for many decades as professional mariners/instructors of the COLREGS ....then we are told ..."If one reads the colregs in isolation without taking in the bigger picture, one will over-interpret fine points and think they've read the law brilliantly"...

I certainly see why some people think these forums are may more entertainment than educational...the total amount of garbage clearly exceeds the good stuff. Like after opening presents....the left over packaging is mind boggling.
For those of us who have been on this forum for a while, we have learned which posters speak with knowledge and authority and which ones speak from opinion.

Although we may not comment on those who are opinionated, we certainly have learned to ignore them. Except perhaps for the entertainment value.
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Old 20-09-2013, 09:05   #179
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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For those of us who have been on this forum for a while, we have learned which posters speak with knowledge and authority and which ones speak from opinion.

Although we may not comment on those who are opinionated, we certainly have learned to ignore them. Except perhaps for the entertainment value.

I bet the owner of the sailboat wishes he had looked over his shoulder and gotten out of the way. i hope he hugged his wife and grandkids when he got home, because he was one lucky man.

I bet he starts looking over his shoulder. Maybe he'll even take a class and find out what keeping a watch really means.
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Old 20-09-2013, 09:16   #180
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....??
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