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Old 22-05-2008, 18:07   #1
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When I refused to tell the USCG how many were abaord

Sailing overnite from Lucaya, Grand Bahama to Hole in the Wall, on the south tip of the Abacos, Bahamas, I saw the faint shape of a large ship of the port bow, with no lights on. As my Loran was out, I decided to call and ask for a position fix. When I called, they replied that they were the USCG and asked where we were going, and how many people were on board. I told them I didn't want to give any information, as I didn't really know they were the GC. They said to watch. They lit the boat up like a christmas tree. Not sure how they illuminated the USCG insignias, but they did.
I said, OK you win, and gave the info they asked for. Then I repeated my request for a position fix. They asked me where I thought I was, and I replied. They said I was in the general area of where I wanted to be. I asked if they would give me a lat lon and they just repeated what they had said before, and said have a good trip, then turned off all lights and got underway.
So much for nav lights.
I think they didn't want the Drug runners to know where they were.
I was pissed, as I asked for safety reasons, and didn't get reasonable help.
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Old 22-05-2008, 18:11   #2
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Nice........
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Old 22-05-2008, 20:29   #3
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As my Loran was out, I decided to call and ask for a position fix.
Hmm, this is 2008 and you had no GPS, but rather a Loran that "was out" and you called a dark ship (Hoping it was alive?) to get a position fix?

Try e-bay for a used handheld GPS around $25.00, then a discount store like "BigLots" for $2.00 worth of alkaline batteries and voila, now your are a Navigator....
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Old 22-05-2008, 22:27   #4
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maybe it happened 20 years ago?
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Old 22-05-2008, 22:41   #5
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Its generally not a good idea to cop an attitude with the Coasties. They can make your life living hell if they choose to do so.
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Old 22-05-2008, 22:55   #6
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Aloha Pirate,
The Coasties are out to get bad guys. The more you look like good guys the better they will treat you. Yes, they patrol without lights and they can get out of your way in a hurry if they need to. The Navy also goes without nav lights while on patrol in some areas and during some exercises.
The reason they don't like to give out their lat and long is as you said plus if they give you a fix as to where you think you are then it becomes their responsibility if you go aground because you can always say the Coast Guard gave me wrong information.
I had the same thing happen to me after 3 days with no clear weather and couldn't get a celestial shot but I saw a CG Cutter on the horizon when the fog cleared for a couple minutes. They would not give me a lat and long but did tell me they were approximately 8 miles Southwest of the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. This was before the days of GPS, cheap radar and SatNav was way out of sight in price. I thanked them a great deal for the information.
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Old 22-05-2008, 23:54   #7
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... Then I repeated my request for a position fix. They asked me where I thought I was, and I replied. They said I was in the general area of where I wanted to be. I asked if they would give me a lat lon and they just repeated what they had said before, and said have a good trip, then turned off all lights and got underway.
So much for nav lights.
I think they didn't want the Drug runners to know where they were.
I was pissed, as I asked for safety reasons, and didn't get reasonable help.
So you were really in danger because you were lost? And the confirmation of your approximate position wasn't enough to keep you safe?

Is there a point to this story other than the CG doesn't give out exact positions to all unknown boats (you) who ask in active smuggling patrol areas?
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Old 23-05-2008, 05:33   #8
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Judging from the other posts from our new friend "Over40Pirate", these must be older stories from his time cruising, rather than ones that happened yesterday.

The locations are too varied to be happening all this week
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Old 23-05-2008, 05:47   #9
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Judging from the other posts from our new friend "Over40Pirate", these must be older stories from his time cruising, rather than ones that happened yesterday.

The locations are too varied to be happening all this week
Could be a really really fast boat
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Old 23-05-2008, 09:58   #10
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I'm 99% certain that the USCG now declines to give exact coordinates because the bad guys are listening also......

We seem to hate the Coasties... until we actually need them to save our arses of course.....
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Old 23-05-2008, 10:05   #11
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wow cool. i think you should have a gps and a backup gps. forget the loran.
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Old 23-05-2008, 17:05   #12
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I guess I should have told you it was in 1989, the first year of cruising.
I didn't think we were lost, but a prudent mariner gets a fix whenever he can.
And no, GPS wasn't around then, And the Loran went out on the boat.
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Old 23-05-2008, 17:23   #13
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In 1989 even if your Loran was working it would have given you a very poor fix, maybe within a mile as the coverage in that area was very poor. Something to do with the baseline. Loran was nearly useless in the Bahamas.
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Old 23-05-2008, 18:57   #14
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Sailing at night with no GPS does not sound like a very good idea.

The Coasties have a tough job and they do it very well!
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Old 23-05-2008, 19:58   #15
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Hmmm ... I thought that the Bahamas is an independent country associated with UK through Commonwealth of Nations. If this is true what The Coasties were doing there?? Are they allowed to do their job wherever they want? ...... just a thought.
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