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Old 03-12-2014, 21:55   #1
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"Shoals to Starboard!" with

The fog really closing in fast around Hatchet Point on the way to nearby anchorage in the bayou. Visibility maybe a few hundred yards or so and trending less, quickly.

No problem motoring starboard side of channel with next pair of markers barely visible ahead. The ICW makes a reasonably sharp turn around the point through two pairs of marks.

Just after turning running lights on I was thinking, "Hey, I might get to ring the fog bell for the first time, cool.". Then an usually sleek motorsailer appeared out of the fog. Maybe 55' and cooking right along at ~5 knots. Still no problem as she was on my one and angled away from my position.

Well away in fact. I thought she was just being safe and soon a course correction would line her up for the next pair, and meet me with ample clearance. Instead she just kept steaming through the first pair, possibly running off channel ahead in a quick minute. I paused for a second, looked back to see the next markers for her were practically shrouded by fog and it seemed obvious a grounding would occur.

A bit of adrenalin for me as I realized I didn't have the handheld on, or even on deck. Damn. Started to go below but realized there was no time. So I grabbed the whistle hanging on the gear shift and gave it five loud blasts.

Looked to see the skipper had just stepped into the doorway on the port side of the house. I shouted "Shoals to starboard!" While pointing ahead of her bow. The skipper disappeared inside, and the boat slowed as it faded into the fog. Only the marker to my starboard bow, the fog, and water visible now..

Later as I just got to anchor there were many horns sounding for a bit. Barge horns blowing two and pleasure craft horns as well. Fog moved in fast.

Question: Was five blasts the correct sound signal?

I certainly didn't understand her intentions but no crossing situation existed with my boat. Just needed to ger her attention fast. Skeered me a little, hope she made it.

Any thought or comments welcome.
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Old 03-12-2014, 22:13   #2
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

That is exactly what I would have done......
In general it is a wake up call alarming the other vessel that they may be "standing into danger"

Good job.
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Old 03-12-2014, 22:25   #3
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Yep, absolutely correct! :-) Be interesting to know if he went aground!
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Old 03-12-2014, 22:39   #4
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Thanks for the confirmation on the sound signal.

I wonder how she faired as well. Glad to see her slow down. The bottom is soft there, I know firsthand .

But thats no place to be stuck in that fog.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:39   #5
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Four winds: good description of the scenario.

Five toots of a whistle would have gotten my attention too.

Good thinking and response by you, to alert the other skipper.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:54   #6
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Two short and one long. Morse code U - "you are running into danger".

Alternatively any sound signal which doesn't mean anything else under the collision rules . Rule 36.

So strictly speaking not 5 short blasts (Rule 34(d)) although 5 long blasts would be OK.
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:33   #7
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

You could sew a pocket for your handheld radio to the dodger so you could keep it out where you can see everything while you talk.

I think you did well......you did all you could to alert the other skipper to the danger.

Ann
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Old 04-12-2014, 20:55   #8
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Quick thinking with the whistle. 10 Points on the Karma Account.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:42   #9
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Lumb View Post
Two short and one long. Morse code U - "you are running into danger".

Alternatively any sound signal which doesn't mean anything else under the collision rules . Rule 36.

So strictly speaking not 5 short blasts (Rule 34(d)) although 5 long blasts would be OK.
+1. That was my thought too.

But in the circumstances, no harm - no foul and it achieved the desired result. Good on ya!
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:00   #10
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Lumb View Post
Two short and one long. Morse code U - "you are running into danger".

Alternatively any sound signal which doesn't mean anything else under the collision rules . Rule 36.

So strictly speaking not 5 short blasts (Rule 34(d)) although 5 long blasts would be OK.

Thanks for this info. Took a minute to digest.

But I understand, 5 long would be better as it's not a defined signal used.

Morse U is clear as "you are running into danger". But interestingly I had to search several sources to find it. Most did not list it. Found it as a seperate paragraph between (h) and (I) of that rule number. But not part of either.

Gonna search for morse code sound signals.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:11   #11
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

BTW, in the first post I intended to say vis was a few hundred feet, not yards!. I wish, there would have been no issue if yards.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:32   #12
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
You could sew a pocket for your handheld radio to the dodger so you could keep it out where you can see everything while you talk.

I think you did well......you did all you could to alert the other skipper to the danger.

Ann
The handheld is usually in a cupholder at the helm. But I forgot to put it there this time.

I do like your idea. Better than using a designated beverage location.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:47   #13
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

"Uniform" is the correct signal. 5 blasts means "I do not understand your intentions" (usually used in close traffic)

In this case, of course, it can be used correctly as you clearly did not "understand his intentions" of going off channel.

It got his attention which was the important thing here.


You can see all the morse signals (and flag signals) and their meaning by getting a copy of one of these plachards Of course if you do learn them - you'll be one of the very few on the water that does know them..
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:15   #14
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

Doh! The signal flags.

Hey, I already know six of them. T,I,K,B,A, and R. But they all mean the same thing, " you are drinking into danger!"
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:27   #15
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Re: "Shoals to Starboard!" with

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Doh! The signal flags.

Hey, I already know six of them. T,I,K,B,A, and R. But they all mean the same thing, " you are drinking into danger!"
Well - perhaps yo need to visit Dockhead's thread "Gin Tankage" where the discussion is centered around how to transport a 3 month supply of gin and tonic. n(depends, of course on how much you drink
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