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Old 19-01-2006, 19:12   #1
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Securite Securite Securite

We're at home fixing dinner, and the scanner stops on 16: Securite Securite Securite

We're just getting started with finer points of sailing boats, so for xmas we received a handheld marine VHF as a gift. On board, my son is in charge of monitoring announcements (and his boating name is "Sparky"). At home, we listen to the weather forecasts and often times just leave the scanner on as we do the laundry or make dinner.

It's a fun learning experience for all four of us-- tonight we heard a warning about a 30x50 metal bulkhead semi-submerged on the Columbia river. Last weekend we heard our first "pan pan pan" about an overturned 14 foot boat with a white hull on the river (not fun in cold water near flood stage).

To us it's all new, and it's fun to learn as a family.

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Jim H in London, UK, sailing Southern Rival, a '73 Rival 34. In Oregon, sails Aurora, a '67 Cal 20.
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Old 19-01-2006, 19:33   #2
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My wife has the hardest time understanding what comes over the radio. Not sure why, she just can not make it out. I guess she would have benefitted from starting early
Good for you Jim. Make it second nature.
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Old 20-01-2006, 14:13   #3
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Jim,

There are some books on marine communications. It a lingo all of itself. In the good ole days I use to be a CB'er. It took weeks before I could understand what they were saying. And still I have trouble picking it up. Truck drivers have their own language and so do fishermen.............._/)
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Old 20-01-2006, 14:48   #4
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Re: Jim,

Quote:
delmarrey once whispered in the wind:
There are some books on marine communications. It a lingo all of itself.
The books we've read covered the basics, but hearing the actual traffic is a real education. Sometimes, maybe too much.

My eight year-old son "Sparky" was monitoring the radio while we sailed last Sunday, and he was listening to two vessels communicating during some maneuvers. The exchange sounded friendly, and then my son called out, "Hey, they're cursing!"

We may need to review why talking like a sailor in school and other settings isn't always the best thing...
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Old 20-01-2006, 19:46   #5
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Talking like a sailor and radio terms are two VERY different things. Believe me, my wife talks like a sailor, but still has trouble with the radio. I, on the other hand, wanted to get into ham radio since I was a kid, and got my first CB when I was about 13. You still needed a lisense back then. WAB3307 if I remember right. Had to get it under my dad's name because I was under 16 As such I have always been comfortable on the radio. I can pick a weak DX out of the QRM with no problem My wife can understand the Coast Guard transmissions, even though they are usually very fast and practiced, so I sdo not think it is a matter of lingo. I think it is a matter of how people speak on the radio. Many people are mike shy, and this leads to a hard to hear transmission. People often yell into the mike leading to overmodulation. Also hard to understand. I think courses on using the radio should be a part of any sailing class.
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Old 20-01-2006, 21:06   #6
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Radio

We had been out to sea a couple of days and I was steering the fishing boat while the real men were doing the work. I was the tourist on cousins boat in the North Sea. There was a storm warning. During the day Fidellis had been calling the Radiant Way with no response. I thought to myself why don't the dopey buggers answer. Much later in the day this thought from nowhere entered my brain and I stuck my head out the window and asked the crew " heh what's the name of this boat ? " The Radiant Way I was told. That explained a few things for me, so the next time Fidelis called I said something like howdie you alls, hows it goin ?
I could not understand one word of their reply. That is not unusual because they are Geordies, and impossble to understand at the best of times, especially on the radio or in the pub. Had to get the captain to explain that they had not been hijacked by the tourist. They wanted to stay in touch with the nasty weather approaching. Through the Captain I got their position and they were about 3/4 of a mile away off the transom. They showed up now and then on the radar. We stayed in touch all night.
The Radiant Way is in North West Scotland the last I heard.
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Old 20-01-2006, 21:20   #7
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Thanks for the radio stories and tips. Maybe I'm just in the ga-ga stage, but it seems like every aspect of sailing has history, tradition and nuance. It's something that can take a few weekends to learn, but a lifetime isn't enough to appreciate it all.

Either that, or I had too much IPA at the Lucky Lab this evening...
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Old 21-01-2006, 13:23   #8
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freakish propagation

Some years back I was on the bridge heading north off the coast of Mexico, when we heard a "securite" call on VHF ch 16 - an American warship was about to commence some open-ocean gunnery practice and anyone hearing this call was to respond to them. So we responded and on discovering the area they were shooting in, realized they were in the naval exercise areas off San Diego - some 300 miles from our position. That area is prone to temperature inversions and the like, so we knew we had some radar ducting, but that just blew me away.

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Old 21-01-2006, 16:53   #9
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We were out on the bay aboard my friend's Endeavor. We heard the coasties announce that an EPIRB had gone off in our area. We were not really paying much attention, but heard the name of the vessel, and it was familiar to us. They stated that it was a motor vessel, and our friend's boat of the same name was a sailing tri, so we still did not pay much attention We had good visibility of all the boats for a couple of miles around us, and, as we were not really paying attention, we did not realize how close the coordinates were to our location. About the thrid time the coast guard came on, they listed the name that the EPIRB was registered to. It was our friend with the trimaran. Coincidentally, his boat was about 500 yards away with all of his friends fishing off the deck. We tried to raise them on the radio, but no answer. We contacted the coasties, and let them know we were close to the boat, and would check it out. We sailed over, so we could yell to the crew. (our friend was not on board, and had lent out his boat) On the way over, the boat owner had called us on the VHF, as he worked for the harbor, and had been monitoring the conversation. Needless to say, he was a bit concerned about his boat. We got to the other boat, and were greeted by a bunch of happy fishermen, totally oblivious to all the excitement. As it turns out, the EPIRB was mounted in a bad location, and had been set off before. A little better radio procedure could have eliminated this whole situation, and at the very least, could have resolved things allot faster. Oh well, live and learn.
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