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Old 13-04-2020, 04:30   #1
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Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

SALEM — Dan Finamore, the Peabody Essex Museum’s curator of Maritime Art and History, spied something special in Salem this week.

“Taking a brief break from home confinement,” he says, “I took a stroll down to Derby Wharf and spotted something that probably hasn't occurred in Salem for a long time. The flagpole at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is flying a solid yellow flag, which is the signal code for the letter Q in the International Code of Signals. In addition to spelling out various messages when flown in combination with other signals, the Q flag flown alone is the symbol for ‘Quarantine.’”

The practice of quarantining ships has a long history. As far back as the 14th century, during Black Plague years, ships arriving at the port of Venice had to remain offshore for up to 40 days to make sure none of its passengers were carrying a sickness. The first official ordinance for quarantining a ship in Massachusetts dates back to 1647 when officials levied steep fines for any vessel arriving from a distant port that didn't pause at the entrance to Boston Harbor until given the signal to proceed.

In more recent times, the "Q" flag would have been flown on a ship that had cleared inspection and its passengers and crew were considered safe to be landed. In some regions, a black flag signaled the opposite. When the yellow "Q" flag flew on a wharf, as we see it now, it was announcing a zone where ships that were free of disease were allowed to tie up safely.

“I applaud the sentiment of those Park Service staff who hoisted this flag," says Finamore. “May it bode well for the health of all Salem residents.”

---------------

This - is unlike neighboring city of Beverly which has painted arrows on city sidewalks and requires one-way perambulation under the threat of severe fines or tar and feathering.
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Old 13-04-2020, 04:50   #2
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Interesting.

History of the quarantine flaghttps://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/xf~q.html

On arrival at a foreign port, the owner or captain of a yacht should report to the authorities. The "Q" flag should be flown, where it can be easily seen (starboard spreader, radio antenna, fishing outrigger, etc.), to indicate that the vessel desires to be boarded, by customs and other governmental authorities. When reporting, the crew and guests must remain aboard until permission (pratique) has been granted to land.
Once pratique has been granted, the "Q" flag may be lowered and the courtesy flag of that nation may be hoisted.
Traditionally, quarantine flags are not used for trips between the United States, and Canada, on the Great Lakes.
“Pratique”: License or permission to use a port, given to a ship after quarantine, or on showing a clean bill of health.
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Old 13-04-2020, 08:51   #3
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

I had the same thought. I'd dig my Q flag out and fly it from the house. Not having a flag staff at the house sort of quashed that idea. And nowadays, it's not clear everyone would see it as the lighthearted gesture it would be intended as.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:08   #4
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Growing up in Winthrop What I learned about the quarantine hospitals on Deer Island and Rainsford Island left an impression of great hardship endured by people hoping to make a life in Boston.
Currently I am on my boat in Grenada where I have been though a 14 quarantine only to endure an addition 17 days of lockdown. I have been posting videos on my YouTube channel. Some day I will edit them down into one video, but for now here are the unedited bits

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCU2Qqw7dDjsXHWPzK1waR7w
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:17   #5
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

I’m kind of wondering about this from a practical sense. The Q flag is normally reserved for customs. However, if I take my boat to another state right now, and I don’t want them hassling me and telling me to move along, should I just fly the Q flag? Or explain to them we are quarantining on the boat? I’d rather not have any human interaction.

Our plan is to go to Maine for the summer for quarantining. And no, that doesn’t mean walking around a little villages and stuff. That means staying on the boat. However, there have been a lot of news stories about people from Maine being a little less than receptive to people from away. As in, there have been guns involved.

Anyone from maine care to give me the lowdown?
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:23   #6
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Just bought one on eBay for 12 bucks. These folks out here in the WV will have no idea what it's for. Maybe anti something.
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Old 16-04-2020, 06:24   #7
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

here when a port flies a yellow flag it means open use caution.
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Old 16-04-2020, 07:57   #8
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Q flag indicates you WANT the authorities to hassle you. You're requesting permission to come ashore. The traditional flag to indicate you aren't coming ashore due to quarantine is Lima.

Don't have any practical advice except to anchor outside of their effective range.
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Old 16-04-2020, 08:02   #9
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Lima!!! Thank you. The local water cops probably don’t know that any more than I did.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:17   #10
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Our plan is to go to Maine for the summer for quarantining. And no, that doesn’t mean walking around a little villages and stuff. That means staying on the boat. However, there have been a lot of news stories about people from Maine being a little less than receptive to people from away. As in, there have been guns involved.

Anyone from maine care to give me the lowdown?
I'm sure you'll be fine. Maine was and always has been welcoming to summer visitors. Sometimes grudgingly, since we don't really like crowds, and some of them forget they're not driving in the city any more, but we do like their money.

This all came crashing down as soon as NY, MA and CT started issuing stay-at-home recommendations and orders. Apparently everyone in those states got the same idea at the same time: Let's all go to Maine!

Yeah. It was bad. Think Spring Break videos on the news bad.

Not only crowding on the beaches and in parks, but also emptying our supermarkets of TP and every other hoarded product. And, as I said, they still haven't learned to drive with courtesy, so they were taxing our police, tow trucks and first responders. No tourist destination is prepared for that sort of influx off-season.

So we shut down beaches, parks and overnight accommodations. It mostly seems to be working, although we do still get the day-trippers.

But by the time the good cruising weather arrives, I'm hoping things have settled down and it'll be OK to come into town for supplies occasionally. Some marinas are shut down, but many aren't, and fuel is available.

Maine has some fantastic anchorages where you won't be bothering anyone, and you'll have peace, quiet and great scenery. And when things start opening up again, anyone with cash will be welcome in town, I'm sure.
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Old 16-04-2020, 09:41   #11
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Re: Salem Massachusetts flying the Q Flag

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I'm sure you'll be fine. Maine was and always has been welcoming to summer visitors. Sometimes grudgingly, since we don't really like crowds, and some of them forget they're not driving in the city any more, but we do like their money.

This all came crashing down as soon as NY, MA and CT started issuing stay-at-home recommendations and orders. Apparently everyone in those states got the same idea at the same time: Let's all go to Maine!

Yeah. It was bad. Think Spring Break videos on the news bad.

Not only crowding on the beaches and in parks, but also emptying our supermarkets of TP and every other hoarded product. And, as I said, they still haven't learned to drive with courtesy, so they were taxing our police, tow trucks and first responders. No tourist destination is prepared for that sort of influx off-season.

So we shut down beaches, parks and overnight accommodations. It mostly seems to be working, although we do still get the day-trippers.

But by the time the good cruising weather arrives, I'm hoping things have settled down and it'll be OK to come into town for supplies occasionally. Some marinas are shut down, but many aren't, and fuel is available.

Maine has some fantastic anchorages where you won't be bothering anyone, and you'll have peace, quiet and great scenery. And when things start opening up again, anyone with cash will be welcome in town, I'm sure.

Yeah. Maine is my home cruising grounds from a long time ago. Decades ago. Before I started the travel lifestyle. And that makes sense. I can understand this giant influx of people going to their summer homes or whatever. Especially if they are really wealthy and taking all of the supplies from everyone that lives there. That’s terrible. I read about it happening in the Hamptons also.

And yes. Those types of anchorages Are exactly the place I’m looking to spend the summer in. I have done it before and I know how much of a social distancing that is. You can have the entire anchorage all to yourself. Don’t tell anyone. Ha ha

Sounds like everyone has calm down a bit since those stories I read a few weeks back.

I’ll be sure to bring my cash. Ha ha ha. Half of my family is from Maine. But they don’t really know about the waterfront culture as much.
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