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Old 18-08-2019, 21:46   #1
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Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

The situation:

Puget sound, not far from Seattle. I was on a J-120 (40') under sail, on port tack. I was close-hauled, about a 1.5-2 miles from land, heading toward the shoreline. I intended to tack away when I got about 1/4 mile from shore.

Far to starboard, (at least 3 miles) I saw a cruise ship coming out of Seattle, roughly going to cross my course, roughly on a collision course, and picking up speed. She was paralleling the coast, probably as close as her draft would safely allow.

As we got closer, it became obvious that yes, we were on a collision course, and someone would have to give way. Maybe 1 mile and closing.

I felt I was the stand-on vessel. She was much bigger but she was not in a channel, and could very easily have turned 10 degrees to her port (away from shore) and passed my stern.

However, I'm not going to die asserting my rights, so I instructed my crew to prepare to tack out of the way, on the theory that tonnage prevails in these situations.

Just then, she blasted short-long. I don't know whether to be embarrassed or not, but I don't know what short-long means. But my crew was preparing to tack anyway. Not 15 seconds later, she blasts 5-short, which obviously I do know what that means! 3 seconds later, we tack away, and all ends well. We never came closer than about 1/4 of a mile. That sounds close, but Elliot bay has so much traffic, that in context, I don't think it was alarming.

Questions:
1) What does short-long mean? I searched around the internet a bit, and didn't see anything.

2) Was I really the stand-on vessel? I was under sail. I know lots of skippers think being under sail gives them rights over everyone, but I know that isn't the case. But she wasn't fishing, she wasn't in a channel, she had plenty of time to maneuver, and she wasn't restricted by draft (she needed to turn into deeper water).

Am I wrong? There isn't a tonnage exemption from the rules of the road, is there? I know vessels with limited maneuverability are stand-on, but she had plenty plenty plenty of time to turn just a few degrees and turn under my stern. If she turned when we were 3 miles away, she probably could have turned 3-4 degrees.

Thanks in advance for your input! If I was the one out of line, please let me know constructively. I posted to learn, not to have my ass spanked!
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:15   #2
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

I'm gonna guess that a cruise ship coming out of Seattle was in the TSS.

So you're neither the stand-on nor give way vessel, but the get-outta-the-way vessel.

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10(j) A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power-driven vessel following a traffic lane.
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:26   #3
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

ive always understood short-long to mean "restricted maneuvering", but cant seem to verify that at the moment. as stated above, likely TSS restricted.

and gross tonnage always has right-of-way. alter well before its an issue and before being expected to stand-on. live to sail another day...
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:35   #4
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Cruise ship (or any ship) has the right-of-way.

You should have altered course when you first saw that your paths were going to cross to stay well clear of the cruise ship.

See: Law of Gross Tonnage
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:38   #5
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Five blasts means “I’m confused by your actions or lack of action”... get out of the way. Or more in line with your situation, “continuing to do what you’re doing is an extremely bad idea, because I can’t stop what I’m doing.”

You were in the wrong, doen’t matter that you were sailing. A cruise ship can take miles to stop or change course, and you need to understand this, a mile is way too close, very dumb move on your part.

You shouldn’d be out there endangering others and yourself without first reading the rules, then understanding them fully. The horn signals are basic, you never had any “rights,” there’s no such thing... you had an obligation to get out of the way to keep everyone safe.

Here’s a free copy of the rules, read them and learn: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:45   #6
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Are you sure you heard short-long? A long in this situation means at least four seconds, which sounds very long in real life. Sure it wasn't two shorts (I'm about to turn to port) followed by the five (get your dinghy out of my way)?

Restricted manoeuvrability is D (long short short)

If she was in a TSS, then you're in the wrong. If you're not sure whether there is a TSS where you are currently sailing or not, double that.
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:49   #7
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
I'm gonna guess that a cruise ship coming out of Seattle was in the TSS.

So you're neither the stand-on nor give way vessel, but the get-outta-the-way vessel.
She was coming out of Elliot bay, and going surprisingly close by Magnolia Bluff. Neither of us was in the TSS. At least not according to my reading of Navionics and Gov charts.
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:51   #8
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Cruise ship (or any ship) has the right-of-way.

You should have altered course when you first saw that your paths were going to cross to stay well clear of the cruise ship.

See: Law of Gross Tonnage
I don't have a hard-on to play chicken with a ship. That is why I was instructing my crew to prepare to tack when we were still separated by a mile.
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Old 18-08-2019, 22:53   #9
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Are you sure you heard short-long? A long in this situation means at least four seconds, which sounds very long in real life. Sure it wasn't two shorts (I'm about to turn to port) followed by the five (get your dinghy out of my way)?

Restricted manoeuvrability is D (long short short)

If she was in a TSS, then you're in the wrong. If you're not sure whether there is a TSS where you are currently sailing or not, double that.
I'm very sure. Short was about a second. Long was about 4 seconds. Not ambiguous at all. Wasn't in the TSS.
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:23   #10
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
I don't have a hard-on to play chicken with a ship. That is why I was instructing my crew to prepare to tack when we were still separated by a mile.
A mile is way too close, I’m truly surprised that you don’t seem to understand this.

But you’re doing a good job of demonstrating why there should be some sort of basic licensure in the USA in order to operate a motor or sailing vessel, especially with other passengers onboard. It’s scary to think that a skipper doesn’t know the basic rules. I knew the rules back when I was a kid when they first came out in the 1970’s.

Just be glad it didn’t come down to you hearing one continuous long blast, meaning.... prepare to die. Did you download and review the rule book I sent you?

Here it is again just in case you missed it: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:26   #11
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Five blasts means “I’m confused by your actions or lack of action”... get out of the way. Or more in line with your situation, “continuing to do what you’re doing is an extremely bad idea, because I can’t stop what I’m doing.”

You were in the wrong, doen’t matter that you were sailing. A cruise ship can take miles to stop or change course, and you need to understand this, a mile is way too close, very dumb move on your part.

You shouldn’d be out there endangering others and yourself without first reading the rules, then understanding them fully. The horn signals are basic, you never had any “rights,” there’s no such thing... you had an obligation to get out of the way to keep everyone safe.

Here’s a free copy of the rules, read them and learn: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf
I don't even know what to say about this post, other than that it seems like righteousness guised in helpfulness. Certainly it isn't constructive. It seems you didn't read my post very carefully. A few points:

1)I know exactly what five blasts means, wasn't what I asked, and only reason to state such would be either because you didn't read the question carefully, or would rather enjoy feeling righteous.

2) I know a cruise ship can take miles to stop or change course, which is why I was instructing my crew to prepare to tack at a mile out.

3) She had 3 miles to change course, and would have needed to turn only a few degrees astern of me.

4) Elliot bay is 1.8 miles wide between West Seattle and Magnolia. It would be nearly impossible to navigate elliot bay and never come within a mile of a big ship. Your description of coming within a mile of a ship as "very dumb" (a phrase, btw, sure to heighten emotions, rather than illuminate) might be right on in the open ocean, or even further into Puget Sound, but is naive in the context of Elliot Bay.

5) I think I do know the rules, your link to the navrules.pdf is patronizing, and what I'm doing here is clarifying my understanding, something we should all seek to do, no matter our knowledge level. You have yet to point out where my understanding of the rules of the road went astray, other than an appeal to the tonnage of the ship. It's a point I understand very well, which is exactly why I was preparing to tack at a mile out.

6) "The horn signals are basic" you say. In that case, please illuminate me. What does short-long mean?

7) I'm very well aware that there are several conditions that would supercede me being a under sail. I list several of them in my 1st post, such as in-a-channel, fishing, limited maneuverability, etc. Suggesting that I thought I had "rights" over all others because I was under sail is not a good-faith reading of my post. You are ****-stirring, which reviewing some of your many posts, is apparently something you enjoy.
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:34   #12
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
I don't even know what to say about this post, other than that it seems like righteousness guised in helpfulness. Certainly it isn't constructive. It seems you didn't read my post very carefully. A few points:

1)I know exactly what five blasts means, wasn't what I asked, and only reason to state such would be either because you didn't read the question carefully, or would rather enjoy feeling righteous.

2) I know a cruise ship can take miles to stop or change course, which is why I was instructing my crew to prepare to tack at a mile out.

3) She had 3 miles to change course, and would have needed to turn only a few degrees astern of me.

4) Elliot bay is 1.8 miles wide between West Seattle and Magnolia. It would be nearly impossible to navigate elliot bay and never come within a mile of a big ship. Your description of coming within a mile of a ship as "very dumb" (a phrase, btw, sure to heighten emotions, rather than illuminate) might be right on in the open ocean, or even further into Puget Sound, but is naive in the context of Elliot Bay.

5) I think I do know the rules, your link to the navrules.pdf is patronizing, and what I'm doing here is clarifying my understanding, something we should all seek to do, no matter our knowledge level. You have yet to point out where my understanding of the rules of the road went astray, other than an appeal to the tonnage of the ship. It's a point I understand very well, which is exactly why I was preparing to tack at a mile out.

6) "The horn signals are basic" you say. In that case, please illuminate me. What does short-long mean?

7) I'm very well aware that there are several conditions that would supercede me being a under sail. I list several of them in my 1st post, such as in-a-channel, fishing, limited maneuverability, etc. Suggesting that I thought I had "rights" over all others because I was under sail is not a good-faith reading of my post. You are ****-stirring, which reviewing some of your many posts, is apparently something you enjoy.
You clearly don’t possess a basic understanding of the rules, I suggest taking a Boating course. I spent several thousand USD on my 100 ton Captains course and the ICC certification offered by RYA, along with courses back in the 1970’s because I take my boating responsibilities seriously.
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:37   #13
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
A mile is way too close, I’m truly surprised that you don’t seem to understand this.

But you’re doing a good job of demonstrating why there should be some sort of basic licensure in the USA in order to operate a motor or sailing vessel, especially with other passengers onboard. It’s scary to think that a skipper doesn’t know the basic rules. I knew the rules back when I was a kid when they first came out in the 1970’s.

Just be glad it didn’t come down to you hearing one continuous long blast, meaning.... prepare to die. Did you download and review the rule book I sent you?

Here it is again just in case you missed it: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf
You keep bragging about how you know the rules, and I don't, yet you don't cite any rule I violated, or any misunderstanding of mine. Which by the way, I would welcome, because it is the whole reason I posted. To learn and improve. Not to be scolded by someone deeply sure of his expertise, yet seemingly ignorant of the local conditions he is holding forth on.

You seem obsessed by this mile distance issue, a distance which is subjective, meaning the rules do not define a mile as a below the minimum safe distance, and is also ignorant of the conditions in Elliot Bay. Rather your "mile is too close" opinion, is just that, your opinion.

I invite you to come to Elliot Bay, Seattle, one of the busiest ports in the world, and sail across the mouth of this bay without coming within a mile of a ship. Very often you would fail. The bay is less than 2 miles wide, and ships stream in and out.
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:39   #14
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
You keep bragging about how you know the rules, and I don't, yet you don't cite any rule I violated, or any misunderstanding of mine. Which by the way, I would welcome, because it is the whole reason I posted. To learn and improve. Not to be scolded by someone deeply sure of his expertise, yet seemingly ignorant of the local conditions he is holding forth on.

You seem obsessed by this mile distance issue, a distance which is subjective, meaning the rules do not define a mile as a below the minimum safe distance, and is also ignorant of the conditions in Elliot Bay. Rather your "mile is too close" opinion, is just that, your opinion.

I invite you to come to Elliot Bay, Seattle, one of the busiest ports in the world, and sail across the mouth of this bay without coming within a mile of a ship. Very often you would fail. The bay is less than 2 miles wide, and ships stream in and out.
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf
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Old 18-08-2019, 23:44   #15
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Re: Did I have to give way? Plus short-long blast.

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
You clearly don’t possess a basic understanding of the rules, I suggest taking a Boating course. I spent several thousand USD on my 100 ton Captains course and the ICC certification offered by RYA, along with courses back in the 1970’s because I take my boating responsibilities seriously.
Now you have stopped responding to specific issues and are just issuing broadsides, and bragging about yourself. You know nothing of me and my experience, my training, you haven't described anything I've done wrong or any misunderstanding of mine, other a subjective feeling of yours that a mile is too close. Goodnight sir.
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