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    Re: Avoiding collision.
    From: Doug Royer
    Date: 2003 Oct 7, 11:38 -0700

    George,let me make something clear to you and all.That incident happened
    many years ago(1994 I think).It was decided by the master on a transit from
    S.F. to a point east of the Mollucian Straights to do this.It was used as an
    example and is not always done by all masters on every transit.It is
    something to look forward to and gives the crew who wish to participate an
    incentive to do so.Most masters I serve with require at minimum of 1
    observation be taken and LOGGED each 24 hr.Usually more are taken.We don't
    use observations as the main means of position finding!
    I wish you all had an oppertunity to spend a week on the bridge of a working
    vessel.Your eyes most assuredly would be opened as to the duties and
    responsibilities required.
    For your information when entering an area of traffic the nav. watch
    switches to and relies on ARPA Radar.All merchie vessels must have this
    system in place.All members must be certified radar observers.ARPA has the
    ability to acquire and track multiple targets giving both the CPA and Time
    of CPA and all track histories,positions and projected tracks and positions
    of all selected targets.Collision avoidance is a serious matter and is taken
    very seriously by the bridge.
    I'm not going to get into an argument with any of you concerning a small vs.
    a large vessels rights.Have you any idea how difficult it is to manouver a
    large vessel when in a confined area with multiple vessels going hither and
    yon?Yes,I've ordered course and speed changes as needed.I've also had to
    order emergency manouvers because some small vessel drivers don't understand
    or even know the rules of manouver.Smaller vessels are easier to manouver
    than a larger one.In a narrow channel(I've never been in the E.C.where you
    sail George)all small vessels including sail vessels must give way and not
    impeade the passage of a vessel that needs the channel.It is the
    responsibility of both masters to avoid a collision anywhere and anytime.So
    even if one vessel is stand on it must manouver if the give way vessel
    doesn't!Give me a break!Use common sense!It's better to be alive than right.
    All I can say is reguardless what you think all matters reguarding collision
    are taken most seriously!How many of your vessels are equiped with ARPA or
    have crew who are trained to rigorous standards?How many and what drills do
    you and your crews preform on a regular basis?
    The penalties for a M.M.O. who fails in his duties are much more severe than
    for someone who isn't lisenced.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: George Huxtable [mailto:george{at}HUXTABLE.U-NET.COM]
    Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 08:15
    Subject: Avoiding collision.
    Doug Royer said recently, in another thread-
    >I had the opportunity to use both of these types of Russian(I should say
    >Soviet)sextants.One was owned by a Polish ABS I served with and he
    >consistantly got outstanding LOPs useing his.He won an $1800.00 pool on one
    >transit when his final position was less than 0.2nm from the ships GPS pos.
    >when the evolution was stopped by the master.
    My, that is encouraging! To think that the art of celestial nav is still
    sufficiently alive-and-well on the brige of American merchant vessels, to
    the extent of that much hard cash riding on the accuracy of observations
    and predictions.
    Somehow, it brings to mind another topic which doesn't seem to feature much
    on this list, that of avoiding collision.
    My own cruising area is mostly the waters of the English Channel,
    frequented by many pleasure craft but also the busiest passage in the World
    for the through transit of ships.
    Some parts of the through passage are split into traffic schemes where
    special rules apply: I am not considering those areas, but other parts of
    the Channel, where it is in no way a "narrow channel", and in which vessel
    are not constrained by their draught.
    In such circumstances we are all aware that the Colregs give right-of-way
    to a sailing vessel (which as the stand-on vessel is expected to maintain
    her course and speed) over any power vessel (which is expected to give
    way). We are all equally aware that no such thing will happen, and that
    instead the rule "Small vessels give way to large ones" will be applied.
    To give credit where it's due, there are a few exceptions. Naval vessels,
    I've found, can be relied on to keep clear where the rules say they should.
    In general, the many passenger ferries will usually do the same (perhaps
    because there are so many witnesses on board). But as a general rule,
    merchant vessels, from coasters to supertankers, won't divert from their
    path by the slightest smidgeon. Might is right. The colregs are considered
    irrelevant. Nobody on the bridge will even consider changing course by 5 or
    10 degrees for a few minutes, to avoid a small craft.
    We are forced to give in to this bullying, of course. Nobody could survive
    sailing English Channel waters for 40 years, as I have, by sticking to his
    rights. I imagine it's the same everywhere, but it would be interesting to
    learn if others on the list have the same experience. As far as
    interactions between large vessels and small ones is concerned, the colregs
    are a dead-letter.
    But now Doug's revelation, above, adds something to the picture. Imagine
    the scene on the bridge, when everyone knows that there's $1800 riding on
    exactly where the ship will be, within a small fraction of a mile, at the
    moment the master gives the word. Which one among them is going to be brave
    enough to order a course change to avoid me in my pesky little sailing
    craft, a few miles ahead on the port bow?
    contact George Huxtable by email at george---.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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