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    Re: Lookout by Sound
    From: Joe Schultz
    Date: 2009 Oct 18, 19:59 -0700

    "Hordes on the bridge."  That's funny - and very true when the Commodore and 
    his staff were embarked.  Unwanted hordes, and asking the bosun for bug 
    repellant got you a wink and a nod.  Minimal bridge manning for us was five 
    people, by the way, and wasn't done very often.  We usually didn't travel the 
    shipping lanes.  Indigent fishermen in second and third world countries 
    rarely had lights.  Radio?  Forget it - they lived hand-to-mouth and buying a 
    radio meant starving their children.
    All vessels have the same sight and sound lookout rule, at least for those 
    countries that have adopted the COLREG (Convention on the International 
    Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) treaty.  For American vessels 
    you can look at the US Coast Guard Navigation Rules, Part A Rule 3 and Part B 
    Rule 5, which use the identical words for international and inland waters 
    (for the non-American readers, "inland" means on waters bordering states.  
    States also have rules for waters entirely within their state).  
    The largest fog watch I've seen was about 40 sailors on deck.  We entered the 
    Chesapeake Bay traffic separation channel and were just outside the Hwy-13 
    tunnel when the peasoup hit - chart 12222 if my memory of twenty years ago is 
    correct.  Scooted up the behind of an inbound merchie who had nav radar (with 
    his permission), then lost him between the tunnels because we weren't going 
    to go that fast.  Captain said something along the lines of "this doesn't 
    feel right" and stopped the ship.  Heard a buoy and crawled over to it so 
    somebody could read the number.  We thought the pilot was going to wet his 
    pants when the chief quartermaster located the buoy in the book, then on the 
    chart.  "Sir, I believe we're here, north side of the old channel."  Thimble 
    Shoals country, and we didn't have much of a choice but to continue.  No way 
    we'd anchor there and risk grounding on the tide.  That captain was the 
    second best Navy driver I've seen - he didn't think it was a big deal once he 
    knew where he was.  The pilot watched and learned that day.
    Releasing surface search radar was authorized if the need arose, but would 
    result in replacing civilian television sets (on an antenna) in a five mile 
    radius.  Releasing fire control radar was also authorized; in that case you'd 
    increase the television set replacement program to 15 miles - fire control is 
    a very "hot" radar.  Releasing radar wasn't done, in other words, outside of 
    the school book unless there was a tactical/training need.
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