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The Front Almost Fell Off....


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Oops.

The St. Marys, in that area, can have currents easily exceeding 6 knots.  Being in a catalina (is that a 34?  It's got a sprit, so it's a tall rig) in lighter air is probably not the greatest choice.  Or you should at least have your motor running.

You can see them get taken sideways as they try to sail 'up' the river rather than sailing across the current to get away.

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This is the story of ol' Bill MacDay,

Who died defending his right-of-way.

He was dead right as he sailed along,

But now he's as dead as if he were wrong.

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Meeting large freighters in narrow waters is always little scary. Quite common thing to do is to dodge those here in lake areas of Finland. On the areas with lots of current we just drop the sails and use engine. As I have sometimes dodged smaller boats in larger clumsy vessel I know it is not fun.

 

It is interesting how there is such old lake freighters still in use there. Here they all tend to be quite modern vessels. Those old ones look much better than new boring ones. Here is picture of one we managed not to hit.

 

gfhfhfthr.JPG

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There just maaaay have been a little more room between the boats due to camera foreshortening

......... but bugger all....

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4 minutes ago, Pertsa said:

Meeting large freighters in narrow waters is always little scary. Quite common thing to do is to dodge those here in lake areas of Finland. On the areas with lots of current we just drop the sails and use engine. As I have sometimes dodged smaller boats in larger clumsy vessel I know it is not fun.

 

It is interesting how there is such old lake freighters still in use there. Here they all tend to be quite modern vessels. Those old ones look much better than new boring ones. Here is picture of one we managed not to hit.

 

gfhfhfthr.JPG

Fresh water and normally not too sporty conditions aid the longevity.  Though the Great Lakes can get nasty with very short period waves.  Generally spring and fall in the .  In the summer you can get occasional day or two of 10-15 foot waves if the fetch lines up right.  The "Cuyahoga" is going on 80 years old, but has been repowered from original steam plant and modern emission controls.  Ships are subject to hull survey/inspection every 5 years.

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42 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

Oops.

The St. Marys, in that area, can have currents easily exceeding 6 knots.  Being in a catalina (is that a 34?  It's got a sprit, so it's a tall rig) in lighter air is probably not the greatest choice.  Or you should at least have your motor running.

You can see them get taken sideways as they try to sail 'up' the river rather than sailing across the current to get away.

Port Huron - just south of the bridge, you can see the Casino on the other side of the river.

The Cuyahoga was built in 1943.

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what a bonehead.  Some sailboats have no clue how non-maneuverable ships are.  Was on an ARCO tanker years ago, when we had to do our scheduled man overboard drill, it took us 15 minutes to do a Williamson turn.

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1 hour ago, Pertsa said:

It is interesting how there is such old lake freighters still in use there.

A combination of fresh water operations and hell-for-stout designs.  The Great Lakes are the largest fresh water lakes in the world.  Some ore haulers are over 100 years old, and have plied the lakes their entire life.

This snippet is ten years old, but gives a good overview of the "grandfather" class of ore haulers.

http://galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com/chi-20131028-st-marys-medusa-challenger-pictures/

The freighter in question, the Cuyahoga, herself is no spring chicken:

https://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/cuyahoga.htm

Enjoy!

By the way, shouldn't you be out raking the forest floor? :)

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Sail number 25403, Catalina tall rig, boat name intrepid, raced in Port Huron yacht club races recently.  Just googled the sail number.

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@Grrr...  I'm just not sure how you said this is the St Marys when it is clearly Port Huron and the St Clair River, with the live cam being on top of the Edison Inn (more than likely)?

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3 hours ago, Geff said:

@Grrr...  I'm just not sure how you said this is the St Marys when it is clearly Port Huron and the St Clair River, with the live cam being on top of the Edison Inn (more than likely)?

You are absolutely right.  I blame it on old age.

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9 hours ago, SIFF said:

A combination of fresh water operations and hell-for-stout designs.  The Great Lakes are the largest fresh water lakes in the world.  Some ore haulers are over 100 years old, and have plied the lakes their entire life.

This snippet is ten years old, but gives a good overview of the "grandfather" class of ore haulers.

http://galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com/chi-20131028-st-marys-medusa-challenger-pictures/

The freighter in question, the Cuyahoga, herself is no spring chicken:

https://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/cuyahoga.htm

Enjoy!

By the way, shouldn't you be out raking the forest floor? :)

Just came to mind that reason why we do not have older ships in service is that because canals have been dug larger than they were before. So old vessels got small. Still there is few tugs from 1800´s which tow logs.

"Raking" is done with machines so no need for me there. I am just selling parts for sawmill machines. About 50 sawmills in North America use our high-speed sawmill line. 

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Sailboat was basically drifting with the current in the middle of the navigable channel, not making enough way to have steerage. They could only take avoiding action once they started the engine, which they left a bit late...

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1 hour ago, JEA said:

Sure looked like the ship turned directly into the sailboat.  That just looked strange.

The channel actually turns there, so the choice was turning into the shore or into the sailboat

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16 minutes ago, alphafb552 said:

They could only take avoiding action once they started the engine, which they left a bit late...

I bet that conversation got interesting. I wonder if the recommended time for running the blower before cranking over an Atomic 4 gets shorter when a freighter is bearing down on you?

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7 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I bet that conversation got interesting. I wonder if the recommended time for running the blower before cranking over an Atomic 4 gets shorter when a freighter is bearing down on you?

So they basically had three options:

1 - getting run down by the freighter

2 - getting blown up real good by the gas fumes

3 - actually getting the engine started and making it to the safe side of the channel

Looks like they got lucky!

 

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26 minutes ago, alphafb552 said:

So they basically had three options:

1 - getting run down by the freighter

2 - getting blown up real good by the gas fumes

3 - actually getting the engine started and making it to the safe side of the channel

Looks like they got lucky!

 

Or keeping their fucking head out of the boat so they saw the whole shitshow develop before it became a crisis.  Too late for that I guess.

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2 hours ago, JEA said:

Sure looked like the ship turned directly into the sailboat.  That just looked strange.

Actually that captain is a total boss. He saw what was going on and steered to stbd farther---that made the space for the sb---and then he corrected back to port

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had an issue a couple weeks back.  tooling along at 3-4kts  stbd tack traveling west to east in the center of the Chesapeake bay halfway between Thomas point light and bloody point.  water depth 50-60' for a 1/4mile all around.

tugboat pushing a full barge toward poplar island tooling along at 10kts.   we crossed his bow 200yds away. He tooted his horn once, when he passed behind us he was 50 yards astern.  he did not alter course  when he was astern i waved (friendly wave)  he comes out of his wheel house and screams "asshole"

Yes I can understand a bit from his POV that if the wind had died and I didn't fire up the motor,  i'd be fucked.  and I did entertain the thought the of firing up the motor and squirting across his path, but my dead reckoning based on current speed had me crossing at what i though was a safe distance...

was i the asshole?

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2 hours ago, alphafb552 said:

So they basically had three options:

1 - getting run down by the freighter

2 - getting blown up real good by the gas fumes

3 - actually getting the engine started and making it to the safe side of the channel

Looks like they got lucky!

 

4 They could've actually been sailing.

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1 hour ago, Marcjsmith said:

had an issue a couple weeks back.  tooling along at 3-4kts  stbd tack traveling west to east in the center of the Chesapeake bay halfway between Thomas point light and bloody point.  water depth 50-60' for a 1/4mile all around.

tugboat pushing a full barge toward poplar island tooling along at 10kts.   we crossed his bow 200yds away. He tooted his horn once, when he passed behind us he was 50 yards astern.  he did not alter course  when he was astern i waved (friendly wave)  he comes out of his wheel house and screams "asshole"

Yes I can understand a bit from his POV that if the wind had died and I didn't fire up the motor,  i'd be fucked.  and I did entertain the thought the of firing up the motor and squirting across his path, but my dead reckoning based on current speed had me crossing at what i though was a safe distance...

was i the asshole?

Yes,  you have NO idea of the limitations he’s working with.  Your 200 yds might seem like a lot but it’s not much more than a boat length for him.  How would you feel if you were cut off by a car or bicyclist 20’ (one car length) in fron of your car while running at 20 mph or more?  What would have been the downside to you if you had changed course and gone under his stern?  5 or 10 minutes late to your anchorage/slip?

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Need a lot more info , shipping channel ?

Constrained by draft ?

previous time line ?

 

stubbornly demanding your supposed right of way is STUPID.

 

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Mid and others get it, but the whole mess stimulates....

Love the ditty's meaning, best to take names and smile while avoiding messes, as maskless killers should know.

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3 hours ago, Marcjsmith said:

had an issue a couple weeks back.  tooling along at 3-4kts  stbd tack traveling west to east in the center of the Chesapeake bay halfway between Thomas point light and bloody point.  water depth 50-60' for a 1/4mile all around.

tugboat pushing a full barge toward poplar island tooling along at 10kts.   we crossed his bow 200yds away. He tooted his horn once, when he passed behind us he was 50 yards astern.  he did not alter course  when he was astern i waved (friendly wave)  he comes out of his wheel house and screams "asshole"

Yes I can understand a bit from his POV that if the wind had died and I didn't fire up the motor,  i'd be fucked.  and I did entertain the thought the of firing up the motor and squirting across his path, but my dead reckoning based on current speed had me crossing at what i though was a safe distance...

was i the asshole?

No, not an asshole , but perhaps a bit too much of a risk taker. I would that the guy below also thought he could make it. But what's the barge skipper supposed to do? Come out of his wheel house and yell "Risk Taker!" ??

 

ferry1.jpg.d46cba11c99ce0fc7b2f7bb5853e1465.jpg

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1 hour ago, Mid said:

Need a lot more info , shipping channel ?

Constrained by draft ?

 

Yes and yes. The YouTube comments section has a lot more info. This is near Port Huron, Michigan, and in a relatively narrow section of river with a strong current. It is a well known high traffic cargo ship shipping lane. That cargo ship had nowhere to go but to starboard or he would have hit bottom.

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3 hours ago, Marcjsmith said:

had an issue a couple weeks back.  tooling along at 3-4kts  stbd tack traveling west to east in the center of the Chesapeake bay halfway between Thomas point light and bloody point.  water depth 50-60' for a 1/4mile all around.

tugboat pushing a full barge toward poplar island tooling along at 10kts.   we crossed his bow 200yds away. He tooted his horn once, when he passed behind us he was 50 yards astern.  he did not alter course  when he was astern i waved (friendly wave)  he comes out of his wheel house and screams "asshole"

Yes I can understand a bit from his POV that if the wind had died and I didn't fire up the motor,  i'd be fucked.  and I did entertain the thought the of firing up the motor and squirting across his path, but my dead reckoning based on current speed had me crossing at what i though was a safe distance...

was i the asshole?

We had the reverse of that situation during a Lightning North Americans. Tugboat skipper was mad he had to add an extra five minutes onto his 50 mile trip each day, so he decided to drive his barge right through the finish line just as the leaders were finishing. 

16A60C74-2BBE-4432-AD38-51AAE6A2C592.jpeg

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29 minutes ago, DougH said:

Yes and yes. The YouTube comments section has a lot more info. This is near Port Huron, Michigan, and in a relatively narrow section of river with a strong current. It is a well known high traffic cargo ship shipping lane. That cargo ship had nowhere to go but to starboard or he would have hit bottom.

This stretch of the river is under strict control with alternating one-way traffic because of the current and the sharp turns.

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Here is a NOOA chart of southern Lake Huron. The shipping channel is clear to see. The incident took place at the bottom of this pict.

image.png.f30b52290d7400ad412f3d532ee53f3c.png

 

Below is a blow-up of the incident area, just south of the Bluewater Bridge. Note the depths.

image.png.9641ab55463acff6fc7eb3b542bdb4c7.png

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20 minutes ago, Der Springer said:

I think the title of the front-page post could be a little more accurate... Current, not tide...

Outside of the us and maybe Canada, English speaking sailors tend to refer to all current as “tide” whether tidal or not. Not sure who wrote fp blurb.  For those of you who think a word is inaccurately used on a site where which much of the content comes from non-us contributors, google before opening mouth and inserting foot. Here Endeth the PSA

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

We had the reverse of that situation during a Lightning North Americans. Tugboat skipper was mad he had to add an extra five minutes onto his 50 mile trip each day, so he decided to drive his barge right through the finish line just as the leaders were finishing. 

16A60C74-2BBE-4432-AD38-51AAE6A2C592.jpeg

Maybe he just didn't like Lightnings.

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The commercial boat was a bit of an idiot. It should have sounded 1 short blast to let him know that he was coming to starboard instead of sounding 5 short ones which don't tell you much about what to do.

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21 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Outside of the us and maybe Canada, English speaking sailors tend to refer to all current as “tide” whether tidal or not. Not sure who wrote fp blurb.  For those of you who think a word is inaccurately used on a site where which much of the content comes from non-us contributors, google before opening mouth and inserting foot

Since it is technically and logically correct to differentiate between the two phenomenon, perhaps it is those outside the US that should research the terms.  

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

We had the reverse of that situation during a Lightning North Americans. Tugboat skipper was mad he had to add an extra five minutes onto his 50 mile trip each day, so he decided to drive his barge right through the finish line just as the leaders were finishing. 

16A60C74-2BBE-4432-AD38-51AAE6A2C592.jpeg

Hope you have an event permit and reported him.

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1 hour ago, Der Springer said:

I think the title of the front-page post could be a little more accurate... Current, not tide...

As one that does not know, and asking here is more fun and probably more informative than googling....the great lakes appear to be pretty big (never seen one in person).  I can imagine they do indeed have tides.  Maybe not enough for significant current, but you all that are up there, do they have tides?

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2 minutes ago, bridhb said:

As one that does not know, and asking here is more fun and probably more informative than googling....the great lakes appear to be pretty big (never seen one in person).  I can imagine they do indeed have tides.  Maybe not enough for significant current, but you all that are up there, do they have tides?

We do have tides however they are generally measured in fractions of an inch to an inch or two, not feet like most salt water folks are used to.  Barometric pressure and wind friction have a much larger impact on our water levels than the gravitational pull of the moon does.

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12 minutes ago, bridhb said:

As one that does not know, and asking here is more fun and probably more informative than googling....the great lakes appear to be pretty big (never seen one in person).  I can imagine they do indeed have tides.  Maybe not enough for significant current, but you all that are up there, do they have tides?

Lunar tides are insignificant in the great lakes, seiche's and barometric variations are not.... I've seen the water level in our harbor change 2-3ft in less than 15 minutes. And the current through the harbor mouth at that point is significant.

https://project.geo.msu.edu/geogmich/seiches.htm

 

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10 minutes ago, LakeBoy said:

Hope you have an event permit and reported him.

Yes and yes, plus several off duty Coast Guard witnessed the whole event and reported it before we even had a chance. He lost his job and his license. 

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Been there, done that 1970s.. custom IOR Vic Carpenter wood 1 Toner Stinger? New boat about 1/2 mile down stream from the Videos site St Clair River.

Long story short, wife’s and friends sail after work.  Yours truly driving, worse conditions no wind, light jib and main up, no key on deck!!! Buy the time “they started the engine “ I had drift sailed with only the 2-3 knot current supplying a South wind and  wind speed by heading perpendicular to the current and  out of the Lakers way.. We were real close LOL I’ve been closer but in the prop wash at the stern after they passed. Needless to say I was banished to the Bow for decades…B)

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I've sailed through there and my son drives tankers in and out of Sarnia. That's a tough passage for the big guys and slowing down is not much of an option. Best way up for a sailboat is under motor on the Canadian side, where you can actually get a little favourable current in front of the Casino. Best ride down is on the US side in lots of current. This is complicated by the current COVID rules about not crossing the border even if you don't land. We have been re-routing a bunch of our races in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence to avoid entering US waters, still forbidden for non-US boats. Does anybody know how it's working practically in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers?

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We can transit now. Straight line in and out across the boarder as the Mac fleet did this year on its way to the start. Or enter with a call-in and meet all the current regs.. you get a number. No cross boarder racing, cruising, hovering ,anchoring, moring or fishing…with out checking in.

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Heard a rumor Intrepid was actually racing from Lexington to PHYC when this happened... Intrepid's heading at the beginning would imply they were trying to clear the freighter by heading towards Canada... no other reason to be pointing east-northeast against/across the current when the finish line is south and down current...

I was always told to hug the American shore/Thomas Edison Inn/Riverwalk when heading south there... don't know why they went East.

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East or west but the lee shore is where the wind is sometimes. Opposite shore will have a wind shadow from the houses or treesI Going down River in the middle if possible and to the windy side is best. Heading  upstream on  inside of the River bends crossing the stream if needed to be in a back current or inside bend, very close to shore but always in wind unless the iron Jenny is on.

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We call, it the Big River. Rivers have currents in them. I know we also have long shore current in Lower Lake Huron heading South above the mouth and before it empties into the St Clair RIVER. We also call the area under the Blue Water Bridges, The Rapids.

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16 minutes ago, DRIFTW00D said:

We call, it the Big River. Rivers have currents in them. I know we also have long shore current in Lower Lake Huron heading South above the mouth and before it empties into the St Clair RIVER. We also call the area under the Blue Water Bridges, The Rapids.

And it is a very fast current in those narrows!

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

Yes and yes, plus several off duty Coast Guard witnessed the whole event and reported it before we even had a chance. He lost his job and his license. 

We were off shore one night racing in lower Lake Huron Screaming down wind, heading North West, running deep on a Port tack, full main,  big runner Chute and staysail.

Smallish freighter was matching our speed of 10 to 15 knots was north North bound and crossing our course.  We were always in his danger zone Starboard Bow, not giving way he forced us to  jibe away, to wait for him to pass.
“Nice night for a sail” he said as he passed, looking down from The winged Bridge. Bowman on our boat was connected to the lake shipping industry in Toronto. He  spread the word about this and the skipper was dressed down on the crossing problem he had caused that night buy the ships owners.

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We see situations like this, and I've heard of ships and boats colliding. But I've never heard of anyone being killed like this. Most of the time they just slide down the ship hull and lose their mast.  Am I wrong?

 

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5 hours ago, Veeger said:

Yes,  you have NO idea of the limitations he’s working with.  Your 200 yds might seem like a lot but it’s not much more than a boat length for him.  How would you feel if you were cut off by a car or bicyclist 20’ (one car length) in fron of your car while running at 20 mph or more?  What would have been the downside to you if you had changed course and gone under his stern?  5 or 10 minutes late to your anchorage/slip?

actually if we had tacked away we likely would have gotten home sooner as I ended up firing up the motor anyway to get home as the wind later in the day evaporated. 

I had my daughter and a couple of her friends on board and so far on the boat  I haven't been a risk taker as I'm relearning my sea legs so to speak.  I'll have to file it away for next  time. 

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Outside of the us and maybe Canada, English speaking sailors tend to refer to all current as “tide” whether tidal or not. Not sure who wrote fp blurb.  For those of you who think a word is inaccurately used on a site where which much of the content comes from non-us contributors, google before opening mouth and inserting foot. Here Endeth the PSA

Even though I'm firmly in the "you sail in current and anchor in tide" school, there are exceptions  There used to be a gorgeous race boat on Long Island owned by Jakob Isbrandtsen named Running Tide.  People in navy blazers grumbled a little, but he was a nice guy (and he had a v. cute daughter) so they let it go.  

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5 hours ago, DRIFTW00D said:

We were off shore one night racing in lower Lake Huron Screaming down wind, heading North West, running deep on a Port tack, full main,  big runner Chute and staysail.

Smallish freighter was matching our speed of 10 to 15 knots was north North bound and crossing our course.  We were always in his danger zone Starboard Bow, not giving way he forced us to  jibe away, to wait for him to pass.
“Nice night for a sail” he said as he passed, looking down from The winged Bridge. Bowman on our boat was connected to the lake shipping industry in Toronto. He  spread the word about this and the skipper was dressed down on the crossing problem he had caused that night buy the ships owners.

There was a story that the owner of a top boat in Chicago was president of a large manufacturing company that bought a lot of steel from the mills in Gary. Racing a Tri State or Michigan City race in the early 60's, a laker carrying ore for one of his suppliers cut him off and cost him the race. Monday morning he cancelled all orders and switched suppliers. 

When I was growing up, most of the laker skippers were quite considerate of sailors and I can remember one going to dead slow to wait for a gap in the Mac fleet before transiting the Grays Reef passage. Corporate would probably fire that guy in todays world.

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45 minutes ago, A3A said:

There was a story that the owner of a top boat in Chicago was president of a large manufacturing company that bought a lot of steel from the mills in Gary. Racing a Tri State or Michigan City race in the early 60's, a laker carrying ore for one of his suppliers cut him off and cost him the race. Monday morning he cancelled all orders and switched suppliers. 

When I was growing up, most of the laker skippers were quite considerate of sailors and I can remember one going to dead slow to wait for a gap in the Mac fleet before transiting the Grays Reef passage. Corporate would probably fire that guy in todays world.

I would still say that the vast majority of captains/crew of the old lakers are incredibly professional and courteous to sailors. 
 

As an example, after the Hook race, we went straight to Sturgeon Bay, but arrived well after dark. One of the big lakers was on the way out just as we were taking the main down square in their path. We were transmitting on AIS, so they could’ve called and yelled at us. Instead they just trained the spot light on us from probably 3/4 mile away. The light was rather handy!  We finished up and got out of the way a good ten minutes before we had to. That captain just wanted to make sure he saw us, and make sure we knew he was coming, but otherwise skipped all the drama. 

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It is a common occurrence that sailors will lose steerage, go into irons, etc., out of fear. Often the remedy is to turn towards the danger just long enough to regain headway, steerage, etc., and then proceed per normal.

Panic is no one's friend. Keep a cool head.

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15 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Outside of the us and maybe Canada, English speaking sailors tend to refer to all current as “tide” whether tidal or not. Not sure who wrote fp blurb.  For those of you who think a word is inaccurately used on a site where which much of the content comes from non-us contributors, google before opening mouth and inserting foot. Here Endeth the PSA

Yeah na , we have currents in our “lakes “ where it outflows downstream perpetually in one direction.

Tide comes in and goes out on the sea ….but that’s here and we are a bit primitive 

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14 hours ago, Panoramix said:

The commercial boat was a bit of an idiot. It should have sounded 1 short blast to let him know that he was coming to starboard instead of sounding 5 short ones which don't tell you much about what to do.

Nope, the channel turns here, so the ship is just following the channel. No need to indicate he is coming to starboard. If he would go straight he would run aground...

5 horns tell you very well what to do: get the fuck out of here or you will be run over!

19 hours ago, Marcjsmith said:

had an issue a couple weeks back.  tooling along at 3-4kts  stbd tack traveling west to east in the center of the Chesapeake bay halfway between Thomas point light and bloody point.  water depth 50-60' for a 1/4mile all around.

tugboat pushing a full barge toward poplar island tooling along at 10kts.   we crossed his bow 200yds away. He tooted his horn once, when he passed behind us he was 50 yards astern.  he did not alter course  when he was astern i waved (friendly wave)  he comes out of his wheel house and screams "asshole"

Yes I can understand a bit from his POV that if the wind had died and I didn't fire up the motor,  i'd be fucked.  and I did entertain the thought the of firing up the motor and squirting across his path, but my dead reckoning based on current speed had me crossing at what i though was a safe distance...

was i the asshole?

You don't sound like an asshole, but that sounds like a reckless action. If you can hear the words "asshole" you are too close. I really don't understand why people get in front of commercial ships. These ships are typically extremely limited in terms of avoiding a collision. A tug boat with a full barge has a lot of momentum. Changing direction is SLOOOOOOOOOW. On top of that they are on a job, you are out there on a sail for fun, adding stress to their job. Not cool. The alternative is to either tack/gybe alter course to go behind, or just slow down for a minute. You will be at your destination a minute later, which is really a lot better than being run over.

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1 hour ago, AnotherSailor said:

Nope, the channel turns here, so the ship is just following the channel. No need to indicate he is coming to starboard. If he would go straight he would run aground...

5 horns tell you very well what to do: get the fuck out of here or you will be run over!

The "stand on" vessel does not have any right of way over the "give way" vessel and has to keep a constant course and speed, so the sailboat who was going out of the way of the commercial vessel before it initiated a turn was doing the "right thing" acoording to COLREGS and the serie of 1, 2 or 3 short blast is precisely for these kind of situations when the "big one" has to manoeruvre. IME commercial vessels signal their intention when they change course in tight areas, the 5 blasts is what they use for people who ignore COLREGS.

I double checked in COLREGS and it is actually a requirement :

Quote

When vessels are in sight of one another, a power-driven vessel underway, when manoeuvring as authorized or
required by these Rules, shall indicate that manoeuvre by the following signals on her whistle:  

  • one short blast to mean “I am altering my course to starboard”;  
  • two short blasts to mean “I am altering my course to port”;  
  • three short blasts to mean “I am operating astern propulsion”. 

 

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1 hour ago, Panoramix said:

The "stand on" vessel does not have any right of way over the "give way" vessel and has to keep a constant course and speed, so the sailboat who was going out of the way of the commercial vessel before it initiated a turn was doing the "right thing" acoording to COLREGS and the serie of 1, 2 or 3 short blast is precisely for these kind of situations when the "big one" has to manoeruvre. IME commercial vessels signal their intention when they change course in tight areas, the 5 blasts is what they use for people who ignore COLREGS.

I double checked in COLREGS and it is actually a requirement :

 

You're reading the wrong part of the col regs 

Rule 9 says if you're a small boat, and a large vessel in in a narrow channel, then stay the fuck out of the way.

The large vessel is concentrating on staying in the channel and dealing with other large vessels also using the channel. They don't want to piss about with you in any way. No hooting, no stand on, no bollocks.

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18 hours ago, sellensr said:

I've sailed through there and my son drives tankers in and out of Sarnia. That's a tough passage for the big guys and slowing down is not much of an option. Best way up for a sailboat is under motor on the Canadian side, where you can actually get a little favourable current in front of the Casino. Best ride down is on the US side in lots of current. This is complicated by the current COVID rules about not crossing the border even if you don't land. We have been re-routing a bunch of our races in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence to avoid entering US waters, still forbidden for non-US boats. Does anybody know how it's working practically in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers?

Windsor Yacht Club is running their Wednesdays again and US boats can cross over to Canadian waters.  But I haven't seen any Canadian boats in US waters, because the US government is still being dicks about the border.

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18 hours ago, JohnMB said:

Lunar tides are insignificant in the great lakes, seiche's and barometric variations are not.... I've seen the water level in our harbor change 2-3ft in less than 15 minutes. And the current through the harbor mouth at that point is significant.

https://project.geo.msu.edu/geogmich/seiches.htm

 

The 1844 Lake Erie disaster

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2 hours ago, European Bloke said:

You're reading the wrong part of the col regs 

Rule 9 says if you're a small boat, and a large vessel in in a narrow channel, then stay the fuck out of the way.

The large vessel is concentrating on staying in the channel and dealing with other large vessels also using the channel. They don't want to piss about with you in any way. No hooting, no stand on, no bollocks.

I don't deny that the sailboat has to stay out of the way, I am just saying that the commercial boat has to signal before changing course, it didn't...

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In my experience with Lakers and barges in confined quarters, it's always seemed easiest to simply have a handheld VHF in the cockpit and to use it. That and be prepared to fire up the engine if there is any doubt about keeping the situation under control.

We do a TGIF in the cruising beast and the race takes us through a constrained channel from harbor to lake often in light air with 50 boats trying to sneak up the channel. A few weeks ago we had that situation and I insisted to my father who was driving (80, somewhat obstinate) that we would fire up the engine if required to maintain steerage and keep the fuck away from the bulk carrier coming through the channel at the time, We did indeed use the engine for a mere 40 seconds, and yes the key is always in the ignition for that reason and yes it was the right thing to do at the time. had we not we would have ended up without steerage in his lee and quite likely trading paint.

On another occasion we were doing nicely at 7 knots approaching the channel and we had a tug / barge combo barreling in at about 12 knots both of us converging perfectly at the channel marker ahead. I got on the radio and hailed the captain and asked if we could cross, he said no problem, adjusted his course slightly and thanked me for actually calling him. It seems a little communication can go a long way.

My default however is to assume that we are a PITA to them and should simply give them a few hundred feet clearance if possible or at the very least make it clear by our heading that we intend to avoid them.

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Just another day sailing in Port Huron Michigan. We dodge freighters regularly if we sail in the river!

Obviously my friend on Intrepid was NOT paying attention well. Usually we leave our engines at idle for just such an emergency.

You should see this when we have the annual River Race!

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5 hours ago, Panoramix said:

The "stand on" vessel does not have any right of way over the "give way" vessel and has to keep a constant course and speed, so the sailboat who was going out of the way of the commercial vessel before it initiated a turn was doing the "right thing" acoording to COLREGS and the serie of 1, 2 or 3 short blast is precisely for these kind of situations when the "big one" has to manoeruvre. IME commercial vessels signal their intention when they change course in tight areas, the 5 blasts is what they use for people who ignore COLREGS.

I double checked in COLREGS and it is actually a requirement :

 

I don't want to go sailing with you!

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9 minutes ago, AnotherSailor said:

I don't want to go sailing with you!

I've crossed the English channel too many times to count (one of the busiest shipping channel), raced across shipping lanes, sailed in places extremely busy with commercial traffic, learnt before AIS was a thing, plotted CPA in foggy situations and never ever had a close call. IME if everybody sticks to the rules it is easy and I find the attitudes of these US commercial and leisure boats scary (there was another one of these scary videos of an instance where a motorboat was standon vessel but not keeping watch and the ferry was signaling 5 short blasts while not altering course ) and IMO the muppetry is shared.

1 hour ago, Cristoforo said:

Can you cite that regulation please?

The Cuyahoga made 5 short blasts early on 

—INLAND— Sound and Light Signals RULE 34 Maneuvering and Warning Signals (a) When power-driven vessels are in sight of one another and meeting or crossing at a distance within half a mile of each other, each vessel underway, when maneuvering as authorized or required by these Rules: (i) shall indicate that maneuver by the following signals on her whistle: one short blast to mean “I intend to leave you on my port side”; two short blasts to mean “I intend to leave you on my starboard side”; and three short blasts to mean “I am operating astern propulsion”. (ii) upon hearing the one or two blast signal of the other shall, if in agreement, sound the same whistle signal and take the steps necessary to effect a safe passing. If, however, from any cause, the vessel doubts the safety of the proposed maneuver, she shall sound the danger signal specified in paragraph (d) of this Rule and each vessel shall take appropriate precautionary action until a safe passing agreement is made. (b) A vessel may supplement the whistle signals prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule by light signals: (i) These signals shall have the following significance: one flash to mean “I intend to leave you on my port side”; two flashes to mean “I intend to leave you on my starboard side”; three flashes to mean “I am operating astern propulsion”; (ii) The duration of each flash shall be about 1 second; and (iii) The light used for this signal shall, if fitted, be one all-round white or yellow light, visible at a minimum range of 2 miles, synchronized with the whistle, and shall comply with the provisions of Annex I to these Rules.

We don't have the same version of COLREGS, what's your source ?

Quote

Rule 34
Manoeuvring and warning signals

When vessels are in sight of one another, a power-driven vessel underway, when manoeuvring as authorized or
required by these Rules, shall indicate that manoeuvre by the following signals on her whistle:  

  • one short blast to mean “I am altering my course to starboard”;  
  • two short blasts to mean “I am altering my course to port”;  
  • three short blasts to mean “I am operating astern propulsion”. 

 

I am not condoning the sailboat actions who clearly wasn't in the smartest place, just saying that the merchant boat did not behave to the standards most commercial boats do IME as he didn't signal that he was coming to starboard which was a crucial piece of information and was a COLREG requirement (Rule 34 quoted above).

 

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1 hour ago, blunted said:

n my experience with Lakers and barges in confined quarters, it's always seemed easiest to simply have a handheld VHF in the cockpit and to use it. That and be prepared to fire up the engine if there is any doubt about keeping the situation under control.

+1

That is also true with ferries and big merchant ships. With AIS, it is easy and I always call them and ask "What are your intentions please ?"

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2 hours ago, Panoramix said:

 

 

I am not condoning the sailboat actions who clearly wasn't in the smartest place, just saying that the merchant boat did not behave to the standards most commercial boats do IME as he didn't signal that he was coming to starboard which was a crucial piece of information and was a COLREG requirement (Rule 34 quoted above).

 

You're using international COLREGS.  Cristoforo is using United States inland COLREGS, which apply here.

https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/publications/coast-pilot/docs/NavigationRulesStandardSize.pdf

The international rules you cite don't apply on the St. Clair River.  The inland version of the rule is as follows:

Quote

(a) When power-driven vessels are in sight of one another and meeting or crossing at a distance within half a mile of each other, each vessel underway, when maneuvering as authorized or required by these Rules, (i) shall indicate that maneuver by the following signals on her whistle: One short blasts to mean “I intend to leave you on my port side” Two short blasts to mean “I intend to leave you on my starboard side” Three short blasts to mean “I am operating astern propulsion” (ii) upon hearing the one or two blast signal of the other shall, if in agreement, sound the same whistle signal and take the steps necessary to effect a safe passing. If, however, from any cause, the vessel doubts the safety of the proposed maneuver, she shall sound the signal specified in Rule 34(d) and each vessel shall take appropriate precautionary action until a safe passing agreement is made.

There is no inland rule requiring the Cuyahoga to blast her horn every time she makes a maneuver, and rightly so.  The St. Clair River is narrow with many turns and at any given time will probably have several freighters in it.  The constant blasting of horns every time a freighter makes a left or right turn on the river would be annoying and thoroughly useless.  And the inland version of the Rule 34 you cite only applies between two power-driven vessels, so there's no obligation on the part of the Cuyahoga to sound any horns, except for five short.)

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@coyotepup

OK, so he didn't have to sound a short blast....

a single blast would still have been more informative and less noisy than 5 blasts! From the sailboat actions it was obvious that the sailboat skipper was confused and assuming wrongly that the freighter was intending to cross him starboard to starboard, IMO telling him his intentions was the safe thing to do. Even worse when the event is over he sends 2 blasts (may be giving up midway on another set of 5 blasts ?) which means I am coming to portside while he is not! Not very professional...

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1 hour ago, Panoramix said:

@coyotepup

OK, so he didn't have to sound a short blast....

a single blast would still have been more informative and less noisy than 5 blasts! From the sailboat actions it was obvious that the sailboat skipper was confused and assuming wrongly that the freighter was intending to cross him starboard to starboard, IMO telling him his intentions was the safe thing to do. Even worse when the event is over he sends 2 blasts (may be giving up midway on another set of 5 blasts ?) which means I am coming to portside while he is not! Not very professional...

If we're going to be really precise and pedantic about the rulebook, 34a of the inland COLREGS is for two power-driven vessels meeting one another, so there's no reason to give that single blast.

Second, take it from a local.  I race near these freighters all the time and so does every racer on the east side of Michigan and in southern Ontario.  I've been up at the exact spot where that incident took place dozens of times.  Everyone from this area knows what the freighters are going to do because of how limited they are in draft and how they have no choice but to stick to the channel.  The freighters are all going up or down the channel, period, and nowhere else.  They're incapable of arranging passages to one side or the other or playing dodge'em with every sailboat in the channel, and every local knows this.  The skipper was not confused about the freighter's intentions and certainly did not think the Cuyahoga was going starboard to starboard because that would've basically required the Cuyahoga to run aground on the US side of the river.  The video is at a big right turn in the river, so even if somehow he didn't know what the freighter would do, he damn sure should've.  He either wasn't paying attention or thought he could get across the channel before the freighter got there.

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Pano needs to watch that again. Just like I said way up thread, that helmsman on the CUYAHOGA called it like a boss. He anticipated the sailboat, he turned early to stbd FARTHER than his natural course, he missed the sailboat, then he abruptle corrected back to port to get to the preferred deepa part of the channel and then back to stbd to continue the sweeper turn going upstream.

That steamship crew deserves accolades period.

BTW the CUYAHOGA may be the very ship that woke me up at 4AM while sleeping in the Loraine CG station many many years ago. 1993?. Very impressive to watch a big Laker come in through a hard 40 knot northerly blow at night, and take the quayside like nothing special.

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Local legend has it that a Peterson 35 owner was engaged in some hanky-panky below with a woman who was not his wife late one night in English Bay, and was run over by the train ferry.  The boat was severely damaged but was repaired and renamed "Level Crossing."

I don't know if this legend is true or false, but I believe there was a Pete 35 around here in the 80's by that name.

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9 hours ago, coyotepup said:

... or thought he could get across the channel before the freighter got there.

This is where it all started. The skipper of the yacht overestimated the wind, and severely underestimated the current.

 

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14 hours ago, coyotepup said:

If we're going to be really precise and pedantic about the rulebook, 34a of the inland COLREGS is for two power-driven vessels meeting one another, so there's no reason to give that single blast.

Second, take it from a local.  I race near these freighters all the time and so does every racer on the east side of Michigan and in southern Ontario.  I've been up at the exact spot where that incident took place dozens of times.  Everyone from this area knows what the freighters are going to do because of how limited they are in draft and how they have no choice but to stick to the channel.  The freighters are all going up or down the channel, period, and nowhere else.  They're incapable of arranging passages to one side or the other or playing dodge'em with every sailboat in the channel, and every local knows this.  The skipper was not confused about the freighter's intentions and certainly did not think the Cuyahoga was going starboard to starboard because that would've basically required the Cuyahoga to run aground on the US side of the river.  The video is at a big right turn in the river, so even if somehow he didn't know what the freighter would do, he damn sure should've.  He either wasn't paying attention or thought he could get across the channel before the freighter got there.

So in short the pros assume they don't need to signal their intentions, everybody else should know what they are about to do, and they shouldn't bother even when another boat is obviously trying hard to pass them on the wrong side!

I am used to higher standards from professionals, that's all!

 

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So the general consensus appears to be , sailboat skipper is a moron.

The commercial vessel was not shy with using sound signals, with 5 blasts, 2 blasts and 4 blasts.

What is 4 blasts. Is there such a signal ?

 

 

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Reading the comments section on the video is amazing. So many fuckwits believe that the sail boat has right of way. Smdh. Hell.... Even in open water you stay the fuck away from a ship.

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25 minutes ago, basketcase said:

Reading the comments section on the video is amazing. So many fuckwits believe that the sail boat has right of way. Smdh. Hell.... Even in open water you stay the fuck away from a ship.

IME in open water they give way...

 

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