and, carrying on from Drapes helm orders, on a sailing vessel the executive command or indication (if given by the helmsman) to tack is "Lee helm!" (or "Lee ho!" etc) Meaning the tiller is pushed to leeward making the vessel turn to windward (in the earnest hope that she will continue through the wind onto the other tack )
Gainsey. The mention of the changeover reminds me of the plans I heard about to switch Ireland from driving on the left to driving on the right. The plans said that the changeover should happen late Sunday night, early Monday morning, when traffic was at it's lightest, but the government was worried that there wouldn't be enough time.
So they decided to phase in the change. Trucks and busses would switch one weekend, cars etc. would switch the following weekend.
(If reading this in France please substitute Belgium for Ireland and reverse the directions. ).
Buggah!! as well as me blue and white china egg cup disapearing this morning, me Ships Masters Companion has also up and went and hid itself somewhere. Just looking at the bloody thing a few weeks back,of course one has tidied up since then, which is never a good policy.
PS. One once lost a Atlas in this house that is about four foot square ,can you credit that?
Just so there's no misunderstanding by the yotties; 1 = Stbd 2 = Port 3 = Astern
(link to aviation...spotters...um and display of lights/signals etc. )
Not long ago I went for an interview with a major and was asked a light signals question. Thanks to a heads-up from a PPRuNer who'd been already I did my homework and got the job. The poor b*gger who gave me the advice didn't
Life's a bitch and then you
"Oh hello, sweetie, I didn't see you standing behind me there
Just out of curiosity, when coming back into Barcelona after a couple of hours sailing. The gf was steering, the parents bringing the sails in and me standing there looking important and captain-ish. Anyway, there was a SeaCat ferry thing bearing down on us, decided to give us one huuuge blast of its horn, was this a "get-the-****-out-of-my-way" type thing (this was the action we thought prudent, as he was rather large when seen from a 37ft boat), or something more subtle, eg an "i-used-to-have-one-of-those" type affairs?
The radio was switched off, so we dunno if he was swearing at us.
Steam giving way to sail is more acknowleged in the thingy than the observation, one recals going up the St Lawrence Sea Way through a area called Thousand Islands,driving five thousand tons of Doxford driven steel when this theory was sorely tried,a Glasweigian ships Captain hurling abuse and turning the air blue through a loud hailer tended to shift the little buggas though.
"If yon buggah disnae move laddie, run im down, he shudnae be in the shipping channel"
At the risk of repeating what someone else has already posted, the sound signals are the Morse character that represents the appropriate flag in the International Code of Signals, viz:
Flag E = I am altering my course to starboard = 1 short blast (Morse E) Flag I = I am altering my course to port = 2 short blasts (Morse I) Flag S = My engines are going full astern = 3 short blasts (Morse S)
I seem to remember that the signal for boat stations was seven short blasts followed by one long blast. (Never heard it in anger, just for the regular Friday afternoon Fire and Flood drill)
What Mr. Draper says about steam yielding to sail is more theory that fact is very true. I was on the S.S. Norway standing on a platform above the bridge as we were leaving Miami Harbor and observed a 30 foot-ish sailboat, under sail, tacking in front of ‘Norway’ while we were still in the channel.
Now one must remember that at this time the S.S. Norway (formerly know as the S.S. France) was the largest cruise ship in the world. Another fact to remember is that there is only 6 to 3 feet clearance between the bottom of the channel and the keel of the ship when it is in the center of the shipping channel of Miami Harbor.
So here we are (we being the ‘Norway’) slowly going out to sea weighing about 200 gazillion tons and this 30 foot-ish sailboat is acting like he is going test the rules of the roads.
By no means is our intrepid sailor alone in the channel, there were many pleasure boats, large and small, moving up and down the channel, on the edges where any small boater with any sense would be when a ship the size of the Empire State Building is coming down a narrow channel. All of these other boats were sounding their horns, yelling and pointing behind our clueless sailor. Trying to get his attention about the behemoth bearing down on him. He just sits there in the cockpit with his yachting cap on sailing away.
This guy is so totally clueless he is waving back at all the boats and people trying to get his attention. I mean folks driving on the street next to the channel are honking their horns to get his attention. Now I am starting to get concerned, the adult alcoholic beverage I am drinking is getting low and I do not want to leave my perch to go get another drink because I might miss the action. The sailboat is now starting to disappear under the bow of our ship.
About this time the young chap wearing two strips on his shoulders who is standing on the port bridge picks up a phone and calls somebody. A few seconds later this gent with four strips and a star on his shoulder wanders out on the port bridge, stops, looks and turns back and says something to the effect of, “First Mate please hoot the hooter as I do not want to scratch the paint on our bow.”
No sooner said than done, the ship’s horn bellows a mighty blast lasting about two or three seconds (it could have been longer than that, I lost my hearing at that point because I was standing directly below the forward stack where the horns were attached).
Our sailor at this point turns and looks back, I can only imagine what his view was, and sees this huge blue hull bearing down on him. Anyway, he throws his rudder hard to port and scuttles out of the way.
Our Captain watches the sailboat head for the shore, shakes his head and goes back into the bridge.
So I can tell one thing about ship’s horns. When you’re in a little sailboat and you hear one long blast, watch out!
P.S. got my hearing back, took a few adult beverages however.
Let me assure you Mr Heck that should Drapes be on the bridge of a rapidly sinking vessel all yer would get is one blast on the hooter, and not a very long blast at that, after that look for Drapes paddling away in number three lifeboat.
Where i come from... sail gives way to any commercial vessel, particularly the big sluggish ones. That includes the high-speed catamaran-ferry types. Of course the golden rule is you don't plough into someone if you can help it.
ps: if duds was on the bridge of a rapidly sinking vessel, he would be the first onto the rescue chopper, in order to... um... supervise the evacuation from the air.
Many small boat sailors don't seem to appreciate how difficult it can be to spot their craft from the bridge of a big ship, or how it can be impossible for a large ship to manoeuvre to avoid them, especially if confined in a narrow channel. If a Master puts his ship aground while trying to avoid a sailing boat, then he can (and probably will) be charged with recklessly endangering his ship.
If in doubt, full speed ahead and run 'em down. Less paperwork that way (and serve 'em right for getting in the way!)
About 1960, nice new tanker, large horn fitted with electric and standby hydraulic operating systems. Steam raised in aux boiler and horn tested - impressive jet of steam but no sound. Backplate removed to investigate - someone had nicked the half metre dia copper diaphragm
Drapes been on vessels that couldn't raise enough steam for seven blasts on the hooter, Drapes once took five weeks to cross the North Atlanic, the bloody Queens had been back and forward six times they must have got sick of passing us.