Are standards of competence slipping?
I recently sailed my Moody from her berth in Gosport over to Cowes to watch the fireworks at the end of Cowes Week. While anchored in Osborne bay for dinner, I listened to the relentless radio checks requests on Ch16, preventing anyone in real distress from making contact. It amazes me that so many people don’t have other means of communication on board. Perhaps HM Coastguard should advertise the availability of radio checks on Ch67, or that the volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institution are very happy to talk on Ch65. How many times did I hear ‘Please respond but I won’t be listening’ (over and out).
As darkness fell, some in the Bay showed an all-round white; others, everything they had! Off my port beam I could see a fishing vessel engaged in trawling, according to its lights, but I’m pretty sure it was a sailing boat at anchor. A good number of anchored motor yachts were apparently making way. The most frightening sight on my return to Gosport was the entirely un-lit black RIB.
So are Colregs and the Short Range Certificate optional? If HM Coastguard doesn’t want to compel marinas and brokers to verify qualifications as charter companies do, perhaps some might like to display a day shape and light sequence designed just for them – two round balls one above the other, and a light that flashes twice at night: that’s isolated danger.
Radar that send its data via Wi-Fi is handy for boats that regularly need to lower their masts