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Old 12 July 2014, 23:08   #1
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Weather signal flag reminder

My first mate (10yo son) and I took the boat out for its first ocean spin today. The older son was doing his scuba certification dives today so we had some time to kill. Puttering out I saw the signal flag flying over the coast guard station, I just couldn't remember what was what but was distracted getting the boat organized.

The squid were in so the sea bass have been about and there were lots of people out fishing so plenty of company. We ran about 30 minutes down the coast to the nuclear power plant, a fine destination, and back. The zodiac handled beautifully, a very comfortable and dry ride.

On the return to the harbor I dug out the iPhone and refreshed my memory on signal flag, red triangle, small craft advisory. That would explain it. 4-6 foot swells and blowing just below a gale, very confused seas, lots of big whitecaps. The crew was happiest limited to the low 20's mph out on the water. I probably could have gone faster with out the first mate but it would have been a bit of work.

Unfortunately no pictures as I had my hands full with the controls. No time to bust out the phone.

Jason
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Old 13 July 2014, 04:24   #2
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I've always found this a slightly strange concept that as far as I know doesn't exist in the UK.

So if you boat near the CG station you can see the flag. if you boat elsewhere you just go out regardless.

Does it not encourage people to evalaute the conditions based on no flag it must be OK type approach rather than all the variables together?
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Old 13 July 2014, 05:10   #3
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Weather signal flag reminder

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So if you boat near the CG station you can see the flag. if you boat elsewhere you just go out regardless.
No, take out your spyglass & observe the nearest telegraph station. Personally I have one of those new fangled Marconi sets on the old girl, absolutely marvellous don't you know.

and to think, they put a man on the moon
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Old 13 July 2014, 05:46   #4
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OOOH... they could put a man on the moon and get him to hold up different flags at different times and then you could use your telescope to see him on the moon and see if its OK to go out.

I know its all a bit science fiction but I've heard rumours that marconi stuff will be outdated soon and people will use telephones without wires to connect to a web of other machines and might be able to get weather data from it... ...I know its crazy isn't it. Imagine that you could be in your house miles from the shore and know what the weather was like... if only!
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Old 13 July 2014, 05:49   #5
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Oh and someone just suggested that rather than those devices using a code like a red triangle you'd maybe be able to see a full text description of any codes used. They suggested it could "link" (whatever that would mean!) to a dictionary of terms to make it even easier to understand... They then said there could be an encyclopedia maintained by the General Public which would explain everything in the world. I laughed and stopped listening! Honestly some people have whacky ideas don't they!
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Old 13 July 2014, 06:24   #6
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I know its all a bit science fiction but I've heard rumours that marconi stuff will be outdated soon and people will use telephones without wires to connect to a web of other machines .....,,,,,,,,,

& look up what the flag means....,,........oh the irony


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 13 July 2014, 08:55   #7
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Warning "flegs"

It's kinda the same here this weekend...

On a more serious note, we have a Met Office Small Craft Warning here. It is given when the forecast winds in a particular coastal area are F6 and over. Good enough but obviously doesn't allow for sheltered areas and so forth. Many a good day out was missed because of a blanket small craft warning.
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Old 13 July 2014, 11:28   #8
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And to think I actually checked the forecast (only the night before), but it didn't match the conditions that actually happened

It's amazing how effective the old technology can be. A little flag on a pole, rarely breaks, visible to all (we have two boat ramps for 100 miles of coast to launch boats bigger than you can carry across a beach), and updated to the conditions that are happening not what the guys in Boulder CO say they should be. All I need is the capability to decipher them. Thank goodness I have my iPhone rather than an abundance of knowledge.
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Old 13 July 2014, 12:05   #9
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its not that long ago many Harbours( especialy larger ones with a fishing fleet) ,Lighthouses & Local small Coastguard stations ( until they were closed down ) hoisted Storm cones to warn of weather .
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Old 13 July 2014, 14:00   #10
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I seem to recall last time I was in Jersey the signal station above St Helier hoisted the cones. Along with a signal (?) ball when the days newspapers had arrived on the island.

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