Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

vhf prose: radio check

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/09/24

A captain was in the harbor at anchor when he heard the following over VHF 16:

Boater: “Radio check, radio check this is (name of boat).”

Silence.

Boater: “This is (name of boat), we are here at Sandy Point. I mean, Sandy Hook…doing a radio check. Please respond.”

Zip.

Boater, with annoyance: “This is (name of boat), someone please respond to our radio check.”

Mystery Mariner, with just a touch of playfulness: “Ok, sure…FUCK YOU!”

Ah, New York Harbor…I do love this harbor.

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10 Responses

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  1. Paul Drouin said, on 2012/09/25 at 06:59

    I guess that is another version of ”five on five” ;-)

  2. Fenn said, on 2012/09/25 at 08:31

    Ahh…that’s hilarious!

  3. chiefuscg said, on 2012/09/25 at 10:01

    Reminds me of when boaters ask us for radio checks in the guard. The correct answer was just “Rodger out,” meaning we heard you and that should be enough. But you get the ones who think they are being blown off and continue to wonder why they just “Rodger out” and no radio check. Often this would go on for some time before the coast guard threatens them for wasting time on 16. To get the common “loud and clear” or “5 by 5“, one needs to ask for a strength and readability check. Techs often get just this when working on them.

    Also we could not give weather or bar conditions over the radio but people would ask if the sea were safe (even in a gale). Instead of telling them use your best judgement and stay home (because they would still go and expect help later) we would often pretend to be a boat offshore who would tell them what we really wanted to say to the idiots in a way much like they do in New York on radio checks.

  4. o docker said, on 2012/09/25 at 13:06

    Good radio etiquette.

    Clear, concise, and not easily misinterpreted.

  5. mageb said, on 2012/09/25 at 13:27

    Sounds like the perfect response to me. Will anyone get upset?

  6. Carolina Salguero said, on 2012/09/27 at 05:50

    thank you for starting my day with laughter

  7. Bill Whalen said, on 2012/09/30 at 18:27

    On subs there used to be (wait this actually happened on the USS Ustafish) a dial-x telephone system. You could hack the system to forward calls. So you’d set up a fish (typically known as a FNG) and have him call a number and give the answerer a ration of shit. Often the party being (ultimately) called was the Executive Officer (XO).
    xo: “Yes?”
    fng: “asshole!”
    xo: “this is the xo, who is this?”
    fng: “gulp…..you don’t know?”
    xo: “NO goddamn it! who is this?”
    fng: “screw you asshole.” click

  8. comoed said, on 2012/10/03 at 13:50

    oh this is so brilliant. And I feel so at home.

  9. Diana said, on 2012/10/17 at 12:21

    I do love this blog

  10. bluebrightly said, on 2012/10/22 at 13:28

    Thank you – made me laugh out loud – I lived on the north shore, Staten Island – took the ferry to work in Lower Manhattan. But, earlier this year I moved to the Seattle area. Another watery abode, but oh, SO different…and need I tell you that this post perfectly describes a key difference? Shall we say, polite vs. in-your-face? Not to say that I don’t miss NY directness & expressiveness – I do, but there are discoveries to be made here and things to be seen, and I don’t have to wade through the likes of that all day long to get there. Love your blog!


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