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).”
Boater: “This is (name of boat), we are here at Sandy Point. I mean, Sandy Hook…doing a radio check. Please respond.”
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.
Last night, thick fog closed in, the horn called out into the silent, empty night.
But over the radio, many voices spoke. As the winds came, the fog was cleared away, but the tension mounted as the wind grew in strength, gusting over 40kts.
When the winds howl, you hear the tightness in their voices.
Coming in this morning, from being in the Panama Canal four days ago, was this ship, calling from the 26 buoy at around 04h30, navigating its way around traffic, an anchoring tug and barge and into Red Hook. The winds began to die down, and everyone was talking:
“…You taking the main channel?”
“…You got a barge there or are you light?” “No, we’re light.”
“…We’re going to anchor here.”
“Molinari (ferry), two whistles?”
“…Yeah, we got your pilot here…starboard side. Roger.”
“…I’m going up the Buttermilk.”
With a sigh of relief (mine), it docked at around 6am.
Boxes are ships at anchor: Light blue are tugs. Red are tankers. Green is cargo. The dark blue arrow is the SI ferry.
I did not include boats tied up at docks nor underway unless they were in the anchorage. The 26 buoy is around the “h” of ‘mahima’.
These lines were heard on various channels of VHF (very high frequency) marine radio. Vessel names (where possible) and times were jotted in sketchbook margins or envelopes. All tugs have been changed to protect the innocent. or guilty.
vessel X: “Oh, Yooooohoooo!”
vessel Y: “Yeeeeeep?”
vessel X: “I gotta go move the buddha, so I’ll be right back.”
vessel Y: “Ok.”
vessel X: “And he’s gonna move it boat style, not boom style.”
vessel Y: “As long as he don’t get used to it.”
Ah! translation in the comments section! thank you, Yooohoooo!
middle of the night, buddy 1: “Look at at that moon!”
buddy 2: “Ah! I forgot what it’s like to do oil.”
buddy 1: “You still smoking?”
buddy 2: “Ha ha…well…I quit today. But I think I’ll go back now that you mention it.”
My absolute favorite VHF moment is here, “Are you angry?”