gCaptain vs. a Chemical Tanker

Ok folks, gCaptain was once again in another crossing situation with a tanker this past weekend.  We seem to be pretty good at finding ourselves in these predicaments lately…

scott barnhill chemical tanker crossing

Photographer Scott Barnhill and I were delivering S/Y Downtime back from Block Island and the Chemical Pioneer was in the process of dropping off their pilot as we were approaching Beavertail Light at the mouth of Narragansett Bay.  We were looking as if we would pass them port-to-port, but after they dropped the pilot off, they turned  sharply to port and were crawling along at a couple knots of speed.  It was now a crossing situation.

There was deep water all around and from my perspective, it appeared we were the stand-on vessel.

I radioed the ship to clarify their intentions and to see how they held us for a CPA.  The english-speaking (quite likely American) mate on watch quickly responded and said that they were about to resume their outbound voyage and asked that we alter course and come down their starboard side.

Roger that.

It was a no-brainer situation, and taking their stern was the obvious choice, BUT, I knew that if I altered course to port without communicating that with the Chemical Pioneer, I would have been in violation of Rule 17(c) of COLREGS, and most certainly taken a severe beating from the gCaptain readership.

scott barnhill tanker

So, any comments from the peanut gallery?

rob almeida gcaptain