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Early May, northern lights?


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13 hours ago, Ashland said:

Interesting...In addition to my post #15 experience...was it a coincidence that once we got up we also noticed that the ship (RCI Radiance) was also sounding it's fog horn.

 

Lots of reasons for sounding the ship's whistle, especially in coastal waters. Can you remember the signal, including whether prolonged and/or short blasts.

 

Also, sounding the ship's whistle, especially at night, for other than navigational or emergency reasons isn't recommended. Waking the "Old Man" at 02:00 and having him call, or even worse, come to the Bridge, didn't enhance career prospects. 

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25 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Lots of reasons for sounding the ship's whistle, especially in coastal waters. Can you remember the signal, including whether prolonged and/or short blasts.

 

Also, sounding the ship's whistle, especially at night, for other than navigational or emergency reasons isn't recommended. Waking the "Old Man" at 02:00 and having him call, or even worse, come to the Bridge, didn't enhance career prospects. 

The signal was long and it was a very clear night.

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42 minutes ago, Ashland said:

The signal was long and it was a very clear night.

 

That is commonly sounded when approaching a blind area to warn other traffic, especially those that aren't participating in the local traffic services. Also used as a wake-up/pre-warning prior to getting into a situation where you sound the warning signal of 5-short blasts.

 

I suspect you were probably on a newer ship, but on older tonnage, the whistle was controlled by a wire, which went through the Bridge deckhead, across the Monkey Island and then up the mast. Especially at night, when a crew member walked across the Monkey Island, they occassionally tripped over the wire causing the whistle to sound.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

 

That is commonly sounded when approaching a blind area to warn other traffic, especially those that aren't participating in the local traffic services. Also used as a wake-up/pre-warning prior to getting into a situation where you sound the warning signal of 5-short blasts.

 

I suspect you were probably on a newer ship, but on older tonnage, the whistle was controlled by a wire, which went through the Bridge deckhead, across the Monkey Island and then up the mast. Especially at night, when a crew member walked across the Monkey Island, they occassionally tripped over the wire causing the whistle to sound.

It was certainly more than one long signal...and went on for some time. No, RCI Jewel is hardly a newer ship. Your explanations are very interesting. It just seemed to be such a coincidence.

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2 hours ago, Ashland said:

It was certainly more than one long signal...and went on for some time. No, RCI Jewel is hardly a newer ship. Your explanations are very interesting. It just seemed to be such a coincidence.

 

Although built about 2004, I noted she is a Radiance Class, which is the only RCI ship we have actually sailed on. Only reason we sailed is that I knew the Captain from his previous company. Therefore, we spent a fair bit of time on the Bridge, which is fairly modern with an integrated system. Everything is electronic.

 

Without knowing exactly where the ship was and the traffic situation, we are only guessing. However, as a retired Captain, I can probably summarise it best by saying, if one of my Deck Officers sounded the whistle repeatedly at night for seeing Northern Lights, they would only do it once.

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4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Although built about 2004, I noted she is a Radiance Class, which is the only RCI ship we have actually sailed on. Only reason we sailed is that I knew the Captain from his previous company. Therefore, we spent a fair bit of time on the Bridge, which is fairly modern with an integrated system. Everything is electronic.

 

Without knowing exactly where the ship was and the traffic situation, we are only guessing. However, as a retired Captain, I can probably summarise it best by saying, if one of my Deck Officers sounded the whistle repeatedly at night for seeing Northern Lights, they would only do it once.

Oh...my bad it was Radiance....I have Jewel on my mind lately...so sorry.

 I'm convinced it was more than likely a coincidence...but it did add to the moment for us.

Enjoying your expertise...thanks Captain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If I remember correctly, it doesn’t get like twilight/dusk until about 11 or so, and actually dark until about 12:30. Then you start getting dawn breaking about 5:00 or so in May. So while it’s theoretically possible, it’s pretty unlikely 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, rsldonk said:

If I remember correctly, it doesn’t get like twilight/dusk until about 11 or so, and actually dark until about 12:30. Then you start getting dawn breaking about 5:00 or so in May. So while it’s theoretically possible, it’s pretty unlikely 

 

Twilight hours do vary by up to an hour, based on both Latitude & Longitude. At the end of May, Nautical twilight, which is when both the horizon and brightest stars were visible was only about 3 hrs apart.

 

Didn't do many 12-4 shifts in Alaska, but from about middle of May to end of July we never got into Astronomical Twilight, so it never got totally dark, especially in Prince William Sound. The total darkness required for the NL, didn't happen until late August/early September.

Edited by Heidi13
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