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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    We returned to Poole from Alderney yesterday, the last leg of a fine 4 week summer cruise, which took us to S Brittany

    As we came into VHF range of Solent Coastguard I quickly lost count of the number of radio check responses broadcast by the overworked, and very patient, coastguard. For the previous few weeks I had not heard a single radio check request to the French coastguard.

    To make matters worse, the U.K. registered boat that had left Alderney at the same time as us waited until they were through the shipping lanes (where arguably there might be the need to clarify the intentions of an oncoming ship) before deciding to contact Solent to ask for a radio check!

    So why do the Brits have this curious obsession and how do the French /Dutch /Belgians/ Germans manage to sail safely without continual anxiety over their radios?

    Do we have Marine VHF related OCD? Is this behaviour encouraged as part of the RYA VHF exam? Is it just a S Coast /Solent phenomenon? Do people think it's good practice, or are they bored? Hasn't anyone heard of National Coastwatch being happy to respond on Ch 65 if you really aren't sure about your set?

    Rant over.

    Answers on a postcard please.
    Last edited by GrahamD; 24-07-18 at 18:29. Reason: Grammar
    No need to struggle with sail handling. Go 4 speed.


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