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NIGHT ORDER BOOK

The-following general remarks are quoted from the Instructions issued to his Watch Officers by a seaman and shipmaster of wide experience and success. LOOKOUT: The word means exactly what it reads: - LOOKOUT. to watch, to bestow careful-attention, in fact it means to see everything that is round about you in the area of visibility. We might well say that a good lookout is the safety valve of Navigation. If it is of such importance during the day, how much more so during the night, when our vision is restricted. The Supreme Court of the United States has said- - The duty or the lookout, is of the highest importance. Upon nothing else does the safety of those concerned so much depend: In the performance of this duty, the law requires indefatigable care and sleepless vigilance. Lookouts are valueless unless they are properly stationed and vigilantly employed in the performance of their duties. This applies equally to the Officer on watch as to man on the LOOKOUT, and that necessary keen, lookout. On the Bridge cannot be maintained without alertness on part of the Watch officer. All efforts at economy fade into insignificance when compared with the safe navigation of the ship. When in collision or ashore, then costs commence to pile up. A good LOOKOUT will help us to avoid those situations. EVERYTHING on the surface of the ocean is of importance to the Watch Officer. It may be a lifeboat with men in boats being passed close by, without being seen by the steamers, and left to their fate. The Officer on watch was asleep or spinning a yarn with the helmsman. He would have been better dead. COURSES: All courses for the night will be given as true and by the Gyro Compass, when, its accuracy is determined and it is functioning properly. As you are aware, the Variation changes so rapidly in many localities, it is not feasible to give a Standard Compass Course that would agree with the Gyro throughout the night. When it is possible to do so, the Standard Compass course will also be indicated. CHECK ON COMPASSES: The gyrocompass is a mechanical unit depending on outside electrical force. With the loss of this force it naturally ceases to function, hence careful check and comparison must be kept between it and the Standard Compass. Instruct the man at the wheel to right along glance at the steering compass and to hail you immediately if there is more than the usual difference between it and the Gyro Course. You can glance in there frequently yourself without disturbing the man at the wheel but the regular conning at least once every hour must not be neglected. CAUTION: There are times when the voltage might drop slowly and the alarm bell not function, then the Gyro might fall off meridian gradually, making it difficult to detect. If it is all clear at night, such a move can be detected by the line up of the foremast with some particular star, and if Polaris is available you have a constant check as you pace back and forth. It is evident if a careful LOOKOUT is maintained there will not be much deviation from.

COURSES AND DISTANCES: The courses and distances over every route, which we may take, are calculated in my workbook and always available for you for check. Magnetic Courses are also listed, so in the event of the Gyro failing to function, you can refer to book for correct Magnetic course at once, determining the Compass Course for yourself as soon thereafter as possible, acquainting me of course of the failure of the Gyro. RELIEF: Before relieving the watch at day or night, check the courses laid on the chart and the ship's position at the time, and if coasting or nearing land, check the possible time of making next light or headland according to the ship's speed. You will find this will save much confusion afterwards. Get on the bridge in time to do this bridge at night half asleep and at the last minute, and consulting the chart afterwards, is bad ship-practice. STEERING: The necessity of steering good courses is just as essential as laying on the chart correct courses to be steered. See that the helmsman is doing as well as weather conditions permit, and in bad weather it would be advisable to try the wheel yourself for a few minutes to see how the ship is acting, before you commence to find fault with the steering. In rough weather and more especially in heavy quartering seas, see that the helmsman uses the least possible wheel and avoid if possible, hardover rudder. The safety of the ship is then of more importance than the direct rhumb line. There will be little steering done with a broken rudder stock. TELEGRAPH: The Engin-room telegraph is on the bridge to be used and do not be afraid to handle it in an emergency. There are many situations and especially in narrow waters where close adherence to the Rules of the Road can be better observed by a half speed or slow maneuver, or a stop for a few minutes, than by porting or starboarding and getting the ship close to danger. Vessels have gone ashore through this maneuvers-when a slow movement or stop would have saved the day. While undoubtedly I'll be on the bridge in close waters, there are cases where a fishing fleet or fleets will show a multitude of lights all at once, then it is a good move to ring the engines on Stand By, so as to be ready for any subsequent maneuver. In heavy weather, should wind and sea suddenly increase during the night, do not hesitate for a moment to ring "Half-Speed" and call me. One boarding sea can do a lot of damage if we hold on too long. We can afterwards determine what is the best speed for the ship's safety. Do not be afraid of censure or a growl if your judgment differs from mine, it will be of value to see how our opinions differ. Besides it is always safer to take precautions in advance. COASTING: On a well-lighted coast and free offshore, no amount of excuses will justify going on the beach, either day or night, in clear weather. If you think the vessel is being set shoreward, or at night a light made indicates by its bearing a shoreward set, haul out, not in degrees but in points, and call me forthwith. LEAD: The lead and sounding machine are to be ready at all times when on soundings, irrespective of weather conditions. When getting the machine ready, be sure to take a cast tot see it is functioning properly, then we are assured of its availability when needed. At times when running for a buoy or a light, a few casts of

the lead would save a lot of worry and it might save the ship. Too often a cast of the lead is delayed till "too late" just because the machine was not rigged and ready for use. ANCHOR WATCH: There is more importance to this than is usually given to it by the average Watch Officer. If the weather is fair, the anchors and holding ground good, there is little to worry about. On the other hand, in a light ship, with squalls, or a gale blowing, there is much to worry about and great need for alertness. A single squall can set a ship dragging and adrift. In this latter case always see your second anchor is ready for letting go in a jiffy if not already down, and stand by to give more chain if not in a too crowded anchorage, then of course steam is the order of the day. A man at the wheel to tend ship will help against the sheering. Note the time the ship swings to tide, how near her swing may bring her to any danger, also watch ships if any that may anchor near by after your ship is anchored. Should a ship coming to berth appear to come too closer, stand by ready to assist if it looks like fouling. It is a rule that the anchored ship must make what effort she can to avoid collision, and while you may not be able to materially assist, your efforts will be considered in case of court action. It is hardly necessary to mention the matter of having the anchor lights properly displayed, and burning brightly at all times during the night, and the proper day signals when then at anchor. Frequently check the ship's bearings, which are chartered as soon as ship is brought up, and don't forget the soundings around the ship. SPEED IN FOG: Memorize this paragraph from Article 16 (Rules of the Road) A steam vessel hearing, apparently forward of her bean, the fog signal of a vessel the position of which is not ascertained shall, so far as the circumstances of the case admit, stop her engines, and then navigate with caution until danger of collision is over. The sentence - stop her engines - has been determined a vital one in collisions in fog. Unless caught in some narrows with strong tidal stream, the safe bet is to stop the engines - then navigate with caution. COMPASS OBSERVATIONS: Observations for error on the Standard Compass, can be taken more advantageously sometimes by night, than in the daylight, when running on well known ranges, for instance in the Delaware. Take bearings on every change of course when it is possible to do so, enter them in your notebook, afterwards in the Compass observation book. Star azimuths at sea must not be neglected. VENTILATION: This very important duty must not be neglected during the nighttime, and see that ventilators are trimmed in time. This hoping that a threatened squall will pass you by is not good practice. If it does not materialize, it is not difficult to retrim the ventilators. Be sure your whistle is in your pocket so that you can speedily get hold of a man for this task. LIGHTS: Do not trust your memory for lights, consult the latest light list to see the characteristics of the light made are in accord with the list. If not let me know at once. Pilots who are always in practically the same waters have been known to mistake one light for another. So much more the necessity for our caution.

SIGNALLING: Practice with the International Code can be had now a days but at rare intervals. But it is well to keep familiar with the flags so as to be able to read them quickly if the occasion arises. You know the importance of two flags hoists suddenly displayed, it is then no time to run to the flag- locker to note the colors. The hand semaphore you can practice in spare time to the extent of being skilled in the use of the flags. I will always gladly give you some practice. BLINKER: Practice with the blinker at night every opportunity you get, as in this branch of signaling steady practice is very essential. It is true that a great many ships will not answer your call, in that case do not be too persistent. Perhaps the other Officer is a little doubtful of his skill; we get the way quickly for lack of practice. There is no justification for a shipmaster or ship's officer who takes the slightest change which may result in imperiling the safety of his ship except under conditions where such action is made necessary by greater impending peril. A great number of accidents, and in some instances disastrous loss of life and property have been caused by over-confidence, a form of negligence manifested by inattention to duty and failure to observe at all times the well-known and comparatively simple rules of good seamanship. These losses may be ascribed to: A failure to keep a good lookout. A failure to thoroughly understand and rigidly observe the collision rules. A failure to use the lead whenever and as often as may be necessary to definitely locate the ship's position when she may be near land and when her position is not positively known. A failure to make sufficient allowance for the force of tides, currents, and winds experienced and to verify the actual position of the vessel by every available means. The navigation of vessels through dangerous channels or passages during a fog or when the stage of the tide or other conditions are not at their best for such navigation. These causes are the findings of the courts in numerous accident cases, and all attributed to human fault or carelessness. PREPARATION: During the quiet watches of the night. If you now and then go mentally over the International Rules, and visualize the many situations you can get into, you will soon find yourself with a very clear picture of the whole situation, and I can assure you from experience you will find your effort more than useful when emergency arises. "Give passing ships a wide berth..." That so familiar necessary to go over the horizon because you see a ship. If the occasion calls for a change of course on your part do so sufficiently to indicate to the other ship your intention, then proceed with confidence and always with an eye on him. These are but a few reminders in addition to those set forth in the blue leaf of the night-order book. Try to keep them in mind.