The sun was shining, the sky was clear, but the wind was calm at the harbor. Near my favorite surf spot there was a little wind but I still decided not go out sailing yesterday. I didn't want to risk bobbing around for an hour going nowhere like earlier in the week. Then I saw Gracie Ray, a boat I have raced against before, going out. Maybe there is some wind off shore. Great, I can wait for them to get outside the harbor and call them on the VHF to find out the conditions.
Then I realized, I have never called another boat before and have no idea what channel to use. Another research project. Some very basic rules from my online research and talking with other captians:
1. If at all possible, agree on a channel to use with the other boaters before hand.
2. Most folks should have channel 16 on and this can be used to get their attention.
3. An easy example of correct lingo "Training Wheels calling for Gracie Ray".
3. Agree to switch to another channel once this is done, ASAP. Channel 9 is the standard boater comm channel.
Channel 16 is the emergency and distress safety channel monitored by the Coast Guard and they really don't want to hear everyone's conversation. This is a basic thing but that's what this blog is about. Training Wheels living up to her name.