Friday, November 30, 2007

Bklink: Do You Hear Boat Noises?

What are those boat noises--like the sound of a foghorn--that you hear from time to time? We hear them and apparently they hear them in Clinton Hill, and elsewhere, too. We assumed it was the Staten Island Ferry. Other possibilities?--Clinton Hill Blog

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not the Staten Island Ferry, it's a bit far and it's in the lee of Governors Island to for the sound to travel. Most likely what you hear are the barges+tugs going up and down the Buttermilk Channel, which has heavy commercial traffic. These are warning signals for the most part, meant to avoid potential collisions under situations of restricted visibility and/or maneuverability as you would have in a Channel. Here's how to decipher what goes on, so you can impress your friends as you sit at the Gowanus Yacht Club: if you hear one short blast it means one vessel is saying to another "wacth out, I am about to direct my course to port". If you hear two short blasts, teh tug is saying "I'm going to starboard, hold you course". But what you will hear more frequently is one prolonged balst, which means "watch out, I am operating under restricted visibility and/or maneuverability" (try and parallel dock while towing a 30,000 ton barge). Sometimes you'll hear a powerful longish blast (4-5 secs or so)and that's a ship leaving the dock, and you'll hear that when the cruise ships leave the Red Hook Terminal. Dont you love us salty Carroll Gdnrs?

9:37 AM  

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