ANATOMY OF A TURN



ANATOMY OF A TURN; ONE OF MY FAVORITE MANEUVERS IS TO TURN SHIPS LIKE THE SEA STAR VESSELS “EL MORRO “, OR “EL YUNQUE”, AROUND THE BUOYS FROM PUERTO NUEVO CHANNEL TO GRAVING DOCK CHANNEL. TO MAKE THIS TURN FLUID AND CRISP, REQUIRES KNOWLEDGE OF PIVOT POINTS. THE ‘SS EL MORRO”, IS AN 800 FOOT STEAM SHIP CALLING TO SAN JUAN WEEKLY. WHEN SHE DEPARTS FROM BERTH “K” PUERTO NUEVO, SHE HAS TO MAKE A VERY SHARP 130 DEGREE LEFT TURN TO TRANSIT GRAVING DOCK CHANNEL. USUALLY I ENTER THE TURN AT SLOW AHEAD @30 REVOLUTIONS, MIDWAY THROUGH THE TURN I COME UP TO HALF AHEAD AND START RELEASING THE ASSIST TUGS. THE TRICK IS TO KNOW WHEN TO INITIATE THE TURN, MAKE THE APEX, THEN FLARE OUT. I START THE TURN AS SOON AS THE BOW TUG HAS BEACON 5 ABEAM, WITH HARD TO PORT RUDDER AND FULL AHEAD ON THE AFT ASSIST TUG. THIS MAINTAINS THE PIVOT POINT WELL FORWARD. IF I WOULD BACK ON THE FORWARD ASSIST TUG INSTEAD OF PUSHING ON THE AFT TUG, I WOULD MOVE THE PIVOT POINT AFT AND THE APEX OF THE TURN WOULD BE IN A DIFFERENT PLACE. THAT’S FINE IF YOU PLANNED YOUR MANEUVER AS SUCH. GOING BACK TO HOW I LIKE TO DO IT, ONCE A POSITIVE STERN SWING NOT BOW SWING IS ACCOMPLISHED, I FIX MY EYE ON THE NEXT RED BUOY 4, AND USE MY PERIPHERAL VISION TO ASSESS THE PROGRESS OF THE TURN. WHEN THE SWING HAS PASSED THE APEX, I CALL FOR TEN DEGREES RUDDER AND BACK OFF ON THE AFT TUG PUSHING FULL. NEXT I ASK TO LET BOTH TUGS GO AND COME UP TO HALF AHEAD. NOW ON THE FLARE PART OF THE TURN, I SIMPLY REDUCE RUDDER TILL I COME TO 288 TRUE, ON THE COMPASS. WHALAAA. OK, I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR A GAZILLION YEARS, THE POINT IS THAT ONE SHOULD ENJOY THE MANEUVER BY FEELING THE SHIP LIKE A LOVING WOMAN. USE ALL YOUR SENSES TO FEEL THE RELATIVE MOTION, AFTER ALL, IT’S JUST APPLIED KNOWLEDGE OF RELATIVE MOTION. IT’S HOW YOU ARE MOVING RELATIVE TO THE BACK GROUND, THE BUOYS, AND THE WATER. HERE IS A VIDEO CLIP OF THE SAME TURN, NOTE THAT IT'S NOT THE SS EL MORRO BECAUSE SHE SAILS AT NIGHT. PLEASE ENJOY THIS COOL CLIP;

Anatomy of a Turn video clip... enjoy..