Sunday, July 29, 2012

Radio Waves

It's pure entertainment! It isn't soft rock, easy listening, all news or country. It isn't the AM Band or the FM Band. Our radio entertainment is the VHF radio. And the boating world has its own mix of "DJs" aboard. The VHF is the radio used for emergencies, local weather info and most often used to call other boats. Because it's "broadcast" over the airwaves, everyone can (and certainly DOES) listen in to your conversation. It's our version of "facebook", the old telephone "party line" or simply eavesdropping. Because we've been out here awhile now, you hear the same boats, the same voices and you get to know each person's individual style. Over time, we've come up with some categories of these boat personalities on radio.

"The Yeller" - this is the person who hails VERY LOUDLY over the radio in a tone that is like fingernails on a blackboard. This one reminds Michael of working in Russia way back when. The Russians on the crew would always yell very loudly in the intercom – to the point where those folks' connection was simply shut off as it was deafening the rest of the crew. That's this radio personality – they think they are actually talking over the distance instead of into a quite sensitive microphone.

"The Persistor" - this is the type that calls over and over and over and over again to the same boat and never gets an answer. Always in a very persistent fashion. They don't seem to understand that the person they are trying to reach is either not there; doesn't have the radio on or simply doesn't want to talk to them. They can't give up. After two times – give it up! Unless they are dragging down on you.

"The Needy" - these folks have a driving need to either hear their own voice or to constantly be in touch with someone – anyone. They are on the radio more than anyone else – morning, noon and night. They try one party – if there is no answer, they simply try another boat...then another, and another until someone answers the call.

"The Stealth" - 007 perhaps not, but these are folks with code names or secret channels. The problem is, you have to remember your friends stealth names as well as their real boat names. They have "love channels" that they set up with friends so they'll often just say "switch" without naming the channel...or simply stay on a different channel so that they don't disturb the peace if they are going to be talking a lot to a specific boat(very considerate). It also provides some privacy – though certainly not guaranteed.

"The Panickers" oh my goodness, the sky is falling, the earth is flat, the wind is howling, the seas are huge, the anchorage is bad, the boat is dragging...oh my goodness. These folks sound like something is very wrong when they call on the radio. The tone in their voice is intense, panicky and really gets your attention. The reality may be something altogether different – but it does wake you up!

We may laugh at or with (or be laughed at ourselves), but we do get really entertained by the radio and the various personalities that frequent the channels. Hey, out here, you get your entertainment wherever you can!

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