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I think we could transmit in the Hooghli river all the way to Calcutta and at least as far as Baton Rouge in Mississippi. Does any one recall when/where we were allowed to open the station after departing the Royal Docks in the Thames; was it once the pilot left us at Sheerness - or much sooner?
 

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I remember having to keep watch on 500 all the way up the Rio Paraná to San Lorenzo which is up-river from Rosario >300km from Bs As.
In them thar days (60's) one took a Rio de la Plata pilot aboard from a couple of hulks/platforms way out in the approaches. They had 500kHz stns: Pontón Intersección/LOI & Pontón Recalada/LOJ.
Memory is hazy (after >50 years!) but I suspect we had to keep 500 watch all the time the various pilots were aboard.

In 1971 the Regulations re use of Radio Installations on Merchant Ships in Harbours state - and I paraphrase:
"Permitted in harbours and estuaries for the exchange of comms through the nearest UK CRS."

Despite a thorough search I have not been able to find a definition of "at sea", regarding opening and closing down!
 

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I was on the Amazon from Belem to Iquitos.

No H8 watchkeeping though did watch TFC lists.

We had ship skeds. There could be two ships on the river at a time, one going up and one down.
There were occasions were one coming down could go aground on the sandbanks, so mutual assistance was required.

Then the agent at Iquitos had a sked, where the local Aero Beacon was used.
We would QSO and then be told the height of the river at the Iquitos pontoons plus 200 cigarettes and a bottle of whisky.
 

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There were several ports where the radio room was sealed
and in the Gulf there were ports were the Satcom on/off switch was sealed. (after my time)

My general rule was to open or close with the arrival or departure of pilot after the TR had been sent.

Goodness me, memories.

Peter
 

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I suppose the Creeks in Nigeria up to Sapele comes into the category. It used to be permanent watch when entering, and calling CQ on 500 to see who was coming the other way. Not everyone seemed to follow this guideline, so some surprises. If you were the latest arrival and on the sawmill berth at Sapele, it was customary to keep the first 30 mins of single op periods to act as guardship. A runner was usually provided to deliver any QTC's to the agent.

David

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