Going the wrong way on the NorthWest/SouthEast Galveston Fairway

Quick question folks,

Anyone know why so many ships ride the port side of the Galveston Fairway. I run this one a lot, and I get on near the Oil Rig called “Enchilada”, so I don’t take that north south route further to the west.

But it just seems to be that all the international ships stay on the port side in the fairway the whole time. It’s pretty frustrating, as I do what I imagine is correct (riding the starboard side, which I think is said to do in the Rules of the Road), and I call them all the time to move over. There’s no reason to pass with a .25nm CPA or something ridiculous like that when they have a mile and a half of fairway on their starboard side, no one close behind them and they aren’t overtaking anyone. Yet they ride the port side the whole way. Whether it’s up inbound or outbound. Mix that with having to dodge little shrimp boats (which is another thing that drives me nuts. They are oblivious to radio calls. The Coast Guard should do something about them), and you have very little room to operate.

I mean, do these guys just think we’re in Australia, do they see me coming and just try to piss me off? or am I missing something?

Any ideas?

Is it ridiculous that so many ships hang out on the port side of the fairway, yes it is.

However, as far as it being a part of the rules that they have to stick to the side of the fairway which lies on their starboard side . . . this doesn’t apply in the Safety Fairways in the Gulf of Mexico. I repeat for clarity: Rule 9 Narrow Channels and Fairways does not apply to the Safety Fairways in the GOM.

The Safety Fairways are there to provide a lane for vessels in which there are no Marine Structures. They are not particularly narrow and you have enough water navigate outside of them in almost all locations, thus Rule 9 does not apply. I made that mistake as a young third mate and got way too damn close to a crossing fishing boat that was acting suicidal, but it was my responsibility to keep out of the way, and he had no responsibility to avoid impeding me. That same trip the other third mate also on his first trip made the same mistake and had a close call with a crossing tug displaying RAM lights towing a rig.

The fairway is there only to help you stay clear of fixed structures, it need not be considered when maneuvering for other vessels. Perhaps you could argue that they should stick to the starboard side because of Rule 2, but that is probably asking too much. After all the guy at the conn of the other ship is asleep, stupid, and doesn’t speak english. It is better to not call them because that might wake them up and then they would do something stupid while yelling over the radio that your monkey is stinky and needs to take a shower.