Texas Chicken

While I have never actually done it, I had the opportunity last year in Virginia Beach at MAMA Bridge Simulator to spend one of my days on a 900’ tanker in the Houston Ship Channel playing “Texas Chicken”. My hats off to the guys/gals who do it for a living and thanks to John Sitka at MAMA for the fun.

Part 1

Part 2

I’ve been the mate on watch when its been done on numerous occasions. I almost got use to it after a while.

We had a KP cadet onboard one time. He was standing next to me by the throttles, we were down bound at night. I could see the lights of another ship coming up on us. The Captain and the Pilot were well aware of the ship too, but this cadet wasn’t. He asked to borrow my binoculars. So I watched him as he put them to his face, looked for a second then just turned and looked at me with this dumbfounded look. “sit tight and watch!” :slight_smile:


Texas Chicken is just about the most popular simulation with students when I’m teaching shiphandling in the simulator. I had a group of Houston Pilots in PMI’s sim once and we loaded it up and they said it was pretty darn realistic. Sure would love to do it in real life.

So whats the reasoning behind doing that? I’ve heard it has to do with suction and that they use each others bow wake to keep from bottoming out?

John thanks for the “video” - earned your money getting out of there. Capt. Pine, thanks again for all the sim’ training, Texas Chicken and Z-drive, too! Jemplayer, from what I learned the bow wave pushes you apart so you turn into it, straighten up as you pass, then turn into the passing vessel again to kick the stern out to avoid the suction pulling the sterns together - Doug, am I close?

[quote=mtskier;14959]…Doug, am I close?

Yep. They do it because the ditch is so narrow they keep the centerline as long as possible, then take advantage of the interaction between the vessels to stay off the bank. Plus, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun. And those Houston pilots, they love their fun.

There are many areas of the Great Lakes in the the River systems where a similar techniqe is employed when two vessels meet. Except the Mates [U]are[/U] the Pilots on the Great Lakes, unless it is a Foreign vessel or Canadian, where typically only the Captain has pilotage.




Ok thanks for the explanation. I thought the explanation that it’s used to keep from hitting bottom wasn’t right.