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post #69 of Old 03-31-2013
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Trappe Md.
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Re: Sailboat perishes off Hatteras, USCG rescues crew

They were at the corner of the Triangle. Any sailor who's been there knows Hattras and Oregon and never possible for sailboats (sure, they've been done...but stupid to try) and at Orcracoke (as the others) the channel changes daily. Prudent skippers approach and call the Coast Guard to lead them in (which despite what most say about the CG they do without hesitation). I want to add more about the CG, seriously, most people dread encounters and opine that they are rude, young and stupid...I've not at all found these to be true. One of the stupider things I've done added to my belief; I was leaving Atlantic Highlands and went to get a chart of Atlantic City. With the chart in my hand, the clerk said I didn't need it. He said Atlantic City's approach was straight forward and easy. So being poor I saved the money. Later, as it dawned on me why there were breakers all around me I ran aground on the shoal probably off Little Egg Inlet. I called the CG., gave them my position and they checked the chart for me and gave me a heading to get clear. Prompt and polite even tho I had obviously been an idiot. As for being aground, with each wave I'd be lifted off, so I'd motor until I got stuck again....several times till clear. Miles offshore, stuck, teetering on the keel...oh yeah, there was a mellow Airedale was looking for a new skipper....

But I've digressed. Never do what they did. Head to deep water and heave to....throw out a storm drogue....chill. I disagree with the gloom and doom. Every boat that hove to in the Gale 10 of Fastnet 79 came through it unscathed. Heave to!
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