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Old 05-04-2013
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MarioG MarioG is offline
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Re: Knock Downs

We were knocked down 3 yrs ago on our first coastal sail. So as I tell this, I already know I wasn't being very smart due to very little sailing experiance.

We had just got our Chrysler 26 bought in Norfolk Va and had to sail it to Oriental NC about 190 nm. We set sail 1st of March and the weather seemed like we were going to have a pleasant trip. Not more then 2 hours into the trip and the 9.9 outboard died due to tring to unground another boat. Oh well we had never put a motor on the Chrysler 22 we lake sailed and the wind was with us so we continued on. Took the Virgina cut figuring we wouldn't beable to sail the dismal swamp. Made it to Coinjock before noon after being invited to stay at the Norfolk yacht club (nice group). The dockmaster at the Midway marina had told us that a nor-easter was coming and should be in the area by midnight so did we want a slip? Well the tide and wind was with us and I figured we could make it across the Albermarle sound to the Alligator river because we were already a day behind. It was nice and warm when we started out and hit the Albermarle but didn't last long. The waves might have been 1 to 2 feet with 10k winds, within what might have been an hour the waves got to 4 to 5 foot with 15 to 25k winds. I had the main reefed and tried to turn noth to shore but the ways and wind wouldn't allow it so I had my 1st mate give me the heading for the Alligator river because it was getting hard to see anything past the compass. Then it got worse and the sliders snapped taking out the main so I pulled a small amount of jib tring to keep our heading. While all this is happening I was getting soaked thru and hit by waves comming over the back of the transom and frozen to the bone. as soon I had already lashed my right arm to the hard dodger because it was the only way from sliding around the cockpit. I open the jib the boat turned quick and the boat went over. My poor 1st was trown from one side to the other and said she could see the water thru the port. We recovered quickly and was lucky we had very little on the inside yet so nothing got broken. yelling back and forth was the only way we could communicate she told me she was calling for the Coast Guard to come get her. We were out there for 4 hours before they found us and told us the conditions were 10' waves and 40k sustained 65k gust and even they couldn't head north to Elizabeth city their home port against the wind and waves in the rescue zodiac.
I told the wife that we could sell the boat and go back to lake sailing if she wanted but to my surprise when we found the boat the following afternoon and she jumped aboard ready to continue to trip.
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