Jon, when first read of this incident I agreed with you 100%. And, i agree there was no reason to go outside, imo, for any reason. Buttttt! But then i read the captain's acct. Truthfully, while I still don't like some of the decisions that were made. My own conclusion is what we have here is a Domino Effect incident. Same as many aircraft crashes. In this case take away one Domino and we never hear about a boat named Adante 2. Storm takes it's projected path to the northwest, no rescue. Captain's forecast of 6 to 8 holds we have no rescue. The boats engine doesn't hit the crapper we don't have a rescue. They are somehow able to shoot the inlet, (yeah i know)we don't have a rescue.
That said, i would never hire these guys to move a boat.
The double-edged sword is risk evaluation. There is not one of us here who haven't done something that we knew was risky. In most of those cases, we skated by - because we didn't have the cascade of many things going wrong at once. But, we also likely didn't think of all of those things that could have
gone wrong either.
The bottom line is that there is no way
to get it exactly right. It's simply an exercise of minimizing the risk as much as possible without going overboard and getting frozen at the dock while you're thinking through every possible scenario.
The one element that trumps everything else in the equation of sailing is the weather
. I can't know when my engine is going to suddenly take a crap, or when my electrical system is going to die - but I can absolutely know, ALWAYS, that I don't want to be anywhere near a TS. There's plenty of evidence that forecasts are not always right.
That's my lesson here. Stay the hell away.