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post #132 of Old 11-10-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

Seriously, we should all tread gently. If you weren't out there you don't really know what happened. Did a boat fail? Did a crew member fail? Was the data available before departure deficient? Was analysis in error?

As others have pointed out here, on SA, and on CF the conditions don't SEEM to have been sufficiently harsh to result in the kind of damage being reported but we don't know and probably won't. Data collection is generally acknowledged as under reporting conditions, and individuals--particularly those with less experience--grossly over report conditions. We'll never really know.

There is still the opportunity to learn by exploring. Judging our colleagues (well the colleagues of those of us who sail offshore) doesn't contribute to that, even if part of the learning is by considering human failure.
The more I hear, the more I'm inclined to believe that at least some of those boats out there saw conditions well in excess of what has been reported...

There have been some communications relayed over on CSBB from Tom Brownell on DISTANT STAR, a very experienced sailor on a Hylas 54 who left with the earliest of the Salty Dawg departures... Beyond the Stream, they experienced very squally conditions for a couple more days, with gusts to 50 knots...

This blog post from the Najad 460 SERAFINA, and another pretty experienced crew:


32:50.75N 69:20.33W

Well firstly the good news which is that it is now Saturday and things have
finally settled down, we have just shaken three of the four reefs out of the
mainsail and are sailing at 6 to 7 knots almost directly towards the BVI's.
That is a real first on this trip as we spent most of the last day or so
either heading for Florida or Bermuda depending on which tack we were on.

Yesterday we were congratulating ourselves on coming out of the storm intact
and in fair shape and with the wind forecast to drop to around 20 knots we
felt the worst was behind us, but we should perhpas have paid a litle more
attention to the mountainous waves that kept threatening to engulf us. We
have experienced Atlantic rollers before, but these monsters where
vertiginous and with massive breaking crests - then there were the odd rogue
ones running at an angle to the main sweep and these pounded us and broke
hard against the hull sending tons of water over the decks and of course
whoever was sat in the cockit at the time! But it was fine and heavily
reefed still we made good speed although mostly heading directly towards
Bermuda. The first hint that it was not all over was at sunset and we saw
another big formation of clouds bearing down on us that had all the signs of
being another front. The air temperature plummetted and once again we were
hit by winds over 40 knots. The minor disaster occured just as I went
off-watch and was stood at the foot of the companionway stairs speaking up
to Sarah in the cockpit. In the dark she never saw it coming, but heard it
all just a bit too late and two huge rogue waves slammed into our side
engulfing us in water, a significant part of which entered the cockpit and
streamed straight down inside the boat leaving a trail of devestation in
terms of wet bedding, clothing, chart table and me just as I was about to
jump into the sea berth for a deserved attempt at sleep!

But in a sense that was the worst of it all and although we had the
washboards in for the rest of the night, the wind did abate and the seas
gradually eased until we reached the happier situation today.

On Thursday night Sarah had listened to some drama on the VHF as she could
hear a US Coastguard cutter co-ordinating what sounded like two major
situations, one involving a dismasting and the routing of a tanker to effect
a resue of the crew. But we have heard nothing more and the only two boats
we have been in contact with since know nothing more than us.

So the forecast has this weather staying much the same now for a few days
and then we may face a southely wind for several days (we are trying to go
south which is a pain, but cÚst la vie.)

Clearing flying fish off the decks regularily now and if it gets a bit
flatter, we will start fishing, but not just yet.

Very many thanks to all of you who have been cheering us up with emails
(only send to rob {CHANGE TO AT} rhbell {DOT} com please)

Sarah stopped being sick finally yesterday and we are begiing to feel a bit
better about life and might yet even enjoy the last part of the trip!
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Are you on Utopia?
No, I'm on KOKOMO... She's available, "Owner wants her Gone"... :-)

2003 Cabo Rico 42 Sail Boat For Sale -

Great day today, departed Coinjock at 0500... Sporty crossing of Abemarle sound, there was just enough W in the breeze to sail across, fetching the Alligator River entrance... Ours were the only sails unfurled/hoisted I saw today...

South of the Alligator bridge, we were passed by a brand new Beneteau Oceanis 45, under power, like we were standing still... At that point a couple of miles south of the bridge where the channel bends to the SE, we had the most beautiful sail imaginable, close reaching in about 15-18 knots in flat water... About as good as it ever gets, too bad that reach doesn't continue forever...

the couple on that Beneteau, inside their full cockpit enclosure, couldn't even be bothered to unfurl a jib, or their in-mast main...

Further evidence, that East coast snowbirds just don't sail... :-)
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