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post #284 of Old 11-14-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Lots here that's not quite right.

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Smack, I keep forgetting about your actual experience level. What is telling is you refer to things like SAS attendance and ISAF compliance in the future tense. You even gone so far as offer curriculum changes (how to abandon your boat and be rescued) without having actually attended a seminar or have any practical experience. SAS is merely a seminar meant to augment an already established knowledge/ experience base and the ISAF Special Regulations is pamphlet and check sheet. They by themselves, will not magically keep you from harm.
It's true I've not yet personally attended an SAS seminar. But I had conversations with Sheila McCurdy and Ron Trossbach about the SAS curriculum. Those conversations were not about "changing the curriculum" - but potentially adding the AMVER info to it. Those conversations are continuing. So I understand what SAS (and ISAF) is and what it isn't.

Furthermore, the information I provided in the article is directly from the experts - not me. As a writer, I don't have to personally experience climbing from a sailboat onto a freighter in the middle of the Pacific to pull together accurate information about the process. I just have to talk to the right people. And I did (e.g. - USCG AMVER Director and SAR controller, three ship captains, and others).

Bottom line: I'm not trying to be something I'm not, George. This is just information that I find very valuable as an avid sailor learning to be a better sailor. I think other sailors find it valuable as well.

The fundamental problem is that the number of U.S. sailors seeking out voluntary safety training is very, very low. If you value safety and the knowledge surrounding it - and understand the impact it has on how sailors deal with emergencies (and the implications of that) - then you understand that this is a problem. My position is that any organization that promotes big passages like this is a great place to expand that training and knowledge. Nothing more than that.

As for ISAF and SAS "magically keeping you from harm" - I don't think anyone but you has floated that ridiculous notion.

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Your statement that you could join the SDR with your admitted lack of experience, but you will wait until you can qualify for the C1500 still indicates that you expect others to tell you (through their requirements) that you a ready for such a trip.

Grasshopper, I will let you know when it is time for you to voyage on your own. But first, you must snatch this pebble from my hand…

Those aren't pebbles dude. And you're really not getting it.

My statement about not joining the SDR because of my lack of experience is fully my own assessment of where I currently stand in terms of offshore knowledge and experience. I don't need anyone, including you, to tell me whether or not I'm ready for a passage. I know for myself. I'm just being honest about my own assessment. I'm not blowing smoke.

I'll attend an SAS seminar and I'll use the ISAF regs as educational/preparation tools because I see value in them - and I'll continue to sail offshore to build experience. If you think that equates to "asking permission to go", you really are blind, Master Po.

My point on this regarding the SDR is that I currently meet the requirements to does someone with even far fewer offshore miles than I have (a "single bluewater passage"). Going back to what capta said above - I think that would be a very bad idea for that level of experience.

So, I'm left to assume that you're saying a single bluewater passage is plenty of experience for a November Gulfstream passage from the Chessie to the BVIs...and that safety training and standards are for wusses who need permission.

Well, I don't buy that. Period.

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
The ISAF requirement for a successful rally is a spurious one. Nowhere has it been stated that the boats that had problems were not Cat 1 compliant.
ISAF's not at all "spurious" unless you want to assume it "magically protects" sailors. And what exactly are your definitions of a "successful" rally?

Again, ISAF is simply a safety/preparation standard. And if you're one who believes in high safety standards, utilizing the ISAF standard AND/OR upping the experience-level/qualifications for entry would be a very good thing.

It's weird. You really seem threatened by this. I've not seen you this aggro about something in all the years I've been posting here. And it's especially weird that you are an ocean racer and operate under these regs - but don't seem to see the value in them for cruisers.

Whatever. I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
If you want to draw any wild conclusions, it should be that it is better to adhere to a strict schedule than let skippers decide themselves on the appropriate time to leave within an open ended window. Remember the C1500 had a single departure date and the SDR a suggested “window”. What is more important here is the fact that out of six vessels declaring emergencies including four boats with rudder problems and two dismasting’s, only two boats were ultimately abandoned. The sailors who were able to jury rig ought to be commended for their superior seamanship and not denigrated for having bad luck.
I'll let you fight the schedule thing out with Jon - because he was saying the exact opposite regarding a strict departure date.

Finally, I don't recall ever denigrating these sailors. My constant focus has been on the organizational side of things. Those sailors that did the jury rigging should indeed be commended. But I don't yet understand from the info thus far whether Maydays were sent first - which would be a potential issue (back to how sailors deal with emergencies).

Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-14-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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