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post #416 of Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Originally Posted by Dean101 View Post
Again, maybe he practiced heaving to or deploying a drogue and just didn't write about it. I'm willing to give the guy a benefit of a doubt.

And can somebody tell me how you can spend that much time on a boat with a wife and 2 kids and NOT know the missus ain't happy? Yes, I think they made mistakes. Their choice of blog subjects may be a little.... unconventional but that has nothing to do with what happened. And after all, they did have quite a bit of time to pack what was precious to them before they scuttled. It's not as if they had to swim out on her way down.
Ten thousand miles of light conditions will tell you nothing about how the boat will do in heavy weather. Aerodynamic forces are not linear functions, but exponential. 40 is not 4 times as much as 10, it is 16 times the force.

Living aboard and passage making are apples and oranges. Living aboard at a dock, and passage making are almost opposites. At the dock, the world is infinite, the finger pier instantly leads to land and the whole world. The world is pretty still most of the time, and things stay where you put them. The ports and hatches are open most of the time. You can leave whenever you want.

Passage making is a whole different psychology. The finite nature of the boat is absolute. The idea that one cannot get off the boat is more than some can easily cope with. When things start to go wrong, it really weighs. The world is moving, sometimes in unpredictable and violent motions, and everything is a potential projectile. The hatches are closed, only vents and dorades provide any air. In this case, at least some sea water (and it's smells) were getting aboard, making things damp or wet. Dirty diapers were washed in the galley sink, and with little ventilation that had to be a nightmare. None of this is even approximated with coastal cruising, especially the feeling of being trapped in the situation.

I call it the "get me off of this #@%$^&*&^^&**&^^&#@#@@ BOAT NOW" stage. It is also a matter of helplessness. Crew who are not experienced feel like they are at the mercy of the boat, the weather, the skipper, and everything else. They have no control over anything, and when things go bad, everything intensifies again. So you feel helpless and trapped, the pea in a paint can, and it is going to last for at least a few more weeks.

The only control you can assert is to insist on the skipper pressing the panic button, when you are at that stage.

If someone reaches "get me off" stage near shore, they can be calmed by the knowledge that it won't last long. The psychological effects of the isolation of passagemaking are not to be underestimated, and are best eased into.

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