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Old 12-03-2010
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First of all God Bless Laura as well as her friends and family. Terrible to say I hope that her end was quick so there was minimal suffering.

I too have stayed out of comment to learn a few more of the details.

I have some offshore experience having transited the Atlantic twice in my 20s as well as some sailing in the Carribean, but I am no way a Carribean cruiser. My trips in the last few years have been mainly costal ones from the Chesapeake to Long Island or New England.

I defer to many on here with far more experience than I. There is no need for blame finding or fingerpointing just learning and the real lesson in Lauras death would be to learn the obvious errors so we do not repeat them.

I find a lot of wisdom in Btrays comments as I do Daves. The mistake started early in the game with the decision to stay in the Gulf Stream and ride the storm to safety and to a calm anchorage it appears. For what ever pressures and reason this decision seemed to be paramount to who ever made the decision to come in close to land. Their object was to come to a calm area. The major errors of transitting an unkown inlet/ passage at night no matter what the conditions proved fatal and put them in more danger than heaving to till light, or a dave said turning right and getting out of the stream, or as SD said going further south to a wide channel and getting in the lee of the islands. I beleive Jon is also correct in his assuming that one could have the balls to make this run because they had some electronic means of navigating their way through the cut. (I agree with Jon people are too confident in what they see on the chartplotters) In bad seas and weather by giving up one of their key senses ( sight) by not waiting for daylight was unfortunate and dangerous. You need all the senses and sense you have..sight, charts, electronics, to make passage in these cuts in good weather let alone a rage or even just adverse conditions. Doing this at night was just plain puzzling.

All of the people on this boat at least had some experience and were not novices by any means , so what drove them into the land must have been overwhelming. The ocean is a dangerous and unforgiving place at times and commands utmost respect. For sailors it is our "zen" or place of tranquility when out on the water, but the other lesson is that it is a ALL POWERFULL and if not treated with proper respect, the consquence is death or injury.

The learned lesson for us semi novices is HEAVE TO. Wait till you can SAFELY proceed with confidence and all you senses. ASK FOR HELP from local CG or authorities

It is also why a number of us who have at least a little experience in the effects of costal/ ocean tough weather conditions have cringed at some of the knuckleheads (who have posted on sailnet) who have made passages with new or new to them boats without proper experience on board, charts, or even thoroughly checked out boats letting their bravado in invincabilty rule them. We have seen how quickly the Ocean can swoop in and take its toll. No matter your experience, or conditions...it is all about planning and emphsizing Safety first that counts. In the case of Rule 62...from the get go to dash to the Bahamas started the "unsafe dominos" which ended in tragedy.

No judgement here...no fault...just lessons. God bless Laura and the surviving members of Rule 62.

.
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