......and I go back to my earlier post that they were "feeling their way in" and got swamped by a really big wave that got big because of shoaling water and an outgoing tide in in the inlet.
.. A tired skipper with a tired, but alert crew approaches a coast to have a look to see if they might get in....they proceed slowly attempting to see what lies ahead and....
As to what the conditions were on the "ground" the day of accident I can tell you from being there that Sat inside the sea were very calm - winds 12-15 maybe a little higher but looking out at the sea and the reefs from Nippers they were HUGE. The cruisers net had been reporting the two before and the two days after the passages except for large boats were not passable. We anchoraged out that night just inside the East Loggerhead channel (by the Whale) and were able to watch the seas breaking on the reefs - HUGE. This is a little further north than where Rule 62 came to rest but while the wind was not a factor, the swells were HUGE because of the storms out in the Atlantic.
Conditions were moderating. However, this says NOTHING about the fact that a hurricane (Tomas) had recently passed and it had been blowing hard for some days.
Approaching an unknown Atlantic inlet on a lee shore at night for a "looksee" after days of heavy weather is madness -- or just plain ignorance.
....like sticking your arm into the lion's cage to see if he's friendly
Well, I think the above posts sums out pretty well the situation.
I agree with Bill. Approaching at night a difficult passage with heavy seas is never a good decision.
Heavy seas and weak wind just makes it a lot worse because you don’t have the sail power to counteract the seas and the boat will not be “tight” on a tack, but just bouncing around. On those conditions and with big waves and messy seas it is possible that the boat motoring (without sails) could not make way against the seas. It has already happened to me.
How is the boat at anyway at fault in this?
If you don't like the trend in boat design (I don't, especially Deck Saloon designs) then don't by one, but there is really no reason this boat couldn't have safely completed the voyage it was on.
It seems to have proven it was, as boats usually are, able to withstand more than its crew.
I fully agree.
Attempting a risky passage at night is bad seamanship. Doing that without life lines (that would have maintained them in the boat) is just…madness.
The boat was not the problem