Join Date: Oct 2007
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Seamanship fail (Or how things add up)
We have a lot of new members so I thought a through analysis of my beginners mistake last Thurs would be instructional. It's not like I don't know better. I've done this run dozens of times and since I happen to have so much good data and it is fresh in my mind it may help someone else.
Below is a picture of my track composed of 5 legs.
1. From Duck south past "W" about 2 miles to (SH P) (2:30 to 3:30 PM)
2. From my South most point to just past "8A" bearing about NE (3:30 to 4:30PM)
3. From past "8A" bearing W about 3/4 miles (4:30 to 4:55)
4. From end of leg 3 over the shoal bearing N (4:55 to 5:30)
5. From end of leg 4 bearing NW back to Duck (5:30 to 6:30)
Max ebb current was at 2:17PM about 2Knots 90 degrees ebb at 6:00 PM
Wind was 15 to 23 with seas from 2 to 3 feet.
Almost no moon, temp 45 degrees plus
The idea was to leave about 2:30 and get back in by dark or a little later.
Leg one was Jib only only half out, course 180M, and only took an hour.
I was thinking that I had a west wind so I could just beam reach out and turn around and reach back in.
Lots of things were wrong with that plan. First the wind was probably closer to 290 than to 270, second my course of 180 was magnetic so my true course was probably closer to 165. So the end result was I was really on a broad reach almost a run and the current and waves were not affecting my course as much as they will on leg 2.
Leg 2 I'm thinking I need to steer about 330 magnetic (Which apparently was still not enough). I could only steer 30 magnetic but I was having such a blast going 7 to 8 knots I figured I would worry about where I was later.
Leg 3 I'm trying to go back but can only do about 260, also the wind has moved about 20 degrees more north by this time probably 270.
It's going to get dark so I figure I will motor sail with leg 4. I could barely make any way against the waves with the outboard popping out.
I'm still going the wrong way almost 360
It gets dark and the seas calm down and I just motor directly back.
This is just a very good lesson that a lot of things can add up to make it very difficult to get where you want to go.
I was a little off on my estimate of the wind direction.
The wind clocked the wrong way about 20 degrees.
The seas make forward progress difficult.
I had to stay under canvased because of the wind.
The current was especially strong.