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Old 10-29-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

You make the best decisions you can at the time and, sometimes, it just doesn't work out no matter what you do.

In '95 my ship (US Navy) was coming back from the Med. There was a big hurricane just leaving the African coast headed west, so we stayed in the Azores for a few days waiting for the storm to commit to a track so we'd know what to do. It appeared to be turning north early, so we proceeded west on our way toward Halifax to go around it. Lo and behold, storm #2 appears and takes a much more westerly track, then turns north toward the eastern seaboard. Great... back to the Azores for two more days.

Finally, because we are due home after 6 months at sea, we set out on a very odd southerly track to give ourselves lots of sea room to run. Hurray for us, storm #3 appears.

Sometimes, you just do what you have to do. We point for the weakest of the storms and hoped for the best. That storm becomes Hurricane Gordon and it's moving faster than we can run around it. We put on turns and buckled up. Talk about a ride, it was one of those storms where if you aren't on watch you are in your rack hanging on tight. If you are on watch, you lock down on a handhold and enjoy the ride. We were putting the front gun under water and alternately feeling the screws run free when the stern was lifted out of the water. This went on for a few days.

On that ship, an Aegis Cruiser, you can see down the main passageway for several hundred feet. What's freaky is looking down the passageway and watching the watertight door hatchways misalign in opposite directions, back and forth, as the ship is twisted and untwisted, then twisted the other way.

Now, imagine a bunch of calked wooden seams going through that. The poor souls on the Bounty replica were probably crapping square-edged bricks. Unlike Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, the guys on the Bounty replica are just working a job. They aren't indentured servants and they aren't fighting men freely willing to die for their shipmates as a matter of course. If it was me on the Bounty replica? "Man the lifeboats, mateys- we've done what we could within reason. This tub's going down and it's insured. **** happens. That's what insurance is for.

The point of my long, rambling post is this: The captain the Bounty replica made the decisions he made based on the information he had. Sometimes events conspire against our best laid plans and protocols. You do what you can, which is what he and the crew did. But at the end of the day, the old tub is a replica and a prop. It is a physical asset that is insured and nothing more. If your office building caught fire, would you be the daring guy on the hose trying desperately to save the desks and file cabinets when the roof collapses? Of course you wouldn't. Don't romanticize the Bounty replica because it's a pretty wooden boat. For anyone to die trying to ride out a storm would be the greatest act of moronic stupidity.
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