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post #25 of Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Sailing Darwin awards

I try to maintain a live and let live philosophy. If you make a bad decision, you live with it. That said, we all surely hope to learn from our experiences. I think it is significant that almost all who ride hurricane force winds and surge out in a boat choose not to repeat the experience. This is my story:

In 1979, I was a LTJG stationed aboard the USS Harry E. Yarnell, CG-17, in the shipyard at Charleston, SC for a complex overhaul. While there, Hurricane David struck nearby while our engines were out and our boilers were disassembled. Since we could not go anywhere the Navy recalled the crew for the duration. The yard pulled the camels since they might poke a hole in the skin of the ship and we rode it out tied to the pier. Not content with the sounding and security watch, we inspected all open spaces below water level every 10 minutes. When the winds were above 70 kts we rocked and rolled 30 degrees and more, even as sheltered as we were. If it moves a 550 ft ship with a 55 foot beam like that, I assure you I will NEVER ride hurricane force anything out on my boat!

T. P. Donnelly
S/V Tranquility Base
1984 Islander 30 Bahama
Pasadena, MD
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