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Old 11-02-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

That video is incredible -- I can't imagine anyone with any sailing experience chasing hurricanes in a 50-year-old wooden ship.
Seems that standard practice when facing really heavy weather was to send down the topmasts. Wonder if they did that before they left the dock. Can't imaging them doing it while underway. Those ships also had heavy shutters to protect the stern windows in a following sea. Wonder if this version of the Bounty had them and if they were deployed.
If not then flooding through the stern windows is another possibility.
I have to confess that through an act of incredible stupidity I've actually been in conditions that almost duplicate those faced by the Bounty.
Simply put, at the beginning of March, 1962, four of us decided to sail from Long Island to Bermuda. We were all young men and young men in groups are exponentially more stupid than any one individually. We got caught by one of the worst winter storms to hit the east coast, and the strength and direction of the wind forced us to take the inside track. We survived because we we on a very strongly-built steel ketch, because we did know our boat very well and because of our seaswing stove. I figure I owe the ocean one so I am very cautious.
In any case, we were running in really mountainous seas and we did everything we could to keep our speed as slow as possible. Our real problem was the huge following sea. The boat would rise to the crest and then plunge down to the trough. During all of this the boat had to be steered kep at a slight angle to the crest and to the trough. If we came straight down the crest the bow of the boat could be buried enough that it would coem up in time and we'd be pitchpoled. If we were too far orr we could be rolled. It meant whomever was at the helm had to pay attention every second and and react when necessary. We relieved the helm every 90 minutes or so, you just couldn't keep it up for longer.
I suspect the Bounty was in the same situation and I wonder if they had enough experienced people to keep relieving the person at the wheel. It doesn't matter whether they were under sail or power, the conditions would have been the same.
I just can't understand how anyone could put so many lives at risk, Not just the crew but all those Coast Guard pilots and rescue swimmers ... it's just beyond me.
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