BTW some of the toy boat sailors ( as you in your snarky way described some of us) and arm chair quarterbacks display far more common sense thn your so called professnionls.
Not intended to be snarky. I was professionally involved with boats, mostly commercial ones, all my life. However, when it comes to operating them, I am a toy boat sailor myself.
As for professionals showing less common sense than an amateur, that is the absolute heart and pivot point of this whole story. Any details that the investigation will probably focus on such as what bilge suction might have clogged or even what plank might have popped loose are fairly insignificant. These are just the kind of things that sink ships in heavy weather. The real issue is why was the ship there in a storm of this magnitude and (according to forecasters' discussions at the time) unpredictability.
After all that has been said here and elsewhere, I don't think we are any closer to understanding the decisions made by the captain than when it first came to notice that the ship had left port. The harsh things said here about Jan's writing are addressing a different subject. To me, the fact that someone of his experience is left so mystified by what Wallbridge did as to have written such a letter is significant. The fact that Jan can't contribute much to our understanding of how this happened and is so perplexed is the story.
Posters all over the Internet have pointed to Wallbridge's experience and suggested it proves he must have known what he was doing, taken a calculated risk, and had a bit of bad luck. They have it backwards. It is the amount of his experience that makes this story so mystifying. I think we have to look deeper than poor decision making here for the true causes.
People like Dan Moreland of the Picton Castle
and Jan are not saying, as they could have about many accident scenarios, "There but for the grace of God, go I." Something out of the ordinary happened here and I'm not referring to the weather. Jan's letter simply drives that home.