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post #1383 of Old 12-17-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

An interesting post on gCaptain that identifies himself as a 500 GRT Ocean Master, Aux Sail, sailed traditional Sailing Vessels from 35 to 162 GRT, located in Baltimore, MD and a professional Tall Ship Sailor for 15 Years, Master for 9.


After nearly two decades with the ship under several different owners, Captain Walbridge wasn't going to be "told" when to sail. I think we can be reasonably sure this was his decision alone, though no one I know can make sense of why. A recent account from one of the survivors (who was apparently the engineer, seems to think Bounty was a schooner and not a full rigged ship, and wasn't aware there was a hurricane) indicates there was an all hands meeting describing how they were going to "circumvent" the storm, and that Captain Walbridge even told them he would hold no ill will toward anyone who decided not to sail. Apparently two of the crew walked in New London.

Again, normal procedure for Walbridge does not represent the entire fleet. Most of us have no idea what Captain Walbridge did during Hurricane season, as most traditional sailing vessels are only in port together during the summer festivals. Once the festivals are over, each ship goes on with its own itinerary. Through these festivals, I knew Walbridge as an affable man who was nursing along a vessel a that the public loved to come see at the dock. What he did at sea wasn't common knowledge except through sea stories, which I think we all agree usually stretch the truth. It's only through the emergence of the video shot in Belfast, ME (which went from 83 views to 40,000 in the last two weeks) that I realize his "sea stories" weren't exaggerations.

Technological glitches have kept me from being able to post here for nearly a week. Few of us who have command positions with these ships were ever "defensive" of Walbridge, as statements by Captains Dan Moreland and Jan Miles indicated the very day of the sinking. It has been novices and extremely loyal Bounty crew who are defending Captain Walbridge. I refrained from instant comments out of respect, because it is a small "community," and there was a great deal of grief in it. Don't take a brief moment of silence for agreement, I think this tragedy was utterly needless.

As far as putting "sea room" between the ship I work for and Bounty -- on 29 October I was in Baltimore with sixteen mooring lines rigged and storm stows in everything. Physically, that's appx. 345nm, as the crow flies, from Bounty's last know position. Operationally, it's in a different universe.

HMS Bounty and Hurricane Sandy - Page 28

Last edited by PCP; 12-17-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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