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post #22 of Old 01-29-2013
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Simi Valley CA
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

We were once struck by a barge the size of a department store. Just had the boat a few months when we (wife,father in law,friends) when I had too much sail up and our cable jumped the shives for the steering quradent sawed right through the cable and we lost stearage in the middle of the North bound shipping lane outside Channel Islands CA. The wind was blowing 20/25 kts when it broke. Full sail on a reach,did I say we were over canvased? I went for the emergency tiller that came with the boat and it didnt fit (did I say new to sailing) must have been from another boat that somehow ended up on our new to me boat. A little shaken up but mostly still enjoying the adventure. After a call to the coast guard and the seatow we just rocked from side to side when I noticed in the distance a rather small boat(tug) with what looked like a dept. store right behind it(barge). After realizing we were in its path we called to the coast guard to warn them of our position(ya wrong guy to call on the VHF) after much panic the tug capt. gets on to tell us to commit to a tack and sail out of the shipping lane. Yes we made many mistakes that day but the tug operator was not monitoring channel 16 or he would have heard our conversation with the coast guard. Long story short the tug motors by at 6/8 kts with this building in tow which just glances of our port bow and scares the **** out of all of us. Maybe 10/15 feet and it would have been a direct hit,and we may have been pulled under the barge and killed. Welcome to ocean sailing? That was 13 years ago and I have learned much from this and other adventures. Funny thing about that day,some of us look back and go* wow that was a close one *but others look back like it was the worst thing ever and wont talk about it at all.

Lancer 36
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