Originally Posted by PCP
Chief, that ship as not the seaworthiness of a modern Open 60 and even so skippers of those boats do not sail Hurricanes. In fact they do what you say with low pressure depressions with winds of 30/35K. With more than 35K they take avoiding measures and I have seen them taking cover on anchor at the shelter of land waiting it to clear with 40/45K winds.
On the proximity of an hurricane the winds will be far in excess of 40K. A hurricane moves faster than that boat (that is not the case with Open 60) and its course is not completely predictably. Chasing hurricanes for wind on that boat is like playing at Russian roulette with a gun. It is a recklessness thing to do with a wooden XVIII century designed sailing ship. it is madness with a ship in the shape the Bounty was.
I agree of course about the seaworthiness aspect 100%. Of course this boat should have never been out in those condtions at all as we now see from testimony. I am in total agreement with that. Thats not the issue I was identifying here so I am sorry if I wasnt clear.
My point was to the previous discussions in the thread where the Captain was villified with this statement ..."We chase hurricanes". The MEDIA ( and we know how they can exagggerate statemnts) appears to have taken what he said out of context. This statement made it look like when he saw a hurricane he steered toward it and actually waited for hurricanes cause he like the adventure and had done it before, gotten away with it and was doing it again with Sandy. With Sandy he cut in front of it.
After watch the testimony personally not having it reported to me by some newspaper persona and seeing the persons complete statement with facial expressions, tones, and inflections, it became readily apparent as to what Walbridge meant by that statement. The third mate as well as talked about this as he was asked directly by the CG Commander in charge of the hearing.
Maybe I was not clear in how I explained it. His answer was as I explained. They would never steer at incoming hurricanes ( until Sandy). But two different times when he was with the Bounty, once in the Pacific in and once in the Gulf of Mexico, the had the occasions to be behind a forward moving hurricane and tried to take advantage of it winds to make headway. Just the same as we were talking about the Vendee or Whitbread racers do. They stayed way away behind it but still had the advantage of the trailing circular wind field and it direction and sea motion. In the Gulf in the testimony her recounted that the Hurricane actually slowed down forcing them to hove to for 2-3 days. They were starting to pull in to close to its core as he stated as the hrricane was moving 4 knots and the ship was moving 11. This tactic makes perfect sense and is employed by others is my point and not some wild eyed Ahab chasing Moby Dick, or Walbridge chasing a hurricane to tangle with it as was portrayed in the press and then grabbed upon by other posters. The tesimony which again was not filtered by a news reporter was honest, plausable, and made perfect matter of fact sense the way it was described.
Thats all I was saying
I am in no way exonerating Walbridge for sailing into a hurricane path directly, l;eaving New London, or not pulling off and finding shelter and continuing once his vessels started failing to handle conditions, I feel I must continue saying this as sometimes when you post anything contrary to popular opinion here you get ;abeled as supporting his actions. I do not.
What makes his actions and the actions of the HMS Bounty LLC even more preposterous and suspect is the conditon of the ship/ Maine Sails personal observations as well as the current testimony paints a picture of patchwork but good repairs to an ailing frame which could never withstand even a continuos gales or repeated use of the vessels. The foisting of all blame on Walbridge would be to ignore some of the other issues which may have been a contribution and would have occured anyway eventually. Through this we may be able to have a great understanding what to watch for to prevent similar occurances in the future. Had this vessel needed inspections to carry people it comes out, that this may never have occured as hopefully the CG would have identified the issues beforehand.
My observation and maybe the reason the CG Commander asked the questions was to get to the bottom of the statement which had the effect of debunking the public myth created by the sesationalization of the news media that this Captain steered toward and sought out hurricanes to test himself and the ship for pleasure. It would make all the TS captains out to be like this/ The news media must sell their papers and mags so its understandable why they do it, we just shouldnt get caught up in at thats all I am saying.