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post #1950 of Old 03-03-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

What is suggested is that Wallbridge was superstitious regarding Friday and that could have influenced his choice of weather and information limiting the days he could sail off. He was running in a tight schedule and needed to sail away to not miss commitments.

It is said that he never had set sail on Friday, following a long tradition regarding bad luck. Of course, if that is true or not and if it had played a part on this accident, it is impossible to know:

quote:"Why did a captain with decades of experience choose to rush to sea shorthanded and with a largely inexperienced crew at dusk on Oct. 25, after a long day of sailing and tours, as the powerful storm churned northward and gained strength?

A possible answer to “Why?” barely got mentioned during the proceedings...

Only Doug Faunt, 65, a quick-witted, veteran sailor who testified wearing a T-shirt carrying the date of the Bounty’s demise, offered a glimpse into the simple question of “Why?”: Walbridge’s obeisance to an ancient superstition.
Walbridge, 63, never left port on Fridays, Faunt told..: The old superstition, spawned by the discomfort of setting sail on the day of Christ’s crucifixion — Good Friday — could have played a fatal role for the Bounty...

Long bypassed by modern sailors as an illogical remnant of the past, the superstition apparently was part of Walbridge’s makeup, part of the way of life aboard an 18th-century square-rigger. No matter that this Bounty was a Hollywood creation built in 1960....

The Thursday evening departure was a crucial factor, though. By Friday, the ship was far at sea with Sandy building to a huge presence. The Bounty pressed on, and by Saturday, it was clear the ship could not sail around the massive storm to the east. Instead, Walbridge ordered a desperate course adjustment that took the ship on a southwest tack, trying to reach the shelter of Cape Hatteras.

Had Walbridge waited until Friday to sail or waited until Saturday, assuming he was adamant about not setting sail on Friday, the power, breadth and imminent danger of the storm would have been far more obvious

...So Bounty set sail Thursday evening..."

Also some light is shed about why he wanted to arrive to St. Petersburg, Fla, on a schedule:

quote"Walbridge was doing more than avoiding a Friday send-off....
Bounty’s possible salvation lay in coming under the control of a nonprofit organization that could provide tax advantages and use the ship for fundraising by taking on paying passengers and other commercial enterprises.
But it needed costly upgrading to meet Coast Guard standards to take on that new mission, and it needed to find an organization that wanted the aging ship....

The ship was scheduled to spend the winter at port in Galveston, Texas, but before that, it would spend a few days at the St. Petersburg, Fla., pier where it had been a familiar sight for years. The pier was about to be renovated, and Walbridge wanted a last visit there before heading to Texas.

As Bounty set sail from New London, plans were coming together, also, for using the ship as the focal point of a nonprofit based in Birmingham, Ala., dedicated to raising funds for and awareness of people with Down syndrome.
The Ashley DeRamus Foundation, along with Walbridge, was planning to give individuals with Down syndrome the chance to crew on a tall ship. It would be an educational opportunity for them to learn to sail and to develop independence, self-esteem and responsibility.

The foundation and Walbridge arranged to stage a special celebration in Tampa, Fla., once the ship arrived from New England. Families of Down syndrome adults and children planned to meet the ship; several individuals with Down syndrome would make the final leg of the trip to Galveston as volunteer crew members along with DeRamus.

It was all going to be filmed, narrated and become part of the foundation’s marketing pitch.

Christian was buoyant. “Claudene had been told by the captain that she would be part of the winter crew, and she was just totally excited about that,” Kannegiesser said. “She was going to be part of the public relations and marketing effort that would bring closer together the foundation and the Bounty.”...

The day for the Tampa celebration was set Nov. 9. The trip from New London to Tampa by way of Key West is about 1,600 nautical miles. If the Bounty averaged 5 knots, it would take 13.3 full days of sailing to reach the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

That meant that if the Bounty got in a full day of sailing on Friday, Oct. 26, and nonstop sailing night and day for the next 12.3 days, it would reach Tampa Bay about midnight Nov. 6. Had the Bounty waited for Sandy to pass, gone far enough east to avoid it, or not set sail until Saturday, reaching Tampa on time would have been virtually impossible.

So the rushed start the night of Oct. 25 was crucial: It avoided having to set sail on superstitious Friday; it gave the Bounty a sliver of a chance of avoiding Sandy and a cushion of a day or so. But there could be no breakdown, no prolonged stopover, no significant change in course.

“We don’t want there to be any impression that Nov. 9 was a fixed date that couldn’t be changed,” Kannegiesser said. “It was clear that if there was a problem, we could accommodate that.”

What was clear from the hearings in Portsmouth, though, was that Walbridge, if anything, was a man of his word, someone who could be counted on to make good on a plan. He ruled the ship, where it went and when. Was meeting the Florida timetable something he saw as a sign of dependability, as crucial to the vessel’s future of gaining a new owner?"

Did superstition and the lure of a new role drive the Bounty to the bottom of the sea? - Richmond Times-Dispatch: News, Crime And Politics For The Richmond Metro Area

All this makes a twisted kind of sense. Not logical, but logic seems not to be strong on that ship and crew. it also explains why Claudine, even with doubts gambled to make the voyage. What was at stake to her was not only the voyage but a kind of permanent job in a thing that he really loved.

It seemed he had not had much luck in his live on the past and end up in not having luck in is end, being one of the two that died.


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Last edited by PCP; 03-03-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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