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post #191 of 281 Old 12-19-2009
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Great thread…my small contribution:

Some years ago, on an August night, I was on passage from Cartagena (Spain) to Palma de Maiorca, me and my 16 year-old-daughter, on my 36ft boat. We were about 16 miles off Palma when my daughter joined me on the cockpit. It was her turn to pick the wheel, but as a huge thunder storm was striking far away, on the Spanish mainland and as she was a little bit scared, I stayed with her.

The wind started to pick up. We were motor sailing with full main 20š off the head wind. The wind went slowly from 20kt to 30kt and I put, the second and later, as a precaution, the third reef (it makes the sail area really small. I use it as a storm sail, up to 45kts of wind).

Then I saw the “thing” on the radar. It was a huge black area…and it was coming fast. I told my daughter to go inside and to close the boat. Some minutes later I was hit by pieces of ice almost the size of golf balls. It was impossible to stay at the wheel. I put the autopilot on and took shelter under the spray hood and then the wind came in a big blast. As a precaution my hands were on the stoppers, and I immediately let go the boom and the main halyard, to no avail. The boat laid immediately on its side, the boom in the water and the mast touching it. And it stayed that way for I donīt know how long. A lot it seemed to me. Probably two or three minutes, till the blasting wind disappeared, to return to 35k. At that moment the boat righted itself up without any difficulty and I was surrounded by strange waves that seemed to come from all sides.

I was at the wheel but I didnīt know where to steer the boat. The sea was not making any sense and I remember to see some waves racing at fantastic speed, like strange animals speeding on the water. Luckily I was not caught by any of those.

Alf an hour later, everything was “normal” again and I arrived at Palma, at sunrise, as expected. My sail was ripped off from the mast and my banner reduced to shreds.

In Palma everything was normal, no storm had passed there.

It took a lot of persuasion and several experienced sailors to convince my daughter that this was not a “normal” situation. But with the changes on the climate, the truth is that a lot of these strange and violent phenomena are happening on the Med.

Last edited by PCP; 12-20-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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post #192 of 281 Old 12-19-2009
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PCP - If you don't mind, I'll be adding that to the BFS thread. Great story. Does she still sail? And are you still on the Med?


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post #193 of 281 Old 12-20-2009
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Thanks.

Yes, Joana (my daughter) still sails with me . She is now 21 and as you know it is difficult to enjoy the company of our children at that age. I have to thank the boat because both my children love so much cruising with the family that two years ago, between them, they made a promise that, no matter what, they would take 15 days to sail together with us.

Yes, I still sail on the Mediterranean. I have cruised the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic Coast and I am now exploring the Med. I have cruised on the Spanish Med coast, the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Elba and the Tuscany islands and part of the Tyrrhenian Italian coast.

I have sold my boat this year, at the end of season, in Italy.

I am between boats. Next year, while I save money for a better boat, I will probably charter a boat in Turkey.

Regards

Paulo
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post #194 of 281 Old 12-20-2009
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What you experienced was the infamous Mistral winds. They can race out of the mountains at almost any inconvenient & unpredictable time. They have kicked sailors hind ends for as long as there has been sailing on the Med. (Greek myths & angry sea gods etc.) Certain times of the year are well known to be worse.
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post #195 of 281 Old 12-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NICHOLSON58 View Post
What you experienced was the infamous Mistral winds. They can race out of the mountains at almost any inconvenient & unpredictable time. They have kicked sailors hind ends for as long as there has been sailing on the Med. (Greek myths & angry sea gods etc.) Certain times of the year are well known to be worse.
No, I know the Mistral. On one or two occasion I had sailed with it (force 7 to 9).

No this was a very localized phenomena and a much stronger one. In the radar appeared as a large round black space. Probably a micro burst or more probably a tornado. That would explain the waves coming from all directions. Thereīs now a lot of tornados in summer storms, on the Med.

If it was the Mistral, it would have blown also in Palma (18 miles away). Besides the Mistral doesn't blow very hard on Mallorca. It blows harder on the North of Minorca and all the way to Corsica.

regards


Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 12-20-2009 at 01:00 PM.
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post #196 of 281 Old 02-23-2010
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Hope to see you in Turkey.
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post #197 of 281 Old 02-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halergur View Post
Hope to see you in Turkey.
~

I am between boats. I have sold mine and not yet bought another so I will charter this summer. I have booked a boat on Dusseldorf boat show (a brand new Dufour 425) and I was very undecided between Marmaris (Turkey) and Croatia. I have chosen Croatia because the flights to Turkey were expensive, and because to Croatia I can go by car and enjoy Provence (I love the food and the ambiance) and Italy as well as having a look at Slovenia wilderness.

But someday I will sail on Turkey (I want to) and now I know to whom I can ask for advice. . Thanks.

Regards

Paulo
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post #198 of 281 Old 02-23-2010
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I would guess you were caught in a microburst. Same thing that takes down airlines.
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post #199 of 281 Old 02-24-2010
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Smile

Hi Paulo,
My boat will be based in Marmaris. Since this is going to be my first boat, this year I will be around close neighborhood. But I am dreaming of a longer cruise which includes Croatian coast.
Happy sailing,
Halil
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post #200 of 281 Old 03-09-2010
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Just remember, what ever don't kills ya makes ya tougher-or smarter.
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