Originally Posted by smackdaddy
Cool. So now we're in agreement that the SDR had a schedule. It seemed earlier you were saying they didn't:
Sorry, but we're not in agreement... Departures of the SDR fleet were stretched out over more than a week, boats like CELEBRATION and DISTANT STAR left around the time of the 1500, and some boats still
haven't left... Those sailors in the SDR rally are on no more of a 'schedule' than most anyone else making that trip on their own, independent of any affiliation with a rally...
Last time I made the trip was 2 years ago, on a Valiant 42 leaving from CT... The owner's insurance specified the boat could not be south of the Chesapeake prior to November 1... I ran the boat myself down to Norfolk, where I was going to meet my brother and nephew coming in from California...
At some point, you have to decide on a target date for departure... Flights need to be booked, and planes boarded... I had arrived in Hampton on the Monday the 1500 was slated to leave, but at the last minute they postponed, the first of a series of postponements thru the week... Whenever that happens, crews begin to drop out, as the "schedule" many are adhering to is to attempt to complete the passage in time for crews to return home by Thanksgiving... That was actually one of the reasons Bill Knowles dropped out of the 1500 3 years ago, he thought their planned departures at the end of the first week of November put too much pressure on those time constraints for so many of the crews...
So, I just don't see how the 'schedule' of the SDR rallyists differs in any significant way from the same considerations of any other sailors making this passage, or how being a participant in the SDR by definition adds "risk" to the timing of their departure, as you have argued... You should read Don Street's advice on this passage, it will give you a fuller appreciation of how narrow the recommended window for this trip really is, and how historically, this trip really needs to be attempted somewhere near the very beginning of November...
Originally Posted by smackdaddy
Originally Posted by JonEisberg
So, then - can you - or anyone else - provide examples of how a pre-rally inspection/certification to ISAF standards would have avoided or prevented whatever issues that arose with the particular boats/crews last week?
Until more facts are in I don't suppose we can prove a negative.
You seem to like to argue in circles - saying things that it's really hard for me to believe you actually believe. But whatever. We'll see how things shake out.
Yeah, whatever... :-)
Look, for as long as I've been posting on sailing forums, I've been pretty critical of these Caribbean Cattle Drives... They're certainly not my style, I can't imagine ever paying
to participate in a rally to the Islands...
Based on what I observed hanging around with the 1500 fleet for a few days pre-departure, the vaunted "safety inspections" appeared to be somewhat cursory, and rather random... The 'flagship' of the fleet - the Hylas 70 ARCHANGEL - was apparently initially failed due to some issue with their lifejackets, pissant stuff...
Bigger picture stuff, however, seemed to get overlooked... I was astounded by the amount of crap many boats were carrying on deck, for example, and one would think a meaningful 'safety inspection' would have attempted to minimize that sort of thing. I've posted this pic before, but to me it's emblematic of how little a clue some skippers have about how to properly prepare their boats for what they might encounter on such a passage... If I were conducting a Safety Inspection of boats in preparation for a November passage to the islands, no way would this sort of stupidity pass muster:
Bottom line is, I simply think the Salty Dawg Rally has been unfairly targeted in the aftermath of these events... Chris Parker is as good as anyone in the business, even the best can miss now and then... As Dave has explained earlier in the thread, the weather has been pretty unusual lately, these fronts that have come thru lately have packed a serious punch... I'm in Wrightsville Beach at the moment, we just made it in here this evening before it started honking, and you couldn't pay me enough to be off Cape Fear tonight...