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  #11  
Old 05-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olepedersen@yahoo.com
I dont have weather fax ,internet single side band,just am/fm radio and vhf but with a pencil recording positions and barometric pressures of the low,I alteredcourse to the west side off the stream ,i monitored the shimp fleet radio conversations, spoke to a cruise ship
Ahh! Good old fashioned seamanship. This is a relief to see in these days of over loading our boats with every conceivable piece of communications equipment, every bell-and-whistle, and then not being able to interpret, let alone prudently act on the information.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2007
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To hell with electronics (except for a EPIRB if it all goes pear-shaped). The laptop is the first thing to get packed away in any kind of sea. The VHF, the compass, the barometer and a paper chart to plot the best vector AWAY from the rough stuff is the way to go. Ideally motorsailing at hull speed...
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2007
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*
From the discussion thread re the sinking of sv Sean Seamour - info on storm "Andrea"

"Following our request to the NHC for archived data relative to the period 3rd May<<>>8th May
The NHC has replied with the following information :-

NHC maintains advisory archives for official storm advisories here:

Subtropical Storm ANDREA Advisory Archive

Prior to that date, you might find these links useful:

Index of /archive/text/TWDAT
Index of /archive/text/HSFAT2
Index of /archive/text/OFFNT3
Index of /archive/text/MIMATS

I hope this helps."
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2007
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Good thread and one I would hope that is archived and read by all. Of interest, my folks boat was used to pull the 67' Illusion off Fisher beach and tow her to Southport NC were I was raised. I have a picture of her entering the ole yacht basin somewhere. I used to be simply amazed when I was younger at the attitude of charter people who would gripe about cancelled trips and how one could never count on a good weather window. My reply was to the effect that our area is called the "Cape Fear region for a good reason and that the multitude of wrecks that line our shores and waters are there not because of year around serendipity. These vessels were captained and crewed for the most part, by competent sailors and professionals. The "Mount Durffy" (sp) might be an exception ;-) They thought they were coming into Wilmington Del. NOT Wilmington NC. Makes a nice dive on the Frying pan shoals these days though
One can only do so much and then it is up to providence. This year was not the norm for the amount of vessels taken by storm; yes it is true that one or two may be lost from Cape Hatteras to Cape Fear each year.
One thing that will or should drive out each of these modern day tragedies is a good record of " conditions, vessel & crew condition prior to, type of actions used and what worked and didn't " record.
I for one, would not have used a parachute off the stern or stern quarter for the exact reason that seems to have effected one of the posters. I would have used a drogue system. True, difference may have been I would have not survived. A rogue wave is something that I have never had to deal with and one thing that took the life of a good mate and his crew of a 60 ft commercial boat years ago. No warning just slam..one survived to tell the story after floating in a fish box over night.
Good Seaman ship and modern stuff has certainly made a difference. But still each year tells story that should be reconned with.
Don



Last edited by dmchose; 05-31-2007 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 05-31-2007
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Excellent discussion. Thanks for those links SallH ...they may be useful in the future but do NOT cover the area off the NC coast. If you have anything for archives on that area that you could post that would be great.
The problem with the tropical storm center is that they are focused on tropical events and "Andrea" only was classified as tropical AFTER all the damage had been done!
Nevertheless...going through your links...it is clear that anyone listening to only the high seas forcast or the tropical atlantic could have been badly mislead!! No warning whatsoever!
A good lesson is to always listen/watch the forcasts one zone on either side of you to insure nothing is going on there you might be interested in...particularly when you are near the edge of your own zone.
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Old 05-31-2007
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Sally... Thanks for those links...they're hard to find, and one NOAA site says they don't have archived info on line!

Cam...

Actually, the forecasts DO cover the area in question, and they DID provide warnings beginning on Sunday morning May 6. See, e.g.,
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/text...0705061142.txt

In an 8PM forecast that Sunday, they talked about the "Big Story", and several forecasts and discussions mentioned a deep low which was to further deepen and bring gale force northerly winds along the coast.

Another discussion mentions 55 knot winds recorded by a sea buoy off Hatteras.

However, you're quite correct that someone would have to have been monitoring these discussions and forecasts VERY closely, reading between the lines, etc. to receive much warning before the actual storm conditions developed.

With these forecasts and discussions, it's easy to see how one might be caught out there unawares.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 05-31-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2007
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TS (might as well say Hurricane) Gabrielle. September, 2001.

We were tied up on the Florida side of Ft. Myers Beach. I got tired of watching the September 11th stuff and started watching a TS in the gulf heading for Texas. I much prefer the NOAA write-ups over the junk the Weather Channel puts out (who were still calling the storm to hit Texas). There seemed to be a concern that the High building up North might swing the storm east. THat was all.

We decided to cancel our passage, just out of precaution. Nothing more was said about it.

The next morning I watched it closer on the radar. It seemed to be tracking north, then northeast. I realized the High was building and that the storm would likely start heading toward Fl. By that evening, it had made a 180 and was now on a B-Line for us.

I stopped by West Marine to double/triple our fenders, lines etc. I WAS THE ONLY ONE THERE!!!! THE BLOODY STORE WAS EMPTY!!!!! "Huh? What Hurricane?" was the response.

That night I doubled up all of the lines, fenders, started taking down windage. The next afternoon, it was chaos. Everyone was frantically trying to get supplies (you can forget it 24 hours before a hurricane... let me tell you) and find a place to tie up their boat. I wanted to move my boat inside where I could have pilings around me, but the owner refused as he was using it for a staging ground for other boats to get them off the water and secured (he ran a rental). He told me the storm would not be in until late the next day and he would move me the next morning. In fact the storm was forecast to start hitting us around 1-2 pm that next day... but I was watching the High build and I thought we had a good chance for it to accelerate.

Accelerate it did.

It struck us at about 1130 pm THAT night. There is no moving or doing anything at that point. You just weather it out. We never planned on staying on the boat, but got stuck there because they shut the bridges down at 35 sustained. You are stuck on the island. Then the surge started to come in and the entire island was under water. At that point, best just stay on your boat and hope you prepped everything and hope it holds.

The old adage that there is nothing you can do once a storm strikes is true and not true. THere are some things you can do. You can raise your lines (or lower, depending on the what the water does). You can do things to guard for chafe. You can change fenders (assuming you are tied up to a dock). However, once it starts really gusting, you can't even stand up... especailly on a rocking boat. And, worst of all, you are stuck there. You are NOT getting off.

The worst part was about 2 or 3 in the morning when the alerts were going off on the VHF. Tornadoes were tracking and forming around us (yes, for those who do not know, you get a LOT of tornadoes in hurricanes). One had formed just off the coast beside us and was tracked to move very close to us. That was the worst part of the whole storm... not knowing if we were going to get hit by a tornado on top of everything else. Turns out it stayed just offshore and moved across the cape. Lucky us.

Why am I recounting all of this? Well, for lessons learned:

1) DO NOT TRUST THE WEATHER FORECASTS FOR HURRICANES, TS, OR TD'S. I lived through Gabrielle, Charlie, Jean, Francis, and got scratched by Ivan. I am not sure they called any of them right... especailly Charlie and Gabrielle. Nothing against forecasters and forecasts, but they are rarely very accurate. That inaccuracy, indirectly, took over 25 lives in Charlie and put me and my family on the boat through Gabrielle. Learn to read forecasts and learn how they work. CHart storms and watch how highs and low track and what they do. I am not expert... but funny how a few hurricanes will give you a "crash course" in meteorology.

2) IT IS JUST A BOAT. There is nothing worse than riding out a hurricane on a boat that I have experienced. Nothing. It is not worth it. Get off, and get off early.

3) HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE BEFOREHAND FOR WHERE YOU WILL WEATHER A HURRICANE. Sounds simple, and I guess that figures into the 'duh' factor. Everyone says they SHOULD do it... but hardly anyone DOES do it. The only thing worse than weathering a hurricane out in your house or boat is weathering it in your car in the middle of the worst traffic jam immagineable.

4) CHECK THE LOCAL CODES FOR BRIDGES. They shut down most of Fl at 35 sustained. By then, you are staying whether you want to or not.

5) HAVE ALL OF YOUR FOUL WEATHER SUPPLIES ON HAND, EARLY. What once was scoffed at by S Floridians is now common practice. I bet the majority of houses have extra flashlights, batteries, canned goods, bottled water, gas/diesel, LOTS OF BUG SPRAY, and typically a generator and cooking source. The boat should have all of that plus the lines, etc to make the boat safe. Here is a little word of warning when the big ones come: you cannot get out money or use credit cards (no electricity), you cannot get gas or diesel (no elec), you cannot get any groceries (and could not buy them if you could), no refrigeration, cooking, sewer (yes, no sewer), water, and a thousand other things you take for granted. Imagine being dropped into a swamp in LA... that is what it is like for weeks. Don't count on the government to save your butt - that is a joke (and I do not think it is their responsibility... but that is another story). You better have a lot of cash and a lot of supplies or you will be miserable or dead.

After Charlie, I remember waiting in line at the grocery store (several days later) for them to open. They finally got a generator and had limited power. There still was no gas and they could not take credit cards. There was a young girl holding a crying baby. SHe was maybe 20-21, crying in front of the doors, saying, "I ran out of Infamil and my baby hasn't eaten in a day or two... does anyone have any forumla, please..." Broke my heart man, I actually teared up. Don't get caught like that. Especailly in a boat, don't get caught like that and listen to a little bit of reason that I have put above. It might just save your life and that of your families.

You cannot imagine the power of those storms and the damage they will do until you have been through one first hand.
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2007
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Good cautionary tale, CD. Thanks. (and people ask why I want a Honda EU2000...it's only in part for the boat!)
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  #19  
Old 06-01-2007
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Thanks Val.

- CD
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Old 06-01-2007
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Bill..yah...you're right...I was actually referring to the near coastal and out to 60 miles forcasts which if my memory is correct were predicting really bad conditions on Friday or Saturday for Sunday/Monday rather than only starting to predict deteriorating conditions on Sunday.... which you correctly point out was too late for evasive action.
It is certainly easy to understand how these yachts were caught out.
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