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  #1  
Old 05-29-2007
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SallyH is on a distinguished road
Report from yacht lost in the Atlantic

Caught in "Andrea". The first-hand report.

"This is the log of actions and events driven by the only-subsequently named Sub-tropical Storm Andrea, leading to the sinking of s/v Sean Seamour II and the successful rescue of its entire crew on the early morning of May 7th 2007".

Full Log

Makes interesting reading.
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Old 05-29-2007
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Thanks for the link Sally...excellent account!
One thing that strikes me is the reliance on Grib plots and lack of continuing weather updates as storm warnings were going up on the 4th. It may be that the writer simply neglected to mention this but it does seem as if they were caught unaware and relying on old forecasts or GRIBS which are notoriously innacurate and can only be considered supplemental info to actual forecasts.
Th captain and crew seem to have prepared the boat well and handled extreme conditions with excellent seamanship but it seems as though better weather sources might have kept them out of this situation.
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Old 05-29-2007
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Is it possible that despite all this invaluable human experience gathered and modern extra-sophisticated gear acquired sailors still confront such situations? Or is it just simpler to admit that sea is stronger than man? Nevertheless, I hail their courage!
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Old 05-29-2007
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Chrondi, I think it's prudent to say that one needs to admit & except both
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My weather router suggested that I stay put in Miami. I am glad that I did. I left six days later and had an uneventful trip.

Homarus
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Homarus...good choice! Who do you use for routing?
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Old 05-29-2007
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I often check the internet for recent weather info, radar loops and such, since they're often updated more recently than the radio broadcasts are, and far more accurate in many cases.
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Old 05-30-2007
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Chrondi...looks like yor thoughts are the more accurate in this case! Here's a couple of responses by the captain of the boat to my questions and others. Very interesting!
On the weather:

I was tracking the two depressions some of you have mentioned, the major one had moved well north of my navigational plan to a NNE track, neither was a threat at the time and there were no warnings for my area that were a threat, the higher winds were for coastal areas both through GRIB files and OCENS weatherfax data not seen to exceed a sustained 35kt by which time I was planning to tack an easterly course. There was no sat data available, to my knowledge the first sat data NOAA made available was at 1747 on the 7th when the storm had passed over us, it took them yet another day to aknowledge the phenomena as a tropical depression.



On the failure of the drogue:

I used a Sea Brake GP24L with swivel to 40 feet of chain re-swivel then rode, deployed about 400 feet to set deep in second wave. I deployed it around 16:00 hours then as seas built and in anticipation added 150 feet of rode. We were riding the storm very comfortably until around 23:00 hours when wave form shifted more to from the NNE, compensated with helm. The rogue wave (pretty much onfirmed now) which hit us around 0245 knocking us to starboard put an agle on the line which rubbed it against the engine air intake cowl on the starboard stern side, the added pressure of the rogue wave in combination with the mechanical pressure caused the line to snap clean just after the chaffing tape. Had it not been for the rogue wave I feel confident we would have pulled through the system which began to subside a few hours later.
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I departed Miami may1 07 to travel north stuck my nose in the center of the stream and made good time going north single handing my Irwin 40 sloop, iregistered 9- 10 knots on my GPS with the help off the stream,off cape Canaveral I heard off the low developing, 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, but kept on going now in no wind motoring in the stream iwas 250 sw of the low wich now had deepened for 36 hours that is what you do do "STAGE EXIT LEFT" even if I was in open ocean i would lay a course away from storm track ,as it was I had time to lay a course for Brunswick ga which I did on route I heard the Darien Georgia shrimp fleet being called in Iwent in the ICW and anchored the next dnight in Toms creek registering 50 knots on my anometer 6miles in land, hearing the reports of epirp's becons going off. I am67 years old sailed andd fished with my family in th north sea from 1945 -1960 I still sail and I have never lost or left a boat ,even in Hurricanes batten down means batten down secure hatches lockers loose stuff be prepared for knock downs a breaking sea in 40 knots can knock down a 50 footer dont fight it roll with it if you get caught if you dont alter course when a storm is predicted and 40 knots is a storm. then you get hurt . Ole
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btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
"...batten down means batten down...secure hatches lockers loose stuff...be prepared for knock downs...a breaking sea in 40 knots can knock down a 50 footer...dont fight it, roll with it if you get caught....if you don't alter course when a storm is predicted --and 40 knots is a storm -- then you get hurt . Ole"

IMHO, Ole has encapsulated in those few words the essence of good seamanship offshore. All those years of experience are rolled into that very wise statement.

I'd only add one thought for those sailing the East Coast of the U.S., and it needs to be writ large:

THE GULF STREAM CAN BE TRECHEROUS IN ANY MODEST, SUSTAINED WIND FROM THE NORTH QUADRANT. Be extremely cautious of venturing in or across the Gulf Stream with northerly winds over 10-15 knots. Short, steep, very nasty seas can turn an otherwise controlled situation into a life-threatening one quickly if the winds increase just a little more. When they reach 25-35 knots, you don't want to be there in anything less than a cruise ship. Beyond 40 knots or so, even large cruise ships can get into difficulty, like the 1,000-foot-long "Norwegian Dawn" which in April 2005 took a 70-foot rogue wave on its UPPER decks, flooding over 60 cabins.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 05-30-2007 at 10:35 AM.
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