Newbie to the forum here, and I didn't read all 130 some pages so I hope this isn't old stuff.
Some of my best sailing times were on the Hobie 16 I had back in the day. One day, sailing alone, I was headed to the beach to get out of a storm, the surf was huge for the Gulf. I surfed off the face of one wave and dove right into the back of the next one just as it was breaking. Both hulls and the tramp were under foam, just a mast and sail sticking out. It was just a fantastic sight.
I sailed that little Hobie from Clearwater down to the shipping channel and up to the St. Pete Yacht Club. Left at 8PM and arrived at 8AM, we sailed all night. Coolest part of the whole night was dawn, beating into a steady breeze a beautiful sunrise and flying the hull non-stop for several hours in Tampa Bay.
I also used to crew on a local race boat, an Irwin 40. We were running in a heavy swell and flying a spinaker. The pole was set just a little too low and the boat was caught on the quater by two perfectly timed waves and we took a huge roll, caught the spinaker pole in the water and that 40 footer just about had the mast horrizonal. Folded the pole up like an old straw.
I was always designated the heavy weather helmsman. This, 'cause I would always ride my motorcycle to the Yacht Clubs and would store my helmet and riding gear on the boat. When the weather got rough I'd just put on my full-coverage helmet, waterproof riding jacket and sit in the cockpit enjoying sailing in the storm. I keep a full coverage motorcycle helmet on my boat now and suggest it's a good idea for anyone. The obvious reason is head protection from the boom or a fall but you'd be surprised how well you can see in a driving rain with a good helmet on.
A sweet BFS stolen from tommays. He and wuff were in the same stink as these guys.
Originally Posted by tommays
We have to thank Capt Joe for making the call i am looking forward to the party because one of are boats stayed in and finished along with 9 others
My friend bobs report
I hope everyone on 'Zzzoom' & "Puck III" is OK.
I believe this years race was even more memorable than last years ALIR with the three water spouts hitting us at the finish.
We Finished in Just under 48 hours. Crossing the line 4th (behind the two Navy boats and Tenacity). We took 2nd in our division. Unknown to us we where battling for 2nd place since rounding Montauk.
Heading up Little Gull island Cut, cost us (In hind sight We should of went for Plum Gut).
The third start (as well as your start I believe) was a fiasco............
Between the 10'+ swells and 37+ MPH winds in the dark on Thursday night, and A through-hull hose failure which had us taking on water(luckily we had a wooden plug to slow the leak) - kept us very busy. Plus A couple of folks ralphing set the tone. Add the Severe Electrical thunderstorms & torrential rain (w/ 40+ MPH wind) & limited visibility on Friday night had us with our hands full controlling the boat in the center of the L.I. sound. Only to be followed by Doldrums beginning at 2:30AM Friday that lasted until mid-day Saturday. Then super light and patchy wind conditions today. We finishing up in a rain burst after crossing the finish line (With the breakwater almost under water at high tide).
Needless to say we are exhausted.
With only my tweaked shoulder, a small seam opening in our Code Zero sail and two exploding CAM blocks we came out of it pretty unscathed.
As far as we know of the 60 boats starting, 51 dropped out. Only 7 boats had finished (w/ 2 still racing) by the time we we left Sea Cliff YC this afternoon.
Okay - I've come across 3 tantalizing tales that most likely qualify for the BFS Hall of Fame. Here are the teasers these guys threw out.
I say we get 'em up to tell us some lies!!!!!
DENBY (I just KNEW he had it in him)
"The 14ft following seas and winds gusting to 50 was interesting, and yes we were under sail. And on several occasions we have snorkeled the boat."
"Boats and Rocks, Don't go together!! Got the boat back and after 18 Months of hard graft re-built her, now last survey said she is in better condition than she has been for many years….."
"I was 19 and probably was even more deficient in the judgment department than anyone here. I was just a whole helluva lot luckier. Actually there were four of us which probably exponentially decreased whatever sense we might have had. We set out into the Atlantic without once paying attention to the weather reports and got hit by one of the worst spring storms ever to hit the east cost. We survived -- because we had a very strong boat and were incredibly lucky. It could easily have been otherwise."
Just saw your post (was out sailing) so here's the story ( as well as I remember it) BTW I drink Barbancourt Reserve aged 15-years
I’ll never forget the sound of the wind, shrieking through the rigging like some demented monster and it went on and on and on…
This happened a long time ago -- beginning of March 1962 to be exact – so some of the details are a bit hazy, but as I remember our BFS:
There were four us, all in college. We co-owned a 37-ft steel ketch named Maelstrom. She was a heavy boat, full keel, very strongly built. We kept her on the Connecticut shore and sailed a lot in Buzzards Bay .
Anyway that year we had all finished our finals early and the next semester didn't start until April so we decided to go sailing. The weather, as I remember it, was beautiful, rather warm for that time of year. I'm not sure who got the idea first but we decided to sail to Bermuda.
We'd done it before-- twice -- but in mid-June. In fact one the greatest feelings of accomplishment I've ever felt was sighting Hamilton light after navigating us there using sextant and reduction tables (that's another story).
We set the boat up, made sure all our systems were ready, our safety gear was inspected and we set off. What we didn't do was get a long or even medium range weather forecast. If we had, we might have seen what was coming and stayed close to home. Never do that again.
Anyway off we went. The first couple of days were really good, decent wind, nice weather until the second night when the wind and seas start to build by the third day we were carrying 30-knot winds with gusts up to maybe 50. The wind was coming off our port beam and we were riding under a storm staysail and mizzen. Taking down the jib and the main were interesting . It took three of us to do it.
This being the days before GPS and Loran we couldn't navigate accurately enough to try to run for the Chesapeake. It would have been all dead reckoning and if we missed it would have been all over. The water was cold even through the foul weather gear and layers of sweaters and you could do about 2 hours at the helm before the cold got to you.
We had to steer her to take the seas on the quarter and keep her from being rolled. I read later that some of the seas were over 40-feet high but they looked a lot higher than that from were I was.
It's hard to describe just what it was like being pounded like that hour after hour. The worst thing was the noise. The shrieking of the wind in the rigging was enough to drive your crazy. I'm sure the winds got to hurricane force. Even worse, the storm parked itself off the Maryland coast for two days so the pounding went on and on and on.
We lost the storm jib during fourth or firth day, blown to shreds but even without sails we were going too fast and we were afraid of pitchpoling as we ran before the wind and waves. To slow ourselves down we towed a heaving hawser attached the bitts at our stern in a big loop. It slowed us to about 3 knots and the loop actually help prevent waves from breaking over the stern.
We had read all the heavy weather sailing books, in fact we had some of them aboard and I remember us pouring over them for hints. The best thing was not any instruction or hints we got from them but the simple fact that all of these people had survived some in boats smaller and not as strongly made as ours and some in worse conditions.
What we did -- at this distance in time its mostly a blur, remembered feelings and impressions rather than fact. Eventually the storm blew itself out. When I was able to take a sun sight I found we had been blow east of the stream and north of Bermuda. We headed back and finally made it to Hamilton. Altogether it took us about 11 days. We had the boat hauled and checked by a surveyor and aside from the sails everything was in good shape. We replaced the storm jib and had the mizzen restitched and by that time was had to head back. This time we got a detailed weather forecast.
In retrospect we owed our lives to the strength of our boat and to our little one-burner SeaSwing stove. Maelstrom took all the pounding the storm handed out and come through with no more damage than abraded paint. And without the hot meals that gimbaled stove made it possible to prepare we would not have had the strength to manage the boat.
Finally I gotta say that after that sail I became a lot more cautious – I figure I owe the ocean one and I want to put off payment as long as possible.
That was our BFS, for me after that experience nothing else qualifies at least nothing I'm likel;y to live through. We did go to Bermuda twice more on Maelstrom before we sold her and next year I'm going there in Enchantress
Wow blood! That's a hall of famer for sure. It's great that you point out the importance of the stove. Makes perfect sense and I've never heard that before. Also - after seeing 40 footers in that Deadliest Catch imagery a few pages ago - I am seriously amazed.
Great BFS dude. Thanks!
Barbencourt is definitely a fine spirit. I'll try the 15. I'd also pass on a recommendation from Chall...Angostura 1824. Only a 12 year old - but seriously fine stuff.
Now where is mallo? Dude, you owe us a BFS!
Finally, how about some crazy Norwegian newbs pulling off a serious BFS on a 50 year old boat? These guys are awesome: