Big Freakin' Sails - Page 144 - SailNet Community
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post #1431 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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No pictures = didn't happen. So post 'em.
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post #1432 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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Were ya sailing or just aboard? I got hit by one like that while SH the V-21. Laid her flat over until I eased way out and she stood up and rocketed off. While it was wild, it wasn't near as scary as having lightning flashing and hitting trees and crap all around every few seconds.

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The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #1433 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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Smackdaddy, sounds like us easties are going to have a little bit of a rough weekend. I think I'll watch this one from land.
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post #1434 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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Looks like we might get a little wind on Long Island Sound finally. Going sailing if I can get Saturday off.

Dennis
O'Day 302

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Be careful or i will do what the voices tell me to do
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Hey stuffit "Get a life"
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post #1435 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009 Thread Starter
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Read 'em and weep boys...57 mph (that's 50 knots to you and me)!



So there I was...working on the plumbing for the head when I heard the low rumble of thunder. I went up into the cockpit and came face-to-face with a huge freakin' thunderhead coming right at me. It was laced with furious lightning and trailing a dark tail of heavy rain. I knew I didn't have much time.

Mentally running through all the advice I've gotten on Sailnet, I knew exactly what do. I started down my checklist...

1. Unplug the shore power - even though I knew it would be really hot and stinky without the fan and my Barry Manilow record wouldn't play anymore.
2. Batten down the forward hatch so the stereo wouldn't get wet.
3. Put my beer in a drink holder. Put my other beer in the other drink holder.
4. Get the hatchboards ready.
5. Then sit in the cockpit....and wait.

After what seemed like an eternity it hit with a vengeance! Furious winds lashing the yacht! Rain blowing horizontally! 3'-4' confused chop out in the lake with the tops being blown right off! Howling in the rigging like I've never heard! Even with all the sails down, she was still heeling crazily!

After about twenty minues, the wind clocked around 180 degrees - and hit us again. Rain was now lashing into the cabin! I put my beer down again and dropped in the hatch boards, then got back into the fetal position on the cabin sole. You could barely hear my screams of "mama!" above the roar of 50 knots.

It was then I knew I was in the heart of hell.

I also discovered that my yacht leaks like a freakin' sieve...from every conceivable place. It was comical. There's no way I'd ever take the Smacktanic out in real water. That would be suicide. But, back to the story...

The wind, rain, and lightning slowly started to abate. I knew that she'd stood up to some of the worst weather that lake could throw at her. That proud old C27!

When it was finally over, I rose from the sole, changed my pants, and slowly removed the hatch boards. Squinting, I stepped up into the soaked cockpit to survey the damage. The sun was shining again as the mass of rumbling grey moved to the south.

I inspected the docklines - and found no significant chafing. The bbq cover was a little crooked - and the cabin cover was horribly mussed. The bimini, however, was solid as a rock! I knew I'd been lucky to survive it.

Truly - it was one Big Freakin' Slipper.

Now - as for the lessons learned. After being on a sailing yacht in 50 knots of wind, I think I now understand what it takes to weather a huge storm at sea. And I've got one question for those of you that have been there like me...

ARE YOU GUYS FREAKING INSANE??????? There's NO WAY I'd sail in that crap!!!

Let this be a lesson to all you greenhorn "slippers". Prepare early. Pray hard. Keep and extra pair of pants handy. And remember to tighten your Magma cover.

++++++++++++++

Here's the S/V Smacktanic after "The Storm of '09". You'll notice the cabin cover is all bunchy - and the sail covers are REALLY wet. But don't fret - the Manilow CD was just fine. Not even a scratch.



I'm happy to now take questions...


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S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 08-27-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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post #1436 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denby View Post
Looks like we might get a little wind on Long Island Sound finally. Going sailing if I can get Saturday off.
Have fun Den. And bring back a REAL BFS!!


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post #1437 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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Funny how far a boat will heel under bare poles, even at the dock. At lot of windage up there. The rigging does sing though, especially on an old boat like mine with all of the extra strings. Ya know you're in the crapper when the stereo gets drowned out by the rig's howling and green water's running down along the coaming.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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It was actually pretty crazy. Dude, I got nothin' but respect for you and the other guys that have actually sailed in that stuff. Holy crap! That's nasty!


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post #1439 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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ARE YOU GUYS FREAKING INSANE??????? There's NO WAY I'd sail in that crap!!!

Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?

If prepared, and knowing what you are doing, keeping a cool head and don't panic, it's just another day sailing. Just in different conditions. Sailed for 10 hours in steady winds of 25kt and many gust to 50kt. Kept our wits about us and had fun, you've seen the pic of my friend at the helm, that was the storm.

Dennis
O'Day 302

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post #1440 of 3046 Old 08-27-2009
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Smacky,
Did you deploy the Jordan Series Drogue sea anchor? It could have helped if you were not at the dock. Just kidding.
It is really pretty amazing how bad the 'local' weather can get. We had something blow through here about a week ago that knocked down about 1000 trees in Central Park in NYC. I watched the lightning show from the comfort of land on LI where the cooler kept the beers cold. A fellow named Chris with a screen name of Labbatt sailed through it on his way into NY Harbor on his Passport 40' coming from Cape May, NJ or so. I am just too lazy to find the link but he posted the story on his sail blog. Well worth the read as he had similar wind readings as you did but he was on the Atlantic with his family heading into NY and lived to tell the tale.
My boat partner is always about wanting to get a new main sail and I have always wanted to get a storm jib and tri-sail for our boat. One of us loves to race and the other just wants to cruise. I'll give you one guess which is which.
If there was hail during your storm it would have been just that much more riveting!

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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