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post #1831 of 3091 Old 05-04-2010
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While this isn't a BFS, by my definition or that of many others, it was my first big wind day.

I've only had the boat for 6 months or so at this point. I had never sailed (but had boated a reasonable amount) prior to buying the boat. My plans were liveaboard while the Navy moves me up and down the coast. Learning to sail was trial by fire from the beginning.

This Sunday I went out single handing with the winds blowing 20kts. I have only been single handing thus far only a few times. I have been making day sails with others once a week for the past few months (on which I've always been the most experienced). I'm learning fast to prepare myself for a relocation from Charleston to Norfolk-area within a year.

I've been looking to put myself into gradually more challenging conditions as they arise to help prepare myself.

The winds were blowing an avg 20kts when I backed out of the slip. To help myself out, I swapped the main halyard from the winch at the mast base to the rope clutch and self-tailer on the cockpit top ... just in case. It was already 11am on a Sunday and not a soul was in the Charleston Harbor (save for a few power boaters). I turned into the wind, hoisting the main and unfurling the 130% (#2), and turned off into a close reach.

I sailed around the inner harbor on all points of sail ... followed a local tour boat into shallower waters (trusting his local knowledge and generally following his wake) and took that opportunity to "claw off a leeward shore".

On a few occassions I put myself through a controlled gybe. I also took the opportunity on some downwind runs to wear ship and tack to accomplish the gybe.

With 20 knots average, I saw frequent gusts to 25 knots and the occassional to 28. I kept full sail up and was very impressed with the ability of this boat (C&C 32) to dig in and drive.

What makes this a "BFS" of sorts for me is I, for the first time, had the rail down to the water with a decent chop (3-4 feet) washing over the rail at times. At no time did the boat feel unstable, overpowered, or unsafe. The skill I need to further develop is sail balance (very important with the large jib sail plan on the boat). It can develop reasonable helm in either direction when improperly balanced but responds very well to balancing via the cabin top traveller. I did accomplish a very stable close haul. The boat kept itself dead on 30 degrees with the rudder centered and free to turn. Running up or falling off the wind to maintain the point of sail wasn't even noticeable on the wind vane and she pulled a cool 6.5kts water speed while doing it.

In short, I had a blast and I'm looking forward to the next stiff breeze with a chop and can't wait to get her out past the jetty and into a decent swell.

1981 C&C 32
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post #1832 of 3091 Old 05-04-2010 Thread Starter
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Dom Mee didn't weather three severe storms... he got hit by the remnants of three HURRICANES... in a toy pod that wasn't designed to handle hurricane conditions. Murka was poorly thought out... as was his attempt to cross the Atlantic during hurricane season.

I'd point out that the conditions Dom Mee describes in his video don't mesh with what appears in the video itself... it's been deconstructed and analyzed fairly heavily that he was describing conditions that just didn't happen.
Dog - who did the deconstruction and analysis, and where is it available? I'd be interested to read that.

As for the conditions, as we all know, those are notoriously hard to determine from video - especially video when it is at water level. I will say I was struck by how "peaceful" it seemed in the boat when he was doing the commentary in the cabin. It actually made me dubious about how bad it really was outside while I was watching.

But there were two moments in the video that made me more of a believer that it was seriously bad. First, the keel footage. Aside from the obvious fact that the boat was being rolled (he's sitting on the turtled hull holding on to the keel) right after he says "nightmare", you can hear the wave coming in just before the camera goes under. Definitely a breaking wave - and obviously big enough to roll the boat - again.

Then toward the end, when he's doing another cabin commentary (which is now half full of water), he puts the camera up out of the companion way and shows the sea. It definitely looks big and angry - even though it look relatively calm in the cabin. F10? I'd give it to him. Though I don't see 18m seas (at least they don't "seem" that big), the wind definitely looks mean.

So, regardless of whether "Little Murka" was a poorly designed "toy" or not, and regardless of the timing of the voyage, I think the video has huge value for us sailors:

1. Yet again, even a "toy" boat withstood far more than the sailor. Staying with the boat is critical.
2. The boat offers amazing shelter from crazy conditions. I don't know if that was due to the drogue or what, but it's definitely where you want to be...even if it's half filled with water. You don't want to be out in what he shows with that shot through the companionway.
3. After punching his EPIRB, 30 hours passed before help arrived...from the CCG. 6 hours! That's an eternity. From his website...

Quote:
Attempted the first ever kite boat sail across the North Atlantic he endured hurricanes Irene, Katrina, Maria, Ophelia and finally Rita. On losing his sea anchor he was capsized 8 times before the vessel remained inverted. In mountainous seas and winds in excess of 70 knots waiting 30 hours for a rescue vessel in the perfect storm, he remarkably survived.
And more to the story...

KiteQuest ~ Dom Mee



And more...

Quote:
The duty watch keeper at Halifax informed Adrian that the adverse sea state and storm conditions were less than perfect for a rescue attempt.

“Dom is in the worst possible place he could be in the North Atlantic; it could take some time to get to him. He is in a massive storm with 50-60 knot winds and experiencing mountainous swell… however we will do our best”.

It took some time for ‘Rescue 313’ a Hercules aircraft to locate "Little Murka", however there was no sign of Dom. After circling for some time mindful of the adverse conditions; unable to get closer than 50 feet without risk to Dom and his boat, Dom emerged from his cabin.
Great video, eh?


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Last edited by smackdaddy; 05-04-2010 at 10:29 PM.
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Originally Posted by scraph View Post
While this isn't a BFS, by my definition or that of many others, it was my first big wind day.

I've only had the boat for 6 months or so at this point. I had never sailed (but had boated a reasonable amount) prior to buying the boat. My plans were liveaboard while the Navy moves me up and down the coast. Learning to sail was trial by fire from the beginning.

This Sunday I went out single handing with the winds blowing 20kts. I have only been single handing thus far only a few times. I have been making day sails with others once a week for the past few months (on which I've always been the most experienced). I'm learning fast to prepare myself for a relocation from Charleston to Norfolk-area within a year.

I've been looking to put myself into gradually more challenging conditions as they arise to help prepare myself.

The winds were blowing an avg 20kts when I backed out of the slip. To help myself out, I swapped the main halyard from the winch at the mast base to the rope clutch and self-tailer on the cockpit top ... just in case. It was already 11am on a Sunday and not a soul was in the Charleston Harbor (save for a few power boaters). I turned into the wind, hoisting the main and unfurling the 130% (#2), and turned off into a close reach.

I sailed around the inner harbor on all points of sail ... followed a local tour boat into shallower waters (trusting his local knowledge and generally following his wake) and took that opportunity to "claw off a leeward shore".

On a few occassions I put myself through a controlled gybe. I also took the opportunity on some downwind runs to wear ship and tack to accomplish the gybe.

With 20 knots average, I saw frequent gusts to 25 knots and the occassional to 28. I kept full sail up and was very impressed with the ability of this boat (C&C 32) to dig in and drive.

What makes this a "BFS" of sorts for me is I, for the first time, had the rail down to the water with a decent chop (3-4 feet) washing over the rail at times. At no time did the boat feel unstable, overpowered, or unsafe. The skill I need to further develop is sail balance (very important with the large jib sail plan on the boat). It can develop reasonable helm in either direction when improperly balanced but responds very well to balancing via the cabin top traveller. I did accomplish a very stable close haul. The boat kept itself dead on 30 degrees with the rudder centered and free to turn. Running up or falling off the wind to maintain the point of sail wasn't even noticeable on the wind vane and she pulled a cool 6.5kts water speed while doing it.

In short, I had a blast and I'm looking forward to the next stiff breeze with a chop and can't wait to get her out past the jetty and into a decent swell.
Scraph, dude, THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT BFS IS ALL ABOUT!

Seriously, it's about gradually working up to more and more difficult sailing. It's about pushing your limits to gain the skill set to deal with bigger conditions. And it's about having a blast doing it.

That's freakin' sailing!

Definitely a BFS! Congrats dude.


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Scraph - great blog by the way. I admire your commitment (and your wife's) to living simple and sailing big.

PM me your mailing address and I'll send you a BFS sticker.


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post #1835 of 3091 Old 05-06-2010
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I guess by definition your first time sailing would be your Big(est) Freakin' Sail. I'm new to the sport, and I have a delusion of living aboard starting this summer, which is actually on track. To see if I actually wanted to live aboard, I decided to go down to St Thomas over the winter and spend 8 days on an Island Packet 440 taking sailing classes. It was my first time ever on a sailboat and my first time on the ocean (previously I had only experienced small motorboats on lakes). It was probably the most fun thing I have ever done, and just like I imagined. The beautiful views of the water, the near-silent gliding along with just the wind pushing you, visiting places most people never get to go.

My "BFS" was the second to last day of the class. We set out early and the winds slowly built until it was 23kn steady apparent, and we were on a broad reach at about 7.5kn, so I estimate the winds were upwards of 26kn true. We had gentle 6' swells. It was a blast steering up and down the waves. We were having so much fun we just kept sailing out to sea, everyone in the class taking turns at the helm. We were about 20nm out before the captain decided to have us turn around and get back to the pre-planned course. That was the day when my desire to live aboard a boat went from "want" to "need".

I find it interesting that these conditions (particularly the wind speed) are often BFS material, but in my case they were thrilling (to a noob), but at no time did I ever feel like it was too much. We did effectively have 1 reef in the main, since we had been using a main that was one size too small while the normal one was being repaired.
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rm - dude, you nailed it too. Back in the early days of this thread - lots of people were missing the whole point (and some still do).

It's about the love of sailing and excitement you feel when you're handling bigger conditions - and having a blast doing it...enough to keep that heading for as long as the sea will allow. Like you say, that is the most incredible feeling ever. It's the story you tell over beers for the rest of your life - or until the better sail comes along. That's BFS.

There are lots of people that get that. And there are few that don't. And that's cool, marinas are hurting. They need more people to just sit in their slips and buy ice.


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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
[B]I'd point out that the conditions Dom Mee describes in his video don't mesh with what appears in the video itself... it's been deconstructed and analyzed fairly heavily that he was describing conditions that just didn't happen.
Dog - where is that analysis? I'm still curious to see where you got this info.


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post #1838 of 3091 Old 05-11-2010
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Dog - where is that analysis? I'm still curious to see where you got this info.
Not dogpiling but, yeah, me too.

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Okay, over a week with no evidence? I call BS on Dog calling BS on Mee.

Speaking of multis falling down...check out this story. Freakin' insane.

Yachtsman Richard Charrington tells of his struggle to survive - Times Online

A French hospital dungeon? Holy crap!


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post #1840 of 3091 Old 05-17-2010
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I wanna sticker

Smackdaddy,
I read the last of this thread and am thinkin:

You sure seem to know some snit for a "new guy"
I get the BSF thing (BFS? Whatever). BSF Global Regatta? Joke? Game?

Here's one:
Once upon a time...
There was a guy that thought he was a pretty good sailor. He learned to sail, race, and maintain boats as a kid. Midlife, He got a 40' mono and started single handing, updating, and tinkering with the great new toy. He knew enough to start slow and take it from there (?). Well, a couple months into it, sailing on a reach @ 8 kts, 25 kts wind, 3-4' seas, the boat beautifully balanced, etc. Smilin big time. All seemed awesome. A glance below brought shock. Floor boards floating and water 2" above the cabin deck. Panic was the first reaction. Alone, biggest stuff seen with this boat, taking on water. The AP can't handle these conditions. Windvane is not a quick option. Bilge pump ain't going. So, second thought is NO PANIC - Figure this out, act, think, don't make things worse, avoid a "chain of errors", act logically. These ideas seem to work in most "emergency" situations.
So... 1. Get the boat to balance, heave to, anything in order to go below and fix snit. Didn't take long because he'd already figured that out. Lash the wheel, ballance the sails.

2. Find the leak and get the bilge pump going. (It was realized early on that the main electric bilge pump had been turned off while renewing wires).
The pump came on fine but it was obvious it was not enough.
3. Find the source. No need to lift floor boards, already floating. The low parts of the bilge are now 2-3' under water. There's a huge number of lockers, berths, compartments that could be the source! He had to think, not panic, while sailing alone on a boat he was just learning.
So - seacocks? OK. Keel bolts? OK. Check position, heading, traffic. OK.
Meanwhile, sailing toward a possible anchorage. Land is all around (3-5nm). Good places to anchor - not many.
Actually, in this case, the source was located and temporarily plugged fairly quickly.
The source was the anchor locker drain. It was a 1" hose leading from the anchor locker ( 1' under the foredeck) to a through hull mounted on the stem (~2.5' ABOVE the static waterline). This hose was clogged a few days earlier and had been worked on. It was connected to the through hull fine. The end that connects to the locker (3-4' above waterline) was not secured because the drain fitting would be replaced.
At 8 kts, big bow wave, bow digging into large chop, this hose was dumping into the anchor locker at about the rate of two garden hoses.
Quickly plugged with the DC supplies on hand.
There's more, but ya'll get the idea?
That guy learned a lot that day.

Oh ya - not knowing much about the guy trying to "sail" a covered skiff transatlantic with a kite?... Well, didn't work out and he's lucky the SAR guys saved his arse.
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