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  #1  
Old 10-29-2009
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Baja Haha Rescue at sea

Many of you have probably read the posts this week about the start of the annual Baja Haha race from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. This race is well attended with nearly 200 boats in the flotilla heading south of here. One of the Sailing vessels had become the attraction of a pod of whales. It is believed that one of the whales had flipped its tail and the tail struck the ruder post damaging the rudder (or removing it). The vessel began taking on water and reportedly sank in 7 minutes. Five people were on board and all had life preservers and a life raft was deployed along with an EPIRB. The vessel was 200 miles south of San Diego when it sank. San Diego area Coast Guard responded and plucked all five from the water and returned them home to SD safe and sound (and wet). The efforts of the Coast Guard were difficult since our area also experienced some very usual high winds yesterday wherein coastal winds were 25-35 knots. All in all a happy ending and a reminder that even an innocuous party fest as the Baja Haha can turn tragic if not taken seriously. This is Grey Whale migrating season and having a pod around you and the associated danger it could pose should be anticipated.
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ďA wet sheet and a flowing sea, / A wind that follows fast / And fills the white and rustling sail / And bends the gallant mast.Ē
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Old 10-29-2009
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I understand the skipper is from an Alameda-based J-Boat sailing school. Either she's going to be lauded for having the right survival gear, or get punked for getting sunk by a freakin' whale in the first place.

Glad they're okay.
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Old 10-29-2009
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The skipper will probably get a little bit of both. I passed through a pod of maybe 50 whales while doing the 93 Baja. It's quite unnerving, because many came right alongside........i2f
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Old 10-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I understand the skipper is from an Alameda-based J-Boat sailing school. Either she's going to be lauded for having the right survival gear, or get punked for getting sunk by a freakin' whale in the first place.

Glad they're okay.
Whales are very pretty and amazing to see out in the middle of the ocean... when they're OVER THERE. Haven't spent much (any) time truly offshore eh? Whales can be seriously bad news. For all the crap (some deserved) that J boats get, the 120 is a nice seaworthy vessel. Glad everyone's alright, sounds like they handled the situation very well

Last edited by ste27; 10-29-2009 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-29-2009
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I have been told that there are two things you can do to make them go away. One is to turn on your engine. The other is to pour diesel in the water.

It isnt that I dont like whales. But having them right next to me would make me very nervous.
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Old 10-29-2009
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The first one is not true. I was running the motor, and taking down sails, because it was dead calm. They came right next to the boat. I could have jumped past the backs of those that were close........i2f
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Old 10-29-2009
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Quote:
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Haven't spent much (any) time truly offshore eh
A bit - but none in a sailboat. That day will come - and at that time I hope the whales ignore me just like most of the old timers do around here!
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
A bit - but none in a sailboat. That day will come - and at that time I hope the whales ignore me just like most of the old timers do around here!
If the vessel in question has a 24 hr buffet, it doesn't count :P
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Heh-heh, yeah but the dancin' goils were awesome! Booty shakin' on the Holideck babay!
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Old 10-29-2009
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Holy Crap! Them whales are getting too big for their britches I say! A couple more rammings and I say bring back whaling! After all, you never hear of a whale sinking a Japanese boat. But seriously, We are good friends with the owners of the other J from Marina Village, and not reading a boat name in the original message had me worried for our friends safety.

I’ve been told that Orcas are predators of baleen whale calves and adult baleens will “go medieval” when they see one or think they see one. That sailboats have fin keels and are pretty silent doesn’t help our cause much either. After being hunted almost to extinction, you would have thought that whales would have developed a defense mechanism and avoid all boats, both power and sail. I myself have had a couple of close encounters with them. When I did the PacCup, my nagging fear late at night was not hitting a submerged shipping container but rather a whale. Smelling whale breath on the mid watch is not a comfortable feeling. Fortunately, both shipping containers and whale strikes are exceedingly rare.

Ocean racers know the risks and dangers of sailing out there and I can assure you they are collectively thinking “there for the grace of god, go I” and are not making fun of that hapless crew whose fate could have ended much more tragically

Last edited by GeorgeB; 10-29-2009 at 06:02 PM.
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