Couple Die Sailing To San Francisco - Page 7 - SailNet Community

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  #61  
Old 06-26-2010
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L & all,

In the beginning of this post there was some speculation as to
whether they took the "inside" route or were coming down the ship
channel. A witness said:

"My girlfriend and I were the unfortunate witnesses to the early stages of this tragedy. We saw Barcarolle from the Devils Slide/Pedro Pt. area of Pacifica at 1440 hrs on Sunday. At the time, they were between .5-1 nm offshore…IOW they were setting themselves up for an inside approach to the gate. It was blowing pretty decently, 15-17, gusting to the low 20’s and the seas looked to be around 8′, with breaking crests (whitecaps). When we saw them, Barcarolle was motor sailing under a full main and furled jib."

It appears that they took the inside route as described here:

From: The Alleged South Channel

Dabnis
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  #62  
Old 06-26-2010
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I was looking at the book on the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race. It describes how a boat which appears to have been about 35 feet was surviving the storm; "At least 6 times between 3 and 5 AM, "Grimalkin" spun broadside to the faces of the waves, and was caught under the curl until her mast hit the water. Each time, all 6 men were thrown (over the lifelines) out of the cockpit into the water, and were left dangling by their safety harness tethers. A 150 pound man generates a force of more than 3000 pounds when he is thrown 12 feet. The harnesses and jack lines withstood those loads, but the men themselves took a fearful beating."
I had been thinking that for both crew of the Ranger 33 to have been thrown completely out of the cockpit, she must have rolled. Appears not to be the case! Seems like a good idea to bring harnesses even for short offshore trips.

Last edited by L124C; 06-26-2010 at 11:35 PM.
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  #63  
Old 06-27-2010
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Thanks L124C I to am glad to be able to e here to tell the real story, being new to coastal sailing and never being in that kind of storm on the water there were times out there during the 4 or more hour ride that I was thinking to my self that people die in these situations while telling the 1st mate the whole time we were fine.
In the lobby of the hotel we stayed after being reliesed from the hospital was a guy that was telling us he heard that a sailboat had sank
Because I was tring to keep corse the whole time by compass, when the storm was over by the following afternoon I knew just about where to find our boat and got a call from the CG that confermed it. .

As I said the genoa was shreaded and nine of the sliders on the main had snaped letting it go. Don't know about a boat sinking but a tractor-trailor was over turned ..so much for 20mph or so winds the paper reported.

and sorry not to respond sooner but the 1st mate are out sailing the coast this weeked, she was back on the boat cleaning things up as soon as we found it.
I had to wade out 60 or so yards to get to it and then get our little infatable to get her out to it. we have sailed every other weekend since.
other then replacing sails, I had to drop the mast toreplace the bolt that holds the spreaders.
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  #64  
Old 06-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I had been thinking that for both crew of the Ranger 33 to have been thrown completely out of the cockpit, she must have rolled. Appears not to be the case! Seems like a good idea to bring harnesses even for short offshore trips.
Yes; it does not take a roll to get thrown or washed overboard. A boat can go way past 90 deg in a knockdown/wave combination so you would need something to hold you to the boat in the event of a knockdown or breaking wave.

Unfortunately; it appears that the owners of Barcarolle were not experienced in offshore sailing. The article posted earlier said that they had never sailed outside of SF Gate and this was their first trip down the coast as their first trial run before going on the Baja Ha-Ha in the fall.

I hope this thread serves as a reminder to everyone who goes coastal sailing outside of SF that the ENTIRE BAR AREA is treacherous if there is swell running; and more so if there is a strong Ebb current. Even on flat days there can be "sneaker" waves; and it's a good idea to watch closely the swell patterns before crossing the Bar. If you see the swell start stacking up or have periods of large swell; don't cross it.

We have bagged our day outside the Gate on many occasions because I considered it too rough to safely cross SF Bar while double-handing. We canceled a trip to Half Moon Bay in April because the weather and the swell was going to be rough going out with deteriorating weather predictions for the return trip. Plan ahead; and play it safe.

Barcarolle was from my marina; parked a couple of rows down from us. While I don't remember the boat specifically; I do recall a Ranger 33 sail hoisted now and then. The marina has over 800 slips on 4 separate docks; but I'm pretty sure they were berthed near my boat on D-dock.

On the issue of breaking waves inside of Bonita Channel; I don't know specifically if the picture L124C posted was east of the Red/Green entrance buoy; but there are reports of huge breakers in there when there is swell.

Here's a good picture:


And another...



Note how flat the water looks in the foreground on both photos; and the breaker is to the EAST of the channel marker buoy.

Here are the articles that these pictures were referenced in:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

I would not go anywhere near SF Bar (including the ship channel) with 16-18' swell predictions/observations. In the second article the guy reporting going out single-handed in those conditions seems a little (OK more than a little) nuts to me.
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  #65  
Old 06-28-2010
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I've been up to my waist in water hanging on a winch handle or lifelines in a broach (masthead nearly horizontal to the water) both inside and outside the gate. Agreed KeelHaulin, you don't need to roll to 'exit' the boat. A simple round up is all it takes in the right condition.
(Then there's the whole South Tower demon to look out for. It's pretty much a given that if you sail long enough in SF, you'll meet it at least once.)

Last edited by puddinlegs; 06-28-2010 at 06:23 AM.
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  #66  
Old 06-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
Yes; it does not take a roll to get thrown or washed overboard. A boat can go way past 90 deg in a knockdown/wave combination so you would need something to hold you to the boat in the event of a knockdown or breaking wave.

Unfortunately; it appears that the owners of Barcarolle were not experienced in offshore sailing. The article posted earlier said that they had never sailed outside of SF Gate and this was their first trip down the coast as their first trial run before going on the Baja Ha-Ha in the fall.

I hope this thread serves as a reminder to everyone who goes coastal sailing outside of SF that the ENTIRE BAR AREA is treacherous if there is swell running; and more so if there is a strong Ebb current. Even on flat days there can be "sneaker" waves; and it's a good idea to watch closely the swell patterns before crossing the Bar. If you see the swell start stacking up or have periods of large swell; don't cross it.

We have bagged our day outside the Gate on many occasions because I considered it too rough to safely cross SF Bar while double-handing. We canceled a trip to Half Moon Bay in April because the weather and the swell was going to be rough going out with deteriorating weather predictions for the return trip. Plan ahead; and play it safe.

Barcarolle was from my marina; parked a couple of rows down from us. While I don't remember the boat specifically; I do recall a Ranger 33 sail hoisted now and then. The marina has over 800 slips on 4 separate docks; but I'm pretty sure they were berthed near my boat on D-dock.

On the issue of breaking waves inside of Bonita Channel; I don't know specifically if the picture L124C posted was east of the Red/Green entrance buoy; but there are reports of huge breakers in there when there is swell.

Here's a good picture:


And another...



Note how flat the water looks in the foreground on both photos; and the breaker is to the EAST of the channel marker buoy.

Here are the articles that these pictures were referenced in:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

I would not go anywhere near SF Bar (including the ship channel) with 16-18' swell predictions/observations. In the second article the guy reporting going out single-handed in those conditions seems a little (OK more than a little) nuts to me.
Keelhaulin,

Excellent write up!!! Perhaps if the Barcarolle's owners had a chance
to read all of this before their trip they might still be here? Hopefully,
those with little or no experience or knowledge can benefit from
this and other related threads.

Dabnis
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  #67  
Old 06-28-2010
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Dab, there's no shortage of information about sailing in the SF Bay Area and the immediate coastal surroundings. Applying it to a bad day can be challenging. Reading about is one thing, dealing with it in real time is quite another.
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  #68  
Old 06-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
Dab, there's no shortage of information about sailing in the SF Bay Area and the immediate coastal surroundings. Applying it to a bad day can be challenging. Reading about is one thing, dealing with it in real time is quite another.
Pudding,

I totally agree, hopefully if someone has a chance to read about it first
they won't have to deal with it in "real time" later? Wish full thinking, I suppose?

Dabnis
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You can lead a horse to water....
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