Those with this thread for a while know that I've chimed in on several occasions.
First is that - whether here or the other places I've been following this disaster - a participant boat reported that Rule 62 checked in with the fleet at 7PM (theirs being circa 7:20). This suggests that they still had their mast up, and absent any emergency message (the beginning of each check-in period), can be presumed to have been under command.
Yet, very shortly later, their transponder shows them in the area of the reef. From that I deduce that the much higher seas (the recent commentary has mentioned less, by the way - seas were 16' swells on a 14 second interval, already short and steep - and the 25-30 knots winds would have added another 6-10 feet of waves) closer to shore rolled them shortly after they checked in. It appears my original speculation of an earlier dismasting and perhaps rudder loss as to why they seemed to head straight for the reef must have been incorrect.
The absence of topsides damage suggests that they did so in deep water, as the top would surely have been damaged, along with doing stanchion, davits, push and pulpit damage were they to have done so on the reef. Examination of the pix link I put up (and perhaps some others, I don't remember if here, where someone took those links and posted in-thread) shows that the mast went over to port, with no starboard damage to mounted fittings. That's consistent with the wave direction had they been going SW as the transponder track suggests. Also consistent with a deep-water (vs being tripped on the reef) dismasting is that all the hull scarring and damage is near or below the waterline.
Second is that we routinely make tracks as fast as possible to our next port, using dead reckoning to expect to arrive either near or just after daylight. That gives us a margin of error if our expected speed of travel is too slow, allowing the rest of the day to still have light.
Of course, if it's a long passage, that's a bit tricky, so not so much of concern to our departure considerations. If we find we're going too fast, we'll slow the boat down using any convenient
However, ALWAYS, if we arrive too early for a daylight entry, we heave to well off, and come about at a time which would bring us to the entrance well after daybreak. Of course, we also heave to if we need a break. However, as speculated below this post, we don't know if Rule 62 is capable of heaving-to, but, surely, would be capable of forereaching, if the rigging was still intact. Even running under bare poles would be possible.
Of course, under the circumstances, particularly since they arrived well after dark, the direction to reach in, or the tack on which to heave to, would have been offshore, rather than heading in...
My two cents :**))
Skip, lying Georgetown, Exuma Bahamas
Morgan 461 #2
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