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  #231  
Old 01-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
That was Bermuda radio asking them to switch to their channel. Not unlike Victoria CG radio asking me to switch to 22A.

Hi Jack,

Bermuda Harbor Radio kept me on channel 16 throughout the entire towing situation. They never asked me to switch to their working frequency, but rather cleared 16 of all other traffic so that Paragon, Titan 14, and Cha Cha could talk without having to switch, and so that they could stay tuned into our situation who whole time.

With their powerful VHF Bermuda Harbor Radio could hear and converse with many of other boats on VHF 16 that were too far away for me to pick up. In the video they're actually telling another vessel entering Bermuda waters to switch to channel 27 for the checking in procedure...

This makes me want to make another video which shows Bermuda Harbor Radio calling me on channel 16 throughout the night at regular intervals and having long conversations with me to make sure that I was ok... I have the greatest respect, admiration and appreciation of Bermuda Harbor Radio - I think those guys are the elite - incredibly aware, professional, efficient, and beyond helpful.. they're at the ready to handle any kind of emergency situation in Bermuda waters - just another day for them.

I think that one sure way to figure out if someone has experience with offshore sailing is by seeing how they use the radio... things like saying "Over and out" every time instead of just "over"... or like never responding to a request to switch to channel X by saying "switching to X" before they actually do it.... It seemed so bizarre when I had to explain this stuff on the VHF to someone who had a captain's license and was in command of a 52 foot boat..

It makes me realize that having a captain's license doesn't mean that the person knows much about offshore sailing.... before I left NYC and was talking about my preparations and watch schedule with a person who had a captain's license.. He told me that he didn't understand why I just didn't just drop my anchor every night and sleep for the night on my way to Bermuda... I confirmed that it wasn't a misunderstanding. He didn't know that the water gets deeper away from land...
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  #232  
Old 01-14-2012
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He didn't know that the water gets deeper away from land.
Unbelievable. That disturbs me more than the eighteen year-old I met who didn't know what an ear of corn was.
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  #233  
Old 01-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

It seems that having anything but a scrap of sail up in F9+ (which is what Drake faced) is going to put a tremendous amount of stress on the rig - unless you're actively running off. So maybe that's what caused the flex in the compression post? At 50+ knots, that's a hell of a lot of pressure. Still, the boat handled it.

Drake, have you yet deployed the JSD? Or is the chute your preference?
Hi Smackdaddy,

I'm certainly no expert on heaving to and would really appreciate to learn more from those who have actually done it storms, especially if their boats are full keel like mine...

On my Westail 32 and 42, I've always used a trysail or double reefed main with a backed staysail when heaving to. I'll never forget being hove to aboard my Westsail 32 in steady winds of 50+ knots and sitting on the windward side and watching the slick...It was bright sunlight out and I could see this slick and how it was buffeting the waves, but it always seemed that we were still moving forward too fast, getting too far ahead of the slick.. My objective has always been to put that slick between me and where the crashing waves were coming from. So I felt that I needed to slow our motion forward, thus I felt that anything I could drag off the stern to slow us down would be good.

A few times I tried to heave to as advised by Lin and Larry Pardey, by putting the parachute on an adjustable bridal between the windward bow cleat and windward jib sheet winch... But I just couldn't get it to seem to be effective that way.. My hove to boat was moving forward much faster than it was moving sideways so the parachute ended up going straight aft anyway.. The bridal didn't seem to work... I thought that maybe the Pardey's wooden boat just heaves to differently than my Westsail 32.. My boat was much much heavier...

I've completely destroyed a couple of military parachutes hove to in storms. Both times when I retrieved them they were torn to shreds.

I'd heard great things about the Jordan Series Drogue so when I saw it on sale in the used marine consignment store I had to try it. I've deployed it twice in non storm conditions as a test. I found that even in the calmest of conditions the tension put on the drogue was as if I was towing an aircraft carrier.. Even with hardly any movement forward I had to use the jib sheet winch to pull it all in, which takes half an hour..

I've since moved the JSD to a bag permanently mounted on the stern rail to make deploying it as easy and efficient as possible...

Thank you so much for starting this thread. I never read much or participated in discussion forums before.. I can't believe what I've been missing!

Drake
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  #234  
Old 01-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakeParagon View Post
Hi Smackdaddy,

I'm certainly no expert on heaving to and would really appreciate to learn more from those who have actually done it storms, especially if their boats are full keel like mine...

On my Westail 32 and 42, I've always used a trysail or double reefed main with a backed staysail when heaving to. I'll never forget being hove to aboard my Westsail 32 in steady winds of 50+ knots and sitting on the windward side and watching the slick...It was bright sunlight out and I could see this slick and how it was buffeting the waves, but it always seemed that we were still moving forward too fast, getting too far ahead of the slick.. My objective has always been to put that slick between me and where the crashing waves were coming from. So I felt that I needed to slow our motion forward, thus I felt that anything I could drag off the stern to slow us down would be good.

A few times I tried to heave to as advised by Lin and Larry Pardey, by putting the parachute on an adjustable bridal between the windward bow cleat and windward jib sheet winch... But I just couldn't get it to seem to be effective that way.. My hove to boat was moving forward much faster than it was moving sideways so the parachute ended up going straight aft anyway.. The bridal didn't seem to work... I thought that maybe the Pardey's wooden boat just heaves to differently than my Westsail 32.. My boat was much much heavier...

I've completely destroyed a couple of military parachutes hove to in storms. Both times when I retrieved them they were torn to shreds.

I'd heard great things about the Jordan Series Drogue so when I saw it on sale in the used marine consignment store I had to try it. I've deployed it twice in non storm conditions as a test. I found that even in the calmest of conditions the tension put on the drogue was as if I was towing an aircraft carrier.. Even with hardly any movement forward I had to use the jib sheet winch to pull it all in, which takes half an hour..

I've since moved the JSD to a bag permanently mounted on the stern rail to make deploying it as easy and efficient as possible...

Thank you so much for starting this thread. I never read much or participated in discussion forums before.. I can't believe what I've been missing!

Drake
Hi Drake! Impressive voyage by the way and I loved your videos. I was wondering about your sail configuration when you tried the Pardeys method of heaving-to. I'm in the process of reading their book now and have yet to get completely through it but the drawings they use show them under reefed main or storm sail only with no headsail. Did you try dropping your staysail when using the parachute to further reduce the forward drive of your sail configuration?

About the parachute anchors, do you think that the parachutes you blew out could have been too small for the displacement of your boat? They mention going to a 12' chute when they started cruising their larger boat but found it was too large and went back to the 8' chute. With the JSD, did the winch do any damage to the cones when you brought it back aboard?

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and happy adventuring!
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  #235  
Old 01-14-2012
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No worries Drake. This thread is what forums are all about in my opinion...newbs and salts just talking about sailing. As you can see, Sailnet is a great place for that.

As for heavy weather technique, here is one of the best threads I've come across:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...r-sailing.html

Lin and Larry Pardey have posted in that thread - as well as many others that know their stuff.

I was pretty skeptical about the JSD early on because of the chance of getting pooped - and potentially damaging the rudder with a wave strike at the stern. But almost all the stories I've come across (including the stuff in Roth's book, Jeanne Socrates' account with her knockdown/recovery off Cape Horn, etc.) have been nothing but positive.

Here's a rather longwinded post from that HWS thread that goes over some technique Roth recommends and ends with a pretty cool idea on retrieval:

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Okay, so back to the JSD. As I said, I've been reading the Hal Roth book mentioned above and it has some very interesting (and complimentary) takes on the JSD.

As for the "you only deploy under bare poles" dictum above, this seems to not be so cut and dried according to the experts. So be careful. For example, Roth cites numerous examples where boats deployed the JSD while running with a headsail to maintain directional stability. One example of this was Egress II, a Discovery 42 that was caught in a 5-day Force 10 storm near Tonga. They kept the headsail up as they deployed, then doused it shortly after. They did fine. Then you also have Jeanne's mention of Tony Gooch who said:

He told me that before he deploys it he could well be running under a headsail (probably staysail) alone.

And, though most of the examples of the JSD usage on the JSD website mention that those boats were, in fact, running under bare poles at deployment, it does not seem to be any kind of "requirement", or even recommendation, in the actual instructions for launch:

Jordan Series Drogue - Launching and Retrieval

One of the design objectives of the drogue is that it may be launched with one hand under storm conditions without leaving the cockpit and that it will not foul even if the boat is rolling or yawing. This capability has convincingly been confirmed as described in Performance at Sea.

To prepare for instant launching, the drogue is faked down with the bridle end at the bottom of the bag and the bridle legs led up the sides and fastened to the attachments at the corners of the transom. The weight (chain) is at the top of the bag.

To launch the drogue, the chain is dropped overboard and the drogue permitted to feed out. Within a few minutes, the drogue will gently take hold with no abrupt deceleration.

Through many launchings the drogue has never fouled. In fact, this launching capability has probably saved the lives of a number of sailors.


So what's the big deal about bare-poles- or sail-up-deployment? According to Roth, it's all about the design of the boat and the timing of the deployment (i.e. - the conditions). His 4 "on-boat" tactics in order are as follows:

1. Reefing sails (Force 6)
2. Heaving-to (Force 7)
3. Lying a-hull (Force 8)
4. Running off (Force 9)

So in his method, bare poles come third. But he cautions that this method can be dangerous depending on the design of the boat, its windage, and the conditions (e.g. - it's easy to get beam-on to the waves). He uses the Banjo disaster as an example of how things can go bad lying a-hull. He also mentions that you can get a great deal of roll, making for a very uncomfortable ride.

Then comes 4 - Running off, at Force 9, which is pre-deployment of the JSD. He talks at length about using the sails (specifically the headsail) to help the boat maintain directional control:

In strong winds, a tiny hanked jib or staysail up forward will help the yacht stay on course. If the boat is still overpowered, try dropping most of the sail and show just the head.

So, it's clear that as conditions build, Roth recommends going from bare poles at Force 8 (to lie a-hull), to showing a bit of headsail to start running as conditions go to Force 9. Then if you have too much speed as conditions build to upper Force 9, lower Force 10 - he says you go to bare poles. It's this middle ground between lying a-hull and running under bare poles that can be the most dangerous in terms of a wave strike....unless you gain the downwind momentum through use of some sail.

Therefore, it all comes down to the timing of when you actually drop the JSD chain over the side. On the one hand, according to the examples, you can deploy it a little earlier (while running with a headsail but before you go to bare poles), or you can deploy it a little later (after you've doused all sail and are running too fast under bare poles). Both have been done successfully as shown in these many examples. Clearly, neither technique is "wrong".

Now let's look at Jeanne's case...

She was basically at Roth's step 2 with conditions building from Force 7 to Force 8. Also, bear in mind that this is the southern ocean off Cape Horn, where seas can be way crazier than localized conditions. The critical issue here, according to Roth, is that, again depending on the boat, you'll not be able to effectively run off under bare poles until the wind has built considerably. And depending on sea conditions, lying a-hull can be one of the most dangerous techniques.

So, Jeanne opts to skip step 3 and prepares to quickly deploy the JSD (i.e. - earlier in the process rather than later). The chain is secure for the existing conditions:

With the boat upright, even well-heeled, I made sure the chain stayed put without a problem.

She's waiting for the right time to move from step 2 to step 4 for deployment when she's struck by a wave and knocked down. The boat is now no longer "upright" - it's mayhem. During the knockdown (which happens while she's hove to) the prepped JSD deploys. Note that from that point on, she has no further knockdowns or serious danger, counter to what has been implied above. Obviously, its quite the opposite.

Not knowing the JSD has deployed, she tries to immediately move to step 4 and head downwind and drop the chain. Yet the mainsail won't fully douse - and as she tries to let out some more headsail to move downwind, the furling line breaks and the sail unfurls and flogs, so she has to douse it.

For a while, the remaining mainsail fights with the JSD which she now notices has already deployed. And though this would have been the point she would have actually dropped the chain over the side as would be the "proper order", she's fine, the boat's fine, it's all good. She sets the AP and goes to sleep.

The point is that it's all a matter of timing and situational judgment in horrific conditions far more than a matter of "strict technique". In fact, she was following the "proper technique" (per Hal Roth) for the existing conditions. And she had all the right equipment prepared and readied. What interfered with all this was a freakin' wave strike off Cape Horn (where "rookies" rarely survive) which resulted in a knockdown - which broke a lot of stuff on the boat (lines, cars, poles, etc.) - and which washed the chain and/or the body of the prepped JSD overboard. That's really the bottom line here IMUSO (in my usually superior opinion).

Jeanne sails very big. Jeanne handled a knockdown off Cape Horn, which even Hal Roth will acknowledge, requires serious seamanship. Jeanne rocks. She has earned respect.

End of story.



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

One other interesting thing from Roth's book is a pretty cool retrieval idea for the JSD (retrieval being its Achilles' Heel). Check this out...



The question he has is how the windlass would handle the cones. So who knows? But it's the coolest idea I've seen in a while. Anyone want to test it?

In the mean time, you really should read Roth's book.
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  #236  
Old 01-14-2012
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Drake, welcome aboard. Your vids are a great escape for a winter on the hard. Thank you.

Looking at Hal Roth's idea on getting the drogue off the bow for retrieval, I wonder if you could set the autopilot and motor into it, while pulling it all up on the foredeck? I wouldnt want to do that by backing into it, for fear of fouling the prop. From the bow, you would think you could get back to neutral in time, if you began to run it over.
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  #237  
Old 01-14-2012
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Thank you, Drake.

Your contribution to the sailing community is appreciated. You help those in trouble at sea, and help others who have not yet been to sea.

A very giving person you are.

Thank you for sharing, and teaching me many lessons of sailing, life, and the human spirit.

I salute you.
Deric
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  #238  
Old 01-15-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean101 View Post
I was wondering about your sail configuration when you tried the Pardeys method of heaving-to. I'm in the process of reading their book now and have yet to get completely through it but the drawings they use show them under reefed main or storm sail only with no headsail. Did you try dropping your staysail when using the parachute to further reduce the forward drive of your sail configuration?

About the parachute anchors, do you think that the parachutes you blew out could have been too small for the displacement of your boat? They mention going to a 12' chute when they started cruising their larger boat but found it was too large and went back to the 8' chute. With the JSD, did the winch do any damage to the cones when you brought it back aboard?

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and happy adventuring!
Hi Dean101,

Thank you! My impression was always that my Westsail 32 was hove to better with the backed staysail... I also remember that she would ride much smoother with the staysail backed as much as possible.. I even ended up using a 3 part purchase block and tackle between the staysail clew and a stanchion base to bring the staysail as close to windward as possible.. but that's just my experience with my particular boat.. not necessarily what I'd recommend on other boats..

I'm not sure if having a bigger or smaller parachute would have a made a difference.. I think that the construction was just too light... With military surplus parachutes I also worry that they parachute might just collapse and get fouled in the water without me realizing it... That did happen to me once..

Just before I sold my Westsail 32 I purchased a Gale Rider drogue made mostly of webbing and was impressed by how good the construction seemed. I couldn't imagine it being ripped apart or getting fouled.. But I never got to use it..

It was really hard to not damage the JSD cones in the jib sheet winch when retrieving it, and i did end up having to sew quite a few of them back together.. I'm awestruck by HAL Roth's JSD Retrieval idea that I see in smackdaddy's last post here... I can't imagine that the cones could get damaged in my anchor bow roller or windlass.. WICKED COOL!!! How come I never thought of that?!? Wow!!!

Drake
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  #239  
Old 01-15-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

As for heavy weather technique, here is one of the best threads I've come across:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...r-sailing.html

Lin and Larry Pardey have posted in that thread - as well as many others that know their stuff.

I was pretty skeptical about the JSD early on because of the chance of getting pooped - and potentially damaging the rudder with a wave strike at the stern. But almost all the stories I've come across (including the stuff in Roth's book, Jeanne Socrates' account with her knockdown/recovery off Cape Horn, etc.) have been nothing but positive.

Here's a rather longwinded post from that HWS thread that goes over some technique Roth recommends and ends with a pretty cool idea on retrieval:
I'm just AWESTRUCK by Hal Roth's JSD retrieval idea! WOW! Why didn't I ever think of something like that!?!?! Fantastic! And I'm really looking forward to reading all that thread on heavy weather sailing techniques. Thanks smackdaddy!
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  #240  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Drake, welcome aboard. Your vids are a great escape for a winter on the hard. Thank you.

Looking at Hal Roth's idea on getting the drogue off the bow for retrieval, I wonder if you could set the autopilot and motor into it, while pulling it all up on the foredeck? I wouldnt want to do that by backing into it, for fear of fouling the prop. From the bow, you would think you could get back to neutral in time, if you began to run it over.
Hi Minnewaska, I'm really looking forward to trying Hal Roth's JSD retrieval idea. After half and hour of hand cranking the JSD in on the jib sheet winch a couple of times it's really exciting to think of using my electric Lighthouse windlass to bring it in instead! And maybe the engine would help too. Very exciting!
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