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  #1  
Old 01-10-2012
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Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

I put this post in the BFS thread, then decided it deserves its own thread. I think it's pretty damn interesting - and will definitely spark some thought...if not wild-eyed, spittle-flying discussion. Great stuff.

Fire in the hole!

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

Below is a series of 6 videos that, I think, show the very stark reality of cruising (especially singlehanding). It's sure to raise some hackles and fire off some vitriol (which is always fun) - but it's one of the most informative, honest, unadulterated, unglamorous, and real accounts I've seen.

Many of you will be seriously rolling your eyes and getting annoyed in the first three minutes of the first vid...but you should really just buck up and watch all 6 - then feel free to erupt...or sympathize...or whatever...

DrakeParagon and the "NYC to Bermuda Nightmare" in his Westsail 42:













This series kind of covers the gamut of issues faced and lessons-learned. And despite it all, he made it.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-10-2012
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Cool, the 6th one finally works! I couldn't view it for the longest time... Crazy time for Drake. I'm curious to see the damage done.
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Old 01-10-2012
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Here's Cha Cha's story! The boat looks ROUGH!

WOUNDED BOATS (AND FOLK) IN BERMUDA





Titan 14
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Last edited by LandLocked66c; 01-10-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012
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I've only made it through part 2 but it appears he may have missed that thing some sailors refer to as a "shakedown" cruise.

Curtis
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Old 01-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtcee View Post
I've only made it through part 2 but it appears he may have missed that thing some sailors refer to as a "shakedown" cruise.

Curtis
Read the link above, it appears the guy in the disabled boat doesn't care... If I was his crew I'd kick him in the nuts for sure!
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Old 01-10-2012
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Very interesting read

A very interesting read, thanks for posting. I think this should be required reading for all those people who post here saying that they have been sailing twice and have a $10,000 budget to buy a bluewater boat to sail around the world.

I have a great deal of sympathy for Drake. I think he found himself doing something that was more than he was prepared for. He did his best with the tow of the other boat - so good on him.

Some specific comments based on my experience and his:
  • Fatigue is a terrible thing and will reduce your mental and physical capabilities enormously. At one point I was wondering why he was making a video telling us he was exhausted. He should have been sleeping.
  • He seemed inexperienced for the voyage he took. For example, not really having figured out when to reef (and importantly, when to shake out the reef and make some miles.) Also, did not occur to him that you will be deploying the drogue when the conditions really suck - that is what it is for.
  • He did not seem to have tested the boat and his knowledge base enough. For example, vane steering requires practice and possible adjustments to the installation based on trials - you don't do this on the way. Also no ditch bag and little things like no stoppers in the jib sheets. Can't imagine why the compression strut for the mast would bend - that is certainly scary.
  • He had too much sail up the first time it got nasty and then over-reacted by keeping a double reef in when it appeared that the winds might have been 10 knots. He made a comment about not wanting to reef at night, you have got to be able to do it, no matter the conditions - is he always going to have a single-reef, what happens when he needs the second one?
  • He seemed too willing to fire up the engine. It is a sailboat and you only use the engine for specific purposes, not general progress on an offshore passage.
  • I got the impression that a lot of things he knew came from books and not from experience. I think having read too many of the standard books and thinking that gives you experience is dangerous.
  • NYC-Bermuda is not a casual undertaking, especially single-handed and especially since it seemed he lacked experience. Get a crew to Bermuda. If he wants the single-handed experience the next stage from Bermuda to the Virgins (I am assuming that is the target) would make much more sense - better weather, much less traffic.

I don't want to be too critical of the guy, we have all been there and realize later that we could do better - hell, I am still there, always learning. He deserves the credit for doing it, while many people only talk about it. I hope his cruising experiences have continued and been pleasant.

I have major problems with the owner of the other boat, Cha-Cha. A boat that size floats on a small (or larger) sea of money. If he wants to go out in such an ill-prepared boat that is his business. He should not be taking along crew who might not know enough about cruising to realize that she is seriously taking her life in her hands.
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Last edited by killarney_sailor; 01-10-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012
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That is great. Thanks for sharing. Real world. Do you think Drake is still sailing?
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Old 01-10-2012
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Originally Posted by elvishessler View Post
That is great. Thanks for sharing. Real world. Do you think Drake is still sailing?
As far as I've seen - yes. He does a lot of big sailing in a lot of nice places on a lot of nice boats. It's not like he's a complete newb.

Check out his YouTube channel.

(PS - I like the part where he admits his real fear in some pretty scary conditions, and I like that you can see him really mulling over what it will mean to answer that Pan-Pan. It's really great stuff. From a joyous dinner on night one to 6 more days of exhausted hell. His boat sure did right by him.)
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 01-10-2012 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012
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I made it through it all.

He apparently has sailed that boat to the Caribbean and as far south as Venezuela and as far north as Nova Scotia.

With all those miles he has trouble reefing in 35 MPH winds?

And he hove to and then put out a parachute off the stern?!

Maybe I misunderstood.

Glad he is OK though.

Last edited by therapy23; 01-10-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012
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That should be a video collection of what happens when you don't plan well and caca happens. He may have sailed a lot of miles but OMG. The list of what goes wrong is long.
Jim
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Last edited by jimrafford; 01-10-2012 at 07:30 PM.
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