Break, curse, fix, repeat
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: One dead, four missing in Farallones sailboat race
My sympathies to the family and friends...my deepest sympathies.
As a former resident of the Bay, and having lived for years in the Marin Headlands on the coast looking out toward the Farallones, I can attest to the incredible ferocity of the breaking waves in that area. It may be utterly clear that this vessel was rolled and grounded by a breaking wave close to shore, and that choice and responsibility rests with the captain, but this does not change the depth of sadness for him and for all involved. None of us are perfect at all times, and yet our bad choices often slip by without mortal consequences.
I don't know a sailor who doesn't have near miss stories, just as everyone who drives a car has near miss stories. Even those of us who are adamant about avoiding risk and putting odds in our favors, we have brushes with calamity.
I must say that for all the years I lived on the Marin coast and watched those waves pound the shore, I always imagined how truly hopeless and horrifying it would be to have a sailboat near enough to be caught in the wave and dashed on the rocks. It is an utterly powerless situation.
Those three who survived by being thrown up onto the rocks have a rare story to tell. The violence of that action is unimaginable, and they must have torn their bodies up in the act. They are supremely lucky.
My sympathies again, and none of us need reminding to avoid a lee shore in the surf zone. Remember, any boat of any design will be rolled 360 by a breaking wave equal to 1/3 her length on her beam. She was 38 feet, and so it only took a 13 foot wave.
Wish I could drop off flowers and attend a service for the whole Bay sailing community...
Bainbridge Island, WA
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