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  #51  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Just by the by, what exactly is "The Potato Patch"? I've seen references to it before but they always assumed the reader knew what it was.
Think about it...Havent you seen any of the pictures of this place...? It's the Farallons... ..just a nickname...
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  #52  
Old 04-25-2012
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Cool Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

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Chef, chill out. Read this part of Bryan's letter again-Smackdaddy
I read perfectly well, just dont type that well. Dont tell me to chill out I am not you child. Maybe you didnt see this part in your haste to make a condescending comment sitting on your throne. He was not making that comment on Sailnet...he made it on SA because he felt they are of a kindred spirit. Comments like yours to others is a perfect example of maybe why.

Quote:
I’ve chosen to use Sailing Anarchy for distributing this story because they’re of a kindred spirit and were the favorites amongst the crew of Low Speed Chase and those who already know the answer to the question, “Why would you sail in the ocean on a windy day with big swells?” Bryan Chong
Mr Chong did not post it here so maybe you are reading into his intentions a bit. I stand by my opinions as stated. We all have them and dont need you telling us or determining who should post and who should chill out. I beleive that all the SECONDGUESSERS should do this in another post. I may be in a minority but it is what I beleive.

Smackdaddy if you search for Sailing Anarchy and find it and read the forums on this subject you will notice that there are TWO distinct forums on the subject. The one has the letter which Newport so kindly posted here. Almost all of the 6 pages of the SA Forum were filled with condolances and notes of gratitude to Bryan and the survivors as well as their families. There is distinctly a second forum for the people who want to LEARN from the tragedy where all can second guess etc. Thats what I was saying here, thats all.

Maybe you need to finally go to the optometrist and have the other lens of your glasses repaired so you can finally see clearly all around you.

Thank you again newport for posting his comments here so those of us who care could read it.

God bless the poor deceased men and women whose lives were tragically ended.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 04-25-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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  #53  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

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Originally Posted by souljour2000 View Post
Think about it...Havent you seen any of the pictures of this place...? It's the Farallons... ..just a nickname...
Actually, the "Potato Patch" is the shoal/bar closer to the Golden Gate. The dredged ship channel cuts through it. It's about 10 or 15 nm east of the islands.
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  #54  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
I don't want to "arm-chair quarter-back" this incident, and I fully realize that hindsight is always clearer. However, frankly, I think the boats in the vid were WAYY too close for the conditions. If one looks carefully at the height and wavelength of those seas, it looks pretty obvious that they were transitioning from "swell" to "surf" as the water was getting shallower. I think I would have been at least several hundred yards to seaward. Then again, I don't race, and I've been known to err way to the side of caution (OK, I'm a wimp sometimes, particularly when sailing).
I do race and it scares me that even after reading Brian's account I know when it came right down to it I'd probably still take that line close to shore too based on best judgement at the time. Would have definitely done it before reading it so understand fully how he must feel. It's racing, and sailing, and it can be dangerous.

Having been on a boat that lost a spar I know exactly what he went through about how quickly it went from fun & fine to catastrophic. It happens really FAST....

My heart felt condolences to the crew and families..
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  #55  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Actually, the "Potato Patch" is the shoal/bar closer to the Golden Gate. The dredged ship channel cuts through it. It's about 10 or 15 nm east of the islands.
The north side of the "bar" with the narrow Bonita channel between the "patch" and shore, NASTY place, the"patch", don't go over it.

http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/BookletC...art_HomeEd.pdf

Paul T
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  #56  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Being a racer and most likely the only person on this thread who has actually raced to the Farallones (both crewed and DH) I came away with an entirely different perspective of Bryan’s testimony than you non-racers and tyros. You need to re-read it carefully before you jump to any conclusion. First, they were an hour (or more) late at the start. At that point all they were doing was sailing the course cleanly and hoping that another boat had a major screw up. Having done this race in PHRO-1 boats before, I can tell you no amount of shaving close to shore is going to make up this kind of time deficit. Second, Bryan described LSC’s line to be outside of Deception’s, another PHRO-1 boat. The depth there is probably in the neighborhood of 100 feet or more. He also described them being 128 yards outside the break zone. Read that the start of the breaking waves and not where they terminate on the shore. Considering the hydrology of the islands, the initial waves are probably breaking in 30 feet of water. And at 11 second wave periods, there was probably 3, 4 or more wave sets between LSC and the break. This might be too close for some of us reading this thread, but remember, the skill set of those mariners and the design and build of LSC is way above the norm. Yachtsmen that race OYRA and especially PHRO-1 are at or near the pinnacle of the already talented pool of Northern California sailors. I know that it is hard to comprehend, but sometimes-bad things happen to good people. Had they been a further hundred yards out to sea when they got rolled, I afraid that the results most likely would have been the same.

The lessons for me is to redouble my safety program on Freya. I know that I cannot make sailing in the Gulf of the Farallones risk free, but I can certainly work to improve my odds once an event happens. For example, I’m rethinking my vest. I too, stuff the manual release tab inside the vest and do not always wear the crotch strap. I think that I’m good about clipping in, but my wife has made the comment in most of the photos of me racing, my tether is not to be seen. I know that there is a possibility of drowning with a tether, but I'm thinking that I will take my chances with the boat and will insist that my crewmates do the same. I am good about carrying a waterproof radio in my pocket, but my EPIRB is mounted inside the cabin. I’m thinking about the hydrostatic release now.

A little geography lesson. The Farallones are on the edge of the continental shelf and are the result of plate tectonics moving a little bit of Southern California our way. The waters surrounding the islands are on the order of 100 feet or more and less than two miles to the west, the continental shelf abruptly drops a few thousand feet to the abyssal sea floor. This sudden drop off is one of the sources of the chaotic wave conditions on the islands and how a rogue can sneak in. Just to the north is middle Farallone which experiences the same type of waves but is much more dangerous IMHO as they consist of a grouping of submerged or barely visible wash rocks. Because of this, rounding South Farallone wide has its problems too as you will now have to worry about being too close to Middle Farallone. The “Potato Patch” is a shoal directly to the north of the entrance to the Golden Gate. It earned its name when a 19th century coastal schooner lost its cargo on the shoal. The coves that dot the Marin headlands are all named after ships that wrecked there. There is an equally (if not more) treacherous shoal to the south. Both shoals rise to less than 30 feet and frequently experience breaking seas. Practically all the fatalities for both cruisers and racers alike have happened on or near these shoals.
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Last edited by GeorgeB; 04-25-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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  #57  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
The north side of the "bar" with the narrow Bonita channel between the "patch" and shore, NASTY place, the"patch", don't go over it.

http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/BookletC...art_HomeEd.pdf

Paul T

Yeah. I think that "officially" the north bar (Fourteen Fathom Bank) is "Potato Patch". But, I've heard folks (mostly commercial fishermen, IIRC) refer to both bars as "Potato Patch".

And YES, it can get really nasty. I was sailing on a friend's boat once, tacking back and forth down the ship channel, watching HUGE breakers on both the north and south bars. It wasn't even all that windy a day, just a strong ebb and a fairly large swell. I would be willing to bet that far more boats are lost "cutting the corner" over those bars than are lost on the Farallons.
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  #58  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

The lesson for me is I should refrain from commenting on potato patches or other areas not part of my local knowledge...and btw my apologies John B....I stand corrected.
Potato patches aside, I will have a new respect for abrupt hydrographic transition zones of the likes of the Farallons and the other lesser known areas of water where there is a dramatic rise of land from the seafloor affecting waves...and hence creating above average wave sets....though there are not any zones anywhere like that around here ...maybe the Keys and Bahamas banks to a degree. I bet when SF bay drains out on a low tide that it can get really nasty too out west of the golden gate...I have alot of respect for sailors on the left coast in general but Nocal must attract alot of above average sailors I would agree due to the risk and rewards....

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Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I read perfectly well, just dont type that well. Dont tell me to chill out I am not you child. Maybe you didnt see this part in your haste to make a condescending comment sitting on your throne. He was not making that comment on Sailnet...he made it on SA because he felt they are of a kindred spirit. Comments like yours to others is a perfect example of maybe why.

Mr Chong did not post it here so maybe you are reading into his intentions a bit. I stand by my opinions as stated. We all have them and dont need you telling us or determining who should post and who should chill out. I beleive that all the SECONDGUESSERS should do this in another post. I may be in a minority but it is what I beleive.

Smackdaddy if you search for Sailing Anarchy and find it and read the forums on this subject you will notice that there are TWO distinct forums on the subject. The one has the letter which Newport so kindly posted here. Almost all of the 6 pages of the SA Forum were filled with condolances and notes of gratitude to Bryan and the survivors as well as their families. There is distinctly a second forum for the people who want to LEARN from the tragedy where all can second guess etc. Thats what I was saying here, thats all.

Maybe you need to finally go to the optometrist and have the other lens of your glasses repaired so you can finally see clearly all around you.

Thank you again newport for posting his comments here so those of us who care could read it.

God bless the poor deceased men and women whose lives were tragically ended.
Siiiigggghhhhh.

Chef - if you take the time to read them yourself, you'll find my comments in all 3 LSC threads at SA going back about 10 days. I spend a lot of time over there as well. Here, let me help you out:

My first comment in the thread relating the news (adhering to your dictated rules of decorum - which I obviously followed even before your lecture):
Aground at the Farallones - Sailing Anarchy Forums - Page 4

My first comment in the thread discussing the incident :
Wide-open discussion of the loss of Low Speed Chase - Sailing Anarchy Forums - Page 6

And, finally, my first comment in the thread on Bryan's post:
the Story from Low Speed Chase - Sailing Anarchy Forums

So, I'm way ahead of you dude. And I'm happy to loan you my broken glasses, and even give you the number of my half-blind optometrist, because you don't seem to be reading what you're telling me to read.

Look, I have no problem with you believing what you want to believe. It's just that I think it's misplaced...and more than a little passive-aggressive. Bryan hoped we'd talk about all this...at SA, and other places where sailors hangout like here. There is absolutely no disrespect to anyone in doing so.

===Posted while ensconced upon my throne:

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Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-25-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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  #60  
Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Smack; yep this thread has gone into the toilet!!!

We were discussing outcomes and potential pathways forward in the AFTERMATH of this tragedy. NOBODY including myself was calling blame to the skipper, who died. I simply stated that IT DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN; and I'm calling BS to the theory that they were in 100's of feet of water when two breaking waves in the 30' or more range came smashing down on them. It simply does not happen that way. The lack of depth is what causes a swell to turn into a breaking wave; unless you are out in 50' seas. 125 yards outside of the white water is about 2 wavelengths away from where waves begin to curl over into a breaker. I'm sorry GeorgeB but that's way too f'n close on a day when the swell is 12'.

Go back and look at the picture that Smack posted of the DHF boats. They are also too close in on a day when the swell was 1/2 the size of the crewed race.

THE REASON BRYAN POSTED WAS TO OPEN UP DISCUSSIONS ABOUT IMPROVING SAFETY AND STOPPING THE SPECULATION ABOUT THE EVENTS. NOBODY IS TWISTING HIS WORDS HERE. THIS EVENT WHILE TRAGIC ALMOST TURNED INTO A MEDIA FRENZY AND A WITCH HUNT FOR THE OWNER. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE AFTERMATH SOMETHING *MUST* CHANGE OR THE OUTCRY FOR IT WILL COME FROM THE NON-BOATING PUBLIC WHO DON'T KNOW S**T ABOUT SAILING OR CARE ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO PEOPLE WHO SAIL OR RACE SAILBOATS.
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