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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Surprised that the forecast was so far off from actual conditions. Whose forecast was it? Better to wait for a nicer window, but why set out in such crummy conditions when there was no need to? Their new ETD is a week or more later.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Why are their lifelines so loose? (This is an honest question. Rephrased: are my lifelines too tight?)
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Pretty nasty wave action so I likely would have turned back as well or not gone out... with just two on board, but they really needed to get that main flattened out and the sheet in tight. They got away with it because they had a deep reef in but really it was not doing much for them.
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Old 03-28-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Is it just me or is that reefed main not flat enough? That draft looked deep for the conditions and really far aft, even before the headsail was backwinding it. Their reef clew pulls aft, but I think it doesn't pull far enough aft. A common rigging mistake IMHO.

Great video. Looks like they knew what they were doing, but 47hrs of that wouldn't be "cruising" now would it?

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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Usually no need to have a flattened main when deep reefed.
On the contrary, if deep reefed and flattened a sail will have little 'drive'/power for upwind work, ... especially if in big waves or very steep chop.

1. Flat sails are for 'speed sailing' in relatively flat water (think of this as a 'high gear' shape);
1a. full drafted or increased draft is for 'power' to punch through when in steep/big waves (think of this as low or lower gear shape).
The outhaul(s) can be equated to your 'gear selector' in an automobile.
To 'best' do this, adjust your outhaul to get the maximum speed from your knotmeter; otherwise, you can wind up being in high gear when you want to go 'up' a big hill. ....

(Obviously when not racing, you dont want to go very much beyond 'hull speed' in a displacement boat, etc. etc. etc.)

2. Reefing controls the amount of heeling.

Two different functions controlling two entirely different issues.

;-)
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

With their obvious experience I don't fault them for going out for a look-see, I would not with my non-existent experience. After seeing the way they were bounced around I sure don't blame them for heading back in though.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I've sailed past Porto, nasty business that.
I've sailed in Annapolis, and in Portugal, but not between the two, so I'm not as experienced as they are by a long shot.

I would not have voluntarily left that day. Cruising has no schedule.
Had the forecast been accurate, I think they were more than up to the passage. 20 to 25 knots are not extreme conditions. In those conditions they could have kept up their watchkeeping and stayed fresh (relatively) for the duration of the passage.

Based on the forecast they had, they went and took a peek, finding out they forecast was not so good. Still the boat was always well under control even when the actual conditions were far above what was anticipated based on the forecast. Even though they had planned adequately to manage the boat, I think they realized they would not be able to maintain any sort of watch system in those condtitons and, because crusing has no schedule, decided to return to port.

To me, that indicates, excellent seamanship, knowledge of thier vessel and crew capabilites and good judgement. You have to make decsions on what you know at the time, and be wiling to adjust your plan when things turn out different than expected. That's exactly what they did.

Would I have left port that day? Probably not, but then I'm sitting behind a computer screen and have not sailed my boat across the Atlantic.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Many times I've gone out purposely in challenging conditions just to see how challenging they are.
Sometimes from the shore it looks really bad and when you get out their is's not so bad. Other times it looks benign from shore but when you get out there its a lot worse than it looks like.
The only way to learn is to take a look.

As long as you have a plan "B" there is no harm done.
If you push it a little when you have options you learn stuff.

If you never push it you can accumulate one years experience ten times rather than ten years experience.

Not that there is anything wrong with being ultra conservative and not ever taking any chances, to each there own.
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Last edited by davidpm; 03-29-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
Interesting video, I think it was reasonable to go out for a look and to turn around. They certainly looked like they knew what they were doing and were well in control. There is a big difference between returning because you think the conditions are dangerous and returning because it would be uncomfortable - 47 hours of that would not be fun especially if they had to handsteer. No idea what the autopilot would be on that boat. It looks like a pretty light and lively boat.
I happen to know Justin and Chris, absolutely wonderful people, and very capable sailors... First met them about a dozen years ago when they were living aboard a Valiant 32 in Seattle, and had just returned from a cruise to Mexico... Both are very athletic and fit, having competed in triathlons for years, and such fitness serves them very well when cruising in such a boat...

SHEARWATER is a J-120, they've done some nice videos from their very fast Atlantic passage... Chris obviously has little fear of leaving the cockpit and going forward, and their vids showing reefing in 30-35 knots makes apparent that even with lines led aft, you're gonna have to leave the cockpit eventually... (grin) Justin went with a custom-spec'd NKE autopilot, pretty much the same setup used by the solo RTW sailors in the Vendee and similar events... Very serious, analytical approach to SAILING - by today's standards, their boat is relatively spartan, and lacks many of the amenities considered to be 'essentials' by most cruising couples today... Very much the same approach applied by Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger, actually... For those who actually go places, Sailing still appears to be the top priority...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post

I would not have voluntarily left that day. Cruising has no schedule.
In their particular case, it did... They were attempting to deliver the boat to Gibraltar to meet a ship, and have the boat shipped back to the States...

Makes their decision to return seem even wiser and more considered in hindsight, others might have been blinded by the perceived need to meet the schedule...
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
..
Great video. Looks like they knew what they were doing, but 47hrs of that wouldn't be "cruising" now would it?

MedSailor
As I have explained they did not need to sail 47 hours non stop, they had plenty places where they could stop safely, being those 85 miles to Nazaré probably the longest leg till Gibraltar.

But as Jon explained they were delivering a boat, the wind was not favorable (as it is not mostly of winter here going South) and they probably will prefer to do it in only one leg.

For what I have saw the conditions, giving the boat and their skill were doable if they had too, but very disagreeable and uncomfortable and I believe that it was the reason that they had turned back.

15 days ago solo sailors with smaller boats passed along this shore in more nasty conditions, but they had too

The conditions along this coast have been like that for months, this is one of the worst winters in many years. Yesterday and today are as bad (or worse) than on that day. That's why they are talking about April. I hope the nasty weather go away and they can make it with sunshine and good wind and sea conditions but given the instability of the weather I guess it would not be a bad idea to do the voyage in smaller legs taking advantage of shorter periods with favorable conditions.

Regards

Paulo
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