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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2008
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We sailed Paloma 135 miles downwind with a working jib in 15-20 knots of wind to get back to a US port after having been driven 150 miles off course in a storm, we had no choice as the main was shredded and the upper port stay was broken. Even though the boat was beat up from the storm, she performed well under jib only and we made close to hull speed most of the way back. I had not ever sailed that far under jib only and was surprised at how well it went.
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Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
We sailed Paloma 135 miles downwind with a working jib in 15-20 knots of wind to get back to a US port after having been driven 150 miles off course in a storm, we had no choice as the main was shredded and the upper port stay was broken. Even though the boat was beat up from the storm, she performed well under jib only and we made close to hull speed most of the way back. I had not ever sailed that far under jib only and was surprised at how well it went.
I bet that story gets longer and more interesting while sitting on a bar stool.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenuki View Post
I bet that story gets longer and more interesting while sitting on a bar stool.
There I was... that Portuguese by my side...

"Not tell the whale" , G did not want to tell Fred Oracas live free here...

"Why G", I ask...

As only a true mariner would say..........

"Tequila sucks and no good shearing comes as a result..that what you need to know my son...."

"really" fred asks..

Charlie states:" No Fred... sheep eat not drink"...

"what about the worm"


Jody states.. "worm... no ,and eat knot want knot.. so you tie good knots as a lesson...

Fred - "My dad likes knots - he does 15 knots per what I filmed"...

Jody - Fred "Dad is a awesome sailor.. but keep the sheep tied at dock less we think he has hired sheep...."

Fred, " is that all???"

Jody," Yes I have a serta to tend to now... best luck?"

Fred, " Do Americans call themselves Joel.. isn't that a Miami Vice thing..?

Jod. " Good night super hero!!!"................
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenuki View Post
I bet that story gets longer and more interesting while sitting on a bar stool.
Cute, and here's that longer, more interesting story - hold on to your bar stool all you arm chair sailors and bluewater wantabees (originally posted on the Seamanship, heavy weather handling thread) and if you want pictures, go to the picture galleries and search "Paloma".

Three of us, all seasoned sailors, sailed out around the bottom of South Padre Island (just North of the Rio Grande and the Mexican border) Thursday in the perfect sailing weather - we were in shorts and polos shirts, on a broad reach in 15 knot SSE winds, beautiful 5-7 foot seas and 70 degree weather - the only thing missing was the Jimmy Buffett tapes.
Later in the day we got a weather report, small craft immediately make for port, there was a Northerly cold front (the one that dumped all the snow in mid-west mid-week)moving our way at 35 miles per hour with winds 50-60, gusting higher, seas quickly building to over 20 feet. Paloma is a not a small craft, but a second-generation Bristol built and equiped to go anywhere in any weather, and since the weather report was coming from Coast Guard South Padre Island, we thought we could head more Easterly and possibly get on the other side of the brunt of the storm. No such luck, around 6:30pm we got hit full force by the front, coming like a freight train. It slammed us down to port lights in the water before we rounded up into the wind and could start the engine and start dropping sail. On the initial hit, it tore the main and we lost a cotterpin on the port upper stay and we couldn't haul the main more than about 3/4 of the way down and as bad luck would have it, a jib sheet got of control and went under the boat, tangling in the prop, stopping the engine. Now comes the decisions, not in the "game plan".
We made the only possible decision, to turn South and run bare poles before the storm. From the point we turned, about 35-40 miles NE of the Rio Grande, we screamed down wind in what we thought were 18- 20 foot following seas (later the Coast Guard told us they were closer to 30 feet) and winds 50-60 and gusting over 60 ( a Force 10 storm, precisely as promised by the Coast Guard) for 36 hours. The stern and bimini were plenty of sail and it was a wild ride being pushed along by the seas, hitting over 10mph (from the GPS) when sliding down the face of the seas. It was a strain to keep Paloma tracking so we couldn't stay on the helm more than an hour at a time and we knew if we turned beam to the wind, we would broach. When you went below for one-hour rest, you could only nap on the cabin sole - even that was comfortable after two hours in the cockpit. The winds were cold, but on the occasions that a wave broke into the cockpit, the water was warm - we couldn't figure why the warm Gulf waters didn't abate the storm sooner - actually we just kept wondering if we were going to end up in Vera Cruz.
When the winds finally abated and shifted back to SE, we were about 135 miles down and about 70 miles off the Mexican coastline - we had been blown 180 miles off our original rhumb line, no engine and only a 110 working jib. During the short calm of the wind shift, we untangled the line around the prop, by starting the engine in neutral then putting the engine in reverse and pulling like crazy on the line trying to unwind it - after two tries, thank goodness it worked, so we now had a working jib and an engine (if we needed it) - not a bad combination to turn and run north in what ended up being a bit more comfortable 15-20 knot SE winds and 8-10 foot seas - still a chore to keep her on track with only a small jib and making hull speed and better when shoved by the following seas, easily manageable.
The closest US landfall was South Padre Island about 135 miles NNW and by mid-day Sunday we were in sight of the buildings on the island.
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Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Last edited by johnshasteen; 03-29-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2008
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Nice story, and well played.
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Old 03-29-2008
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Thanks, did you check the pictures of Paloma when we limped back into Puerto Isabella? The biggest surprise was when we got within radio range we raised the CG on the radio and they said that Air Coast Guard Corpus Christi had been looking for us for two days, as on we were reported overdue at Freeport on 3/5/08. They said call CG Corpus and gave me their phone number. I called them on my cell phone and the first thing the LT I spoke with asked if we were from the boat that the helicopter came to and I said no. When she looked in her log and realized which boat we were, she asked if we had an EPIRB and when I told her yes, she asked why we hadn't activated it. I explained to her that we weren't in distress and had no reason to activate an SOS - she still thought we should have activated it. Oh well!
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2008
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Or you could ues a really long tack and sheet...
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2008
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Or you could ues a really long tack and sheet...
And that my friends is why they call it a KITE!!
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Last edited by tenuki; 04-08-2008 at 11:55 PM.
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  #19  
Old 04-15-2008
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It totally depends on the boat and rig. On a fractional rig, I wouldn't as the headstay is not balanced by the backstay. On a masthead rig, it depends on the boat. My Cape Dory sails upwind, downwind, whatever with just the jib. It points just as well and never has lee helm if the wind is strong enough to move the hull. My boat is a Cape Dory 25D. Full keel, narrow beam, slack bilges. And it loves to sail with the rail in the water....Just ask the two Catalina 30's that I outran last week UP WIND using just my 130 genoa. Winds were 20-25 sustained gusts to whatever. My rail was right off the water the entire time. Everytime a gust would hit my rail would go under and I'd point up a few degrees. The catalinas, on the other hand, rather than bury their lee rail would lift their windward rail and slow. 6.4 kts with just the headsail on a beam reach. Not too bad for a boat with a static waterline of 19 feet!
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