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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Lost at Sea
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Thread: Lost at Sea Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-06-2010 05:16 PM
Matvolver
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
dude id love to get the title of that.
rescue in the pacific is another good one.
Okay, did a library search with no results, conferred with the research librarian with same results, then did what I should have done in the first place: called Mom

The book is titled The Raft; authors are Robert Trumbull & Harold F. Dixon; and it was published in 1942 by H. Holt & Co. NY

And my time estimate was a little off, only 34 days in a WWII liferaft
10-06-2010 02:46 PM
QuickMick dude id love to get the title of that.
rescue in the pacific is another good one.
10-06-2010 02:41 PM
Matvolver Smack, if you're interested in books on survival at sea, there was a book written about 3 guys shot down in the Pacific in WWII. All they had was their clothes and what they had on at the time - no survival packs! I believe they had a knife between the three of them, and I seem to remember them catching rainwater with their clothes. Finally beached on an island after 2-3 months at sea like that. It's been like 20 years since I read that story, I'll see if I can dig up the title for you if you want.
10-06-2010 12:35 PM
AE28 7. Just follow the sun and you'll run into land.
10-06-2010 12:08 PM
bjung
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
4. Water ballast bags are freakin' amazing. The Butlers were in a Switlick 4-man (which, again, was not quite big enough for 2 to be comfortable). The ballast bags were rectangular (not triangular) with chain at the bottom of each bag. They went through some huge storms with breaking seas up to 25' and never rolled once - WITHOUT the sea anchor in the water.
It should be noted, that most liferaft companies calculate the weight of the people in the raft(its capacity) as part of the ballast. Hence, oversizing a liferaft, for space reasons, will increase its tendency to capsize.
However, the lack of persons in the raft can easily be offset by substituting each person with 4 cases of beer. Just don't drink the ballast....
10-06-2010 10:23 AM
smackdaddy Okay, I just finished reading another stuck-in-the-damn-liferaft-for-months book called "66 Days Adrift" by a guy named Butler. This one was about this dude's wooden cutter being holed by pissed-off pilot whales 1200 miles west of Costa Rica. Their yacht went under in 30 minutes and he and his wife took to a coastal-rated life raft (rated to about 2-weeks of usefulness) - because he'd cheaped out on the purchase. This rating was immediately threatened by a 3-inch tear in the main tube by the pushpit rail as they were loading. They patched it with a couple of these things:



Which worked surprisingly well for a very long time.

Overall, this book wasn't as good as Callahan's as these people were not nearly as likable. But it was a bit more current and, therefore, a better perspective on gear and technique.

After reading two of these now, there seem to be some very interesting lessons:

1. You most likely won't starve. Fish are always around, as are sharks, so there seems to be a pretty constant supply of sushi. Callahan (Atlantic) used a slowly decaying spear gun throughout his 76 days - and Butler (Pacific) simply put on a glove and grabbed trigger fish out of the water! Amazing. They all lost over 1/3 of their body weight, but were in remarkably good condition at the end of it.
2. Sharks are always around, and often very aggressive, but rarely do they just eat the raft and it's yummy, chewy center. The Butlers were harassed by mid-sized sharks far more than Callahan was, with those sharks continuously smacking the raft with their tails (enough that they thought the raft would come apart) and spraying the raft to mark it (which was a new one to me). But, even as the Butlers became too tired to beat the sharks away, the sharks didn't become any more aggressive than they had been. The most damage done to the raft by a beastie was actually by a dolphin when a pod of them were feeding on the hundreds of trigger fish under the raft.
3. A WATERMAKER IS LIFE! Callahan only had 2 inflatable water stills. These were effective, but really sketchy and not very durable. They produced just enough water to barely keep him alive. The Butlers had a hand-pump watermaker. They never, ever complained of not having enough water, and actually had plenty stored. The difference in the level of comfort and health in this regard was HUGE.
4. Water ballast bags are freakin' amazing. The Butlers were in a Switlick 4-man (which, again, was not quite big enough for 2 to be comfortable). The ballast bags were rectangular (not triangular) with chain at the bottom of each bag. They went through some huge storms with breaking seas up to 25' and never rolled once - WITHOUT the sea anchor in the water.
5. Carry a CRAPLOAD OF FLARES AND A HANDHELD VHF. They had OVER 30 SHIPS PASS WITHIN SIGHT OF THEM WITH A COUPLE OF THEM VIRTUALLY PASSING WITHIN FEET ALMOST RUNNING THEM DOWN and none of those saw the raft - even with smoke and flares. Those big freighters don't seem to post watches at sea at all. They had no VHF.
6. EPIRB - cuts 65+ days down to 2-5. Serious no brainer.

Go to Amazon.com and click on the "Look Inside" link for this book. They have the full "Appendix" which is his "lessons learned" section with a lot of great info.

They've been fun reads.
09-27-2010 09:53 AM
smackdaddy Heh-heh. Yeah, AE, but the real trick is to do the whole thing with only one jibe at noon.
09-27-2010 09:41 AM
AE28
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Right back where you started.
+1
09-24-2010 03:55 PM
QuickMick IIRC in 'a voyage for madmen' one of the sailors was getting head butted by a whale and feared getting holed.

the best he could figure, the whale was sleeping or napping or whatever they do and he rammed it, scaring the thing into thinking it was under attack...

BEWARE THE NAPPING WHALE!! LOL. have a great weekend.
09-24-2010 03:28 PM
smackdaddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
Presuming no ocean currents and no change in wind speed or direction during daylight hours and no clouds....

You're off the East Coast of N America.

You get up and set sail as soon as you can discern the rising sun. You follow the sun until you can no longer see it.

Other than maybe being a tad further south than where you started, where are you?
Right back where you started.
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