What's your biggest bonehead move sailing? - Page 25 - SailNet Community
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post #241 of 615 Old 09-02-2008
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Thanks everybody for the great lessons. My sides are aching from all the laughing. I am glad that so far there are no serious injuries or fatalities described. As I am new I have only 2 minor ones. The first, I had my 13 year-old son holding us into the wind as I dropped the mainsail in a 10 knot wind. Well, when I raised the main earlier I neatly coiled the loose halyard and hung it from the winch on the mast. I think things might have gone easier if I had uncoiled it before dropping the main, don't you? The main drops about 15 feet and the halyard becomes pretty tangled and jammed into some fittings on the mast. We are running out of room and need to turn away from the wind. My son has absolutely no experience handling the boat (we are working on this now) and my main is part way down and the wind is filling all of it. Note to self: install those lazy jacks that I purchased last month already. Anyway, we got it sorted out with nothing but hurt pride.
The second one, also minor, happened on our recent over-night to Santa Cruz Island. With a 2-3' shorebreak running, I motored the inflatable into shore with my son (same one) for a while. When it came time to leave the beach, I left the OB tilted up (longshaft) and decided to just row past the shore break before lowering and starting the motor. As I lazily rowed out to sea, I was sneeking peeks over my shoulder. All is well with my son watching as well as 6-8 other people. I notice that they are ALL WATCHING now and glance back to see a 6'+ wall of water about to break on me. Due to extreme luck and some long-lost rowing experience, I manage to stay in the dinghy which is totally vertical, and crash down on the outside of the wave, narrowly exscaping shame and possible bodily harm. I rowed like He*l to get outside and order my son to swim out to me. When I asked him why he didn't warn me about the wave, he said it didn't occur to him. He, like the observers on the beach wanted to see what was going to happen. Pretty funny now, but I was a little miffed at the time. That's it for now, but I assure you I will conjure up some more for you all.

Odyssey, '79 CSY 44 Cutter
Channel Islands, CA

"There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage."
Mark Twain
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post #242 of 615 Old 09-02-2008
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I would have wanted to see how old Mel would have handled that too....
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post #243 of 615 Old 09-04-2008
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Several in one trip

I had just bought my boat that fall and didn't want to wait for spring to bring it home from Sturgeon Bay, WI. First mistake was not getting clue when the guy at the fuel dock said, "Your kidding, right?". Second mistake, believing a weather forecast on northern lake Michigan during the last week of October. But not to worry I had a friend that had once been on a Catalina 22 for about an hour to crew for me. We left with the sun shinning and 10-15 kts of wind and high hopes for a great sail to Chicago. Later that evening, not sure about the wind because the meter blew away but the tops of those nice square waves were blowing off into my face. My friend was ready to abandon ship by this time and spotted a small harbor that will remain nameless. I might want to go back some day. Of course by this time all the crud in the tank had been stirred up and the engine dies when we are couple of hundred feet from what seemed at the time to be an entrance maybe 20 ft wide. I was able to get the triple reefed main back up for steerage and managed to surf a 12,000 lb full keeled boat in and somehow get a line around a piling to do what must have looked like a power slid into a fuel dock. When I looked up to thank God for being alive I noticed all of the cars and trucks parked on the breakwater to watch the show! For the next 2 days we walked around town with everyone saying, "Your the guys off the sailboat aren't you". I am sure bonehead would have been much nicer than what the called us behind our backs. My friend? He got a plane back home!
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post #244 of 615 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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rawsonnut, I too found out about believing weather reports for deliveries the hard way. Just another credit in the I can't believe I actually did that bank.
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post #245 of 615 Old 09-04-2008
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Rawsonnut, you know that heavy thing up the front with lots of chain attached to it?? It's called an anchor... and it might save your life one day.

Seriously though - glad you made it in in once piece. Maybe the on-lookers were just upset at missing a good sinking. Well done!

A bad day on a boat beats a good day in the office
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post #246 of 615 Old 09-17-2008
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One day my dad and I went out for a sail. I was due in work so it was only a quick sail. The tide was roaring through the sound in the wrong direction making getting back harder, not to mention the fact the wind was dropping and FAST. So it was a tedious beat back to the harbour and we're just about there. I want to put in two more tacks (I'm helming) but my dad is INSISTENT that we'll make it. He's being quite the backseat driver (or front seat helm :P)

So I'm basically under orders NOT to do two more tacks (which would have had us safely through the harbour mouth) and instead to stay on my tack with him constantly saying "we'll make it we'll make it". Of course, reality prevails and we don't make it. I put in an emergency gybe to avoid crashing into the harbour wall and the rocks beside it and suddenly we're right back at the start of the sound. I'm screaming at him to drop the anchor FAST. so he grabs it and throws it over the SIDE of the boat, not securing it to anything. So I start yelling at him to secure it to the front of the boat (where there is, conveniently a place to put an anchor line nice and safe through a fairlead at the front and onto a hook). He ignores, and finds himself about to be pulled over the side and his side smashes onto the side of the boat, which is littered with cleats. I grab onto him and he manages to secure the line. In the process, he's managed to crack ribs.

How did we get back? There was racing on for our fleet that afternoon and someone came out in a crash boat and rescued us :P Towed back in red faced.

My mistake that day: Listening to him and not staying in charge, seeing as I was at the helm
His mistake: not listening to me
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post #247 of 615 Old 09-20-2008
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With downcast eyes and humble spirit. My second sail on my own, but with my little crew. Ripping my mainsail because the batten got caught up, because I did not have the helmsman point into the wind when taking down the sail. School of hard knocks taught me to point into the wind and find the "no go zone" when raising and lowering my main. Blush.

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post #248 of 615 Old 11-19-2008
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NEVER start a trip on a Friday

Coming out the Frazier river in BC (month is long, narrow shallow mud flats and lots of commercial traffic. I was tired, stressed, GPS down, was tending to a scared dog, and had an 4 barges (two from each direction)all at once and low tide running 8 feet below mean. Somehow I got out of the channel and turned around, didn't notice it till hit bottom, big engine and prop with huge rudder and deepest point at the bottom of the rudder so I was able to through in reverse and spin around (could have been a lot worse). But it took awhile before I figured out I was moving in the wrong direction on the wrong side of the buoys, the channel extends quite some distance offshore because of the mud flats.
The other screw up the same day was starting across the straits of San De Fuca with tide behind me and what turned out to be a 40kt head wind, 10-15ft wind waves, waves from the tide at 90 degree to the wind were even worse.....continuing in that woul dhave been a screw up, but I turned around for the night
I was never much of one for superstitions but this was Friday (you are never supposed to start a trip on friday) and the 13th.......maybe there is something to them
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post #249 of 615 Old 11-19-2008
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almost drowned at the dock

The one that actually almost got me killed 3 times in just as many seconds was while I was still tied to the dock. I was stepping off my boat by way of the boomkin, which as it turns out was covered with ice. My leg slipped between the boomkin and transom, I was able to catch my self on the backstay long enough to keep my leg from breaking off at the ankle, but slid down until I lost my grip. My head just barely missed the dock but hit and broke the ice on the water. I was hanging upside down and sideways by one knee with my other foot and head under freezing water. I pulled myself up, ripping my stern light out by it's roots and lost my cell.....I don't know what I did to my leg but am still reminded of it. Non-skip teak pads go onto my boomkin...someday.
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post #250 of 615 Old 11-19-2008
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I can't tell you about my worst screw up, if the Coast Guard would find out who did it they might make me pay for that damages.

On to the second worst: I'd just bought a brand new chart plotter. We'd spent the night on the hook with some friends and first thing the next morning - well, it was after breakfast - we decided to rig the chart plotter at the helm. This involved a little bit of jury rigging, but everything worked great.

It was late in the season and chilly, but the sky was clear and the sun was nice and warm. Let's fold up the bimini says I. Well the crew thinks this is a great idea and everyone is lending a hand while I'm at the wheel. I'm supervising and giving orders, and paying no attention to where we're going. So, the first time I ran aground was about 30 minutes after I installed my first chartplotter.
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