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


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  #341  
Old 09-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbigfoot View Post
Running aground in front of a nudist beach
SO.

You should have some close-ups or it didn't happen.
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  #342  
Old 09-22-2010
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Sailing (well, motoring) aboard the topsail schooner Bel Espoir II from Halifax to St-Pierre et Miquelon in 1983. It was cold and bumpy so I was alone on deck, everyone else being snugged down somewhere below. We had two dogs on board and one had chosen a halyard flaked out on deck to dump on. Ah-ha, thought I, I’ll just bend this 40 foot piece of line to this 5 gallon bucket, attach it to this turnbuckle in case I lose my grip, and away we go. How clever am I! My brain tapped me on the shoulder and asked quietly if it was a good idea to be standing in the bight, with the line leading from the turnbuckle, behind my back and over the side, but I was too busy being clever.
Over the side went the bucket. It immediately caught a wave top, ripped out of my hands and dove under the hull. I was slammed up against the bulwarks and for the life of me could not budge the line now running across by back. The rope was streamed away at a 30 degree angle down the hull and since we were doing 8 or 10 knots there was no possibility of me hauling it back aboard. The line was as hard as a hickory stick.
I had my trusty knife but was hesitant to use it, mostly out of fear of how I would explain to the captain how the line and bucket came to be wrapped around the prop.
Fortunately, every minute or so, the bucket would come up to the water’s surface for a half second but only to dive again. On each of these moments the line would go slack enough for me to eek it up my back until it was just below my neck. One final bob and it was off but still under the boat. To get it back aboard I rigged a loop around the line and walked aft to where I could pull the bucket straight up instead of forward against the force of the water. For quick reference I've compiled a list of stupidities:
-Don’t stand in a bight (duh, boating 101)
-Don’t use too long a line
-Don’t be young and too proud to call out (part one solved)
-Don’t be clever
-Listen to the little voice (but not the one telling you to disembowel the PB skipper)
The final stupidity was not getting the brand name of that bucket whose handle did not rip out under the force; it looked like any old dollar-store bucket.

Please add any stupidity you've noticed that I'm still in denial about.

I've got other stories but (blush...flutter) we hardly know each other.
Atlas likes this.

Last edited by FifeRail; 09-22-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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  #343  
Old 09-27-2010
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Helpful hint from someone who learned the lesson yesterday on the Delaware River: When running downwind wing-and-wing with an ENE wind, keep in mind that your river, and thus your course, turns to the south.

The wind will no longer be coming from straight down the river and you WILL backwind your main, and it WILL smack you in the back of your fool head. Jibe on your terms before the wind decides to do it for you.

Last edited by 5hortBu5; 09-27-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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  #344  
Old 10-07-2010
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I only started sailing this last June. Now sailing a group of group owned Catalina 22's. Early one morning I was relocating one of the boats from its slip to the main pier for my morning guests. I was riding out closer to the channel markers than the slips because it was very early still and I knew some might still be sleeping in on that beautiful saturday morning.

This is when I found out that one of the markers had drifted/been moved and I 'found' a sand berm where there shouldn't be one. Barely moving forward there's an odd lurch and sound and I stop dead in the water. It takes a moment to realize what I've done. I put the motor in neutral, then reverse and lean out towards the deeper side of things and try to wiggle the boat free. It takes an overly long 15 minutes, and now the motor has probably waken up everyone I was trying to slip by and not disturb before she finally wiggles back out the way she came off the sandbar.

Looking at the shore after I got off the bar I realized that it made sense that there's probably a shallow spot there. Pay attention to topography when near the shore of the lake Mitch (shakes head). I've made sure to stay away from that spot since then. I wasn't looking forward to having to call one of the other group members and ask someone to come tow me off. There was NO ONE moving that morning yet. Even the fishermen weren't up yet!

The other boneheaded move I've made in my short sailing career was just the second time I took someone out on the boat by myself. I'd been practicing single handing for a while with my mentor and doing okay. While I had my friend out with me I set us up in a downwind run and we talked a good long while while we scooted down the lake, not realizing the wind had come up substantially while I wasn't paying attention. When I came out of the run and we heeled 20 to 30 degrees and I just about dumped my guest in the floor of the cockpit it got my attention. Easing out the mainsheet I managed to keep things mostly manageable until I had to tack again. Fighting the jib on the tacks was eating my lunch. Looking at the lake I decided to head up into one of the coves that would block some of the wind and I eventually furled the jib partially. That made my work a lot easier and we continued to sail. What I should have done at the same time was probably reef the main but at that point I'd never reefed the main myself and I didn't have anyone on the boat that could really help much. Plus the wind wasn't really THAT bad yet. One shouldn't say that in a boat, ever...

Even though my guest was having a lot of fun, I called it quits shortly after that. When we came off the water and I closed up the boat I was more tired than I was the first day of sailing class. I looked at the wind graph later that day after I got home. It had gone to 15kts, with gusts to 20. The highest I'd been sailing in by myself beforehand was maybe 10 kts. Might not sound like much to many of you, but I'm still a baby sailor! I've since been out with my mentor several times and practiced reefing, both in low and then later in stronger winds than my first experience. It was a good lesson in my limitations. I've learned a lot because of it. Reef early and never be afraid to call it quits for the day. Love it, live it.

Great thread!
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  #345  
Old 10-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbigfoot View Post
Running aground in front of a nudist beach
What's wrong with that or weren't there any good looking younger ladies to help you get 'loose'?http://www.sailnet.com/forums/images...es/laugher.gif
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  #346  
Old 10-08-2010
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Letting my Now forever EX sale my Catalina 30 way back in the late eighties, while I was working offshore.
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  #347  
Old 10-08-2010
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When on the hard, I take the speed/temperature sensor (through-hull type) out. I use that nice big hole in the bottom the run an extension cord into the boat. That way I can run power tools/lights/etc. (I also used it to flush the antifreeze out of the water tanks, using the siphon technique I posted about a couple years ago.)

Well, I left the sensor/plug out when the marina launched the boat.

Fortuantely they are professionals and check the bilges after launching. Or maybe they heard the rushing-water sound that a small gyser of water makes.

Regards,
Brad
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  #348  
Old 10-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
When on the hard, I take the speed/temperature sensor (through-hull type) out. I use that nice big hole in the bottom the run an extension cord into the boat. That way I can run power tools/lights/etc. (I also used it to flush the antifreeze out of the water tanks, using the siphon technique I posted about a couple years ago.)

Well, I left the sensor/plug out when the marina launched the boat.

Fortuantely they are professionals and check the bilges after launching. Or maybe they heard the rushing-water sound that a small gyser of water makes.

Regards,
Brad
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  #349  
Old 10-10-2010
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Let me tell you about my day. Prepare yourself, it's a long story.

Two friends and I decided to go fishing. I'm having some shrouds replaced, so one my shrouds is off the boat, so we had to motor (the wind was perfect too, I was upset about this).

We get a couple of minutes outside the marina and the engine dies. I can't get it to crank. We're drifting out of control, so I give the order to raise the main. So much for not stressing my weakened rig! We get the sail about 2/3 of the way up and can't go any higher because the wind is abeam. The sail is flopping all over the place, but we can steer and think for a second.

First thought: engine won't crank because it's in gear. I switch to neutral, thinking the problem is solved. Crank crank crank. Sounds like it's not getting any fuel. I check the tank level, we've got plenty. I check the fuel filter, looks fine.

Second thought: the guys who installed my Espar yesterday somehow let air into the fuel line. I need to bleed it. I should probably mention this is my first boat. I've owned it for less than a month. This is my third time out with it. My total sailing experience is an 8-day ASA course on an IP440 and a dozen or so afternoons on a Mercury on the Charles River. I have no idea how to fix the engine (I'm going to take a class this winter), so I call my broker. He doesn't know how to bleed it, and tells me to call the service yard that will be teaching that class. I do, but they're closed for the holiday weekend.

New plan: sail back to the marina. I call them on the VHF, explain my situation, and they say I can dock on the end on the outside. We turn around, fully raise the main, and 45 minutes later of tacking later, I am pulling up to the dock (directly upwind, thankfully). We stop dead before we get to it. I go around again, build up more speed this time. The wind shifts as I'm pulling up and blows me away from the dock (some kind of weird local effect, it was back to the original direction in the channel). I go around again, come in faster and aiming into the dock. Success! My first time docking under sail, third time docking ever.

The marina staff recommend a liveaboard who might be able to fix the engine. He spends about 10 minutes looking things over and identifies a fuel shut off that is in the "off" position. I never even looked for one because my surveyor told me there wasn't one and that I should add one! Apparently the Espar techs turned it off. Engine starts right up, I profusely thank my new neighbor, and then we're on our way again.

We enjoy a lovely afternoon of fishing, though we didn't catch anything. I even tried out my anchor for the first time. We head home later than we should have, and it is dark by the time we get back to the marina. Apparently I'm a bit too close to the opposite side of the fairway from my slip (I wanted a wide turn; bad plan). My stern wants to swing into a bunch of boats. I throw it into reverse, expecting the prop walk to move me away from them. It walks to port, right? Captain Jack seems to think so, and so did the seller's broker during the sea trial. It seems to be walking to starboard. Go back into forward, continue down the fairway... except there's a wall at the end. I try to do a U-turn, can't do it. I try to back up, it tries to go into those boats again. There are now about a dozen liveaboards hopping from boat to boat preparing to push me away (I never got close enough for that). Eventually I succeed in backing down the fairway to my slip. I consider docking stern-to, decide against it, keep backing down the fairway. I successfully pull into my slip forwards and various people tie off all the lines for me, then they all disappear... I didn't even have a chance to say thank you.

Well, we made it home, no boats were damaged, I met (terrified?) all my new neighbors, and learned a few things. Perhaps I should have named my boat "Trial by Fire". Maybe eventually I'll de-stress enough to go to sleep instead of writing long-winded forum posts
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Last edited by rmeador; 10-10-2010 at 12:30 AM.
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  #350  
Old 10-10-2010
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Welcome to the club
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