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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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  #481  
Old 01-13-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
That's actually a great piece of advice Bill. I hadn't thought of that as an option. And, as I've discovered, there sure are plenty of those things out there!

The only caution is to not get too close, as the back of the waves toss you about a 1/2 boat length back toward the rig. It did take a little careful maneuvering to stay in the sweet spot, right at the edge of the cone of protection.

An added bonus is the lightening hit the lightening rods on the rig, not my boat,...And the flare stack provided some nice wamth.
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  #482  
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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
It looks like it's still online. Mind you, this was for a general audience, so a lot of the sailor details are left out.:

http://asap.ap.org/stories/510321.s
http://asap.ap.org/stories/512278.s
http://asap.ap.org/stories/514506.s
Dude, I have no idea how I've missed this story for so long. Have you ever posted it here and I just didn't see it?

Completely stealing it for the BFS thread! Freakin' EPIC!!!!

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  #483  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Dude, I have no idea how I've missed this story for so long. Have you ever posted it here and I just didn't see it?

Completely stealing it for the BFS thread! Freakin' EPIC!!!!

I think I posted it several years ago, but until recently I have been more active on Cruisers Forum than here at Sailnet.

About the only sure takeaway for me is a conviction that the South China Sea is a tricky stretch of water -- one I would make efforts to avoid in future. We went at the end of typhoon season and got a typhoon. Since I was trying to get from Hong Kong to Thailand, I didn't have much choice. If I were doing a milk run from the US, though, I'd go over the northern side of Borneo and up to Gulf of Thailand.

Here's the problem:
June to October (officially) - Typhoons. But they aren't unheard of through December and occasionally Jan.
December to March - winter monsoon. Guaranteed heavy weather
March to June - light air
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  #484  
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I think I posted it several years ago, but until recently I have been more active on Cruisers Forum than here at Sailnet.

About the only sure takeaway for me is a conviction that the South China Sea is a tricky stretch of water -- one I would make efforts to avoid in future. We went at the end of typhoon season and got a typhoon. Since I was trying to get from Hong Kong to Thailand, I didn't have much choice. If I were doing a milk run from the US, though, I'd go over the northern side of Borneo and up to Gulf of Thailand.

Here's the problem:
June to October (officially) - Typhoons. But they aren't unheard of through December and occasionally Jan.
December to March - winter monsoon. Guaranteed heavy weather
March to June - light air
Yeah, I just learned a bit about that. Evans S. posted weather and pilot charts for that area over at SA since the VOR is about to go through. Going W-E looks like a nasty ride for a very long time. It'll be interesting to see how the 70s fare.
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  #485  
Old 01-28-2012
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I can tell you how I got started, which might help.

I started on Lake Michigan in a small inexpensive boat - a Hobbie Cat - I know you are all laughing now - but it was a great experience - close to the water, hiking out and if you have another heavier crew member with you, if you turn it over because you've just gotten to crazy in stiff wind, you can always right it. It gives you a good feel of when you are on the edge.

I then started branching out. There were several sailing schools around so I took a course with an old salt who had sailed around the world once. I rented a boat. I had like an 1/8 share and got to take the boat only on certain days. It was about a 40 footer. At the same time I started taking courses at the local planetarium. I took a course on navigation stars, another on plotting your course with dead reckoning and drift considerations, another on navigating with a sectant and I practiced. I read a couple of books, at the same time I was sailing, so I had recommendations from experienced sailors on what they had done on their extended voyages.

Alot of the advice was about things I wouldn't have thought of. Like what type of stove is good for tropical living, what fuel is readily available for it in foreign ports, safety wiring bolts with aircraft wire so they don't loosen and get lost in the drink.

Got a 24' racing sailboats so I could do class racing. Racing teaches you a lot. Sometimes you're racing and the weather changes for the worse, but you're already out there so the race isn't cancelled. That means you are pushing the edge and it also means you are learning a lot. You are also comparing your skills - whether you want to or not - with the rest of your competitors. You instantly know when you're not matching up because you'll be left behind. It has other benefits as well. You registered for the race so if anything does go horribly wrong, at least someone has a good idea where you are and that they need to go find you.

Finally I was ready for my dream boat. From reading I knew what equipment to buy, I had been practicing navigation right along, could navigate with a sectant - which I had to do because at the time GPS didn't cover the areas I was sailing - and knew what to do in heavy weather.

Hope that helps.

Linda
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Nice write up Linda. Welcome SN.
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I have never faced an inshore gale, but did encounter a mid-Atlantic gale, and had to fly storm sails. They were surprisingly effective. They heel the boat very little but there is tremendous drive from them. We got absolutely drenched more than a few times, and one rogue wave clobberred the ship, at the port bow, loosening the accomodation.
The forces are terrible though. The storm trysail pulled the rail out of the deck.

Avoidance of inshore gales is largely a matter of weather forecasting, so we can avoid them.
In settled weather I would practice rigging storm sails and dropping the boom and such stuff, but I don't recommend that you go out purposely to fly storm sails, unless it is with a very experienced, heavy-weather crew.
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

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Originally Posted by sab30 View Post
I was just curious, as there appear to be many offshore experienced sailors on this site, how do you prepare and deal for heavy weather sailing (or worse weather than you have ever seen) without the experience of having encountered it?
I spent many passages with more experienced skippers before I skippered myself on the ocean. Crew for someone else first.

If doing it on your own, start with many coastal passages--which are in many ways tougher as you have to do a better job navigating. The most important thing when sailing near coastal is to always know exactly where you are. One reason I like about sailing offshore is you don't need to know exactly where you are, you just need to watch for traffic and point in the right general direction.

Lots of people talk about how to prepare for heavy weather, I won't rehash that. The best thing to do is avoid it. Being able to function in heavy weather is the most important thing. Being able to rest. Being able to eat. Not being sick. Not folding up on your crew mates. Get up, puke if you have to, and then get on deck for your watch, no matter how bad you feel. Because they feel bad and need to rest when it is their turn.
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  #489  
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Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

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Originally Posted by Night_Sailor View Post
I spent many passages with more experienced skippers before I skippered myself on the ocean. Crew for someone else first.

If doing it on your own start with many coastal passages--which are in many ways tougher as you have to do a better job navigating. The most important think when sailing near coastal is to always know exactly where you are. One reason I like sailing offshore, is you don't need to know exactly where you are, you just need to watch for traffic and point in the right general direction.

Lots of people talk about hot to prepare for heavy weather, I won't rehash that. The best thing to do is avoid it. Being able to function in heavy weather is the most important thing. Being able to rest. Being able to eat. Not being sick. Not folding up on your crew mates. Get up, puke if you have to, and then get on deck for your watch, no matter how bad you feel. Because they feel bad and need to rest when it is their turn.
I agree. All the hashing and rehashing of which method to apply, what sail configuration, drogue, sea anchor, etc. gets to be purely academic until you're there. It's good to be familiar with it all so you are aware of options, but chances are -- if my experience counts for anything -- that you won't have a sudden epiphany that tells you exactly what to do and when. Every situation is different and I have no idea what I'd do next time. Having said that, I like this novel strategy of just trying not to be there when the excrement hits the wind generator.
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