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  #231  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

I have no doubt these boats saw worse weather than was predicted. After all it is November on the EAST COAST..... I have been through this short steep, under-predicted BS more times than I care to..

Stuff breaks when it gets like this. Happens to the best of boats and much of it is not predictable. When was the last time a surveyor dropped a rudder?

In the late 80's I was involved in a delivery on a new / used boat that lost the rig in fall winds. The rig and entire boat had just undergone a complete rig, hull & systems survey and passed with flying colors..

Still we were left bobbing like a cork, you do not want to be on a boat in rough seas without a spar, very uncomfortable. Trust me it is one of the most uncomfortable moments at sea you'll encounter in terms of motion. We were forced to cut away the rig.

A couple of weeks ago I went out for a short solo sail. NOAA was predicting 10-15 knots from the NW.. Just my kind of day. Knowing how high pressure moves into Maine I prepared/reefed for 20-25 knots and headed out.

By the time I tacked to head back in it was blowing 25 steady and gusting to 32 (apparent was obviously reading higher). An hour later it was a fairly steady 28-30 with gusts to 38-40 and spray blowing off the crests on the bay. When I checked NOAA, and other weather sources, she was still saying 10-15 knots....

Just glad I was in the bay and well prepared for more then 10-15 knots..

:The beat back in was fun, & wet..



Love my dodger..
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  #232  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Maine, glad to hear it's not just me. Between the tidal bore and opposing winds and Venturi effect it seems to always be more than the forecast, except for when it is dramatically less. We used to get very intense weather briefings when I was an airplane driver but we went anyway. I am pleased that I elected not to do one of the Rally's this year, with my 34 foot tub I'd have been right in it for quite a while. I prefer the armchair.
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  #233  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

I was actually asked to crew on a delivery to the Bahama's last week and this week, but not in the rally. I was too busy to go. I have not heard from Richard but his boat is in good shape and he has good crew. Not worried about him but I am sure he will have good stories...
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  #234  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
Ok let's say another multi-cirucmnavigator( I might stop using the Pardeys or Beth and Evan as specific examples here they both read forums ) wants to join in the BFS cup.

They also have slightly different idea's in regards to liferafts than ISAF ( becuase they are seasoned doublehanded circumnavigators, not offshore racing crews) that technically means they don't meet regs.

BUT They would love to sponsor the BFS cup, run safety seminars, teach storm tactics as it applies to double handed cruising yachts to everyone, commit to spending 2 weeks walking around the dock helping everyone get the boats ready, show Martin and Mary how to Hove to in the floating carvan, Heck they are even going to bring the rum......

What then? Which Option is safest??
Just like in a race, if the rally uses ISAF as the standard - that's the standard. If you don't wanna play by those rules - no soup for you.

It really doesn't need to be so hard.
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  #235  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Why all the angst? Why do people naturally assume that somehow these skippers/crews were substandard and the boats somehow ill prepared even though they were all embarking on an extended cruise? Nothing I read suggested that these skippers didn’t attend a SAS course and what broke really didn’t imply ISAF non-compliance (I’m assuming Smack wants Cat1). You know, sometimes bad things happen to good people. In a macabre sort of way, I’m glad this happened in the Atlantic as I’m tired of reading about bad things happening to Pacific Ocean sailors.

I kind of like the rallies. People shouldn’t deride them by using derogatory phrases like “herd mentality”. What you do get in a rally is the ability to make friends and network. It is nice to know a friendly face when you are in a strange harbor sometime in the future (especially if you have a boat issue). When we went across the Atlantic, we joined up into an informal radio net. It was nice to chat and hear what everyone else was up to (“Fatty” Goodlander was the moderator). At one point, a South African couple notified the fleet that they had broken steering gear. They got a lot of good advice on how to jury rig but in the end, their speed was greatly reduced and they didn’t have sufficient water reserves to get to the Caribbean. The word was passed around the net of their plight and their predicted positions. Boats behind them diverted and passed water and food to them. The couple was able to make Barbados without having call Rescue or having to abandon their boat. If “herd mentality” is helping your fellow mariner, then I’m all for it.

The idea behind the 11/1 start date is when you no longer need a hurricane rider on your insurance. On this year’s Baja Ha Ha, they were sweating out a late season tropical depression off Mexico that couldn’t decide to head up to Baja or curl back out to sea. Stuff happens. All we can do is be prepare the best we can to deal with it. So deal with it.
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  #236  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Cool. So now we're in agreement that the SDR had a schedule. It seemed earlier you were saying they didn't:
Sorry, but we're not in agreement... Departures of the SDR fleet were stretched out over more than a week, boats like CELEBRATION and DISTANT STAR left around the time of the 1500, and some boats still haven't left... Those sailors in the SDR rally are on no more of a 'schedule' than most anyone else making that trip on their own, independent of any affiliation with a rally...

Last time I made the trip was 2 years ago, on a Valiant 42 leaving from CT... The owner's insurance specified the boat could not be south of the Chesapeake prior to November 1... I ran the boat myself down to Norfolk, where I was going to meet my brother and nephew coming in from California...

At some point, you have to decide on a target date for departure... Flights need to be booked, and planes boarded... I had arrived in Hampton on the Monday the 1500 was slated to leave, but at the last minute they postponed, the first of a series of postponements thru the week... Whenever that happens, crews begin to drop out, as the "schedule" many are adhering to is to attempt to complete the passage in time for crews to return home by Thanksgiving... That was actually one of the reasons Bill Knowles dropped out of the 1500 3 years ago, he thought their planned departures at the end of the first week of November put too much pressure on those time constraints for so many of the crews...

So, I just don't see how the 'schedule' of the SDR rallyists differs in any significant way from the same considerations of any other sailors making this passage, or how being a participant in the SDR by definition adds "risk" to the timing of their departure, as you have argued... You should read Don Street's advice on this passage, it will give you a fuller appreciation of how narrow the recommended window for this trip really is, and how historically, this trip really needs to be attempted somewhere near the very beginning of November...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg
So, then - can you - or anyone else - provide examples of how a pre-rally inspection/certification to ISAF standards would have avoided or prevented whatever issues that arose with the particular boats/crews last week?
Until more facts are in I don't suppose we can prove a negative.

You seem to like to argue in circles - saying things that it's really hard for me to believe you actually believe. But whatever. We'll see how things shake out.
Yeah, whatever... :-)

Look, for as long as I've been posting on sailing forums, I've been pretty critical of these Caribbean Cattle Drives... They're certainly not my style, I can't imagine ever paying to participate in a rally to the Islands...

Based on what I observed hanging around with the 1500 fleet for a few days pre-departure, the vaunted "safety inspections" appeared to be somewhat cursory, and rather random... The 'flagship' of the fleet - the Hylas 70 ARCHANGEL - was apparently initially failed due to some issue with their lifejackets, pissant stuff...

Bigger picture stuff, however, seemed to get overlooked... I was astounded by the amount of crap many boats were carrying on deck, for example, and one would think a meaningful 'safety inspection' would have attempted to minimize that sort of thing. I've posted this pic before, but to me it's emblematic of how little a clue some skippers have about how to properly prepare their boats for what they might encounter on such a passage... If I were conducting a Safety Inspection of boats in preparation for a November passage to the islands, no way would this sort of stupidity pass muster:





Bottom line is, I simply think the Salty Dawg Rally has been unfairly targeted in the aftermath of these events... Chris Parker is as good as anyone in the business, even the best can miss now and then... As Dave has explained earlier in the thread, the weather has been pretty unusual lately, these fronts that have come thru lately have packed a serious punch... I'm in Wrightsville Beach at the moment, we just made it in here this evening before it started honking, and you couldn't pay me enough to be off Cape Fear tonight...
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  #237  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Wow
The weather routing really didn't work at all.
Really? Sounds like they got pretty much what was forecast, to me...

Quote:

Once we got through the Gulf Stream some 20 hours later, it was a further 100 mile sprint to stay ahead of the next cold front which forecast 50 knot squalls.
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  #238  
Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Really? Sounds like they got pretty much what was forecast, to me...
So, why they sailed out?

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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
As Bubble mentioned earlier - rallies can be a great learning opportunity if run like the ARC and the C1500 - which have high standards of safety. But a look at the numbers shows that the SDR pulled down far more boats than the C1500.

So what does that say?
Which is the better model?
Uhh, you understand the difference between "FREE", and a $1500 'Entry Fee', I presume? :-)
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  #240  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Uhh, you understand the difference between "FREE", and a $1500 'Entry Fee', I presume? :-)
Yes. I think it comes out to exactly 5 SAR missions.
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