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  #421  
Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Got it. Thanks.

As long as you (and others with this stance) don't mind less experienced sailors getting into trouble and calling in the CG when things are not "very last resort" - I guess there's no problem. It's their "right". I just think most in your group have a problem carrying this logic through.

As for me, in terms of organized sailing (races or rallies) - you're right, I think the standard for entry should match the level of potential difficulty/danger. That's just good for sailing.
I have no problem with your thinking that.
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  #422  
Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

First, if y'all would stop quoting people on my ignore list I'd be able to contribute better. *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
But as someone else already noted, they put the focus on the preparation of the boat, instead of the sailor... And, they often tend to focus on relatively minor details, while ignoring more consequential matters such as the stowage of massive dinghies on davits, or lining the rail with jerry jugs of diesel...
That would be me. The problem is that as judgment dominates multiple choice questions the determination of who makes the judgment becomes a factor. Who decides? Me? Jon? Some USCG Captain? Some armchair sailor? Who picks the people who pick?

I stand by my point that the crew is a bigger deal than the boat and its equipment. There is no question in my mind on that. What is less clear is how to evaluate who is ready to go offshore. I know a few people that thought they were ready who ended up on the radio or sat phone asking for help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Dave has attended some of the SDR's pre-rally seminars, perhaps he can speak better to the sorts of things that were stressed during those... I've met Bill and Linda Knowles, and understand their motivation for starting the SDR, after realizing the 1500 was affording precious little 'bang for the buck' for repeat participants... They wanted an alternative, providing the most essential benefits such as weather routing... However, considering the SDR is being run as a non-profit, and there is no cost to the participants, and the organizers have made it patently clear that they are responsible for their own decisions regarding their own passages, I think it might be a bit of a stretch to expect that Bill and Linda will perform inspections on 130+ boats to ensure they're all in compliance with something like ISAF regs... :-)
Absolutely agree. The Knowles are doing a wonderful thing for the cruising community. More training and seminars and roundtables are, in my opinion, of greater value than inspections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
IMHO, if there was ONE meaningful requirement any of these rallies might have, it would be that at least ONE of the crew aboard every boat had made the trip before... More than anything, that seems to be the primary problem with this stuff, the absence of any sort of offshore 'apprenticeship' on the part of some of these crews heading offshore, the lack of prior offshore experience on the part of some of the skippers and crews headed out there...
I think I understand what Jon intends but it comes back to who decides what experience counts. Some people are crew, some are "watch captains," and some are passengers. Who decides? Still evaluating people is more useful than checklists for boat systems.
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  #423  
Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
First, if y'all would stop quoting people on my ignore list I'd be able to contribute better. *grin*
Contribute what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Absolutely agree. The Knowles are doing a wonderful thing for the cruising community.
That, of course, is highly debatable. Morganscloud didn't seem to think so...as a start.

Look you and Jon know these people personally. So an objective viewpoint is NOT going to be your strong suit here. And that's cool, but at least be real about it.

To wit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I know a few people that thought they were ready who ended up on the radio or sat phone asking for help.
Like the 6 SDR participants? How is this "good for the cruising community".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
The problem is that as judgment dominates multiple choice questions the determination of who makes the judgment becomes a factor. Who decides? Me? Jon? Some USCG Captain? Some armchair sailor? Who picks the people who pick?

I think I understand what Jon intends but it comes back to who decides what experience counts. Some people are crew, some are "watch captains," and some are passengers. Who decides? Still evaluating people is more useful than checklists for boat systems.
This is a classic case of "it's not easy so let's not do it". Not a strong argument in my book....especially when, in fact, it's very easy.

You obviously appear to have a personal stake in this. So I think your biased contribution should be weighed accordingly.
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  #424  
Old 12-08-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

I have read this thread carefully and the best advice and knowledgeable statements have come from Jon and Auspicious. For Smack to accuse Auspicious of bias is inappropriate.

I hope that potential rally participants read this thread so that they realize the difficulty of the trip and the level of seamanship required. I have written of the fallacies inherent in thinking there is a weather window in which you can magically deliver your boat from the freezing North East to the sunny Caribbean in the month of November with a big party at each end of the trip.

We have come down Island from the NE twice in the last few years and in spite of the fact that we have a big well equipped boat (13 oz cloth main with a 4th storm reef of 110sq ft for a 30 ton boat as an example) and more 'gale time' and 'sea time' than 90% of the people in the Rallies we have chosen to make it a leisurely two month trip. To do otherwise is to risk breaking the prime directive:

"Never leave a warm pub to go out in a winter gale!"


I knew three sailors that died because they broke that rule!

However, we might choose to go off-shore but it would not be to a schedule and it would be after we had assessed the weather data and made our own decision. I would listen and learn from Chris Parker's excellent analysis but we would never 'take his advice'!

I fear that one year the weather routers will get it really wrong and we will have a 'Queen's Birthday' like storm that will do real damage.

The 1994 Queen's birthday storm | Pangolin
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  #425  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Weather
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  #426  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

Heading South I want to get East as far North as I can; keep track of where the trades kick in. Leaving from Chesapeake Bay at 135T from the sea buoy you cross the GS where it is usually pretty narrow and NEly. That means there is as much fair Easting as foul Northing. Relative to Newport you cross the GS much sooner and so have better weather information when the sea temperature starts to rise. Relative to Beaufort the GS is usually narrower and the islands are no further away. From the Chesapeake if you stay off the beach you'll miss most of the unpleasantness of the fronts hitting the warm water over Diamond Shoals. It's not a perfect answer but on the boats I sail my choices are Chesapeake, Newport, Beaufort. YMMV.
Well, you're definitely a braver man than I :-) Newport, or anywhere N of the Chesapeake Entrance are way at the bottom of the list, for me... At least on anything less than a large, fully-crewed, fast yacht capable of making Bermuda in 4 days or so - and I'm not sailing many of those, these days... :-)

In the fall, I've always wound up departing from the Chesapeake, even with deliveries originating in the NE... I suppose I'd consider shooting straight for Bermuda if the forecast looked virtually certain, but that's a real rarity, difficult to plan for in advance, and might only be taken advantage of on short notice... It's just simpler to plan on running down to Hampton, and staging your departure from there...

You're absolutely right, getting across the Stream as quickly as possible, in favorable conditions, dictates the strategy of the trip, of course... With that in mind, I think Beaufort/Morehead City is really the best point of departure, and on a delivery with an ICW-capable boat, that will always be my fallback plan if having to wait in Hampton for awhile, or if the forecast is uncertain... Haven't made the trip in my own boat yet, but when/if I ever do, Beaufort will definitely be my first choice, unless the forecast from the Chesapeake looks ideal... But, if it's blowing NE in Norfolk, I'd take advantage and sail as much as possible down inside to Beaufort - which IMHO is a far more pleasant spot to wait it out for a favorable window for departure, anyway...

My own little boat is slower than those I deliver offshore, and I'd likely be singlehanding my own, so getting into the Stream shortly out of Beaufort would be critical, for me... It's a pity Hatteras and Ocracoke Inlets are as marginal as they are, they might be the ultimate jumping off spots, and if I were confident of the current status of either, I'd definitely consider either in my own boat. (With someone else's boat, however, perhaps not so much :-)) You'd have to do your final provisioning beforehand, though, as the shelves of the market in Ocracoke tend to get a bit bare by November/December...

One big advantage of leaving from south of Hatteras as opposed to the Bay, is that it will keep you a bit further south of the area between Hatteras and Bermuda where many late season sub-tropical systems historically tend to be generated... With my own boat, I'll take the possible hit of not making my easting further north, and if I'm only able to fetch Puerto Rico, or even the DR, instead of the Virgins further on down the road, it won't be the end of the world... Ideally, I'd cross the Stream in a SW breeze ahead of a front, and be carried a bit more N, anyway. On a delivery, or in a rally, however, your mindset is gonna be different - focused on a particular destination within a particular time frame... Flights to catch, awards ceremonies to attend, that sort of thing - you're not really 'cruising', in those instances...

I still think the best advice on this trip, by far, is that of the old master, Don Street... I'm amazed how many today seem to consider his view - largely because it was originally written decades ago - as now "old-fashioned", and no longer applicable due to modern weather forecasting... If anything, this year's events support his contention that counting on a reliable window much longer than 36-48 hours off the east coast in late fall, is little more than wishful thinking...

Don Street's Sailing Routes to the Caribbean | Cruising World





One of the best points raised among the Comments to Harries' post on Morganscloud pointed out how so many sailors today have become 'spoiled' by the heightened accuracy of modern forecasting... I never cease to be surprised by the number of folks out there now who appear to take what they see on a site like PassageWeather as virtual gospel - hell, I'm guilty of that sometimes, myself :-) But the double-edged sword today has become, that so many sailors have been able to complete relatively short coastal passages - the 250 mile 'qualifiers' required by the 1500, for example - completely within an accurately forecast weather window, without ever once having gotten 'caught out' in one of the likely surprises than can occur further offshore, or beyond a forecast of 72 hours, or so...
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  #427  
Old 12-08-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
I have read this thread carefully and the best advice and knowledgeable statements have come from Jon and Auspicious. For Smack to accuse Auspicious of bias is inappropriate.
Thank you.

I can be very clear. I speak on several sailing subjects through SSCA (Gams and SSU webinars), Sail Magazine events, boat shows, and various rendezvouses. The only ones I get paid for (so far!) are SSU webinars, and that is beer money.

I don't get anything from the Knowles or SDR for supporting them. For anyone to suggest that because I don't agree with an ill-informed position I have a vested interest is offensive. I stand by my statements - the Knowles have organized a non-profit event that promotes education and information sharing associated with a Southern migration that will happen anyway, constrained by insurance company lawyers and actuaries who drive poor decision-making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
However, we might choose to go off-shore but it would not be to a schedule and it would be after we had assessed the weather data and made our own decision. I would listen and learn from Chris Parker's excellent analysis but we would never 'take his advice'!
I think Chris would agree. What Chris offers is well informed advice. The skipper has ultimate responsibility for decision-making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Well, you're definitely a braver man than I :-) Newport, or anywhere N of the Chesapeake Entrance are way at the bottom of the list, for me...
Not me. I'm a coward. I've been beaten up often enough when I was young and invulnerable to avoid it at all costs. I don't have anything to prove.

I'd rather sit in Little Creek a couple of days for a system to pass then commit to the ICW (if the boat I'm on even fits) and end up in Beaufort only to wait on weather again. I also worry about the cost to my customer - three or four days of fuel and my time to get somewhere from which it will take just as long to get South. On the other hand I can do Norfolk to Beaufort (or Annapolis to Beaufort) single-handed and have crew meet me in Beaufort. That probably means picking up ground transportation for crew from New Bern of course.

The reason I don't like Beaufort NC (although I love the city) is that the Gulf Stream (GS) hasn't really tipped Easterly yet and it tends to be very wide there. By the time it gets a hundred miles North the GS has tightened back up and getting across is faster.

Thanks for the map from Don Street. I'd forgotten that like me he listed Little Creek as the launching point for the mouth of the Chesapeake. At the risk of someone assuming I have an ownership share in the marina (sorry - warped sense of humor) consider Vinings Landing Marina, 8166 Shore Dr, Norfolk, VA 23518, (757) 587-8000. Can walk to Food Lion, walk (if need be) to Norfolk International Airport, good on site restaurant, and if you can schmooze properly get a ride to the new West Marine in Virginia Beach. For really deep draft boats use Little Creek Marina (same owners, good service, longer walks). My reviews are on ActiveCaptain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
You're absolutely right, getting across the Stream as quickly as possible, in favorable conditions, dictates the strategy of the trip, of course... With that in mind, I think Beaufort/Morehead City is really the best point of departure, and on a delivery with an ICW-capable boat, that will always be my fallback plan if having to wait in Hampton for awhile, or if the forecast is uncertain.
Especially in Fall and Winter months, it's good to be warm as soon as possible. I have a nasty tendency to accept cold weather deliveries. *grin*

I think it is worth noting that I have tremendous respect for you, Jon, and your judgment even when we make different choices, which really isn't that often. For the record I do salute and get in line. If I ever have the chance to sail for you there will be no second guessing. Just hear me out and decide. From our correspondence I suspect you would act that same on my gig. The challenge will be finding a customer to pick us both up. *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
But, if it's blowing NE in Norfolk, I'd take advantage and sail as much as possible down inside to Beaufort - which IMHO is a far more pleasant spot to wait it out for a favorable window for departure, anyway...
I'd much rather spend time in Beaufort than Norfolk. Little Creek is not exactly a mecca for waiting for a weather window - convenient but not attractive. Hampton on the other hand is lovely. If I think I'm going to be stuck for a few days I would seriously consider moving to Hampton for the wait and then staging back to Little Creek when weather starts to clear.
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  #428  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Greatly appreciate this thread and have learned a lot. Would you guys care to rip up the thornless path please?
By the way had a really good time in Norfolk given virginia beach is so close
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  #429  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
I have read this thread carefully and the best advice and knowledgeable statements have come from Jon and Auspicious. For Smack to accuse Auspicious of bias is inappropriate.

I hope that potential rally participants read this thread so that they realize the difficulty of the trip and the level of seamanship required.
York, c'mon. According to Ausp, he's friends with the founders of the SDR. How on earth can that NOT bias one's opinion? Seriously.

For example, he stated that this rally was "wonderful for the sailing community". Conversely, Morganscloud (a pretty experienced sailor himself) stated the exact opposite in his article, due to how these SAR incidents reflected on all of us. How exactly do you reconcile these two? Is there a bias on one side or the other of this disagreement? Is Morganscloud being "inappropriate"? Remember, Jon stated that Morganscloud's take was "spot on". How does Ausp feel about that?

Furthermore, Jon and Ausp disagree with each other in the posts above. So is this disagreement "inappropriate"? One is obviously biased toward one departure point for very good reasons - the other is the opposite. If, in fact, they are both giving "advice" (instead of stating opinion) - which is right and which is wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I don't get anything from the Knowles or SDR for supporting them. For anyone to suggest that because I don't agree with an ill-informed position I have a vested interest is offensive.
I didn't say you had a "vested interest", Ausp. I said your friendship with the Knowles biases your opinion. Is Morganscloud's position "ill-informed" as well?

Look, guys, we are discussing opinion here - not dogma. Disagreeing with another person's opinion is not a bad or inappropriate thing. And if being disagreed with hurts your feelings, you might need to harden up a bit.

Furthermore, I've not given "advice" in this thread - I've stated what I think. Again - opinion. If you want to try derive "advice" from the points I've continually made it would be this:

1. Don't do a trip this big, especially in the fall, until you have much more experience than a single off-shore passage - and have dealt with rough conditions.
2. If you don't have a lot of experience, you should, at the least, adhere to an accepted standard like the ISAF regs in prepping and equipping your boat for offshore sailing.
3. The nature of rallies can increase risk due to herd mentality, scheduling, etc. - especially for less experienced sailors. This can cause very real problems.
4. You should not participate in rallies that don't acknowledge these things and/or don't think they are important - at least not until you have a great deal of experience.

I'm having a hard time seeing where this is such an inappropriate view of things.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 12-08-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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  #430  
Old 12-08-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

this thread is well lost...

who ever wants to go cruising and wants to outfit their damn boat isnt going to go looking at isaf page on outfitting a boat if there even was one

as a level 2 coach certified by isaf there is absolutley nothing anywhere there that would make me outfit my boat differently or add to what I have learned from crewing and sailing my boat around or whatever..

I have learned specifics from doing stuff not adhering to strict rules on whatever name, organizatiion, rally, race, whatever...advocates doing so...

its this rubbish that you learn and become better by "adhering" to standards, from WHEREVER THEY MAY come from what really causes these accidents and disastrous results on simple rallies...if you dont have the experience or are UNwilling to learn what good does it to have the best life raft 2 inches from said position or the best lifeline and quick release system etc...serious question..if you cant deploy it, or you cant relay a ssb call, or cant heave to, or cant rig an emergency ruder etc...what good is it?

that you are in a crowd and can be rescued? well guess what sometimes yo cant be rescued...wah wah...

for petes sake...learn from those that have done such things...if possible and you are young be an apprentice, learn from those that want to teach and not make a buck, and not everything and not everyone with a degree or license, or masters whatever is going to be better than simple straightforward advise you get from those who have done so before you...be humble...

common who gives a rats ass what a rally promises or not? and why blame a rally or organizer of such for promoting a rally...?

why is it we always hold others responsible but not us? its your boat, fix it, refit it...sail...and be happy...LEARN!

man alive!!!!!!

happy sailing guys
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Last edited by christian.hess; 12-08-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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