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  #501  
Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
I would guess that a weather router adds value to the weather equation, but that value is proportional to the routers expertise. With the internet, today we can look at raw data from a multitude of data points, we can read directly NOAA reports, and we can listen to the many weather guessers, but how do you develop the ability to integrate all this data into an accurate forecast?
The time domain is also a major factor in usefulness of weather prediction. So, if you want to leave port for a destination ten or so days away, it really becomes a big time problem for those dependent upon fair weather, say less than force six or seven. Once committed to a trip like SDR one will have to deal with the weather one gets, and that is where captain, crew and equipment makes the difference.
You may be taking too lightly the fact that weather routing for such a passage doesn't end upon departure, but is only just beginning... One is not necessarily stuck with the weather one "gets", a good router like Herb, or Chris, can be of great assistance in helping sailors avoid the worst, or take advantage of favorable developments throughout the entire duration of the passage...

2 years ago, we decided to put into Bermuda enroute to Antigua when Herb began showing some concern about the possibility of the development of another tropical low after Sean... And, early last summer on a trip north from Trinidad, checking in with Chris via satphone every couple of days helped us make the right decision to come back up thru the Bahamas instead of staying east, arriving in Ft Pierce, and hunkering down just 36 hours before TS Andrea passed over Florida and ran up the coast... An Island Packet 38 left Puerto Rico at the same time we were passing thru the Mona Passage, apparently without availing themselves of the services of someone like Chris, or of any realtime weather info... They met with Andrea off the coast of SC, the boat was abandoned 60 miles short of Charleston, fortunately without any loss of life...

Reading thru some of the blogs from the SDR and the 1500 this year, it certainly seemed that those fleets were aided considerably by the respective routers, as the weather developed, and changed...

Having said all that, however, I am in full agreement with you, and someone like John Harries, that today's sailors have in many cases become 'spoiled' by the accuracy of modern forecasting...The Island Packet SP Cruiser abandoned off Hatteras last winter by her allegedly "professional delivery crew" is a classic example. They were reading the forecast off their iPhone as if it were a train schedule, and were caught out by the intensification of the winter's most powerful storm a day earlier than originally projected... It used to be, that much beyond 48-72 hours after putting to sea, to a very large extent one simply had to "take what you got"... That fostered the mindset of something akin to 'hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst'... Unfortunately, with the manner in which so many of the boats I see heading offshore are so ill-prepared to deal even only with 'the worst' that one is LIKELY to encounter on such a passage, such a mindset seems to have largely gone by the boards...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
I think that without final incident reports we know not who, what, when, how and why those boats got into trouble. What was the mix of weather, equipment or competence for each incident? It would be nice if the SDR people could (would) get the final incident reports, conduct some interviews and publish a lessons learned on their website.
Sure, that might be nice, but I wouldn't be holding my breath... :-)

Did the NARC compile final incident reports after the carnage and loss of life in 2011? Did the 1500 do the same after the loss of RULE 62, and the death of one of her crew? Quite the opposite, in fact... After the initial announcement/acknowledgement of that tragedy, it seems to have never been mentioned again, in the apparent hope that it will simply be forgotten...

I'm guessing CRUISING WORLD might publish some sort of debrief, as they did in the wake of the 2011 NARC... BLUE WATER SAILING might be a more likely candidate, given their sponsorship role in the event, we shall see... However, I'm not really sure why the problems encountered by a relative handful of boats in the SDR rate the publication of 'Final Incident Reports' any more so than all of the similar abandonments, etc., that seem to have been taking place with some regularity of late... :-)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-17-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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  #502  
Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
One issue the whole Atlantic cruising establishment needs to address is the November 1st departure issue. That seems a pretty straight forward the source of weather issues and clouds the question of when to leave.
Frankly, aside from insurance considerations, I think that issue is being slightly overblown... Certainly, I'd like to see insurers cut sailors a bit of slack on this, but as a seasonal benchmark, November 1 remains as good a target date for departure from the East coast as any, IMHO...

This year was unusual, with the lack of tropical activity in the Atlantic throughout the fall... But, only 2 years ago, TS Sean developed on Nov 6, and maintained its status as a tropical storm for a full week...

There seems to be no such thing as a 'typical' year these days, but I still think November 1 is generally gonna be about the right time to leave, on average...
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  #503  
Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

For post 503 let me summarise this thread.

You can't fix stupid.


Rallies do not make cruising unsafe.
Weather routers do not make cruising unsafe.
Bad weather should not make cruising unsafe.
Stupid people making stupid decisions make cruising unsafe.

AND Increased regulation has not and cannot fix stupid.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of his vessel and crew. Period. Above all else, aside form all else. This is the beginning and the end.

You may use special regs or whatever other source you have elected to inform your safety decisions. You may choose to enter a rally or not. You may then choose to leave on the 'rally date' or not. You may use the services of a weather router. Or not. You may have or have not gotten 'qualifications' and attended courses of different kinds and levels and feel that this will make you immune from stupid. However if you NEED anyone other than yourself to make decisions for you, or to tell you that to blindly follow is dumb, then you have no place skippering a boat offshore.


(I am not in any way calling any of the participants of the Salty Dawg Rally who ran into trouble stupid incidentally, I do not know the individual circumstances well enough. This is a general comment on the issues raised in this thread)
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Last edited by chall03; 12-18-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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  #504  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
For post 503 let me summarise this thread.

You can't fix stupid.
LOL! Well, in my effort to summarize, I'd say this is my takeaway:

There is no substitute for Experience...

And, just to put all this hand-wringing over the abandonment of 2 boats out of a rally fleet of 120+ into some perspective... :-)

The ISAF-inspected fleet of 55 in the 1998 Caribbean 1500 lost 2 boats as a result of their encounter with the Phoenix that arose from the remnants of Hurricane Mitch...





Both losses primarily due to, IMHO, a lack of experience of the crews, or their ability to physically deal with the conditions encountered...

A couple of good reads here, written in the aftermath... One cannot help but be astonished at the number of crews that set out on such a passage without ever once before having attempted to heave-to, or that some boats were fitted with windvanes that were either not rigged, or had never been used before... That sort of stuff says it all, to me...

HEAVY-WEATHER SAILING: Remembering Hurricane Mitch

The Loss of 'Kampeska' - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-18-2013 at 09:31 AM.
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  #505  
Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
LOL! Well, in my effort to summarize, I'd say this is my takeaway:

There is no substitute for Experience...
Agreed. And on the way to that experience, one needs to take other measures to help insure against the lack of it.

My takeaway...

In the case of the SDR in particular...something definitely needs to change. They're doing it wrong.
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  #506  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
My takeaway...

In the case of the SDR in particular...something definitely needs to change. They're doing it wrong.
Hmmm, well... let's see...

How about Ordinary production boats festooned with a ton of Crap-on-de-Back should be prohibited from venturing offshore?

(grin, bigtime)


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  #507  
Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Frankly, aside from insurance considerations, I think that issue is being slightly overblown... Certainly, I'd like to see insurers cut sailors a bit of slack on this, but as a seasonal benchmark, November 1 remains as good a target date for departure from the East coast as any, IMHO...
Let's not lose sight of the fact that most insurance companies moved "the" date from 1 Oct to 1 Nov as a result of a single storm. Insurance company actuaries are very conservative but don't always have all the data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
How about Ordinary production boats festooned with a ton of Crap-on-de-Back should be prohibited from venturing offshore?
I don't know about prohibited, but you and I are definitely on the same page with regard to those abominations. How about we co-author an article for Sail or Cruising World? It might be a tough sell given the number of canvas ads in the magazines.
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  #508  
Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
For post 503 let me summarise this thread.

You can't fix stupid.


Rallies do not make cruising unsafe.
Weather routers do not make cruising unsafe.
Bad weather should not make cruising unsafe.
Stupid people making stupid decisions make cruising unsafe.

AND Increased regulation has not and cannot fix stupid.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of his vessel and crew. Period. Above all else, aside form all else. This is the beginning and the end.

You may use special regs or whatever other source you have elected to inform your safety decisions. You may choose to enter a rally or not. You may then choose to leave on the 'rally date' or not. You may use the services of a weather router. Or not. You may have or have not gotten 'qualifications' and attended courses of different kinds and levels and feel that this will make you immune from stupid. However if you NEED anyone other than yourself to make decisions for you, or to tell you that to blindly follow is dumb, then you have no place skippering a boat offshore.


(I am not in any way calling any of the participants of the Salty Dawg Rally who ran into trouble stupid incidentally, I do not know the individual circumstances well enough. This is a general comment on the issues raised in this thread)
Big deal Chall The problem is that are many that don't know that they don't know enough to skipper a boat offshore...and they go offshore anyway carrying others with them. Some don't even know what kind of safety and security equipment they should have and use in case of an emergency.

Can rules and regulations prevent to go offshore at least some of those that don't have a clue and prevent them to put themselves and others in danger?

Can rules an regulations prevent inadequate boats or boats in bad condition to be sailed offshore preventing all the implied risks for the crew?

Can the imposition of minimum required safety and security equipment better the security of those that don't have a clue about what they should carry on a boat in the case of an emergency?

The answer is simple and obvious.

You seem to resent that safety rules and regulations to be applied to all, even to those that don't need them because they know what they are doing. They are not there for those but for the majority of less experienced sailors and as there is no way to tell them apart, all have to comply.

Anyway those rules and required safety equipment doesn't came out of thin air and result from the counsel of the most experienced sailors. Anyway any experienced sailor will have that security material on his boat, so what's the problem in it being mandatory by law?

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 12-18-2013 at 03:32 PM.
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  #509  
Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Hmmm, well... let's see...

How about Ordinary production boats festooned with a ton of Crap-on-de-Back should be prohibited from venturing offshore?
So after all you think that some mandatory rules can help

Regards

Paulo
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Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
The problem is that are many that don't know that they don't know enough to skipper a boat offshore...
And there are many who are certain they do know enough who don't or won't. And there always will be -- it is part an parcel of the whole experience. Its called life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Can rules and regulations prevent to go offshore at least some of those that don't have a clue and prevent them to put themselves and others in danger?

Can rules an regulations prevent inadequate boats or boats in bad condition to be sailed offshore preventing all the implied risks for the crew?

Can the imposition of minimum required safety and security equipment better the security of those that don't have a clue about what they should carry on a boat in the case of an emergency?

The answer is simple and obvious.

You seem to resent that safety rules and regulations to be applied to all, even to those that don't need them because they know what they are doing. They are not there for those but for the majority of less experienced sailors and as there is no way to tell them apart, all have to comply.

Anyway those rules and required safety equipment doesn't came out of thin air and result from the counsel of the most experienced sailors. Anyway any experienced sailor will have that security material on his boat, so what's the problem in it being mandatory by law?

Regards

Paulo
So now you want to take Smack's notion of regulating the rally participants (I suppose the Coast Guard would be charged with enforcing that . . .) and extend it to regulating all offshore sailing. Lovely. I am glad that the only people talking about doing so have all been herded to this little irrelevant corner of the internet.

What I find truly bizarre is that so many of you of this opinion (granted not all) are socially conservative and not only tout your own individual responsibility and the like, but you are also vehemently opposed to groups of people organizing themselves for their common good in social ventures such as healthcare or environmental regulation that impact the entire community.

And yet here, where the impact is truly limited to the people who make the choice (informed or uninformed) to venture offshore, you all of a sudden have no problem with intrusive regulation. I struggle to understand that contradiction. The societal justification fails. Is it personal? Is it simply a desire for some sort of validation of your status (you are prepared? others are stupid?). Of course then the ocean will have its say as well.

Why the forums always focus on why someone else is right or wrong and not on teaching / learning / sharing experiences . . . I will never know.
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