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  #861  
Old 08-31-2014
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
So, then - how do you suppose the Bums would have handled this passage? Given their "no schedule" attitude, coupled with their somewhat 'casual' attitude towards weather forecasting?

From their article in LATITUDES & ATTITUDES, May 2006:



Theirs is the example people contemplating a late fall passage to the Caribbean should be following, eh? YCMTSU...

:-)
And yet 5 indubitably qualified SDRers had to call in the CG - when the Bumfuzzles never did for an entire circumnavigation. I don't have to make stuff up.

The point is simple - if you have only one bluewater passage under your keel either get rid of the schedule or go with a responsible rally like the C1500.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 08-31-2014 at 11:42 PM.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
And yet 5 indubitably qualified SDRers had to call in the CG - when the Bumfuzzles never did for an entire circumnavigation. I don't have to make stuff up.

The point is simple - if you have only one bluewater passage under your keel either get rid of the schedule or go with a responsible rally like the C1500.
Aw, what the hell... I'll give it another shot, for the UMPTEENTH time... :-)

How, precisely, was the "irresponsibility" of the organizers of the SDR a contributing factor to any of those 5 SARs? Or, what role did the skipper's alleged lack of experience play in any of those incidents?

I have already shown, hundreds of posts back, that many of those skippers were quite experienced... Moreover, what evidence is there to support the supposition that any of these incidents would have been less likely to occur, had these boats been part of the 1500, instead?

ZULU - The Alden 54 that suffered the loss of her rudder... Her owner is a member of the New York, Bristol, and Great Harbor Yacht Clubs. She had previously completed the brutal 2011 NARC rally, with no issues... Verdict: "Inexperience" not likely to be a significant issue...

JAMMIN' - the Catalina 42 that also lost her rudder... These folks have been full-time cruisers since 2007, starting from the West Coast... They had made the trip back and forth to the Islands a couple of times before...
Verdict: "Lack of experience" not bloody likely to have been an issue...

LIKE DOLPHINS - a Catana 47 that was dismasted... Her owners are from freakin' BELGIUM, so they have at least one Transatlantic crossing under their belts...
Verdict: I doubt their dismasting was due to a lack of experience...

NYAPA - the Hans Christian 38 also dismasted... This year was to be their 3rd time out cruising for an extended period, their first time out was 25 years ago after they were first married... 2nd cruise was a 5 year affair with their 3 daughters, starting on the West coast, thru the Canal and most of the Caribbean, and ending at home in New England, where they worked to replenish the cruising kitty, and refit for another extended cruise...
Verdict: "Lack of experience"??? Seriously???

WINGS - the C-38 abandoned after being 'disabled'... Another full-time cruising couple, their home port was Duluth, MN - you know, on that puny bathtub called Lake freakin' SUPERIOR ? They had already made it down to the Bahamas, spent at least a year without ever coming alongside a dock, then had returned to the Chesapeake, where they planned to sail with the SDR...
Verdict: Information on this couple is the hardest to obtain, but I it certainly does not appear they would fit anyone's reasonable definition of "Inexperienced"...

BRAVEHEART - the Tartan 4600 that diverted to Beaufort after a crewmember suffered a broken arm...Her owners were veterans of previous Caribbean 1500s, as long ago as 2006...
Verdict: "Inexperienced"? Yeah, OK, if you say so...


Seriously, smack... In all my years of hanging out on sailing forums, I don't believe I have EVER seen anyone cling so desperately to an argument, without being able to offer a SINGLE bit of factual evidence in support of it...

:-))
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Old 09-03-2014
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Aw, what the hell... I'll give it another shot, for the UMPTEENTH time... :-)

How, precisely, was the "irresponsibility" of the organizers of the SDR a contributing factor to any of those 5 SARs? Or, what role did the skipper's alleged lack of experience play in any of those incidents?

I have already shown, hundreds of posts back, that many of those skippers were quite experienced... Moreover, what evidence is there to support the supposition that any of these incidents would have been less likely to occur, had these boats been part of the 1500, instead?

ZULU - The Alden 54 that suffered the loss of her rudder... Her owner is a member of the New York, Bristol, and Great Harbor Yacht Clubs. She had previously completed the brutal 2011 NARC rally, with no issues... Verdict: "Inexperience" not likely to be a significant issue...

JAMMIN' - the Catalina 42 that also lost her rudder... These folks have been full-time cruisers since 2007, starting from the West Coast... They had made the trip back and forth to the Islands a couple of times before...
Verdict: "Lack of experience" not bloody likely to have been an issue...

LIKE DOLPHINS - a Catana 47 that was dismasted... Her owners are from freakin' BELGIUM, so they have at least one Transatlantic crossing under their belts...
Verdict: I doubt their dismasting was due to a lack of experience...

NYAPA - the Hans Christian 38 also dismasted... This year was to be their 3rd time out cruising for an extended period, their first time out was 25 years ago after they were first married... 2nd cruise was a 5 year affair with their 3 daughters, starting on the West coast, thru the Canal and most of the Caribbean, and ending at home in New England, where they worked to replenish the cruising kitty, and refit for another extended cruise...
Verdict: "Lack of experience"??? Seriously???

WINGS - the C-38 abandoned after being 'disabled'... Another full-time cruising couple, their home port was Duluth, MN - you know, on that puny bathtub called Lake freakin' SUPERIOR ? They had already made it down to the Bahamas, spent at least a year without ever coming alongside a dock, then had returned to the Chesapeake, where they planned to sail with the SDR...
Verdict: Information on this couple is the hardest to obtain, but I it certainly does not appear they would fit anyone's reasonable definition of "Inexperienced"...

BRAVEHEART - the Tartan 4600 that diverted to Beaufort after a crewmember suffered a broken arm...Her owners were veterans of previous Caribbean 1500s, as long ago as 2006...
Verdict: "Inexperienced"? Yeah, OK, if you say so...


Seriously, smack... In all my years of hanging out on sailing forums, I don't believe I have EVER seen anyone cling so desperately to an argument, without being able to offer a SINGLE bit of factual evidence in support of it...

:-))
That's because you keep missing my point...over and over again. Let me try it this way...

The Bumfuzzles were utterly and undeniably inexperienced, right? Yet they never had to call in the CG during an entire circ. Everyone you listed above are definitely "experienced"...and every one of them had to call in the CG on the same exact run.

So what is the difference between the two instances? Simple: Lack of a schedule and the resulting ability to avoid bad weather in the case of the Bumfuzzles...even though they admittedly sucked at the whole weather forecasting thing. Your experienced sailors, on the other hand, had a tight window, but had a "pro" forecasting for them (unlike the Bumfuzzles) - and every single one of them had to call for help. Hmmm.

So, again, my point here, as always, is this:

If you're new to offshore passages (i.e. - you only have a single bluewater passage under your keel) the evidence Jon has laid out clearly shows that you shouldn't join any rally with its arbitrarily set schedule. Follow in the much safer path of the Bumfuzzles and go when its right to go. However, if you insist on joining a rally, it clearly should NOT be the one where all of the above experienced sailors had to call for help in a single night.

I guess that would leave the C1500.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 09-03-2014 at 12:34 AM.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
That's because you keep missing my point...over and over again. Let me try it this way...

The Bumfuzzles were utterly and undeniably inexperienced, right? Yet they never had to call in the CG during an entire circ. Everyone you listed above are definitely "experienced"...and every one of them had to call in the CG on the same exact run.

So what is the difference between the two instances? Simple: Lack of a schedule and the resulting ability to avoid bad weather in the case of the Bumfuzzles...even though they admittedly sucked at the whole weather forecasting thing. Your experienced sailors, on the other hand, had a tight window, but had a "pro" forecasting for them (unlike the Bumfuzzles) - and every single one of them had to call for help. Hmmm.

So, again, my point here, as always, is this:

If you're new to offshore passages (i.e. - you only have a single bluewater passage under your keel) the evidence Jon has laid out clearly shows that you shouldn't join any rally with its arbitrarily set schedule. Follow in the much safer path of the Bumfuzzles and go when its right to go. However, if you insist on joining a rally, it clearly should NOT be the one where all of the above experienced sailors had to call for help in a single night.

I guess that would leave the C1500.
UFB... So, while arguing that sailing to a schedule is the real problem, here, if a less experienced passagemaker intends to make this trip, ideally he should go with the rally that features the more rigid schedule... ???

Do you seriously believe that any of those boats cited above did NOT think it was "the right time to go" when they left? Forecasts are sometimes in error, weather (particularly on a route such as this) does not always play out as expected. THAT is what happened last year, why not simply admit people should go with the 1500 because they have the better routers, who will never miss a call?

I swear, smack... if anyone else is still reading this thread, I'll bet there might be more than a couple who are hoping it's the 1500 fleet that gets hammered next time, simply to prove how wrongheaded you are on this one...

:-))
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
UFB... So, while arguing that sailing to a schedule is the real problem, here, if a less experienced passagemaker intends to make this trip, ideally he should go with the rally that features the more rigid schedule... ???
No silly. Go with the one that has some safety standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Do you seriously believe that any of those boats cited above did NOT think it was "the right time to go" when they left? Forecasts are sometimes in error, weather (particularly on a route such as this) does not always play out as expected. THAT is what happened last year, why not simply admit people should go with the 1500 because they have the better routers, who will never miss a call?
The problems were in the SDR - not the C1500. That's all I'm saying. And it's indisputably true. How you try to justify the SDR's problems is your business. I don't feel the need to try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I swear, smack... if anyone else is still reading this thread, I'll bet there might be more than a couple who are hoping it's the 1500 fleet that gets hammered next time, simply to prove how wrongheaded you are on this one...
Wow. Now that would just be mean and petty.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack- in a earlier post you said(paraphrase ) you enjoy this thread because the argument with Jon was fun. Whenever I have internet access I look look at this thread daily. My life and boat( house) is on the line with this decision. Although the argument is between you and Jon I post to give voice for others like me actually making this trip. I think you need to acknowledge the perspective of those who actually have skin in the game.
Choices
Leave from Newport or leave from mid coast. Mid coast would appear safer. Leave from Florida and do Gentlemans way- not practical for many of us.
Get router routing for hundreds of boats or just for you. Router for many may choose more wisely but in either case you need to make your own decision as most do even inside a rally.
Go in rally or not. Given inside a rally or not you will still need to sail your own boat. Safety depends on structure,design,preparation of your boat and your choice of crew. I view this the same as a group motorcycle ride." You ride the ride you brought".
Expense of rally. Smack if you ever sat down and looked at the expense of either rally versus the expense of the voyage you would realize rally expense is trivial c/w voyage expense. This simply doesn't enter the decision matrix.
Hence as Jon has repetively stated given the constrains of hurricane season and probability of winter storms even without the artificialities of rallies and insurance fall is the obligate time to do this trip. Most you can reasonably vary is a week to 10d given external constraints. Practicality suggests for the majority of us variance is more likely a week or less. Given weather forecasting for more than 5 d is voodoo at best adjusting timing of departure may allow accomendation for one system at best. Equally important is in route input to your course planning. Here rallies may be helpful. You still need to look,at your 500mb and gribs and make your own decision. There is little downside as once again your departure date is your decision.
In short as regards safety choice of rally and in fact being in a rally makes little difference. The elephant in the room is you, your boat and your crew. You are making a tempest in a teacup. Bill,and Linda are good helpful people. Involvement with them has been quite helpful. The proof of the value of this rally is the high number of repeat parcipitants . Let it go Smack. Jon is right on this one.
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  #867  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Smack- in a earlier post you said(paraphrase ) you enjoy this thread because the argument with Jon was fun. Whenever I have internet access I look look at this thread daily. My life and boat( house) is on the line with this decision. Although the argument is between you and Jon I post to give voice for others like me actually making this trip. I think you need to acknowledge the perspective of those who actually have skin in the game.
Choices
Leave from Newport or leave from mid coast. Mid coast would appear safer. Leave from Florida and do Gentlemans way- not practical for many of us.
Get router routing for hundreds of boats or just for you. Router for many may choose more wisely but in either case you need to make your own decision as most do even inside a rally.
Go in rally or not. Given inside a rally or not you will still need to sail your own boat. Safety depends on structure,design,preparation of your boat and your choice of crew. I view this the same as a group motorcycle ride." You ride the ride you brought".
Expense of rally. Smack if you ever sat down and looked at the expense of either rally versus the expense of the voyage you would realize rally expense is trivial c/w voyage expense. This simply doesn't enter the decision matrix.
Hence as Jon has repetively stated given the constrains of hurricane season and probability of winter storms even without the artificialities of rallies and insurance fall is the obligate time to do this trip. Most you can reasonably vary is a week to 10d given external constraints. Practicality suggests for the majority of us variance is more likely a week or less. Given weather forecasting for more than 5 d is voodoo at best adjusting timing of departure may allow accomendation for one system at best. Equally important is in route input to your course planning. Here rallies may be helpful. You still need to look,at your 500mb and gribs and make your own decision. There is little downside as once again your departure date is your decision.
In short as regards safety choice of rally and in fact being in a rally makes little difference. The elephant in the room is you, your boat and your crew. You are making a tempest in a teacup. Bill,and Linda are good helpful people. Involvement with them has been quite helpful. The proof of the value of this rally is the high number of repeat parcipitants . Let it go Smack. Jon is right on this one.
Sorry, out, no can do. Otherwise I would have let it go a long time ago. I understand if arguing like this makes you uncomfortable. But I honestly don't think Jon takes any of this personally (I know I don't). We're simply debating two sides of an issue. People will learn from that debate and make up their own minds.

There is the idea of rallies in general (which you've walked through above - and all of that is perfectly valid) - then there are the finer points of a rally that has a low standard of entry and virtually no safety standards vs. a rally that offers pretty robust safety standards in addition to everything else (and if cost is not really a factor - why not choose safety?).

For newer sailors I continue to think that the SDR in particular is a dangerous rally. I really do. Their record thus far certainly seems to indicate that. Maybe that record will improve and I'll have less of a case. But as of today the SDR still has a serious black eye of its own making - irrespective of how much Jon wants to cover it with makeup.

Now, you've put skin in that SDR game - and I'm not harping on you personally AT ALL. You have far more experience than the SDR entry requirements AND, if I recall correctly, you've brought additional experience onto the boat. As far as I'm concerned, you're doing everything right.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Thanks Smack. What I still don't understand is given you tactically acknowledge is in the absence of the SDR the folks you think are unsafe will go ANYWAY how your argument holds water?
The folks I've met doing or who have done the the SDR are as or more safety aware than me. Jon has pointed out the boats that got into trouble were well founded with experienced crew. As Jon seemed to ask can you name a single instance where your discomfort about the SDR actually lead to an adverse outcome? Your position would suggest your issue is with Chris not Jon or me and Chris is one of the best there is. To ask it another way. Let's say SDR makes changes- What changes? How does this change outcomes? What evidence do you have? In short as Cap Ron said" if it's going to happen it will happen out there".
It seems to be the nanny state argument you are proposing. Maybe you would like us to be like the EU with onerous licensing and course requirements? I know better than you works except for the opportunity to bail on rallies altogether which increases the opportunities for SAR events as interacting with rally members not only organizers is another major source of education. I'm trying to get the prospective folks who are thinking to do this passage to be safe. I'm concerned the logic of your thinking will either lead to nanny state or less U.S. sailors living the dream or doing it unsafely.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Thanks Smack. What I still don't understand is given you tactically acknowledge is in the absence of the SDR the folks you think are unsafe will go ANYWAY how your argument holds water?
My point is that if such newer sailors are going to go anyway the C1500 is far-and-away the better choice precisely because of its safety standards. And if, as you say, the cost is not really an issue, there should be no question about which is the better rally for that sailor. My hunch, however, is that cost is a very big factor as to why the SDR is growing in numbers so quickly. I just don't think that's a good thing.

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The folks I've met doing or who have done the the SDR are as or more safety aware than me. Jon has pointed out the boats that got into trouble were well founded with experienced crew. As Jon seemed to ask can you name a single instance where your discomfort about the SDR actually lead to an adverse outcome?
A single instance? Jon's list of 5 is proof enough for me. But in addition to that, the USCG put out a Marine Alert right after last year's debacle specifically pointing out the SDR. To my knowledge, there's never been one of those for the C1500 despite a few SAR cases over its many years. Again, the USCG firing a warning shot across the bow of a particular rally is proof enough for me.

Quote:
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Your position would suggest your issue is with Chris not Jon or me and Chris is one of the best there is. To ask it another way. Let's say SDR makes changes- What changes? How does this change outcomes? What evidence do you have? In short as Cap Ron said" if it's going to happen it will happen out there".
The changes I've advocated for the SDR are very simple:

1. Up the standards for entry. For example, stick with the roots of this rally and make it for those who have either already done the C1500, or have done this route at this time of year multiple times.

-or-

2. Adopt safety standards and inspections similar to the C1500.

The SDR claims to be an "educational organization" for safety and seamanship. They need to show it.

Quote:
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It seems to be the nanny state argument you are proposing. Maybe you would like us to be like the EU with onerous licensing and corse requirements?
It's a "nanny state" only when one HAS to do a rally to get out there. That's not the case at all. In fact, as I've said, I personally don't think rallies in general are all that great. But, I would be fine with leaving the SDR exactly as it is (without safety standards or inspections) IF they upped the standard for entry to better match the level of risk they foster.

Quote:
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I know better than you works except for the opportunity to bail on rallies altogether which increases the opportunities for SAR events as interacting with rally members not only organizers is another major source of education.
Again, to my knowledge, the SDR is the only cruising rally I know of to have the distinction of warranting a USCG Maritime Alert. Why? Precisely because of the number of SAR events last year in a single day in a fleet of what were supposed to be experienced sailors. If you can't see something really off in that scenario, I don't know what else to say.

Quote:
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I'm trying to get the prospective folks who are thinking to do this passage to be safe. I'm concerned the logic of your thinking will either lead to nanny state or less U.S. sailors living the dream or doing it unsafely.
I'm all for any sailor out there living the dream. I just don't think a rally is necessary for that. In fact, purely going by the numbers and the sentiments of the USCG, one of them seems to be downright dangerous to that dream if you have only one bluewater passage under your keel.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack
sorry to say but I think you are wrong on this one. if you need the 'safety' of a rally, in terms of inspections, instruction, or having someone close if something happens, you should not be out there at all. If you do the rally for the social aspects that is fine.

I think there is a tendency to underestimate the challenge of going from the Chesapeake to the islands in November. This is a very serious passage. If you do a circumnavigation via Suez is is likely the most challenging passage of all (ignoring guys in motor boats who want to have you visit them for a time). If you go via South Africa it will be close to Mauritius-Richards Bay in challenge. The problem for new cruisers in eastern North America is that this nasty bit comes first. Such is life though. Either rally is just fine as far as I am concerned (we did neither). It may be a piece of cake or you may get the crap kicked out of you on either. What did or did not happen to the Bumfuzzles is irrelevant. They won the lottery and did not get the kind of nastiness that can happen. If they gotten into a winter storm four days out and had to push the big red button, people would be all over them for being inexperienced and unprepared.

I disagree about the cost aspect. If you look at it in terms of the total cost of buying and prepping a boat it is irrelevant but if you look at is as an additional cost, after the boat costs it is far from irrelevant.

To me the thought process is:
1. My boat and crew are up to it, I want to sail to the Caribbean during that brief weather/insurance window at the beginning of November.
2. I want to socialize with others doing the same thing? YES - join a rally; NO - go by yourself
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