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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Vessels Lost, Missing, or in Danger
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  #321  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I believe some of your observations might be in error... I'm pretty sure I heard it stated in the interview, or over on CF, that they did have a high-capacity manual pump aboard... Which would supposedly evacuate "one gallon per stroke", like the large Edson, or similar...

And, according to the Kaufmanns, Lyra had been given "a clean bill of health" by a doctor in Mexico, prior to their departure... Which, they had actually delayed until they were reasonably confident she was over her infection, if memory serves...

Also, precious few Mom & Pop cruisers out there are making passages with what many might consider "enough crew" aboard to hand steer, should it be required due to the conditions, or if the self-steering might go tits up... How capable Charlotte might have been at the helm in heavier conditions, however, might reasonably be called into question, given her lack of offshore/overnight experience... So, you might have a point, that perhaps they might not have had sufficient crew, especially given the amount of care and attention the two young children aboard would have demanded...

I'd be interesting in learning whether the boat was under the control of the Hydrovane, or the autopilot, when she suffered the damaging broach... Based upon my one experience with a Hydrovane on a 43-footer, I was 'underwhelmed' by its performance, to say the least... And that's putting it politely... :-) It came nowhere close to steering as well as any of the servo-pendulum vanes I've used, and I wouldn't trust it sailing DDW, or in a situation when an accidental jibe might occur...
There have been several versions of the crew's health upon leaving. If she was still taking antibiotics (or two), or just finished them at least, no one could proclaim a clean bill of health, due to common sense.

Eric says he was braced in the companionway, Charlotte has him on the side deck, so no one has him at the wheel.

I agree that servo-pendulum is the way to go, and it will steer strong enough to break a less than fit tiller, happened to me in a storm, I wasn't prepared.

If you are exhausted, the auto steering isn't doing the job, and conditions are dangerous, you should have already hove to, or deployed a drogue or chute or anything many hours ago. I have never heard of a vessel broaching while hove-to in conditions like they faced. If you're still screaming along on a beam reach, yeah. I have never regretted acting early, even when conditions didn't materialize. If have often regretted waiting too late. Knowing your boat and capabilities are the only way to know when is when.

Part of preparation and knowing these limits is so we can take measures before dangerous situations even exist. No one fares well when caught with their pants down.

'
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  #322  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Have low and high water electric bilge pumps. Every year on any boat I have ever owned when annual commissioning comes up run ALL the bilge pumps. Current boat (and same for past) have two Whale gushers with strainers. One in cockpit and one down below. When run found both were clogged with debris left from initial construction of the boat which worked down over last years sailing. Clumps of what was probably congealed sawdust and the like.This is not a reflection on the builder as debris was quite small and to be expected. Cleared the bellows and good to go. However, this was done at the slip not in the middle of a passage. Believe such pumps required for offshore races and a good idea for any boat.
Think any prudent sailor should check function of all the pumps every year and each time before heading out on a significant sail.
Also carry usual plugs, self set sticks of 2 part epoxy ( which will set underwater) and fiberglass repair kit with extra cloth, self amalgating tape, shrink wrap tape. Short money and little space for piece of mind.
Don't understand issue of water coming in. Would think once noted you would fix it. Also don't understand losing batteries. Once did a delivery where we had down flooding and lost all electronics and engine start. Since then have paid much attention that I have at least two banks of batteries and they be placed in such a manner that only massive down flooding would result in lost or inability to recharge should discharge occur.
Lastly note comment about AP and would note in my limited experience the overwhelming majority of blue water boats no longer have wind vanes. Even those single or double handed. It is common to carry an extra ram and rudder angle indicator as the other components of modern APs seem fairly immune to failure. Sister ship just came back from Bahamas. They commonly saw 17+kts SOG and averaged in double digits. This is on a cruising mono. I strung 3d of 200+d together last year. Impression is this is not that uncommon when running before a front. Suspect even servo pendulum will not perform in that setting. Know they are of little value in racing multi's or mono's for similar reasons.
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Last edited by outbound; 05-13-2014 at 10:34 AM.
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  #323  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowtide View Post
70 gallons is a 5 gallon bucket every hour and forty three minutes, or a single gallon every twenty minutes.

Also unless you can count and measure while pumping, water in the boat is almost always overestimated. We used to have a swing keel lake boat that had almost no bilge. We came in early once because we thought there was too much water in the boat, to find it was about 2 gallons in reality.

20 pumps on the Whale Gusher is a gallon, so if it comes to it I can know exactly what I'm taking on, whether it is getting better or worse, realistically estimate whether and how long I can keep up, etc..

Less than 40 strokes per hour would keep her dry at 70 gallons.

The Scared Man With a Bucket brand bilge pump could handle it without fatigue. Shouldn't have been a factor in abandoning ship.

'
According to Eric, doesn't sound like it was:

Quote:

Yeah. The boat's not going to sink at that point. We're not all going to die because we've got a bunch of water coming in. It's a pain in the ass, but it's not the end of the world. There you are. It was under control.

...


I'm pretty positive the boat itself could have made it, although the water was exceeding the electronic bilge pump's capacity so it would have needed manual pumping at least once (and more like three times) a day.
Of course, none of us will ever know what might really have been going on aboard that boat... Charlotte might have easily been freaked out by the realization they were shipping water... For instance, recall the story of the abandonment of TRIUMPH a couple of summers ago. After the loss of the engine, and then one of the shrouds, Doug still appeared to be somewhat coping with the problems... It was not until the surprise discovery of water in the bilge a day or 2 after - presumably admitted through the unplugged hole in deck left by the broken chainplate - that became a total game-changer... Doug's wife Evelyn was really spooked by that discovery, there seemed to be no convincing her that it was not a big deal and could be controlled, she simply wanted off that boat, NOW...In her mind, that boat was SINKING... And thus, the button was pushed, the sat phone call placed to the CG, whatever... (I'm just going from memory, here, but I believe that account of the event is reasonably accurate)

So, yeah, I can easily imagine a similar dynamic playing out aboard REBEL HEART, particularly with a spouse and mother as inexperienced as Charlotte... That's pure speculation, of course, perhaps we'll just have to wait for the book... :-)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 05-13-2014 at 10:58 AM.
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  #324  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

The decision to take a small child trans-oceanic is obviously a parental decision and I think that it does not reach the level of governmental intervention. However, I personally, as a pediatric intensive care doctor and a sailor, do not think that the medical risk is acceptable.

If we take a serious but usually non-lethal pediatric problem like febrile seizures it is possible to fairly accurately calculate an estimate of the possibility of a child between the age of newborn and 5 years having a seizure that will result in unconsciousness. One study I have used followed 18,500 newborns for 5 years. (University of California, Berkeley).

The risk of a febrile seizure in any one month period for a child in the first 5 years of life is approximately 1 in 3000. Eric had two children in that age group so his chances of that problem were 1 in 1500. There are other studies that suggest the risk may be almost twice as high as the study I quote. And febrile seizures is just one of dozens of diseases a child can develop.

After 25 year of practicing high risk pediatric medicine and sailing, taking care of a pediatric seizure on a short handed boat in bad weather is more excitement than I would care to experience.

Last edited by Yorksailor; 05-13-2014 at 02:09 PM.
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  #325  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

They told their story, retold in many cases. Rescuers confirm state of boat and crew. The implication that there is a grand cover up, especially a hysterical or unstable woman on her first open ocean crossing is quite insulting. Their story is dramatic enough without the embellishments.
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  #326  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Erica, most of us are from democracies. We are allowed to critically analyse situations. George Orwell's thought police never arrived.... And thats the way it ought to stay .


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  #327  
Old 05-13-2014
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

Insulting but true as a far as I can tell.
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  #328  
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Erica, most of us are from democracies. We are allowed to critically analyse situations. George Orwell's thought police never arrived.... And thats the way it ought to stay .


Mark
Yes, great point. Does "democracy" end with the critics, or with countering the critics?

How bout my critical analyses of certain posts, implying the woman was hysterical, and therefore her fault that the boat was abandoned. This reeks of chovinism? Too critical?
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  #329  
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

They had the right boat, they had the right equipment, they had the right preparation and experience. They also had bad luck with illness. I do question their (and all) parents who choose to take on the ocean with young children. Yes, its been done for generations...but never has it been considered mainstream or particularly safe.

As a parent, your #1 job is to get a child to adult age, at a physical level. Anything that detracts from that primary purpose, well, it has to be considered heavily. I feel this responsibility so much now with my own daughter, now that I'm a parent. Any undue risk that could cause her harm, well, I try to minimize it! I'm not a helicopter parent by any means, but taking on the ocean is just a lot of risk of downside!


Theres a reason why ocean going men left their wife and children on shore as they plied the seas. This so called "hobby" or lifestyle of ours is not without its risks, and is certainly higher risk than safer land-side pursuit of staying in a house thats mortgaged to the hilt. As with all risks, there is always a probability that you lose...as in lose everything, including your life.
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  #330  
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Re: Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

This thread. beating a horse to death. I don't think we are going to learn much more from this story. Let's let it go. There must be some subject more worthwhile than RH.
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