Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?
In the days before electronic navigation or 'reliable' weather forecasts, I encountered a tropical cyclone at sea off Fiji in the SoPac. We were only about 25 miles west of Fiji's western reef, so we had no choice but to keep some sail up and try to work to windward away from the reef, or at least not go backwards too fast.
As we entered the eye some ten hours into the storm, it was suddenly very calm and quiet and being near sunset, there was an eerie yellow light all around. We came on deck and began cleaning up the mess; broken stanchions, the main boom broken in two places, cockpit locker lids broken or missing, etc.
It was such a wonderful respite that I gave no thought to what I should do and unfortunately I allowed us to reenter the dangerous semicircle of the storm again. What followed can only be described as another four days needlessly spent in hell.
The proper move would have been to power across the eye and reenter the back side of the storm, leaving us only a few hours more trauma as the storm moved away from us.
But as proper as that would have been, how many of us could intentionally drive back into the maelstrom?
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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Last edited by capta; 11-12-2015 at 12:32 AM.