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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
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2,182 Posts
I know I'm late coming in on this, but Sailingdog and all thanks for the advice earlier on emergency steering alternatives, as a relative newbie especially offshore I learnt ALOT. Maybe it will be the difference that stops me ever or someone else here ending up a Ronnie...
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Ok Smack, heres a recent BFS tale for you from downunder.

Last week the first mate and I chartered a Beneteau 43 up in the Whitsundays to take a couple of non sailing friends on a relaxing holiday in some tropical climes....give them a taste of the good life.

After a few beautiful days of supreme island hopping with calm anchorages, and perfect sunsets with perfect cocktails, we set out last Friday for Whitehaven Beach which is a wide expanse of sand known as the jewel of the Whitsundays.
After a morning on the beach, my newbie sailors began questioning my sailing manhood and crying out for a BFS. Whining about our Motoring to Sail ratio thus far(Stupid boat needed 3 hours of engine running a day to stop the worlds most annoying battery alarm going off at 2am) the newbies had purchased a BFS sticker and slapped it firmly on the cabintop, chicken noises were being made in my general direction and it was time to step up and see if indeed these french floating RV's did disintegrate if out of sight of a marina.

The afternoon forecast was for 15-20 knots, perfect introductory BFS material and the newbies had were eager. Up went the anchor, Up went the main and out popped the furled genoa. We flew through Solway Passage, the washing machine of the Whitsundays and out into some wonderful blue yonder. We were flying indeed, the Chartplotter was declaring a respectable 7.5 knots of boat speed, the newbies were rejoicing and the BFS burgee was flown proudly from the backstay. I cracked a beer and handed the helm to the nearest newbie.

The next series of events happened very very quickly. As i was supervising from the leeward wheel whilst sipping and daydreaming, the first mate popped up from the radio informing me that the updated forecast was now more like 20-25. No problem honey I declared, an opportunity to crank a bit more boatspeed out of this 'bendy toy'. A cursory glance at the wind instruments confirmed we were indeed now getting a steady 25 knots. Nice! We were after all on a brand new 43 foot boat, not our belovedly tender Sandgroper back at home, the poor 30 year old 27 ft yacht we both would have reefed an hour ago in these conditions. Soon the first mate was at my side,
" Honey we should reef" she chastised after a glance at the wind speed. 'Spoil sport' I muttered under my breath. Besides I would have to put down my beer. However I conceded, sometimes it is better to go along than argue.

By the time our newbie crew, bikini clad in holiday mode got the 1st reef in and I picked up my beer once again we were now hard on the wind and getting a steady 30 knots. The first mate, as experienced as I perhaps but alas one of those pretend inshore racing type of sailors was now looking at me with some concerned looks.
"Dont worry babe, this isn't your neighbourhood J24 regatta" I proclaimed "Us Real BFS sailors thrive on these conditions". Besides the forecast had said 20-25. Now we all know forecasts are never wrong. Alas, I was kinda hoping for some high seas 'quality time' that evening so put in the second reef to keep her happy.

At 35 knots still hard on the wind, second reef in and despite having furled in a good dose of Headsail, the newbie was still on the helm when we rounded up and I abruptly woke up. What the **#$ was I thinking? If it wasn't for the first mate's common sense I probably would still have been under full main in an act of utter lunacy and in defiance of everything I had ever learn't and knew about sailing. I learn't in that moment that the sea doesn't have much time for our egos.

With the true wind speed dial now reading a steady 50 knots, all the newbies got very quiet. I realized I was in unchartered territory, but if I was to pursue our dreams of bluewater venturing this was the stuff we would have to get very used to. More immediately it dawned on me that our destination and overnight anchorage was now quite untenable in these condiitons. A further 3-4 hour beat to windward was what was required to get us to a suitable anchorage...

We all slept rather well that night safely in our anchorage, having had an exhilarating day some had loved BFS, others wanted the hell off the boat. I pondered how much I had learned that day, and also how much I had learned about what I still need to learn. However I had indeed had for me what was a BFS....
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
I have always enjoyed Giu artistic efforts and humour.
Im not sure Im even totally understanding this one however.....If your right Smack and he is questioning the wind speeds quoted in my post, I direct everyone's attention to the following link.

Hamilton Island, Qld - November 2008 - Daily Weather Observations

This is the ACTUAL wind speeds recorded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. Have a look at Friday 21st November 2008, the day in question. Its easy to find, its the one with the really big numbers in red. Obviously I wrote parts of my story very tongue in cheek, I however am not a liar.
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Firstly, I am sorry I sounded far more defensive than I mean't too.

Secondly after having a close look at the Bureau data (after first converting it to knots of course:) ) It acutally kind of supports your point. The numbers I give were as they were reading on the bene's instruments, however the bureau seems to be saying that the worst of it at Hamo island anyway was more like 35-40 knots. Also the missing detail from my original post is that by the end of it, in order to make our anchorage I had only a heavily reefed main up and was motorsailing.....

Giu, from what I read from you on here, I have enormous respect for you as a sailor and a individual. I have gotten so much out of your posts, I seems to me that you are the guy at the end of the bar siting drunk, giving everyone crap, but when you do put down the glass and turn to bar with a serious look on your face everyone shuts up and listens. I say 'bartender, pour that guy down there another' and lets start arguing over our drinks about imperial vs metric.
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Thanks Caleb.
I think your right it is a scientific rather than nautical way of seeing things. None of the numbers mentioned by me were in km/h, we do use knots Downunder as well l promise! The only thing in km/h was the Australian Bureau of Meteorolgy's page I linked to. Being a branch of the Australian Government, i'm not sure what my chances will be of convincing them to change their ways.

Cheers Giu for also being a gentleman and for the offer of assistance.
To clear something up, we were not sailing in it well at all, It was chaos and we certainly weren't getting anywhere, I guess part of my point was that we were overpowered, I was overwhelmed by the conditions and well, I was stupid.

Now funny you mentioned 60 knots, let me tell you all about the day the beloved and I were doing a spinnaker run in 60 knots....... :)
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Here is the best photographic evidence I could find sorry. The first two were taken earlier around the time the ST40 was reading about 30 knots I think....
The last one was taken later that day after were sailing anchored.
I don't have any from time when I believe we were getting more like 40+ knots.

Tell me what you think :)





 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
We ended up in Nara Inlet, which is supposedly the best all weather anchorage in the Whitsundays....

I do agree with you SkipperB about the dinghy with the benefit of hindsight. Essentially the theme of my tale was that we were caught unawares to some degree, and I was at the time being a BFS dumbass in several respects.

However what ultimately stopped me stowing the dinghy in the end, was the fact that we were on a charter yacht and when I mentioned stowing the dinghy to the charter company on the radio they point blank told me don't try it....I reasoned it was both their dinghy and their yacht, so be it. Particularly off the wind however I was very worried about the dinghy surfing down a wave and into the back of yacht.
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Hey Smack, We are still here loitering around the corners as we like to do :)

I also figured it would be bad form for us to come on here and tell too many stories of dolphin laden, bikini clad, beer drinking summer cruises given the fact that most of your fine country appears to be frozen solid....
(It was in Sydney 95 degrees Fahrenheit today, i have just gotten back from a swim down the beach ).

I also do have to confess that other than a nice little week long cruise around NYE, sadly I have not been getting in much BFS of late. January on the waters around here is sometimes best avoided as Christmas/summer holidays means most normally quintessential anchorages turn into Searay filled floating caravan parks. Most club racing also generally takes a break for a few weeks..........
You add to that the fact that if you decide to find Nemo and start sailing north from here this time of year you are more than likely to run into a bad ass cyclone.

Real nice BFS and pics Smack.....The seastate reminded me of a local duck pond I like to picnic by....however kudos to you for sailing into the slip....you are a braver man than I.
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Smack, wait for a big ass ferry to go past and try and sit the smacktanic (with your Genny doused for the occasion of course and borrowed storm jib centre frame) right in Ferry's wake and SNAP.

Hey if after a 100 posts i'm now a 'senior member' what the hell does that make guys like SD and Giu??
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Damn Giu is getting good at Photoshop :) Those videos almost had me convinced....

Smack, damn no ferries, better round up some Sea Rays then. Or yeah your right, your last hope is to send a pic of the smacktanic off to Portugal for superimposing over video of Niagara Falls.
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
Nice Smacky,

The Smacktanic is looking very pretty indeed. The class award for 'most improved' should be pinned proudly on your chest. You now have a chance if the wind goes over 7 1/2 knots :)

That white sheet thing isn't decorative though, putting the main up in the pen is lovely and all but not too many folk have had a decent BFS attached to the dock. CD excepted of course. :)
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
Joined
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2,182 Posts
I pop my head back into this BFS thread and all of a sudden everyone is talking about drifting backwards and anchors?

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Ok for the folk who actually do know how to sail, no this isn't really a BFS, we are just over canvassed and hard on the wind in a bit of chop, but it does look kinda cool and it will give Smack something to aspire to once Churchlady irons the wrinkles out of his main.

This is in Sydney Harbour, east coast of Australia.

 
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