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My sympathies to him for losing out, though luckily he escaped unharmed. Quite surprised at the lack of insurance though, after so many years and it being everything he had. I know there are pros and cons, just a little surprised. Hopefully he's able to get righted and back to his goals.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Not to be unkind, but I can imagine he might have found it very difficult to get insurance if he wanted to go in that direction.
 

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Swab
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While my heart goes out to this unfortunate for his loss. But knowing those waters and being familiar with the port at Kailua-Kona, I wonder what kind of fool would try entering this, or any, strange port at night relying solely on a single electronic system with no back up. He had crew, presumably one with normal eyesight. Why risk a night entry instead of waiting for daylight?

This sort of thing happens all the time, even with sighted sailors who have fully functioning navigation systems. Several times over the years we were in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor on Oahu, I would go for my morning run and see a boat up on the reef, just arrived in the night from the West Coast and in a hurry to get in to port.

As for the insurance question - "Well, we are insured so let's go for it!" is likely responsible for more such incidents than "This is ours and our responsibility alone so let us carefully consider the risks"

Just my opinion
 

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And if you get bamboozled you turn around and head offshore till you have it sorted out.

Btw, I never, ever go into a port at night unless I know the place like the back of my hand.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Mark, to paraphrase the pilots, there are old sailors, bold sailors, but no old, bold sailors. I am very much in the same category as you are. It became a bit of joke as we crossed the Pacific, almost always we would arrive a few miles from the harbour, anchorage, whatever, about an hour after it got dark.
 
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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Ditto on the idea of never going in at night unless completely familiar with the inlet and how the entrance looks at night on approach. It is sooooo easy to get fooled by a number of conditions. Depth perception, for one is greatly compromised, sometimes making it next to impossible to distinguish nav. light patterns. Trusting electronic equipment alone to go in at night should not be something to consider. Even the easiest of inlets can be difficult and confusing at night. In the right conditions you can get turned around even in inlets you've done many times.
 
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Old as Dirt!
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.... Even the easiest of inlets can be difficult and confusing at night. In the right conditions you can get turned around even in inlets you've done many times.
Several years ago we nearly put our boat on the beach when attempting Venice Inlet, on the southwest coast of Florida, after dark, an inlet we have traversed many times. On this occasion I had timed our arrival for slack water high so there would be little excitement when we breasted the stone jetties. What we did not know was that a dredging operation was going on just south of the jetty. As we approached, I mistook the red port light on the dredge for the red marker light on the southern most jetty and so ended up headed toward the beach, between the south jetty and the dredge. I realized my error at the last minute when the bottom suddenly came up as a swell subsided and managed a swift 180 with shaking knees and sweaty palms. With that, we said the heck with it and continued on to Tampa Bay, timing our arrival at the entrance to the Manatee River for somewhat after sun-rise.

FWIW...
 

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Trusting electronic equipment alone to go in at night should not be something to consider.

I say:

Trusting paper charts alone to go in at night should not be something to consider.
For the same reasons!
 
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It became a bit of joke as we crossed the Pacific, almost always we would arrive a few miles from the harbour, anchorage, whatever, about an hour after it got dark.
I think this is why its so important to make landfall refreshed and well rested. We should be ready and happy to spend a few more nights at sea if the circumstances force us, say, nighttime, a storm, harbour closed etc etc

I don't seem to arrive just after dark, that goodness, but for some weird reason 2am strikes up in the log book often!

:)
 

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When I herd this story, I also thought what a fool to rely soley on his intruments to navigate, then I herd he was legally blind. That changed my view. He was doing what he wanted to the best of his ability. Good for him. We all make mistakes.

I also herd his boat was being looted while on the beach. These people are the idiots in the story. The news reported things like winches and bimini were stolen off the boat. Now either the people stealing them were going to use them on their own boat- real sailor idiots or they would try to sell on craigslist- still idiots. Now the demand for these stolen items is not very great here in Hawaii- very few sailboats, so it should be easy to find and prosecute these idiots.

FYI, the state is going to remove the boat from the reef (I got no problem with them using my tax money and boaters registration to do that), and the state said they would not fine the sailor for any reef damage.

Good luck to the sailor.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I say:



For the same reasons!
Yep. I always have both. Radar is also a godsend at night in poor vis. As many tools as you can put to work, including your ears are often helpful. Before GPS, I can remember times, coming into places like New Harbor on Block, when the first indication of land was the sound of surf and decreasing depth! Sometimes in the world of 10' accurate GPS, I think we tend to forget about simple depth as a confirmation of an estimated position.
 
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I wish i had his balls thats all i have to say. For him every port was pitch dark. Not just night.
"Legally blind" doesn't always mean you can't see anything. My mother's godson is legally blind but he still has some vision. Sometimes it means you aren't able to get a drivers license but you can still see to a certain extent.
 

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When I cast off Wanderers line in Victoria,Eric could barely see the bow.Susan was the lookout and they did pretty good.And this was before plotters and pinpoint naving.
 

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I interviewed him and he couldn't tell light from dark. Read the latitude 38 article,it's the only
one with a real grasp on the situation.
Could you provide a link to the article? I read the May edition online but cannot find it.
Thanks
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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When I cast off Wanderers line in Victoria,Eric could barely see the bow.Susan was the lookout and they did pretty good.And this was before plotters and pinpoint naving.

In case anyone is confused Len is referring to Eric and Susan Hiscock. Hiscock was for all intents and purposes blind and Susan was his eyes. She was, btw, an accomplished sailor in her own right and continued sailing Wanderer V for many years after Eric did his final shuffle. She later returned to England, went back to sailing dinghies and in her eighties I think it was, she won her first ever race. apparently she had been a champion dinghy sailor in her youth, which is how she met Eric.

If any of you youngsters don't know of the Hiscocks then you bloody well should. Three circumnavigations, two in the 30' Wanderer III and one in the 50 plus foot Wanderer IV. YTF they went from 33' to plus 50 is anyone's guess but they admitted later it was a big mistake. Their books are maybe just a tadge overly British but still make great reading.
 
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