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Discussion Starter #1
So many ask and dream of blue water sailing. All that is fine until all hell breaks loose and you take that 20'+ wave of "GREEN WATER" over the bow.
Then you soil your pants and call for help. Be wary of what you wish for!
 

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It's always so nice to read positive comments. Perhaps we should all stay nice and securely tied in the marina. The reality is, I have a much better chance of being killed on the freeway to the marina then I will have in my boat sailing. Life does not come with guarantees of safety.
Keep up the encouraging words USCGRET1990!!!
 

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I'll buy that for a dollar.

There are two separate issues here. Blue water is the holy grail of all of us dreaming about getting out there. I will make a call when I get 20' over the bow, but it will be one of my buddies to say "THE DREAM IS ON!!!"

The second issue is soiling your pants and calling for help. I agree with USCGRET990 on this second part. There are people who are unprepared that are getting out there and panicking. I still steam about the guys that got help from the Navy in the mid-Atlantic earlier this year. It was nice they got help and lived, but they should not have been out there.

So, USCGRET1990, perhaps you're stirring the pot to start a thread. However, some of us haven't yet got out there but will. I will be prepared and I might soil my pants but nobody but me and my pants will know.

Cheers,

TrT
 

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There are two separate issues here. Blue water is the holy grail of all of us dreaming about getting out there. I will make a call when I get 20' over the bow, but it will be one of my buddies to say "THE DREAM IS ON!!!"

The second issue is soiling your pants and calling for help. I agree with USCGRET990 on this second part. There are people who are unprepared that are getting out there and panicking. I still steam about the guys that got help from the Navy in the mid-Atlantic earlier this year. It was nice they got help and lived, but they should not have been out there.

So, USCGRET1990, perhaps you're stirring the pot to start a thread. However, some of us haven't yet got out there but will. I will be prepared and I might soil my pants but nobody but me and my pants will know.
Cheers,
TrT
They needed help because they were neither trained or mentally prepared to sail ('Sail' is the key word here) under less then idealistic conditions. They really needed an old sea dog to hold their collective hands and teach them on how to survive when the winds and seas start kicking up and doing a fandango.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It didn't take a 20 ft wall of green water for me or all that far offshore...

It was a double reefed main rippin off the mast, crashing down on top of me in the middle of a crossing from Miami to Bimini for "all hell to break loose". The sail just about took me over the side thank god for life lines.

I was crewing a 65ft boat on my 3rd trip across.
Small craft adv. and the owner said we had to go.
NE + March + Gulf Stream if your know what I mean...
A couple of the passengers did brown the trousers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, USCGRET1990, perhaps you're stirring the pot to start a thread. However, some of us haven't yet got out there but will. I will be prepared and I might soil my pants but nobody but me and my pants will know.
Cheers,

Yes...I am always stirring the pot! But alot of newbies dream of "Blue Water" and don't know the consequenses(sp?) of it! I am wary of their dreams to be in harms way. Greg...bite me!!!
I have seen more green water over the bow than many folks, and damn it's freekin scarry. At the time I was in a steel, high powered vessel.
I just wanted to say, be wary of what you wish for....
 

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So many ask and dream of blue water sailing. All that is fine until all hell breaks loose and you take that 20'+ wave of "GREEN WATER" over the bow.
Over the bow? Try over the bow, down the decks and into the aft cockpit as the boat pitches off a wave. Try over the pilothouse (why I need wipers). Try putting the spreaders in the water and wondering if your locker gaskets will hold. Try broaching during a spinnaker wrap with the spreaders in the water as you hang on to a winch for dear life.

All good fun, isn't it?;)
 

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In years of sailing on blue water, I’m happy to say I have had very little ship over the bow. The one time I clearly recall, was single handing my 29’ foot sloop from Bora Bora to Pago Pago (I still love how that sounds), near the end of the passage, and after a couple days of calm, the wind came up sharp to about 40 with a few gusts showing 50. It was right behind me and my problem was trying to slow the boat on the last night so as not to reach the reef entrance until after dawn. The seas were fairly short without too much swell but there was a lot of spray, and it was noisy, and the boat didn’t like steering if I put the jib any smaller than would keep the boat moving at least 3 knots. Two days and basically no sleep. Finally I decided it was best to heave to and wait an hour, but soon after I turned the boat around, we took one wave pretty hard and then a second larger one, swept over the length of the boat and knocked me across the cockpit and over the top of the tiller. I had to spit out a full mouth of seawater before I could start swearing properly. If there had been any accident in my pants, the wave would have easily washed the evidence away (four big cockpit drains are very good thing, as is a harness with a short leash). I picked a gap and spun the boat back around and made the entrance a few hours later, moments after the light came up. I was telling friends in the harbor the story within the hour while having a hot breakfast. A little blue water, more like black in this case, makes for a good story and good experience, especially when no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
LOL I love it , I hear ya USCGRET . Theres nothing quite like getting what you wished for and finding out you may have had a deathwish . I was baptised by fire on my first trans-Atlantic . I wont bore you all with the details but it was terrifiying and I dont think I have prayed as much before or since . Its good to share this info with people getting into cruising and passage making . A shot or two of cold hard reality shouldnt disscourage someone from doing it , but should put things in there true perspective . When you have a wave breaking half way up your headstay on a 49ft boat how big is that wave ? I'll tell ya . Its too bloody big . Multiply that with all day , all night, for several days. You cant put a bottle of water to your lips because the boat is being jerked about so violently . Yup I'm living the dream now . Even if you did crap yourself your standing in a washing machine . For those that have not had their timbers shivered yet , remember this : It will pass , you will be ok and the boat will survive seas that you cant imagine , if you keep it together and take all the saftey precautions you can . Anchors stowed bellow deck . Anything that can move stowed bellow deck if possible .All hatches dogged and duct taped , yup duct taped . Tidy up all clutter bellow deck so you can move as fast and safely as possible. Dorades removed and sealed . Keep the companionway weather boards up at all times that rogue wave will never anounce its self . Harness at all times on deck.

Other than that have fun take pictures , keep telling yourself , this is fun and I am enjoying it. LOL
 

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Hypocritical BS

I always chuckle when I read about all the prophets making statements to the fact that one should not call for help when you're really in trouble "out there". Their thinking seems to be that since you've brought this upon ourself, you should simply accept your fate and that's it. That's not what the initiator of this thread meant, but I've read this sentiment on Sailnet before.

Calling because you're simply scared but not really in danger is one thing, - calling 'cause you're really in trouble is another matter entirely. I'm quite sure the spinners of such rediculous and arrogant nonsense will be just as surely grabbing for their Epirbs as everybody else, whether they first soiled their pants or not - and regardless what they wrote on websites like this.

As more and more people with relatively little experience take off cruising, rescue incidents will probably increase. It is a fact that not everyone can have the same experience or be experts in everything. The fact is that most of us work our backsides off to scrape together enough to finally get out there. If absolute mastery of all aspects and for all contingencies were preconditions to joining the cruising life, there would have been VERY few people out there.

It is also sometimes difficult or entirely impossible to determine when a situation changes from uncomfortable, to life-threatening. Since there are many families out there, the responsibility on the captain (often one of the parents in case of families) to make that determination can be very very difficult and clouded by fears for the safety of the children. Criticizing people for making decisions or determinations that their lives were in danger at a particular moment and then asking for help, even if subsequently shown not to have been the case, displays little more than an opinionated arrogance and a hyperinflated idea of personal superiority.

I'm not suggesting anyone should go out there completely unprepared and grab the Epirb at the first whiff of danger. I am however just a little bit tired of all the high-browed experts who criticise easily.

M Murphy
 

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I don't think there is nothing wrong with dreaming or going Blue Sea...its when and how and with what that has to be equated....the going?? I'm OK with it.
 

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I always chuckle when I read about all the prophets making statements to the fact that one should not call for help when you're really in trouble "out there". Their thinking seems to be that since you've brought this upon ourself, you should simply accept your fate and that's it. That's not what the initiator of this thread meant, but I've read this sentiment on Sailnet before.

Calling because you're simply scared but not really in danger is one thing, - calling 'cause you're really in trouble is another matter entirely. I'm quite sure the spinners of such rediculous and arrogant nonsense will be just as surely grabbing for their Epirbs as everybody else, whether they first soiled their pants or not - and regardless what they wrote on websites like this.

As more and more people with relatively little experience take off cruising, rescue incidents will probably increase. It is a fact that not everyone can have the same experience or be experts in everything. The fact is that most of us work our backsides off to scrape together enough to finally get out there. If absolute mastery of all aspects and for all contingencies were preconditions to joining the cruising life, there would have been VERY few people out there.

It is also sometimes difficult or entirely impossible to determine when a situation changes from uncomfortable, to life-threatening. Since there are many families out there, the responsibility on the captain (often one of the parents in case of families) to make that determination can be very very difficult and clouded by fears for the safety of the children. Criticizing people for making decisions or determinations that their lives were in danger at a particular moment and then asking for help, even if subsequently shown not to have been the case, displays little more than an opinionated arrogance and a hyperinflated idea of personal superiority.

I'm not suggesting anyone should go out there completely unprepared and grab the Epirb at the first whiff of danger. I am however just a little bit tired of all the high-browed experts who criticise easily.

M Murphy
Well put!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am reading "Fastnet Force 10" now, and it brings home the point pretty well. There were a lot of really well qualified sailors out there in 1979, and that didn't save the 15 crewmen who died. Sometimes its just too much. Caveat: I have no experience isailing in blue water, except from the deck of a Navy destroyer.
 

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Quote:
I always chuckle when I read about all the prophets making statements to the fact that one should not call for help when you're really in trouble "out there". Their thinking seems to be that since you've brought this upon ourself, you should simply accept your fate and that's it. That's not what the initiator of this thread meant, but I've read this sentiment on Sailnet before.


If it's getting a bit rough and scary, always make the call early and let it be known while you still can. When you wait too long and the demasting puts the antenna in the water, it's just too darn late. In that most sailboats ARE dismasted in a storm, if I planned to sail bluewater, I would try to come up with an indestructable mast, tied down and fastened to the hilt. That would be a good thread to start "How to make your mast and rigging indestructable!"
 

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Another option is the setup I inherited on my boat. I have a second VHF antenna on the radarpole top, with Coax run all the way to the back of my radio, where it hangs loose. If the mast comes down, all I'll have to do is unplug the mast VHF cable and plug in the other.

I can claim no honor for this brilliant idea!

M Murphy
 

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Yes - it's not always fun. Even with experience and equipment. And sometimes you wish you were drinking on the beach while the conditions have your crew/guests staring at you wondering if they should panic. Short of the mystical indestructable mast, there are a couple of other tricks that are now baked into our routine from experiences this year. Like - if you haven't replaced the dorades with their deckplates before starting to slam into 14' seas off Nantucket shoals, at least turn the buggers to face aft before the green water starts 2+ hours of sweeping the boat from stem to stern, over the trunk cabin and the dodger, filling the cockpit. We now turn the dorades aft as a matter of course prior to getting underway. Keeps it a bit dryer below.
 

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I love this

"The reality is, I have a much better chance of being killed on the freeway to the marina then I will have in my boat sailing."

I'm not sure but i think that statement may not actually be true. 698 people died on boats in 2006- granted, very few were sailors, most were drunken fools in powerboats

One in 7000 Americans dies in car wrecks. I think if you run the math and compare the number of trips and the amount of time we spend in our carsversus boats, at the end of the day, cars are safer.

Very few people die sailing but really, not all that many people sail.

Back in May the Coast Guard plucked nine people off three different sailboats, meanwhile, two or theree people were lost at sea due to the same weather. Some of these folks were very experienced and well equipped.

Put another way, I'd say a driver that an experienced and well-equipped will NEVER die behind the wheel absent a third party doing something stupid.

The point is, sailing has an element of risk that can not be eliminated.
 
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