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I'd rather be sailing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we made it safely from Norfolk to NYC, arriving at around 6:30am this morning. It was fairly uneventful, unless you count:

1) A Coast Guard safety inspection as we left Norfolk Inlet (passed with flying colors)
2) A second coastie trying to board us 30 minutes later, also for a safety inspection
3) Our engine oil pressure dropping to zero as we were head to wind in 22kts and 6ft seas putting a second reef in
4) And for the finale, we got nailed by those huge storms that ripped through PA/NJ/NY yesterday. We clocked 48.6kts, but our knotmeter is broken and we were doing 8.8kts at the time, so add that in for 57.4kts. Of course it only shows maximum sustained wind, not peak gusts where we saw over 55kts, reflecting well over 60kts of wind. By the way - The 8.8kts was done with only a double reefed main up, wind at the quarter, running hard. Pelican handled incredibly well with nothing breaking and a few whoops from the helmsman (me), if that tells you how amazing it truly was. By the way, here are a couple of links about the storm where 80mph+ winds were recorded: A Brief but Intense Thunderstorm - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com and Storm fells hundreds of trees in NY's Central Park | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.

We'll have stuff up on our blog in the next couple of days.
 

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Labatt, glad to hear you made it through. I had my hands full in about 25-30 knots a couple of weeks ago. I had to turn tail and run back to the lee of the island. Do you have any pictures, or were you too busy slicin' and dicin'? :D

Nice job, Bill
 

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HOLY CRAP LABATT!!! I'll be watching your blog. I smell a SERIOUS BFS!

Can I steal it from your blog and put it here in the BFS Hall of Fame?
 

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On the hard
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It's funny how a big blow like that can be handled by a well found boat isn't it? After that, sailing in a Gale is no longer the big deal that it was. Sounds like a fun trip.
 

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Handsome devil
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LOL... ya its amazing how one year changes opinions around here isnt it...:rolleyes:

Good on ya Labat, sounds like a lot of fun.
 

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I'd rather be sailing
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was incredible. The biggest help was being prepped for it - having some sail up, but reefed well in advance, talking through what we would do in various scenarios, giving each person areas of responsibility (port side, starboard side, helm), and communications during the storm (calling out wind speeds, point of sail, helm response, etc.). The significant wind (45+) only lasted about 20 minutes, but it still blew over 35 for another 30 minutes and then it was over 25 for the next hour or so. We should hopefully have a blog entry up today, and feel free to repost it :)
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Wow! I watched that micro-burst pass over the NYC region from a house on LI and the lightning show was incredible as were the short lived intense winds that I could only estimate at between 40 - 60 mph as I watched the tree limbs sway in the gusts. It was a dangerous night on land so I can only guess what a time you had out on the water. At least on board your boat Pelican you were not likely to be hit by falling tree limbs and debris.
You must have been off the coast of New Jersey when that system blew through. Guess I will wait for the blog entry to get posted.
Are you staying at Liberty Landing again and for how long?
 

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Although the storm must have been a shorts changer, I would like to congratulate you on passing the Coast Guard checks. It's shows your responsibility as a safe and responsible boater. Something we don't hear about that often. I was surprised at two boardings in such a short time period. I see the CG on the bay regularly but seldom hear of boardings especially two within an hour.

P.S. I wish I had known you where in Norfolk, I would have come down and bought you a drink.
 

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A friend of mine e-mailed me last monday, he was in the Azores and leaving for Bermuda on wednesday, on his way to Annapolis. I e-mailed him yesterday to see if he had left and haven't gotten a reply yet so he may be under way. He's sailing a Lagoon 40, hope his luck holds out.
In 2006 he had 3 major storms chasing him around the Atlantic on the same trip so he is used to it, but last place I would want to be in those conditions is on a cat.
 

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2) A second coastie trying to board us 30 minutes later, also for a safety inspection
Sailking - actually it appears that the second boarding was not successful. I'm assuming he had the wife and kids on the foredeck brandishing boathooks, swinging long-tethered fenders at the Coastie, and shouting obscenity-laced diatribes about US government repression.

Well done Labatt!
 

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The new sport of extreme sailing... Now if we can only get the wussy cameramen out there to photograph the boats sailing in that weather. Then it could be Televised. :D
 

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It was incredible. The biggest help was being prepped for it - having some sail up, but reefed well in advance, talking through what we would do in various scenarios, giving each person areas of responsibility (port side, starboard side, helm), and communications during the storm (calling out wind speeds, point of sail, helm response, etc.). The significant wind (45+) only lasted about 20 minutes, but it still blew over 35 for another 30 minutes and then it was over 25 for the next hour or so. We should hopefully have a blog entry up today, and feel free to repost it :)
Please comment on my latest post on my blog, Labatt. I'd love your recently informed, top-of-mind opinion!
 

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Not a good time of year to be crossing the N Atlantic in a small boat. He should wait until the end of October.Why risk it.
 

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I'd rather be sailing
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, the USCG was definitely on patrol that day. They had three boats just outside the inlet. Our coasties were on and off within 15 minutes. I think that once they saw me come up with an organized binder with our documentation, and pull out the ditch bag (which I should have had out already), they knew we had covered our safety equipment and then some. By the end, he was just asking me questions like - "Do you have an oil placard? Where is it?" I'd ask him if he wanted to see it, and he'd just say not to worry about it. This was after he already saw our garbage placard, and the piece of paper I had taped to a wall that had handwritten on it - "Garbage disposal plan - When in port, dispose of garbage in pier receptacles." For everyone out there, apparently that DOES count as a waste plan. He laughed at the handwritten aspect. When he asked to see a lifejacket for each person on board I grabbed our West Marine cheap orange jackets and said - "We normally wear our inflatables, but they don't count, so I carry these things around for inspections but I'd never wear them." Once again, he laughed and said that he can't believe they count, but they do, and he'd never wear them either. We then sat for a couple of minutes, chatted and got the obligatory picture, and they were off.

30 minutes later, about 2 miles farther along, the second patrol boat (a tender off of a larger cutter) pulled off our rear quarter and signaled that they were going to board. Once they were in shouting distance, I let them know that we had just been boarded. They laughed and then went on their merry way. I think I'm going to try that tactic in the future! I would love to say that we held them at bay using a small caliber machine gun mounted on the bow while the kids lobbed flash-bangs at them, but, well, no.

My wife and I discussed the boardings for quite some time after they happened. It was our first boarding, and I had posted that we had been boarded on my facebook page. I got a couple of people commenting that it was an invasion of privacy and our 4th amendment rights. I know I've seen some of that here. Both my wife and I ended up with this opinion - The USCG will travel a way offshore in big waves and huge winds to rescue people they don't know that may not actually be there. If they want to come aboard and make sure that you have the proper safety gear to give you a CHANCE of staying alive (i.e. at least some kind of life jackets, even if they aren't great) and to help them locate you (i.e. non-expired flares), that's just fine. As a matter of fact, fine me if I don't have it in order to set an example. All I ask is that if I need help, be there for me. I don't question whether or not they will, because I know they will try. OK - if you want to discuss this aspect further, PLEASE copy and paste this and create a new thread!

With regards to the storm, we were indeed off of the Jersey coast, and our kids were with us. They actually slept right through it! It's the second storm they've slept through, the first one being when we pounded through 12ft seas on our way into Cape Fear. I just pulled up our track in Coastal Explorer. The storm first hit us at 21:27 at N40deg 02, W73 deg 57, just south and east of Manasquan. Our turn and run was complete at 21:55, so that must have been when the winds dropped to about 30. I saw the storms earlier in the day and figured that they would be carrying winds from shore, so that's why we were so close in - minimize any fetch that could be created. It was raining, but most of the rain was sideways and not coming under the bimini and dodger. What did get our cockpit wet was the spray being generated off the sea surface foam. I'm very glad that I took the time to actually tie our sail down when we did the double reef earlier in the day, otherwise it probably would have created a lot more windage.

With regards to the lightning, we had some drop near us, but not as close as it has been in other storms. I think the cells carrying most of the electrical stuff were north and south of us. The shows were amazing, with multiple forks going across the sky to the ground and lasting for several seconds. Normally, you get a streak and it's gone. This time, I could actually turn to my wife, say look at that one, and it would still be there when she turned!

Caleb - we came and left Liberty Landing already. We got in at 6:30am (would have been in much earlier, but we slowed way down after the storm to relax, and then decided to get in when the marina opened so we could get landing assistance just in case). At $4/ft + electric at the marina, we wanted to move on quickly. We considered moving to the 79th street moorings, but with Hurricane Bill on its way north we decided to just head out. We averaged 8.8kts on our way up the Hudson today and made it to Haverstraw by noon. You have to love favorable currents!

Unfortunately, the only picture I got was one of our wind instrument showing our max wind speed. It was dark when the storm hit us, and I had two hand gripping the wheel so it would have been tough to take pictures. Once that spray started coming into the cockpit, I wish I had put gloves on as our wood covered wheel got very slippery. Every so often, Pelican wanted to try to round up so keeping her in place took a bit of effort. It became a standard drill - "Rounding up! Drop the traveller! Ease the main! Back under control! In with the main! Up with the traveller!" My wife and father-in-law did a wonderful job of taking orders and letting there be one captain on the boat, and it was GREATLY appreciated! We were balancing on such a thin edge trying to keep the wind on the quarter that everything needed to be done exactly right. The only thing I was terrified of was a major wind shift causing a jibe. With over 50kts of wind, we would have broken our boom and possibly more on a jibe.

Dan - we originally met Side by Side in Warderick Wells in the Exumas, Bahamas. Within 5 minutes of meeting Angie, she had already pushed Parker into my dinghy to bring back to Pelican (we have a 12 year old son too). They quickly became friends, and Sabrina and our daughter are great friends. We spent the next couple of months cruising the Bahamas with them. It turns out they live 45 minutes from our land home! Too funny. Have you kept up with them? It would take me an hour and 10 pages to tell you what they've been up to in the past couple of months, but right this second they are in an RV (that they bought in Michigan) checking out the western US while Side by Side gets some work done down in Maryland.

i2f - I hope when you say "End your trip" you were just talking about that particular passage? As many know, we're taking a sabbatical from our sabbatical to try to improve sales at our business, but we're hopeful we'll be back out within a month, maybe two.

Valiente - I took a brief read of your blog entry and have a few thoughts. I'll share them when I get a chance. Right now we're working on a blog entry about this passage (some of it will repeat what I've stated above).

Sammy - I hope your friend is OK. Hurricane Bill is taking a track that puts it off of Bermuda. There are supposed to be ridiculous waves and surf out there!

Chris
 
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