I feel your pain, this must have been a terrible experince for you.
I don't mean to come across as critical and its always easier when your not the other guy, but why the need to "Get there"? I fall into the same trap on many an occasion. The "I gotta get there idis" will get you every time. Could you not have dropped the hook, waited it out, and called your friends to let them know your intentions were to stay put till it blew over? If need be stay all night? Get some sleep and try again when the weather is more favorable? Did you carry Food and water for emergincies? Back up hand held radio? Gps? Spare AA batteries? Do you have a dry bag?
Please don't take what I say the wrong way. I was not there, I am not in your shoes, I have no idea what I would have done.
Just maybe pointing out some things for the next time your sailing 200miles and I do hope you get out there real soon. All the best to you.
Sorry for your misfortune...I hope you get another boat, and do the next Texas 200...My boat is berthed in Port O'Connor, so am familiar with this years stronger than normal winds, and how they effect the shallow bay waters. I don't do the Texas 200, but if you get back down here I can always use an extra crew member for a sail, or if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask...Fair winds to you in the future...
Thanks for the nice thoughts and words, everyone. I wanted an adventure and certainly got one.
sailortjk1, your comments are good ones and well taken. It's hard to say what I might or might not have done, but I think if I'd truely decided that I couldn't get out of there, I'd have stopped and worked on a Plan B. There were enough moving boats around that I could have taken a line from someone and gotten to deep water. I just thought all along that I'd be able to sail her out of that tight spot. The first time that it occurred to me that I might be unable to succeed was when I capsized. Sometimes, I'm slow like that.
Thinking about it more, I might have been able to reach back toward the direction I'd come. Had I done that, I could have gained some sea room and tried it all over again. But, I just felt like I could beat upwind and get to where I needed to go. Oh well. I tend to learn things the hard way.
I'm sorry for your loss... Potters are generally quite seaworthy little boats from what I've read and seen.
However, I'd second what TJK wrote and that the use of a good anchor might have saved you some serious trouble. It is one piece of gear that is regularly overlooked as safety gear. I'd also point out that some way to seal the centerboard trunk should be setup on any centerboard boat going out in heavy weather.
Great story, full of important lessons. We all can learn from mistakes, everyone makes them. Most sailors have been aground, most small boat sailors have capsized. Don't be hard on yourself, do review your actions for next time. The most important lesson is to help others, and accept help when offered. If people didn't need eachother, there wouldn't be so many of us here. Fair winds.
While your loss is truly painful. I found great inspiration in the story it self..
I am new to sailing and i guess the thing that spooks me the most is " your on your own". In your story, people came to your rescue and would not give up if you forced them at gun point.