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Old 12-11-2011, 06:07   #376
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
I think the better question is was there sufficient info available BEFORE venturing out to have made this a clearly inadvisable trip?
Just FYI, I just finished a delivery to the BVI. We left the evening of the 1st from Norfolk, just as the 'Halloween storm' abated. We had information/input from two of the 'brand name' shore weather routers and both said we were nuts, that the models showed we would have 40kts in the gulf stream and large breaking waves and that we should wait until the 3rd. At that point they were not so concerned with the low that turned into Sean, they seemed to think it would be a typical frontal system without that much punch and moving thru reasonably quickly - just the normal sort of think you usually have to deal with at least once on a run to the Caribbean.

But sitting there on the boat, it was obvious that the weather on the 1st was clearing much faster than the models predicted, so we felt we would have a brisk but quite safe gulf stream crossing and we were more concerned with getting out in front of the second low (what turned into Sean) both because my experience is that those sort of lows can (and in this case did) intensify 'unexpectedly' and because we wanted to use it to 'slingshot' with the northerly winds on its western side but did not want to get pinched too far to the west/too near the coast to do so.

We had a brisk but terrific safe and fast run. Generally 30kts sustained for the first couple days with occasional squalls with initial winds into the 40's and one squall with initial winds into the low 50's, waves not so bad once we were thru the north wall of the gulf stream.

The 'normal' routing for this trip is to get over to 65west (called 'I65' by the delivery captains) by about 26N in order to have enough easting when you hit the trades. It sounds like Sanctuary was following this typical route. But it was obvious even quite early (on the 1st) that this was not the year to do that and that it made sense to stay further west to stay on the favorbale side of the low.

But to the question - the 'weather experts' on the 1st and 2nd were aware of but generally not so concerned with the developing low, more concerned at that point with letting the gulf stream settle after the Halloween blow.

If you went to sea during that period, and 'the plan' was heading to Bermuda and then onto the Caribbean, I would suggest you should have changed your plan as Sean's development because obvious (on say the 2nd or 3rd). One option would be to do as Herb was recommending on the SSB net - essentially just to relax and heave-to for 4 or 5 days until sean cleared out, OR I would probably have changed routing to slingshot around the western side of Sean and direct onto the Caribbean. Continuing onto Bermuda was going to put you right in the path with wind direction becoming increasingly unfavorable.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:22   #377
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

S/V Triumph - Yes I quite agree, but his "explanation" post starts with "Well, as the insurance check is "in the mail" I think I can let everyone know what happened, in greater detail, without concern for possible complications."

- - Which confirms in my mind that anything anybody involved in an incident/loss says "before" had better be couched in careful language with lots of C.Y.A. After the dust has settled and no further legal repercussions are likely then the "real story" may or may not come out.

- - In any case, as a Gulfstar owner, the two main problems that got S/V Triumph are commonly overlooked problems with Gulfstars. The larger boats used dual engine oil and transmission oil raw water heat exchangers that are not electrically bonded to the engine. They get eaten by electrolysis quite easily and then the engine oil or transmission is flooded with sea water. I had mine fill the transmission with sea water in moderate seas but luckily only an hour out of port. I got the boat into port but in the process destroyed the transmission.

- - Secondly, the chain plates pass through the deck into the interior of the boat and are then bolted to the hull. Advanced intragranular corrosion is not uncommon as getting to the chainplates to inspect them requires removal of the interior side walls. I was lucky in that the first one to fail was in the one and only location with open access to the interior surface of the hull. Subsequently, I removed the interior sidewalls of the boat and removed and inspected all 10 chain plates and had to replace 3 of them.

- - Having a chain plate break and rip out part of the deck edge is not an easy thing to fix while underway in moderate or more seas. Here's an instance where some form of massive epoxy putty that can function in a wet environment would be the only answer in my opinion.

- - But in the captain's narrative "after everything was settled" it seemed he had most things under control or was getting them under control until the "universal weak link" in any at-sea situation took precedence - the crew wanted off the boat. The total destruction of the vessel during the evacuation by the oil tanker probably saved - IMHO - a lot of potential contentions about the vessel's suitability for an ocean crossing. If S/V Sanctuary is ever found afloat somewhere there may be further questions about the situation.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:00   #378
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
S/V Triumph - Yes I quite agree, but his "explanation" post starts with "Well, as the insurance check is "in the mail" I think I can let everyone know what happened, in greater detail, without concern for possible complications."

- - Which confirms in my mind that anything anybody involved in an incident/loss says "before" had better be couched in careful language with lots of C.Y.A. After the dust has settled and no further legal repercussions are likely then the "real story" may or may not come out.

- - In any case, as a Gulfstar owner, the two main problems that got S/V Triumph are commonly overlooked problems with Gulfstars. The larger boats used dual engine oil and transmission oil raw water heat exchangers that are not electrically bonded to the engine. They get eaten by electrolysis quite easily and then the engine oil or transmission is flooded with sea water. I had mine fill the transmission with sea water in moderate seas but luckily only an hour out of port. I got the boat into port but in the process destroyed the transmission.

- - Secondly, the chain plates pass through the deck into the interior of the boat and are then bolted to the hull. Advanced intragranular corrosion is not uncommon as getting to the chainplates to inspect them requires removal of the interior side walls. I was lucky in that the first one to fail was in the one and only location with open access to the interior surface of the hull. Subsequently, I removed the interior sidewalls of the boat and removed and inspected all 10 chain plates and had to replace 3 of them.

- - Having a chain plate break and rip out part of the deck edge is not an easy thing to fix while underway in moderate or more seas. Here's an instance where some form of massive epoxy putty that can function in a wet environment would be the only answer in my opinion.

- - But in the captain's narrative "after everything was settled" it seemed he had most things under control or was getting them under control until the "universal weak link" in any at-sea situation took precedence - the crew wanted off the boat. The total destruction of the vessel during the evacuation by the oil tanker probably saved - IMHO - a lot of potential contentions about the vessel's suitability for an ocean crossing. If S/V Sanctuary is ever found afloat somewhere there may be further questions about the situation.
Great summary Osiris. It was truly an epic thread. And I have a great deal of respect for Doug's willingness to lay it all out there.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:47   #379
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Thank you very much Estarzinger

I think you found the cusp into all the chaos, and the most valuable lesson to take away from all of this discussion. Hope the others will also recognize and agree.
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Old 14-11-2011, 09:30   #380
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Had they not been able to secure the rescue boat when they did, all would have been abandonned. (5 from the rescue team and 5 from the Sanctuary: total of 10 people).
If the above are the true words of the captain I found them disturbing. Normally a rescue operation tries to minimise and not increase the risk of casualty and to consider abandoning some crew is serious. Also few persons would accept that rescuers should risk their lives trying to rescue someone. I have no doubt that the rescue of the SV by the captain of the cruise ship will be an addition to his large knowledge.
For the crew of the SV who “got a lot for their money...” out of this sailing adventure indeed it would have been some experiences that you rarely get in a sailing school. For the one who found that they did get “more than they bargained for” I hope they did not get too traumatised by the adventure as it may take years to overcome that trauma.
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Surfing at 15knots sounds like suicide to me and a recipe for a broach and knockdown in those conditions
Also running at 17.6 KN + current can impart above design stress on the steering mechanism and so can heaving to. Vetus Holland has a formula to calculate the forces involved.
Had the skipper of the SV “call for help” been unsuccessful he will have seen another day (after all the way he recovered once on board the cruise ship demonstrates that the man was not finished) and him regaining his wit he could have made a success for all of this passage.
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Old 14-11-2011, 13:17   #381
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Was this vessel from Quebec? If so, it was sited this morning.

36-40N
66-44W
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Old 14-11-2011, 13:36   #382
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

serious woow anybody can pick it up is it thrue
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Old 14-11-2011, 13:40   #383
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Position was as of 1100 (EST?), so you better hurry -- the skipper reported sinking several days ago... ;-)
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Old 17-11-2011, 11:58   #384
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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This is the effect seen when hove to. It's also the main premise of Heavy Weather Sailing by the Pardeys. In thier bok, they use a sea anchor to fine-tune the angle of the boat to the oncoming waves.

I haven't tried it yet, but IIRC they talk about having a dry deck even in breaking waves.

Can't wait to see the video of the rescue.

Regards,
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Sorry to have been so long winded. There are a surprising number of things to learn and do to post on YouTube and, being (hitherto) ignorant of the multiple requirements, it's taken me quite a while.

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Old 17-11-2011, 12:31   #385
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Cheers for that - a couple of times I thought a crew member was going to get brained by the hooks..........
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Old 17-11-2011, 13:12   #386
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Thanks, QB. I was impressed to see the way the Captain used his thrusters to push the ship sideways to create a really nice slick for the lifeboat. The lifeboat operator was using both engines to keep station, but you can see that the water upwelling from below the ship as it moved sideways seemed to help him keep the lifeboat from banging against the side of the ship.
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:05   #387
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Seemingly, as soon as a post reaches a video upload cruisersforum's reception goes spastic, immediately thereafter terminating the post.

Following "quite a while" the post continued:-

Along the way of my learning curve I stumbled on a lengthier, more complete video, taken from the balcony of a cabin forward of the davits.
(appended at post's end)

Together the videos provide coverage of the recovery from abaft and ahead of the recovered lifeboat.

The four bow and stern men, struggling to lay hold of the wildly swinging falls, could so easily have had limbs broken, or face and/or skull stove in. Even the helmsman had a near (unseen by himself) squeak as the aft block swung way forward toward his back and unprotected head.

These minimum wage Filipino seamen are the real heroes of the rescue. Unlike the skipper & crew of Sanctuary their lives, until they answered that Mayday call, were not in jeopardy. Their courage, seamanship and, above all else, persistence are the standard to admire and emulate.

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Old 17-11-2011, 14:42   #388
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pirate Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

They coulddo with a couple of guide lines trailing below for each hook... give at least some measure of control...
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Old 18-11-2011, 09:40   #389
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

There is some trail lines. If the video is real time then it did not take very long to get connected. In any case a fairly common procedure for transferring goods at sea.
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Old 18-11-2011, 16:38   #390
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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They coulddo with a couple of guide lines trailing below for each hook... give at least some measure of control...
Each of the lower fall blocks had rope pennants attached, possibly of 6 to 8 feet length. Replay my video (post #384) and you can clearly, if briefly, see both pennants lash by as the blocks slide off the cabin tops.

Pennant lines are great for a first grab in calmer seas but not much help in presenting the block's lower ring to the engagement hook when a boat is dancing around to the degree seen here.

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