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Old 30-10-2011, 12:35   #31
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

So this is how you sail do West Indies. Did not know. I always imagined you sail down the coast.

Sounds like a pretty demanding route.

b.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:01   #32
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I've sailed Cat Tales from NB in Canada to the BVI twice, and both times we made our way down the coast to Rhode Island, got a weather advice regarding a hopeful weather window, and headed to Bermuda. Many go there, and then wait for another window for the next leg. We used Herb Hilgenberg for weather advice, as do many who dare each October. Herb will be very angry with anyone who doesn't heed weather advice or will settle for less than 5 knots for average speed. Even with a good window, if you tarry you are "sitting ducks" out there.

In 2007, a C&C 42, Magique didn't make it, primarily due to a bad rudder. The crew were rescued and the boat salvaged and still going, though. There are many boats that falter out there. I'd like to know more about the histories of these. Any one know of any source for such stories/statistics?

Sure would be good to know what info they had for a weather window, as well as what else went wrong.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:13   #33
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

OK, I have never been offshore so please bear with me and my stupid question:

I am looking at the picture. I see a large swell but overall it really doesn't seem to be that horrible a situation. 40 knots is a fair bit of wind but doesn't seem excessive. I see that the sail is stowed. It would appear that maybe they were motoring ? If so, loss of the engine would be a problem but is it a critical issue ? Would a vessel that is properly prepared to sail off shore be this vulnerable in only 40 knots of wind? Would a sea anchor or drogue not allow riding out the weather (assuming the water ingress was manageable)? Is it that unusual to take a breaking wave over the bow and would this be enough to disable a ship or is it a case of it being a ship not intended for off shore sailing?

Many questions, I know. I do not intend to make light of the situation, I am just trying to understand it a bit more since I have never been off shore and 40 knots just doesn't sound that bad .....
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:24   #34
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

First of all, kudos to Norwegian Cruise Lines for doing the right thing and doing it well. Both in training their crew, and dispatching the rescue boat without delay.

jd1, 40 knots is nothing in itself. Stick your head and shoulders out a car window driving at 45mph to see what it feel like and how it impacts your motions. Do that in a rainstorm for more accuracy.

The problem is that 40 knots winds at sea usually mean large waves and they probably were rocking and rolling strong enough to make ordinary tasks difficult.

They wre absolutely not motoring if their engine was disabled, think about that. Motoring requires the engine. No engine? No motoring. And unless they were equipped with proper storm sails or reefing gear, it might have been impossible to sail in 40 knots, there's no way to know offhand.

Diesels engines are infanous for failing in rough weather due to fuel problems. Air in the fuel, dirt in the fuel, once it gets stirred up if the engine quits you now have to stick your face in the engine bay, while the boat is rocking and heaving ten feet in alternate directions and bouncing around, and try to concentrate, focus, ignore the confinement and the diesel fumes, and work with mechanical fittings to try purging the system to restart it. For many people, that would simply not be possible. Think of trying to change a flat tire on your car (you are able to do that, right?) while your car was mounted on a roller coaster and in motion. The task gets considerably harder.

So no, they weren't going anywhere. We don't know why yet but that will no doubt come out in weeks to come.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:26   #35
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Jd1,

A well prepared boat and a competent skipper would have no trouble in 40 knots...

The picture shows quite benign conditions.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:44   #36
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Jd1,

A well prepared boat and a competent skipper would have no trouble in 40 knots...

The picture shows quite benign conditions.
1. You don't know the competency of the skipper.
2. You weren't there.

Unless you were there and know the skipper you can not say how much trouble THAT 40 knots was. 40 Knots from the south along the GS, not much action, 40 Knts from the north, much different. You only saw the one picture and you are ready to condemn the skipper.

Kudos to the Norwegian Gem, may she sail profitably forever.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:59   #37
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I think condemning skipper or vessel preparation is ridiculous. Hundreds of miles offshore, no power, taking on water: you call for assistance. Having the equipment to summon rescue was preparation. Realizing it is prudent to call for rescue in time for rescue to arrive was the mark of a good skipper.
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:47   #38
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

"Benign conditions" in the lee of 700ft long, 12 storey high cruise ship, lying broadside to the sea.
Hurricane season be damned!!--October is the worst time to be North of Bermuda if you are not really experienced--or have bad luck.
Last year IIRC, we had 5 incidents like this, weather wise.
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:50   #39
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Quote:
The picture shows quite benign conditions.
Anyone who has taken a picture of sea conditions from a boat knows that the camera flattens the waves. There are some techniques that will allow the photographer to show the waves but they would be difficult from a cruise ship.

Throw 5 or 10 gals. of seawater in the bilge (?) of that boat and you have a washing machine and plenty of trouble. One of the big problems in taking a boat with no bilge to sea.
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Old 30-10-2011, 15:51   #40
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Many questions, I know. I do not intend to make light of the situation, I am just trying to understand it a bit more since I have never been off shore and 40 knots just doesn't sound that bad .....
It isn't that bad, if you are prepared and have reduced sail and secured decks and all gear down below.

It isn't that bad if you can hand-steer down seas too steep or high for the autopilot (assuming it's not gone kaput completely).

It isn't that bad if you haven't got seasick, injured or bone-tired crew.

It isn't that bad if you are on Day Two and not Day Seven of the same heavy weather.

It isn't that bad if you've kept most of the water out of the boat.

It isn't that bad if you have prepared hot food instead of Day Three of crackers and granola bars and funny-tasting water.

But you can sure see how even a couple of those situations could, without actually causing a sinking, make continuing a delivery or transit very, very difficult.

I am prepared to evaluate the competency from the comfort of my armchair manifestly stupid things, like going into an unlit cut on a rocky night instead of waiting for daylight, or GPSing oneself onto a pier, or worse, a charted reef, but I am not prepared to judge why people choose to leave still floating boats. I wasn't there and can't say. Too many variables and I can easily see how I might make that choice, though it goes against all my instincts to leave a boat that can still sail.
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Old 30-10-2011, 16:18   #41
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I have never experienced 40 knot winds on my or any other boat. As an exercise I went down to the end of our local jetty when it was blowing like stink and found it hard to stand up to the force of the wind. I can only imagine what it would be like to be out there in high winds and confused heaving swells. My conclusion is that it is not something I would do intentionally.
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Old 30-10-2011, 17:19   #42
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I think the sun is well and truly over the yardarm. Grief can make one do and say strange things.
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Old 30-10-2011, 19:16   #43
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

The crew was Canadian, there is a 40 foot Beneteau in the Federal Registry registered in Quebec by that name.
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Old 30-10-2011, 19:43   #44
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

OK 40 knots but we do not know what seas they got. It could have been anything from nothing to hell and beyond. We do not know what damage or other issues they may have suffered.

I don't care about how hard it blows, we got knocked down in nothing else than a regular, if prolonged, gale. Do not ask me what rollers I saw when I tried to clean the deck and make sure we would not get knocked down again.

The seas can be very bad at much less wind than 40 knots anyways.

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Old 30-10-2011, 21:30   #45
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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The crew was Canadian, there is a 40 foot Beneteau in the Federal Registry registered in Quebec by that name.
Yes, I saw this on the news tonight. The Bene was heaving pretty heavily in the footage I saw. They didn't have more details than "Canadians, all safe".
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