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Old 15-12-2006, 04:30   #1
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From the 2006 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC):

ARC News:

Crew of “Arnolf” evacuated onto “Be-Bop-A-Lula”
Double-handed crew Paul Bourgie (71) and Jacques Clermont (65) both from France, were successfully evacuated at 06:00 UTC Sunday (10 December) from their Bavaria 35 Arnolf at approximate position 19̊45'N 34̊43'W. The rescue took place some 48 hours after losing their rudder in a collision with a submerged object, possibly a whale. The ARC yacht Be-Bop-A-Lula, which had reached their position during the night, stood-by until daylight before taking the two French sailors aboard.

ARC yachts respond to MAYDAY
There was further drama Staurday evening (December 9) when ARC yachts Tracker My Way and Om Shanti picked up a MAYDAY from a Belgian yacht, Allegria, that is not participating in the ARC, at position 14.58N 47.49W. One of the double-handed crew on Allegria had suffered a breakdown and jumped over board. In the dark, and with an 8ft-10ft swell running, yachts Tracker My Way, Macnoon and Sunrise began a search, as well as co-ordinating communications with MRCC's Falmouth (UK) and Fort de France (Martinique).
Sunrise also transferred two crew to Allegria to help sail the yacht. After approximately 4 hours, the casualty, a 30-year old Belgian male was recovered onboard the Allegria.

More: Sailing news as it happens - Yachts and Yachting Online
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Old 15-12-2006, 07:00   #2
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Gord, thanks for that. Interesting as always to follow fleets of boats (in rallies or otherwise) and watch what bubbles to the surface. A lost rudder on the little Bavaria? Very interesting. A friend hit a whale last year this time, in the same rough geographic location, sufficient to fill the water with blood. His independent rudder is on a Corbin 39 and there was no casualty (not that the two incidents are identical). Still...

It will be interesting to see, as always, to what journalistic standards the marine periodical industry will write when summarizing this year's events.

Jack
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Old 15-12-2006, 07:46   #3
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What is the consensus of why these collisions with whales occur? Are these sleeping whales? Persumably they are not aggressive creatures and the collisions would be an accident... no?

Does anyone know anything about sleeping whales or why these collisions occur?

Jef
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Old 15-12-2006, 08:52   #4
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I’ve always abhorred uninformed opinions (in others); but must admit that I’ve been harbouring one myself.
I’ve long suspected that many, if not most, reported collisions between sailboats and whales were not.
Notwithstanding the fact that collisions between whales and ships & boats are not unheard of - but also considering the vastness of the ocean, and the relatively scarcity of both sailboats and whales, I’ve assumed that accidental boat-whale collisions would be very rare.

Perhaps whale collision is a legitimate concern, particularly for those crossing whale migration routes, or in feeding, nursing, calving, and mating grounds where they spend more time on the surface.


Whale collisions a growing danger ~ By Timothy Hurley
Honululu Advertiser, December 15, 2006
Whale collisions a growing danger - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper

Whale collision under investigation ~ by Brian Perry
Maui News, March 10, 2006
http://www.mauinews.com/story.aspx?id=17648

Collision injures whale calf ~ by Nelson Daranciang
Star Bulletin, , March 18, 2006
StarBulletin.com | News | /2006/03/18/

Ship collision likely killed whale ~ by Diane Tennant
The Virginian-Pilot, February 21, 2003
Whalenet Information Archive 2003: Ship collision, whale

Whales a bigger collision threat than ships? ~ by Truman Horton
Ocean Navigator, Nov/Dec 1998
Ocean Navigator Online - Whales a bigger collision threat than ships?

According to PEER*:
Fatal collisions with ships have become a leading threat to whale survival. Ships strikes are on the rise, due to a combination of increasing coastal ship traffic, smaller crew size, bigger vessels and faster speeds. Deafening underwater noise levels also prevent whales from hearing approaching propellers:
* Between 20 and 35% of all whales found dead show cuts and blunt trauma consistent with a ship strike;
* Ship strikes are the largest known cause of death for the endangered North Atlantic right whale, particularly calves who have undeveloped diving capability. The risk of ship collision is now also the biggest threat facing the blue whale, the largest mammal on earth; and
* The vast majority of ship strikes are not reported. According to an agency database, 42 of 292 incidents were logged only because whale carcasses were pinned to the prow of ships entering harbor.

* Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: Whale Collisions: Full Speed Ahead
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Old 15-12-2006, 09:07   #5
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Forward Scanning Sonar

I am considering installing forward scanning sonar. Mostly for getting a good look at the bottom and reefs as an avoidance tool. I have heard that the US Navy sonar has an effect on Whale's. Seems like this system would detect dense objects such as a container of maybe a whale. Forward Looking Sonar :: Forward Looking Sonar by EchoPilot

Jack
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Old 15-12-2006, 09:34   #6
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Jack,

You need to consider that not all collisions occur with objects in your path of motion. This would be the case for a floating submerged or partially submerged object. But if you are sailing across the path of a whale you could be struck broadside and forward scanning sonar would not pick this up. One would also think that the keel would deflect away from the rudder .. or at least take the brunt of an inpact with an object over taken.

I am curious to hear of actual accounts of whale collisions with sail boats. Didn't Steven Calahan.. can't remember his last name, but he wrote Adrift take a hit from a whale when he was asleep? Does anyone recall accounts of sailors who were hit and "saw it coming" so to speak?

Jef
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Old 15-12-2006, 10:27   #7
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If these collisions are indeed with whales and they are sleeping one can see how a whale wouldn't hear or sense an approaching sailboat particularly if the engine isn't providing sound waves.

Wonder if a sound producing device, similar in concept to what drivers use to alert deer on the highway, would be feasible.
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Old 15-12-2006, 12:53   #8
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Once upon a time a lost rudder was not considered a worthwhile reason to abandon ship.
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Old 15-12-2006, 13:23   #9
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There was a picture in one of the magazines months or so back (maybe Sail or Cruising World) of a guy in the liferaft with his sinking boat int eh background after what was described as a whale collision. Apparently left a huge hole in the boat; crew picked up a few hours later by coast guard.
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Old 15-12-2006, 13:50   #10
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Maybe the organizers of the different Cruising Rallies will have to start insisting that participants carry a tested spare rudder, like the PCYC race to Hawaii.

The following is copied from the "Preparation Cheat Sheet" on the PCYC web site.

Quote:
Have figured out what to do for an emergency rudder. Before the race, I have to sign in blood that I have beat and run in 10 knots+ breeze with my emergency rudder- not easy unless I have an honest for goodness real emergency rudder. It can take a few months to develop and build an effective emergency rudder. You can find an article of emergency rudders on the PacCup web site.
It just makes sense to have a backup plan for the rudder even if you are not participating in a race or a rally. IMHO to many boats have lost their rudders lately to just ignore the problem and pretend "it wont happen to me".

Pacific Cup Yacht Club - West Marine Pacific Cup

Emergency Rudders - Their Design and How to Make One
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Old 15-12-2006, 14:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana-tenacity
Once upon a time a lost rudder was not considered a worthwhile reason to abandon ship.
Hear, hear.
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Old 15-12-2006, 19:16   #12
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Quote:
I am curious to hear of actual accounts of whale collisions with sail boats. Didn't Steven Calahan.. can't remember his last name, but he wrote Adrift take a hit from a whale when he was asleep? Does anyone recall accounts of sailors who were hit and "saw it coming" so to speak?
I can not find the article at this time, I think it was in Sailing Anarchy. The last transpac a 37 foot boat was being delivered back to SF and was struck by a whale and sunk. What I remember was that the crew thought boat got between the mother and calf. The mother rammed the boat and holed it on starboard mid section. They tried stuffing sails in the hole to no avail the boat went down fairly quickly. They set of the EPIRB and where rescued with no injuries. Maybe someone out there can relate this story better than me.

Jack
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Old 15-12-2006, 20:01   #13
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we hit a whale

We were about 600 miles south west of grand canaria headed to guadeloupe and were surrfing the boat at about 10 knots. we hit a whale in daylight--no one saw it until we hit. we stopped like we hit a wall. one crewmember flew from the saloon past the forward head and into a forward bunk.
no damage to the boat but the whale was injured. i feel really bad about
hurting the whale.
fair winds,
eric
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Old 15-12-2006, 20:23   #14
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jack:

I read that story in Lat 38. The owner was delivering the boat back after Transpac and they were rammed by a whale. They set of the EPIRB and then went into the life raft. I don't recall who they were saved by. A follow up to the story was that the boat turned out to be constucted with a foam core and therefore would not have sunk. They calculated out the costs and decided that it wasn't worth doing a recovery b/c the cost of the search and the cost of the repair would be worth more than the boat.
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Old 15-12-2006, 20:33   #15
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Thanks Charlie I quess this is how rumors get started. My bad.

Jack

Quote:
They tried stuffing sails in the hole to no avail the boat went down fairly quickly
Quote:
A follow up to the story was that the boat turned out to be constucted with a foam core and therefore would not have sunk. They calculated out the costs and decided that it wasn't worth doing a recovery b/c the cost of the search and the cost of the repair would be worth more than the boat.
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