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Old 23-01-2010, 23:41   #316
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Amazing blog, you have to hand it to her. I think she has done a wonderful job in just writing about the experience. Imagine yourself in those conditions, I know I can't, I wonder how I would have handled it? Not well I imagine.

Yes go Jessica!!!
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Old 24-01-2010, 00:57   #317
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How to avoid these knockdowns? How about trailing a series drogue and running under bare poles. As long as you have sea room, this certainly has its adherents -- has anyone heard of or experienced a knockdown with that strategy under this sort of conditions?

If the knockdown is wind induced, there's surely an advantage in not having to fly any canvas. If it's wave induced, as Jessica's blog suggests, the drogue prevents the boat from surfing down the wave and getting buried in the whitewater. And running reduces the velocity of the wave train relative to the boat.

What do y'all think? I'm not criticizing here, just hoping to learn from her experience.
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Old 24-01-2010, 02:28   #318
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How about trailing a series drogue and running under bare poles.
I've never been knocked down. But my understanding is that it is a lateral problem. You are laid over on your beam ends by wave and wind. Using a drogue would require Jessica to run downwind, probably toward Antactica. I think she wants to get further north away from these weather systems. Like her I'd be trying to get out of there as fast as I could, knock down or no knockdown.
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Old 24-01-2010, 08:47   #319
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From what I understand, Pink Lady was handling the conditions well but it was the rogue waves that knocked her down. Due to the area rogue waves are not uncommon. She could not of anticipated the rogue waves, that is the very nature of rogue waves, they come from another direction and give a sucker punch. Both capt and vessel seemed to of taken it well and I pray that is the worst she will see.
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:36   #320
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Hello,

Glad to see some people as amazed about Jessica as I am. She is the real deal. I have been commenting on her blog since Oct last year. This is my first post on the Cruisers forum. I have been collecting links on my blogspot at
The Cyberpod Sea-Times. Some might be of interest to you, such as the making of Pink Lady, and pictures of "Shanty". I hope she won't have to go through any more knockdowns. I am interested as you folks are as to the appropriate storm tactics for this kind of thing.

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Old 24-01-2010, 11:42   #321
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Probably some of the trouble could have been avoided by running faster and hand-steering the boat. Maybe. Maybe not.

I believe it is a bad idea to leave the boat to herself in bad conditions. But I am aware it is very difficult if not next to impossible to stay in the cockpit over extended periods when it is so cold and wet outside.

I do not quite understand why the cockpit is so exposed. Why not use canvas to give some protection to the driver?

The meth cooker not working I think a big issue. Not easy to keep the spirit up when the food is cold. Actually quite surprised they used meth. I use the LPG and would never go for meth, esp. in such a challenging undertaking. Too much risk of getting burnt, too much hassle getting it to work (unless they have some new age tech meth cooker that I am not aware of).

The comment on Sydney-Hobart sounds funny though, I did not know she sailed Sydney-Hobart 1998. I think the ghost sort of overused his/her licencia poetica here ;-)

A lesson. Maybe better it came now than later in the Indian where it can be areal hell at times.

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Old 24-01-2010, 11:57   #322
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Quote:
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How to avoid these knockdowns? How about trailing a series drogue and running under bare poles. As long as you have sea room, this certainly has its adherents -- has anyone heard of or experienced a knockdown with that strategy under this sort of conditions?

If the knockdown is wind induced, there's surely an advantage in not having to fly any canvas. If it's wave induced, as Jessica's blog suggests, the drogue prevents the boat from surfing down the wave and getting buried in the whitewater. And running reduces the velocity of the wave train relative to the boat.

What do y'all think? I'm not criticizing here, just hoping to learn from her experience.
According to the blog entry it was not a wipe out, it was a knock down(s). Wave induced. One can try to avoid such adventures by sailing relatively fast (but not too fast) - to keep maximum control over the boat and lessen the relative speed and impact of the waves. But it can be only attempted if you drive the boat.

If you lock yourself inside and pray to the autopilot you will get knocked down sooner or later.

Towing a (jordan/sea-brake/etc.) device might indeed help - sometimes part of the damage can be avoided if the boat does not surge when hit. I believe if the device is designed and sized properly, it will improve the drivers chances of staying in control.

Sailing under bare poles probably not such a great idea. Too little control.

Choosing this particular design for this specific job is another issue - personally, I would not like to be in this boat when one elects to run before a heavy storm.

b.
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:03   #323
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I have never single handed so I am asking this of those that have. Do you continue to try to sail the boat in bad weather like this even when you need to sleep and can't steer yourself? I would have thought that heaving too would be a more common sleep strategy in a storm then continuing to sail onward.

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Old 24-01-2010, 12:35   #324
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Probably some of the trouble could have been avoided by running faster and hand-steering the boat. Maybe. Maybe not.

I believe it is a bad idea to leave the boat to herself in bad conditions. But I am aware it is very difficult if not next to impossible to stay in the cockpit over extended periods when it is so cold and wet outside.
I believe the worst of the storm was overnight, so hand-steering probably would have been impossible if she was unable to clearly see around her. Being knocked down by waves up to ten metres while in the cockpit doesn't really bear thinking about - I think that strapped inside with the autopilot doing its best was a wise choice.

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The meth cooker not working I think a big issue. Not easy to keep the spirit up when the food is cold. Actually quite surprised they used meth. I use the LPG and would never go for meth, esp. in such a challenging undertaking. Too much risk of getting burnt, too much hassle getting it to work (unless they have some new age tech meth cooker that I am not aware of).
Before she left she mentioned having a selection of self-heating meals on board - for precisely these situations. I hope she had some close to hand yesterday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
The comment on Sydney-Hobart sounds funny though, I did not know she sailed Sydney-Hobart 1998. I think the ghost sort of overused his/her licencia poetica here ;-)
I expect she compared conditions to the 1998 S-H because that is one yacht race which rests very high in the consciousness of all Australians, whether or not they are sailors. It was a huge news story at the time and is often referred to in public discussion of sailing since. Watching the S-H is a post-Christmas institution for many sailors in Australia - Jess mentions in an earlier blog that she follows it every year - so she will be well aware of what conditions were like in the 1998 race: even if she was only five at the time, it has been replayed in the media many times over.
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:40   #325
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I have never single handed so I am asking this of those that have. Do you continue to try to sail the boat in bad weather like this even when you need to sleep and can't steer yourself? I would have thought that heaving too would be a more common sleep strategy in a storm then continuing to sail onward.

Jim
I can't imagine that sleep is any sort of option in a storm like this, especially the first one you encounter in your life! I expect that the storm strategy would be a decision of what is most likely to protect the vessel and crew. It doesn't sound like the running sea was the major issue, but rather the rogue waves - which presumably would still knock you down if you were hove to...
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:43   #326
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Jessica says conditions were far too dangerous to remain topside, and I believe her. I've never been in 65 knot winds and 7 to 10 meter seas on a sailboat and I don't regret it at all. When you're running downwind in those conditions, I don't think there is anything you can do about a rogue wave that blows up on your beam - you probably wouldn't even see it until it was too late. If it were me, I'd be below protecting the rum. After 4 knock downs including a complete capsize, I'd be praying the rum didn't run out before the sea finished eating me and my boat.
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Old 24-01-2010, 15:02   #327
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Other than possibly towing warps or a drogue I don't think she should have done anything differently.

The incredibly safety of the Origo stove is probably what kept it from lighting up after the weather; a bit of water is all it takes to put out the fire and keep it from lighting.

I do wonder if she is mistaken about rogue waves from abeam. Down below it might have felt like that was what happened but I'd suspect that the rogue waves were from the same direction as the rest and caused her to broach. The wave shoving the stern forward while bow digs in and is slowed would no doubt feel like the wave came from the side as the hull is violently twisted 90 degrees sideways and then rolled by the surface water still pushing forward on most of the hull while the keel at depth is slowed down.

Lets hope she didn't suffer any real damage.



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Old 24-01-2010, 17:46   #328
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I said many post ago that this would be her testing ground- and I think it has been. Doing 180 in the southern ocean would be an experience I could live without. I hope and pray she gets up in Latitude and out of these storms...
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Old 24-01-2010, 18:10   #329
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My admiration for Jessica far exceeds my envy. Not sure I'm ready to get laid over and darn sure I never want to be 180. This little girl is the epitome of courage and my best wishes are with her. One more nasty cape to cross and hopefully the Indian Ocean will be much kinder to her.

Jess - you go girl!!
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Old 24-01-2010, 18:14   #330
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Yes I have wondered about rogue waves myself.

The Storm Tactics Handbook (Lin and Larry Pardey, available free on Google Books) suggests on page 135 that anecdotally all rogue waves seem to occur when the crew is down below and steering is by wind vane or warps, or at night-time.

Their theory is that the crest of a rogue wave just beginning to break under the stern causes the boat to round up quickly into broach, placing the boat beam-on to the now breaking wave with the inevitable immediate knock-down. The crew feel the wave as beam on whereas it started out stern on.

In any case the boat appears to have been strengthened to survive this (hats off to all involved in the boat's preparation), and the skipper seems to be managing pretty well also.

Actually, lets be honest here, we are all gobsmacked by her progress, and her resilience, obvious know-how and ability to write about it in such a gripping and entertaining manner.

There have been suggestions that she uses a ghost writer, but she has strongly denied this herself in an earlier posting. She has obviously been developing writing skills for some time (check her early blogs in 2008) - pretty darn good for a kid born with dyslexia. Thank goodness for the humble spell checker!
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