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Old 01-05-2012, 22:02   #61
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Boy, this is a tragic accident made all the more terrible by the loss of life and still one missing. My heart goes out to the families of the deceased.
The conjecture surrounding the incident seems awfully misleading without solid evidence other than a somewhat suspect electronic tracking system. One woman who says she saw a large ship in the vicinity(could have been the outline of N.Coronado Island), comments about how a large, unidentified vessel must have chopped up the vessel and other guesses at the cause don't do much to lead to conclusive evidence of the cause.
Having delivered many vessels between San Diego, Los Angeles and Ensenada in all kinds of weather and many night passages, I can assure readers that large commercial vessels don't travel close to South Coronado, but particularly North Coronado Islands because of the hazards of unmarked rocks and poor radar returns on North C. Island. The closest you will find a larger vessel would be tankers delivering crude to Rosarita Beach Power Station to the submarine berth considerably south of the islands.
The separation zone for larger vessels leaving and entering San Diego Harbor are clearly quite a distance north of the North Coronado Island.
Anyone who has been out there knows that even in a moderate sea, there are hugh breaking waves at the top of the northern island and once caught in the surf, very difficult to extract yourself.
While sail and powerboats are generally stoutly built, once trapped in rocky surf, they will virtually disintegrate in a few hours of pounding. The keel will go to the bottom.
Zee, Sabray and others make good points but being rundown in that area doesn't compute for me mainly because I've never seen larger commercial vessels close to either of those Islands in over 15 years of deliveries. Capt Phil
I totally agree with this. There is no shipping lane right by the Island, the only major shipping traffic is a barge that goes back and fourth from the South island to SD. Zee, although I believe you and think your experience with the Spot is valid if not totally amazing, I also think that the North Island's surf line is wider than 100 yards. It is probably more like 300 yards. So even with the error that you encountered sailing through Cedros, there is still a high likelihood that those guys did sail right into the surf not unlike our friends on Low Speed Chase. This whole thing is totally crazy. The only thing that would suggest that these guys didn't run into the Island is the fact the debris was found at sea not ashore.

I am deeply saddened by any loss of life at sea. Anyone on this forum who would like to throw stones, it could be you some day so just keep the tone respectful. I am willing to bet not one person on that boat left the dock less safety minded than you or I.
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Old 01-05-2012, 22:12   #62
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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This could happen to any of us.
Yes. And more of us have been closer to making this sort of mistake than care to admit it.

Thank you, Dave, for the reality check.
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Old 01-05-2012, 23:01   #63
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Another point I would like to make is that not all the crew you have on-board have enough experience, knowing what to look for on the horizon or on a chart. It's the Captains responsibility or who ever is the last on watch to look at a chart and let the next person know whats coming up...rock, peninsula, shipping etc. Especially at night.
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Old 02-05-2012, 00:22   #64
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

I will say this about the journalists. We've been on the SD cop docks all week. There have been at least 20 race boats here overnight since the race and I've seen 3 different news crews here. Not one of the "journalists" ever walked down on the docks. As far as I could see they never talked to any of the racers at all I talked to one of the guys from 48 Hours Mystery crew for 1/2 an hour, we talked about Volkswagens and Porsches.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:21   #65
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Bash, your comment is as close to the truth as we are going to get at this point. Thank you... I will admit that I've been in a similar situation and it was just pure luck, not skill or knowledge that got us out of the mess I put myself and my crew in. A very sobering learning experience for me who was the only one who really appreciated how lucky we had been to escape without loss of life or the boat. Capt Phil
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:38   #66
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

watchman needs good ears in a lee shore situation with rocky shores--you can HEAR surf for long distances--especially in 3 kt winds and calm seas. warchman needs to remain alert--i think complacency is a factor here, unfortunately.
remember the threads on keeping watch?? some describe how they sleep for hours whille sailing..
..these men did this a few times prior and may have decided it is a safe thing to cop a doze-
-and WHERE DID THE HELMSMAN GO... when did he disappear..seas were too calm and no wind for zipperfail and fall into sea peeing..
do we need the theme to outer limits here...
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:39   #67
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Yes. And more of us have been closer to making this sort of mistake than care to admit it.

Thank you, Dave, for the reality check.
And possibly been closer to disaster without even KNOWING it.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:49   #68
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Often there is dissension about the "Monday morning quarterbacks" here. But I value all the discussion. The debate and speculation and working of the problem is informative. I learn about the hazards out there, and about the risks, about the likely mistakes and the probable results and the potential outcomes. The issues to consider and address ahead of time.

The day may come when one of us is taking a night watch and getting sleepy and thinking of heading below for a cuppa and a trip to the head and pause and double check the situation, or call below for someone to wake up long enough to give us a hand. And avert a catastrophe because the CF voice in our head made us remember Low Speed Chase and Aegean, and think twice.

It's one of the reasons I mod. I may not have much technical expertise to contribute, and am far more often on the learning curve than not, but the time I spend is never wasted if it helps the sailing community as a whole be smarter and safer.

So all you armchair Captains keep on keeping on ; -)
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:57   #69
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

i found when at sea and on watch at night, especially during dark moon, i am more attentive than in daylight. i fall out at 0400, and i make sure i am not where near shipping lanes. i have taken 15 min catnaps in cockpit well out of these shipping lanes and ONLY after scanning horizon for troubles. any light--no sleep. so far--so good--had an incident when age 16 in my uncle's boat--nearly lost it to a frieghter in hudson river in fog at darkest time--flashlight to main sail helped, as did my sense of impending DOOM....listen to your guts, as it were.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:16   #70
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

+1, Sara... One of the main advatages of CF and similar forums is that we can all learn from others experiences and their responses to tragedies such as the Coronado Island and Farallones Island races.
There is a lot of collective experience that one cannot gain in a life time of working or playing on the water.
None of us have the breadth and depth of experience individually but collectively, we can all learn a lot from each other. When I was growing up the only source of info, good and bad, was the skipper and crew with whom I worked. Probably learned as many bad habits as good ones but over time it sorts its self out.
My hat is off to you mods who let the conversation meander teasing out some real gems of knowledge.
I hope we can learn the cause of the N Coronado Island tragedy soon and make adjustments to our behaviors aboard, if necessary. Capt Phil
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:27   #71
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Below is the latest reports from Latitude38 of the latest two tragic events off the coast of Calif.
It appears that, once again, the team from CF got it right!.

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:12   #72
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

Makes you wonder where the so called "eye witness" to the ship running them down came from.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:46   #73
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

How about the crew of the freighter responding to their warning in broken english?

Let's see if the news media does a followup
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:55   #74
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Re: Sad News Again Off Mexico

It boggles my mind that the race organizers must have had that SPOT track in their possession from the very first morning after the Aegean vanished -- but they let the "run down by a freighter" story gain traction and be repeated on national news for two days or more.
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:11   #75
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Originally Posted by sww914
I will say this about the journalists. We've been on the SD cop docks all week. There have been at least 20 race boats here overnight since the race and I've seen 3 different news crews here. Not one of the "journalists" ever walked down on the docks. As far as I could see they never talked to any of the racers at all I talked to one of the guys from 48 Hours Mystery crew for 1/2 an hour, we talked about Volkswagens and Porsches.
If you were Beyonce or Kim Kardashian they would be all over you. Can't get too much real news. It crowds out the entertainment!!
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