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Old 10-12-2012, 13:11   #31
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

I was on an aircraft carrier during sea trials and we steaming at 25kts, waiting for jet planes to land on deck. Time was running short because our course was toward shore. Of course, we were displaying the ball-diamond-ball shapes, asserting our situation as the stand-on vessel.

A small fishing vessel was lying without headway a few miles in front of us. The OOW called him on the VHF: "I'm calling the fishing vessel in such and such position, this is nuclear aircraft carrier CHARLES DE GAULLE in aviation operations. Would you please make some headway and clear my track?" The fisherman replied" I'm at work!" The captain gave permission to pass less than the standard distance (one mile) from him. In fact, our course was maybe 200 yds from the fishing vessel.

When the fisherman saw our wake coming, he decided to start his engine, just in time to turn and catch the wave on his stern.

Alain
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Old 10-12-2012, 14:59   #32
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

I had heard or read somewhere that subs can't sense small boats, sailboats in particular with no engine running, before they surface. Guess you are evidence that that is true.
They are supposed to do a careful periscope check before surfacing. Obviously small boats in a swell might get missed. I have heard of cases where, after surfacing accidents, crew were disciplined for not doing a proper check.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:15   #33
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

With all they actually can do, seems weird to have a near miss at all.
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Old 10-12-2012, 16:50   #34
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Here's John Vigor's take on sleeping on watch at 20kts:

John Vigor's Blog
Story is no longer on his front page. Can be found at John Vigor's Blog: Ethics of singlehanded ocean racing
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Old 10-12-2012, 17:12   #35
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

East coast of the U.S., summer 1988. My wife and I set sail in early evening from Dewees Is. SC. Our destination was Charleston, maybe a 10mi sail south. We required a pilot to navigate the shoal inlet between Dewees Island and Ile of Palms. A friend in a skiff got us through safely. It was one of those warm southern nights with a full moon rising in the east. One of the reasons we chose to go offshore. The wind was light from the west about 5kts. We decided to motor a short distance to get a mile or two offshore out of lee of the islands. We were underway for about an hour when the engine quit. Several attempts to restart proved futile. We were sailing a 36' Crocker built raised deck ketch. We had plenty of sail to offer what little breeze there was. Several hours later around midnight, we were approaching the entrance to Charleston. The moon was so bright, it lit up the ocean for miles. The mast and sails cast shadows on deck as we slowly made our way against what was now an outgoing tide and foul current. I was no stranger to these waters and tides. We just had to patiently bide our time. We were perhaps a half mile off the tip of north jetty about to turn in when out of nowhere on my port side a submarine, maybe 100 yds off, was steaming towards us. I can only surmise why I did not see her before then was the brightness of our surroundings and only the 360 degree yellow light she presented. There was no escape. Not only was she steaming at 20 kts, I had no ability to maneuver. She crossed our bow a mere 50ft ahead. I say 50' because I do not want to exaggerate. We made our turn and tacked up Charleston inlet for the next 5 hrs, finally anchoring to a rising sun just past Fort Sumter to port in Charleston harbor.
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Old 14-12-2012, 01:28   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra
I was on an aircraft carrier during sea trials and we steaming at 25kts, waiting for jet planes to land on deck. Time was running short because our course was toward shore. Of course, we were displaying the ball-diamond-ball shapes, asserting our situation as the stand-on vessel.

A small fishing vessel was lying without headway a few miles in front of us. The OOW called him on the VHF: "I'm calling the fishing vessel in such and such position, this is nuclear aircraft carrier CHARLES DE GAULLE in aviation operations. Would you please make some headway and clear my track?" The fisherman replied" I'm at work!" The captain gave permission to pass less than the standard distance (one mile) from him. In fact, our course was maybe 200 yds from the fishing vessel.

When the fisherman saw our wake coming, he decided to start his engine, just in time to turn and catch the wave on his stern.

Alain
Your story reminded me of this video.
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Old 14-12-2012, 02:04   #37
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

I seem to remember that a few years ago a US sub did an emergency blow surface exercise and came up right into a japanese trawler. Some of the crew were killed, if memory serves

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Old 14-12-2012, 12:48   #38
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

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Your story reminded me of this video.
Sure, yes. But we weren't on a *USN* aircraft carrier.

A submariner told me another story. By a dark night, not stormy, the sub was running at periscope depth and he was scanning the sea through the periscope. He saw a vague, unlighted thing far away but couldn't be sure of what it was. A few moments later, he saw a white surface filling the field of view of the periscope. When he looked upwards, he saw men on the deck: it was a sailing yacht, running without any lights, probably to save the battery. He just had time to retract the periscope and dive the submarine to pass under the yacht.

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Old 31-01-2013, 08:17   #39
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

This might not be as cool as some of the unbelievable submarine stories, But I was in my catalina 22 in the ICW in NE FL. and decided to throw up the sails. There was a nice breeze and after about 10 minutes was a gust that almost laid me over. Water was filling the cockpit.
I turned that boat on a dime and almost got 8 cents in change! The gust died so I resumed my original heading south. It wasn't long before another gust did the same thing.
I just couldn't figure out why the boat heeled so bad.
When I got to the marina I tried to crank up my swing keel....it was allready up!
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Old 31-01-2013, 09:02   #40
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

Not really a close call, but a funny sub story: Was poking around the Thames River in CT where they have a sub repair facility, so its not unusual to see one transiting in or out. However, this day I was coming down the river returning to the sound and had just passed under and was south of the I-95 bridge. At the same time a sub was exiting behind me escorted by USCG vessels. The USCG came on the radio and demanded that the sailing vessels south of the bridge move to the edge of the channel. I was already there, but eased over a bit more. They came on again and demanded more sternly that the boat south of the bridge move to the edge of the channel. I looked around and there was no other boat near me, so I moved over a tiny bit more. I was out of the channel essentially already. He came on again and demanded loudly that the boat south of the bridge move to the edge of the channel. I called back and said that I was the boat south of the bridge and was already out of the channel. There was a little silence and the he came back on and sheepishly said "would the sailboat to the NORTH of the bridge move over to the edge of the channel." Made me laugh out loud.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:06   #41
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

My offshore sailing mentor, owner of a Swan 441 (having not paid NY state taxes) involved a crew each year in winter trips between Long Island and Norfolk. He was always insistent that 2 of us would stand watch. He felt 2 people guaranteed a 360 degree visual watch.

Just recently he and his wife were sailing across the Med on what would be their last trip. She was below and he was on solo watch. He nodded off.

They were moving at 5 kts sailing on auto and were run over by a 100' fishing vessel on auto. He and his wife were injured.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:49   #42
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

I was sailing off Sandheads, near Vancouver, when I was stunned to see a periscope rising from the water, heading directly for my small wood boat. When the sub surfaced right near the boat, I was somewhat relieved to see it was a large male killer whale, the "periscope" his 6 foot high dorsal. A sub had struck and sunk a sailboat near there some years earlier.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:29   #43
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

From experience... When sailing well offshore...I would say that there is nothing creepier than to see a stick rising out of the sea trailing a wake 100 feet off your beam... Perfect daylight sailing conditions didn't make it any less so....
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:12   #44
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

Probably just checking that you were fully clothed!
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:29   #45
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Re: Middle of the Atlantic- Emergency Breakaway

Just off Orcas Island while I was heading north and looked astern to see a dark flat topped object in the water. I had not seen a port buoy so I kept close attention as a Trident sub with just the conning tower showing went past me.
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