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Old 11-03-2008, 17:09   #1
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What's the Worst Thing You've Ever Hit?

I've been gorging myself on people's blogs lately. Some of them are just absolutely moving.
Had a bit of a high impact accident and spent a LOT of time on my butt as of late so it's been a real treat to have such good reads while life is passing me by and my butt is growing from lack of use.
Anyhoo...
I was reading that containers can fall off container ships and then they just write them off only to be partially submerged for your cruising pleasure.
Has anyone ever hit a partially submerged container? Or.... What is the worst thing you have ever hit while either underway or has nailed you while at anchor?
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Old 11-03-2008, 19:56   #2
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I was anchored in the Purari river in PNG when a tidal bore came down the river.carrying loads of Nipa palms (similar in texture to a banana palm). One ended up impaled on the nose of my tri float. It meant getting out on the end of the float and pushing as hard as I Could with my legs against the tide to get it off again, trying not to fall in. I am glad it wasn't something a bit harder.
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Old 11-03-2008, 21:33   #3
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Just prior to making landfall, returning from a offshore fishing trip (I confess... was on a power boat) in deteriorating weather we fell off a 6 ft. wave and landed on a huge
sunfish...it was like landing on a cement parking lot. 2 large 225 hp outboard motors had the business end come clear out of the water reving big time.
Sunfish in wake with real big headache! With our teeth jolted, we counted heads,
inspected the hull, bilge and through hulls. Thought for sure we would be taking on water! All water tight not a drop! Considered ourselves very lucky that day.
Fish didn't seem to be bleeding, conceivable props were lifted clear of it, so we like
to think?
Sunfish (Mora Mora) grow to about 10-12 ft. up to 5000 lbs. Like to spend a lot of time basking on surface and have a smallish flippy flop type dorsal fin.
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Old 11-03-2008, 23:16   #4
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After the global tsunami, we sailed through tons of debris south of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. There were hundred foot trees floating in the sea. I don't know what we hit, but I know that we chipped the jellcoat on our starboard bow hitting tsunami debris. I evenutally ran oars down the front of the bows and tied them in place so that we didn't punch a hole in the bows from the floating trees.

You can see a picture of the floating trees that we saw at:

DEBRIOSAURUS* REX* THE TREE THAT WANTED TO EAT MY BOAT* Once upon a time there was a tree that wanted to eat my boat

You can see a picture of our bow damage at:

TSUNAMI DAMAGE

We eventually hove to an night south of Sri Lanka because the trees were so big, and sailing through the debris trail in the dark would have been crazy.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:20   #5
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Quote:
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Or.... What is the worst thing you have ever hit while either underway or has nailed you while at anchor?
The bottom -it was big, it was hard - I not telling anymore
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:02   #6
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Has anyone ever hit a partially submerged container?
Yup! But luckily I was on a 2000 tonne icebreaker!!

We were working off Cape Breton Island, think it was the summer of '82. Two vessels had collided, one a container ship (MV Berglund I think) and can't remember the name of the other but I believe it was a passenger ship. The container ship sunk and these things kept popping up over the next few weeks. This one popped up right in front of us and we nailed it. It didn't sink so the old man turned around and took another run at it. We were standing on the stern rail watching as we ran over it. You could see the jars of Cheese Whiz popping up in our wake!
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:25   #7
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Motoring out of Magdelena Bay in Mexico in, and out of thick fog. I could see something black in the water up ahead in a spot of sunlight. I started to throttle back, and realized it was a whale possibly sunning it's self, or sleeping. I went back to the anchorage until the sun came out completely. Gave me an uneasy feeling about night sailing for a while after that.............
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:38   #8
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... There were hundred foot trees floating in the sea...

In early '85 I was the on-watch deck officer during a transit of the Palawan Passage - Phillippines. We saw several small "floating islands" with trees standing upright!

Nothing makes you check your charts / sounder more carefully than a small island / upright tree passing close aboard...
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:27   #9
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I left Guadaloupe one night at 4 am in order to arrive in Martinique in daylight. I went offshore directly west for 5 miles and set course; then because the lights of the island still appeared close, I went another couple of miles west before turning south. Suddenly, I struck something hard. It was some kind of a very large bouy with a 15 foot pole and an orange plastic flag attached. The flagpole hooked my shrouds and I ran forward and managed to untangle and push it free while the sails were still pulling from the strong tradewinds. The bouy scraped along the side of the boat and the pole snagged on my dinghy outboard mounted on the stern pulpit and with a struggle, I managed to get it loose and my boat took off. The bouy was maybe 15 foot wide, unlit and unmarked; checking the chart there was no sign of it and the water there is miles deep. It was not one of the 'fish farm' bouys one finds closer to shore. I was very shook up, but suffered no damage at all.
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Old 12-03-2008, 13:29   #10
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Here's one...

A friend of mine took his dad's nice Pearson out for a day sail to some off shore islands. (I was on the boat, so I think it counts)

Since it was his dad's boat, and he was very experienced, he was the captain that day and I was crew, along with a few other people.

There was a pretty dense fog bank between us and our destination - a set of islands about 6 miles offshore. You could see the fog bank was simply a bank and we weren't "socked in", so we did some dead reckoning and compass work across it and over to the islands... or so we thought.

As we got out to the marker where we set the final course for the islands (think compass and stuff... not GPS), the captain told the helmsman (another friend of mine) the course to steer - 200deg mag. The helmsman did his part and did a great job steering 200. I volunteered for "bow watch" watching for any other boats, sounding the horn, etc... while we crossed the fog bank.

While on watch, I heard the odd sound of waves crashing. I though I was going nuts (as you do in fog), but sure enough, a few moments later, I saw waves crashing on a hard, granite shore. (New England)

As soon as I could yell out "LAND!!!", BANG!!! We hit a rock - HARD. Everyone did "Star Trek" (you know... what the bridge on the Enterprise looks like when they are getting attacked - they fly all around).

We backed every so carefully off the rock, and motored out at a reciprocal course to our entry to land.

So as it turns out, the kid whose dad's boat it was had smoked a little something before the trip and he read the DEPTH on the chart as the HEADING!!! The numbers were quite close in proximity and you could almost see how he did it, but still...

Anyway, we hit a hard granite rock at about 4-5 knots that day.

Only damage? Some scratches on the keel at haul out that fall. The dad thought the yard did it. The son was too frightened to say anything.
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Old 12-03-2008, 14:33   #11
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… he read the DEPTH on the chart as the HEADING!!! The numbers were quite close in proximity and you could almost see how he did it, but still...


I cannot (almost) see how one could mistake charted depths for course headings.

I suppose, like the Map in the shopping mall, that says “You Are Here” (how the heck do they know where I am, anyway?), his particular chart knew (both) where he was coming from, and where he was going to, and could have, therefore, offered a suggested heading.

The “cheapo” charts, I use, don’t have that feature.


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Old 12-03-2008, 14:47   #12
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A buddy was in Ft Lauderdale restoring his friend's Irwin 52 for months. One day, he took us out for a sail, and we were motoring up the ICW towards the 17th street bridge when I heard this aweful noise of bending metal and exploding teak. My reaction was to run forward to "fend off" the day beacon that we were hitting. The bow bulpit just folded like an aluminum can, and the teak toe rail was just exploding as the I - beam of the day beacon raked down the side of the boat. Then the inner forestay broke and whipped across the rest of the rig. That is when I regained my senses and returned to the cockpit for the rest of the collision that was happening in slow motion.

We were hung up on the beacon, and the battery from it was lying on the deck and the acid sprayed everywhere.
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Old 12-03-2008, 15:02   #13
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I cannot (almost) see how one could mistake charted depths for course headings.

I suppose, like the Map in the shopping mall, that says “You Are Here” (how the heck do they know where I am, anyway?), his particular chart knew (both) where he was coming from, and where he was going to, and could have, therefore, offered a suggested heading.

The “cheapo” charts, I use, don’t have that feature.


Yeah, it was pretty hard to believe. It was a Maptech (formerly BBA?) Chartkit. Best of the best. But... if you looked at the superimposed compass rose, as with all of these charts, there were depths inside the rose. One of the depths lined up (sort of) with the labels on the compass headings. Add his smoking to the picture, and well... we hit the rocks.
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Old 13-03-2008, 07:09   #14
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Holy fung fung!
I can't imagine hitting a container full of cheese wiz, let alone a debris field from the worst tsunami on history (give or take)!!! Geez what if there were bodies.... Can you imagine prying a dead body off ur boat goodies? Eeeekkk!
You must have been in a big old ship to go back and run over the container again. That is the "I'm as big as a semi truck" container right?
We ran aground in a Nova 250, hammer down once. Idiots at night going around an island that couldn't have possibly been shallow that far away. Lights out on the depth finder....Hopped out to free the boat and landed in about 8 inches of water and rocks... LOLOL
Limped home on one fifth of one prop. Long ride to think about how lucky we were to be in one piece.
DOH!
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Old 13-03-2008, 07:31   #15
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You must have been in a big old ship to go back and run over the container again. That is the "I'm as big as a semi truck" container right?
Yup, light icebreaker CCGS Griffon.

Canadian Coast Guard World Wide Web

I think that container was actually a refrigerated tractor trailer. There were others some filled with radioactive material which turned out to be flourescent light bulbs. A few contained foodstuffs, frozen turkeys etc. that the locals were salvaging. A week later the hospital ER was overflowing with people suffering from food poisoning. We probably towed a dozen of these things into port in the weeks after the ship sunk.
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