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Old 01-08-2013, 14:52   #76
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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Originally Posted by Mary Flower View Post
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly
"For me, sailing Lake Superior, it's the sea state that is the real challenge."

Before I began sailing in earnest, I was of the impression that waves on the ocean and waves on the Great Lakes had pretty much the same characteristics. But because fresh water is less dense than salt water, fresh water waves are much shorter and steeper; a lesson that was rammed home to me on a stormy late September night on Lake Huron the first year we had our boat.
That's interesting Mary. I've never thought about (or heard about) the idea of wave characteristics being related to water density. Makes sense though. Fresh water wave characteristics are definitely different than ocean, but I've always put it down to fetch. Thanks for the insight!

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A ten foot ocean wave tends to be longer with more of a rolling motion. A ten foot wave on the lakes will smack you around like a cork in a toilet. Mercifully, the conditions necessary to produce large waves on the Great Lakes are rarely present between April and early October - the sailing season for most Great Lakes sailors. ... Lake Superior is most likely to produce conditions for large waves because of its size and because it is oriented west to east.
Ten-footers (3 meters) are not all that rare on Superior, even during sailing season. I just ran into that forecast a few days ago while coming home from our annual pilgrimage along the north shore. And you're right, they tend to be steep, with relatively short wavelengths (although longer than the smaller Great Lakes). It's not just the east-west axis that produces them. The north-south axis can easily kick up 3+ meter seas.
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Old 01-08-2013, 15:29   #77
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Re: wisdom of the seas

Actually, my name is Jim. Mary Flower was the name of our boat. Named after my wife. I know that's a bit confusing. I think I need to start signing my posts.

You're right about the north-south axis. That's more than 100 miles. Those strong high pressure systems coming down from Canada can kick up some nasty stuff.
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Old 01-08-2013, 15:30   #78
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

I've been mucking around on sailboats for about 50 years, I think at this stage the biggest lesson I've learned is to be relentlessly resourceful. To use everything and anything and everyone and anyone to survive and keep your boat going to where you want it to go. The troubles i've encountered have usually been a result of returning to sailing after a significant period away - I've had to re-learn a lot of things the hard way. AND - luck - you need all the preparation, planning, experience, but you always need luck.
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Old 01-08-2013, 17:52   #79
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

Hi Newt, that line was an inside joke among us skippers for hire, back in the day when I ran charter boats. Whenever the "owner" a less knowledgeable individual came aboard the vessel to "direct" some operation, they usually did it wrong and half assed. NO reflection on you.
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Old 01-08-2013, 18:20   #80
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

May be that is why they call it Lake Superior (?)... I've long been of the opinion that the dumbest guy on the boat is the one who made the last mistake... usually me!
When I add up all the really dumb things I've done aboard, I wonder why I'm still here and not sippin' cocktails with Davey Jones!
It's the dumb things that taught me the most... the really smart moves I've made don't seem to stick in my memory like the stupid ones yet I have the reputation of being a safeminded individual who is fairly knowledgeable. My guess is that comes from making lots of mistakes and and saying to myself... 'boy, I sure won't try that again!'
Ain't life fun? Phil
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Old 01-08-2013, 18:54   #81
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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I need additional info on that one 58. What makes the owner (me) the most dangerous thing on the boat?
Other than leaving wrong, not preparing enough, what other bad decisions are made in port?
Inquiring minds want to know!!

How about under-crewing, either in number or in skiils? then when the ship hits the fan, exhaustion kicks in or you have crew who can't execute the tasks needed to get through a crisis well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:25   #82
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

When you luck is down and god is saying your going to die and you think you are and some of your crew have and your hanging onto something thats keeping you going. Its then that you dont learn anything. As you encounter with just enough strength to turn that corner into life....... numbing ..... shock ... inward ... silence
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:09   #83
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The most dangerous thing on a boat is the owner.
Or a calendar. Or an owner with a calendar.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:19   #84
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pirate Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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Or a calendar. Or an owner with a calendar.
Yup...
They sink awful fast with all those holes....
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Old 02-08-2013, 13:15   #85
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
May be that is why they call it Lake Superior (?)... I've long been of the opinion that the dumbest guy on the boat is the one who made the last mistake... usually me!
When I add up all the really dumb things I've done aboard, I wonder why I'm still here and not sippin' cocktails with Davey Jones!
It's the dumb things that taught me the most... the really smart moves I've made don't seem to stick in my memory like the stupid ones yet I have the reputation of being a safeminded individual who is fairly knowledgeable. My guess is that comes from making lots of mistakes and and saying to myself... 'boy, I sure won't try that again!'
Ain't life fun? Phil
Prior to embarking on our honeymoon cruise with my new wife and old dog aboard our brand new boat, I had been a successful businessman; well regarded as level headed and knowledgeable. In my younger days, I had also been a very accomplished athlete who was considered a leader on his teams. But, within two hours of casting off for our first sail without anyone else aboard, this knowledgeable, level headed leader had accomplished the following:

Almost lost his dog overboard.
Almost put his new boat on the rocks.
Almost got knocked down.
And after his frightened dog peed on his new wife’s head as she was trying to boost him up the companionway in rough seas, he almost lost his marriage and first mate.

And we were still three hundred miles away from our first experience in a canal lock.

The greatest lesson I learned in those early days was to never take anything for granted when it comes to sailing. Because as soon as you let your guard down, disaster is waiting to throw you a right hook to the jaw.

Jim
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Old 02-08-2013, 13:20   #86
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pirate Re: Wisdom of the Seas

LOLOL.... awesome...
Glad you came out the other end okay...
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Old 02-08-2013, 14:22   #87
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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LOLOL.... awesome...
Glad you came out the other end okay...
Oh, my! Did we ever have a lot of fun learning new things. The very next day we decided that we needed to practice docking maneuvers. There was a breeze blowing off the dock as I made the approach so I was extra careful. I managed to lay the boat precisely alongside in exactly the spot I was aiming for and my wife, who was very new to the whole sailing and boating thing, stepped smartly off the boat with a dock line in her hand.

Just then, a gust started to blow the boat away from the dock but rather than snub the line on the dock, she chose to reach out and grab the toe rail.

I'm not exactly sure of the mathematics involved but, suffice to say, the odds of a 100 pound woman being able to overpower a 10,000 pound boat are probably quite slim. As I watched in horror, the boat inexorably moved away from the dock while my wife was pulled into a quite graceful pose very similar to a bridge. She screamed, "I'm going in!"

Well, turned out she was correct about that. As I scrambled to throw another line to a guy on the dock, two other men who were there reached down, grabbed her by the back of her jacket and unceremoniously hauled her out of the water.

I have to give her credit, though. Without a word, she hopped back on the boat, disappeared below, and in no time at all reappeared in dry clothes and said, "Alright, let's try that again!"
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Old 02-08-2013, 14:23   #88
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
How about under-crewing, either in number or in skiils? then when the ship hits the fan, exhaustion kicks in or you have crew who can't execute the tasks needed to get through a crisis well.
That one really stings Raku because that is exactly what I did my last passage up the forgotten coast. This time I am travelling with 3 captains, two experienced sailors and my 22yo son. I hope it is not overkill.
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Old 02-08-2013, 14:24   #89
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Flower View Post
Prior to embarking on our honeymoon cruise with my new wife and old dog aboard our brand new boat, I had been a successful businessman; well regarded as level headed and knowledgeable. In my younger days, I had also been a very accomplished athlete who was considered a leader on his teams. But, within two hours of casting off for our first sail without anyone else aboard, this knowledgeable, level headed leader had accomplished the following:

Almost lost his dog overboard.
Almost put his new boat on the rocks.
Almost got knocked down.
And after his frightened dog peed on his new wife’s head as she was trying to boost him up the companionway in rough seas, he almost lost his marriage and first mate.

And we were still three hundred miles away from our first experience in a canal lock.

The greatest lesson I learned in those early days was to never take anything for granted when it comes to sailing. Because as soon as you let your guard down, disaster is waiting to throw you a right hook to the jaw.

Jim

I know someone who was a good, experienced sailor. His fiancee' was fairly new to it, but he thought he could turn the helm over to her, but she thought it was on autopilot.

They were under motor power in the Dismal Swamp Canal. The boat was most assuredly not under autopilot.

They went right through the wooden Dismal Swamp Canal -- and into the Dismal Swamp itself.

To their credit, they still got married.
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Old 02-08-2013, 14:26   #90
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Re: Wisdom of the Seas

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
That one really stings Raku because that is exactly what I did my last passage up the forgotten coast. This time I am travelling with 3 captains, two experienced sailors and my 22yo son. I hope it is not overkill.

Sorry - didn't mean to get personal ...

I've just seen others do it. It's seductive to want to go somewhere so badly that you rationalize what human resources you will need to pull it off.
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