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Old 22-12-2012, 23:36   #1
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Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

I saw a video here recently where a pair of fellows were trying to get back to their sailboat from the rib dinghy, and it was almost disaster.

Maybe I show my ignorance, but is the method to get back on board to just pull up along the mother ship and tie on and climb out of the dinghy and onboard the mother ship? Using a ladder? Transom steps? From that video, both boats are flailing wildly about, the difference between the two swing +6 to -6 feet (or more), very dangerous. But if you are on shore and the weather suddenly turns, you have no choice but to get back on in these conditions.

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Old 23-12-2012, 21:57   #2
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

They were anchored at an island in the middle of the Pacific with no natural harbor. The seas rose and bang you are in a very bad situation. There are things that they could have done to make it easier to get on board, but it still would have been a very difficult situation. Most anchorages will never see waves that high, that steep and that confused. A boat with a swim platform would have been easier to board. Even a swim platform with ladder going at least 3 feet below the water would have been better than what they had. Getting into a boat from the water when the water is rough is mostly a matter of taking your time and being careful and letting the boat do the lifting. I have boarded dive boats with full gear when the water was very rough. You take your time, be careful and when you get a foot on the ladder you let it lift you right out of the water and stand up when the boat reaches the top of the pitch. Then climb the ladder.
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Old 23-12-2012, 22:03   #3
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Link to the video please?
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Old 23-12-2012, 22:16   #4
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

I think this is the one being referred to......

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Old 23-12-2012, 22:57   #5
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Wow! …those are nasty landing conditions.
I guess one of the reasons the Bounty crew chose Pitcairn Islands as a hideaway in 1790.

Biggest danger in those conditions is not the waves or the boat, but smashing or pinching yourself between boat and tender, during transfer.

Those guys kept their cool and handled it well, but really made it difficult for themselves. It could have gone bad in so many ways.

In these rough roadstead conditions, before leaving, I would float a long pick-up line from the stern to tie the tender to and set up a strong and secure swim ladder as I have on SG. Stern boarding is the best,
…then swim/pull myself up ladder for easy climb.
Keep the tender on the line until it calms down or you move to a better lee side of island
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Old 23-12-2012, 23:30   #6
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

I agree with DeepFrz. I spent over 6 years living in the Marshall Islands; lots of dives. When the seas get big, you need to climb out amidships. The bow goes up and down, so does the stern, but the middle of the boat not so much. But even then,coming up a ladder with an extra 50 lbs of dive gear on lets you know how strong you are, and if your timing is correct. Having help on deck can sure be nice at times.
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Old 23-12-2012, 23:34   #7
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Not me. Clip the gear off to a line hanging off the boat. Slip out of your harness and climb on board aided by the positive buoyancy of the wetsuit or drysuit. Then haul your tanks on board.
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Old 23-12-2012, 23:38   #8
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Yes… sometimes a mid-ships ladder works best if there is a big swell and not a lot of breaking waves….. but if you have rollers sweeping the sides…I still prefer the stern
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Old 23-12-2012, 23:55   #9
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Timing folks it's all in the timing......

Bow stern or mid-ships, if your timings out breaking your nose and losing a couple of front teeth like a mate did a few years ago is one possible outcome.....

He made the lunge at the stern when dink was going down and the stern was on its way up, with his head doing this on the sugar scoop.....
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Old 24-12-2012, 04:31   #10
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

One thing I can say about that video is....AWESOME ANCHOR!!! Where can I get me one of those.
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:30   #11
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

wonder what they did with the dink
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Old 24-12-2012, 13:22   #12
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Quote:
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One thing I can say about that video is....AWESOME ANCHOR!!! Where can I get me one of those.
Right?!
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Old 24-12-2012, 15:00   #13
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

yep, that is the video, couldn't remember where I found it on here. you can skip right to 10minutes in to see the boarding attempts.

Being that I'm a frail old man and the admiral is even more so, or at least probably will be before the boat is done I don't think I could manage just grabbing and pulling myself up with the extra g-forces of the rough water. The last thing I would need is injury when "out there".

So y'all just tough it out / risk it, as this scenario is too rare to consider figuring an easy way to board?

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Old 24-12-2012, 15:25   #14
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

Boarding from the stern can be very dangerous if the boat is head to the waves. There can be 5' or more excursion of the transom with each passing wave and it slams down with considerable speed and force. Very easy to get impaled by the self steering or anything hanging off the stern, have your head slammed by the transom or lose your teeth as john's friend did. Way better to board from the side which these guys ended up doing.

In this case the boat is lying at an angle to the swell so boat is rolling as much as pitching. The worst of all possible worlds. I had to clear a fishing line from my prop at sea in pretty benign conditions. Boarding from the stern was a challenge which I managed to do but would never want to try with any kind of sea running.
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Old 24-12-2012, 15:37   #15
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Re: Back to the Mother Ship in Rough Seas

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post

So y'all just tough it out / risk it, as this scenario is too rare to consider figuring an easy way to board?

JackB
I think there is NO EASY way to board in those conditions. If you don't have confidence you have the physical strength, a good plan, and a real NEED to be on that boat, you just stay on shore.

Personally, I'd be pretty bummed out if my only options were to either board in those conditions or hope the anchor didn't drag and the boat end up on those rocks. Seems like prevention would have been the best plan.
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