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Old 15-10-2014, 06:14   #16
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Glad you arrived safely.

The stream can produce some strange seas as you experienced. During one crossing, with multiple intersecting wave trains we experienced random conical seas (like an inverted cone) which would suddenly appear in front of the boat...try steering for that!
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Old 15-10-2014, 06:23   #17
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

accomplice, Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed report of your crossing!!!!

Very glad you made it safe and sound. Sounds like you had a bit of an adventure getting there. When I saw the storm on the news I was worried that you were going to get caught up in it.

Enjoy your trip and try not to tangle with too many more named storms.

How long are you planning to stay in Bermuda? Where are you off to next?
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:02   #18
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Now we have a much bigger problem. Gonzalvo. Haul out was not an option - only one travelift on the island that can handle us and they're out if room to put more big boats.

We are one of three boats in the water in Convicts Bay. One other (Nomad, an Amel) has a mooring and two anchors deployed (we have been helping one another). We have a big 3,000 pound fisherman's anchor as a mooring, 20 feet of 1.5 inch chain (about 2,000 pounds), 50 feet of 5/8 chain. Then two pendant systems - the first is 18 feet 1.75 inch braided lower attached two two 1" amsteel uppers attached to bow cleats. The second is a backup, 40' of 5/8 chain over an anchor roller with a chain loop on deck, with two genoa sheets led fair to primary winches and two 1" dock lines led to mid ship cleats. The chain loop is run around the windlass and lashed down.

Of course, everything is stripped from the boat to reduce windage.

At the urging of the local police and our spouses, my crew and I are at a hotel up the hill over looking the bay.

I'm hearing 110kt winds are coming. This should be interesting. I'll try to post a before and after picture, but internet is already sketchy as some here don't have electricity from Fay and others have taken down their antennas before they get blown away.
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:07   #19
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Good luck to you and your boat! Keep us posted

You do have insurance right?
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:35   #20
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Holy cow, that's some ground tackle. Best of luck!
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Old 16-10-2014, 12:32   #21
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Insurance? Yes. It is times like these that one wishes one's "stated value" were higher.
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Old 16-10-2014, 12:44   #22
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

I have to give you credit for going to the hotel. I would be very tempted to stay and "look after" my baby. I know it's not like you can do much of anything if something does happen but it would hard to leave.
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Old 16-10-2014, 13:50   #23
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Good move getting off the boat....no boat is worth the risk...nothing you can physically do in 110kts of wind anyway.
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Old 16-10-2014, 14:06   #24
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Take care and brace for power. The high-intensity (understatement) winds hit first from the south and since this is a slow moving beast, it will slowly move to the north, then the worst could be over.
I was there in St Georges (on shore) during Fabian, and they expect this one to be as powerful. Best of luck and I hope you and boat will come out in good shape.
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Old 16-10-2014, 14:54   #25
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
Now we have a much bigger problem. Gonzalvo. Haul out was not an option - only one travelift on the island that can handle us and they're out if room to put more big boats.

We are one of three boats in the water in Convicts Bay. One other (Nomad, an Amel) has a mooring and two anchors deployed (we have been helping one another). We have a big 3,000 pound fisherman's anchor as a mooring, 20 feet of 1.5 inch chain (about 2,000 pounds), 50 feet of 5/8 chain. Then two pendant systems - the first is 18 feet 1.75 inch braided lower attached two two 1" amsteel uppers attached to bow cleats. The second is a backup, 40' of 5/8 chain over an anchor roller with a chain loop on deck, with two genoa sheets led fair to primary winches and two 1" dock lines led to mid ship cleats. The chain loop is run around the windlass and lashed down.

Of course, everything is stripped from the boat to reduce windage.

At the urging of the local police and our spouses, my crew and I are at a hotel up the hill over looking the bay.

I'm hearing 110kt winds are coming. This should be interesting. I'll try to post a before and after picture, but internet is already sketchy as some here don't have electricity from Fay and others have taken down their antennas before they get blown away.
Good luck. I hope you and your boat fair out o.k.
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Old 17-10-2014, 03:06   #26
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Good luck! And thank you for sharing your actual experiences. That is the most useful information one can get!


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Old 17-10-2014, 04:39   #27
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

I read a great post a few months back regarding a person who stayed on his boat during a huricane. Gave a great account of it in detail and said he would never do it again and advises anyone thinking of it to think again!!
According to him if something did happen there is absolutly nothing you could do anyway so why be there.
Hotel, Smart move!!!!!
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Old 17-10-2014, 05:20   #28
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Yup. Those few that stayed on their boats in Cabo did not make it. The bodies were found in the mangroves.
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Old 17-10-2014, 06:23   #29
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

ontherocks,
1) As others have mentioned, from the NE US to Bermuda, you can't usually plan a precise crossing of the Stream, but most get the best forecast they can and attempt a perpendicular crossing....(although this of course depends on the winds that you have!!)


2) But, more on point to your overall question.....the "modern" way to do crossings is:
a) leave with a good forecast...
b) attain weather info/forecasts along your passage...
c) watch the sky /barometer...
But, understand that once you're out on a long passage (Atlantic crossing, etc.) you are going to sail / deal with the weather that you have....yes, if you have good weather info while enroute (very easy and free), you can head for better weather / more favorable weather, but you will need to deal with what you get....there are no weather windows for Atlantic crossings!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
...from Newport Rhode Island to Bermuda how do you plan timing the weather for the gulf stream and the path (rhumb line or other)?

I can guess you'd be able to forecast the weather when leaving as the stream seems to be only 2 or 3 days out but what about on the return trip? Or as an extension/further illustration to the question crossing the Atlantic east to west. Theres no way to predict the weather that far out and everyone always go on about waiting weeks to not catch northerlies across the stream. So how do you plan for the crossing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
...but what about when going the other way or when coming from across the pond?
Is it just a luck game in those cases or is there a lot more to it?
And, specifically how to do those things has been discussed widely here-abouts....here is a link to vast resources / discussion...

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts







3) accomplice, I'm glad you made it in safely and I hope you weather Gonzalo well...

And, perhaps your experience here can be helpful to others...please see my comments / info in red...

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
The Navtex, slightly garbled, described a tropical depression headed for Bermuda late Sunday and requested all vessels within 300 miles of *&*(&)&^(* to get on a 3 hour reporting schedule with Bermuda radio.
NAVTEX is good for coastal / near-offshore sailing (and, unlike most of the rest of the world, the USCG NAVTEX transmissions have decent longer term forecasts), but remember that the stated range is limited!!!
USCG NAVTEX broadcasts from Boston and Charleston, list 200 miles as their range....with Portsmouth list 280 miles as their max range...
As well as, Bermuda RCC NAVTEX (Bermuda Maritime Operations, NAVTEX) is listed a having a max range of 280 miles....


Interested in keeping Bermuda marops updated per their request (did it apply to me? i didn't know), I realized that I had forgotten to note the HF frequencies for Bermuda radio. I also didn't know if they wanted us on the reporting as I couldn't decipher the area of interest.
I assume that you do not have an HF-DSC-SSB radio (such as the Icom M-802), as you could have raised them (or the USCG, or other vessels) via a DSC Safety call....
(Bermuda Maritime Operations maintains a 24/7 watch on the 2mhz GMDSS freq of 2187.5khz....)

I also assume you (like many here) are somehow not familiar with the GMDSS, starting in 1992....and fully mandatory for all SOLAS vessels and signatory nations Jan 1999, which implemented MF/HF-DSC and designated the GMDSS Calling frequencies (as well as a LOT of other things)...


Although NOT required under the GMDSS, Bermuda Maritime Operations / Bermuda Radio is a classical hold-over from the past, and they maintain a 24/7 radio watch on two of the GMDSS Voice calling frequencies....2182khz and 4125khz...(as well as VHF ch. 16 and 27), and typically have coverage up to 250 - 300 miles....
{2182 up to 100-150 miles daytime and 250-300 miles nighttime....4125 up to 250-300 miles daytime, and > 400 - 500 miles nighttime...}

USCG CAMSLANT maintains a 24/7 watch on HF-DSC channels on the 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16mhz GMDSS DSC frequencies....and here again a hold-over from the past, also a 24/7 Voice (SSB) radio watch on 6215khz and 8291khz....

For some more details / info....have a look here...
DSC DISTRESS

Bermuda Maritime Operations

Marine HF-DSC-SSB, the GMDSS, "communications stool legs"

Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use/properly-install SSB)



I attempted to call my wife on the satphone. It was then I discovered that the "units" I had just purchased for the phone were, for some reason, not valid. No worries.. I could still take incoming calls. So I pressed the custom "please call me" button on our spot gps and an hour or so later my wife called. I asked her to call Bermuda marops, to give them our tracking URL, learn their HF monitoring frequencies, and call me back.
This highlights both the vagaries of sat phones and the lack of knowledge of how-to use your Marine SSB / HF radio, as in addition to being able to reach Bermuda Radio and the USCG directly, if you either had a MF/HF-DSC-SSB radio, or knew what channels/frequencies to call them on Voice SSB....but, you can also call WLO Radio (Mobile, AL) and either get further assistance / weather info, but also place a ship-to-shore phone call thru them....

Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

ShipCom LLC :: Marine HF Radiotelephone and HF Single SideBand Email
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels

Marine HF-DSC-SSB, the GMDSS, "communications stool legs"




So.... what should have been a 3.5 day 640 mile trip turned into a 5.5 day 900+ mile trip. We pretty much avoided any heavy weather. The gulf stream, aside from giving us contrary-to-prediction opposing currents was quite timid.
This highlights the vagaries (inaccuracies?) of GRIBS, as well as the added plus of having access to good weather info/forecasts while enroute....

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts



Now we have a different problem. We're sitting in St. Georges looking at the weather forecast and seeing Gonzalo headed straight for us. Wish us luck!
We all wish luck!!!


I hope this helps...


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 17-10-2014, 06:57   #30
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Re: Gulf Stream Question.

Thanks for your well wishes, John.

I am well aware of the range limits of Navtex. Our weather fax was programmed to pick up the twice daily 24/48/96, and when not receiving on timer schedule listens for Navtex. I hadn't expected to get any, but as I was then about 250nm from Bermuda happened to pick it up.


Yes, we are equipped with a DSC capable M-802.


I was not in distress, and as such didn't see necessary to raise Bermuda radio on the HF/SSB distress frequencies. I didn't consider using distress frequencies to inquire as to Bermuda frequencies. That is a good idea to contact WLO for information ... hadn't thought of that. I simply didn't know if Bermuda marops wanted regular reporting from our vicinity and was able to find this out via Sat phone, albeit indirectly.

If I were truly in distress, or felt endangered by the weather, I would not have hesitated to get on distress frequencies.






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