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Old 12-06-2013, 10:31   #1
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Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

My brother and family are sailing their 1929 70 ft ocean going schooner , Nina 50 miles north of Whangarei, NZ to Newcastle,South Wales, Australia. How long does it take to make the sail and when should I start to worry. They left May 28, 2013 and said probably be 12 days or so. Thanks..
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:46   #2
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

FWIW, my rule of thumb for this is to take the expected length of time to make the trip and add 50%, so for you, that'd be 18 days. Are you sure they wouldn't stop off at Manakau or Lord Howe Is. on the way? For that, add more days, too.

If they're sailing a classic timber schooner, presumably they are competent sailors, and have at least HF radio to communicate with Russel radio along the way?

I would not consider them overdue yet, if that is the essence of the question. It is winter, and they could have spent some time hove to for a frontal passage, or two.

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Old 12-06-2013, 11:51   #3
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Thank you very much. He is a commercial ship captain at his work so hope things are as you say. Interesting is one of his crew members sent emails where you could follow their gps route but when you go to the website it shows the same lat and long even after 10 days. Guess it didn't work.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:53   #4
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Yes, "repeat after me, 'electronics are here to help us.'"

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Old 12-06-2013, 12:47   #5
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Do they have an EPIRB onboard?

For every boat that gets lost, there are about 100 that people freak out about. If he's a commercial captain with a lot of experience in area waters his odds are very high of ending up just fine.
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Old 12-06-2013, 14:36   #6
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Thanks, yes I guess being on the other side of the world (Chattanooga, Tenn)the Tasman Sea sounds other worldly. I really don't know what they have on board. But I know they have seasoned crew and I have extra time to worry!
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Old 12-06-2013, 14:51   #7
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

By the time you should worry (simply from non-arrival) odds are strong it will be too late (if they sunk on day 1 then 11 days at best swimming, and likely 3 weeks before their non-arrival is noticed). Perhaps sounds a bit worrying! but that's just how it is and the risk that is taken by those onboard. Nowadays of course many (but not all) carry electronics of one sort or another (either to maintain regular communications with shore or have the capacity to raise an alarm if needed)....of course failure of electronic communications in a marine environment not uncommon (lots of damp and wet or simply unexpectedly out of range), even if not the item themselves but the power to run them. No stats on that happening, but certainly far more common than the loss of communication meant the boat sank!

I have no idea how long that route should take, if the Skipper says 12 days (give or take) then I would go with that. But even his estimate is not set in stone as will be subject to weather conditions, not just bad weather but simply wind in wrong direction for best progress or none at all!.....and yer only find out for sure what the weather is doing when you are in it!

I would therefore say a week too early to be concerned, bearing in my mind my caveat above............
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Old 12-06-2013, 14:57   #8
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

It very well could be a case of miscommunication. When 12 days was mentioned perhaps he had something else in mind than what you thought he meant.

When I was commercial fishing my mom once asked how often would we return to port. For that fishery we would return about every two weeks. And that's what I told her. I never, ever thought she would interpret my words that we would return to the same port of departure every two weeks. What I had in mind was we would return to a port.

So after a bit more than two weeks and we had not returned to the port of departure she reported us overdue to the USCG. When they finally found us I was embarrassed and mad. I was embarrassed for obvious reasons but mad that valuable assets were used to search for a vessel not in distress.

In hindsight, I blame myself for not fully communicating my intentions. It turns out the people back home oft require some special handling as they are prone to worry.
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Old 12-06-2013, 15:00   #9
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

I am so glad I found this website as yes those left behind forget the unexpected. This will be a good forum as they will continue around until they get back to Panama City, Fla. eventually. Thanks for all the feeds.
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Old 12-06-2013, 15:52   #10
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I am so glad I found this website as yes those left behind forget the unexpected. This will be a good forum as they will continue around until they get back to Panama City, Fla. eventually. Thanks for all the feeds.
When they turn up, see if you guys can figure out a better communication plan that deals with your concerns and their realities. Find out if they have an EPIRB, ask them when they'd use it, and ask who the two points of contact are that they registered.
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Old 12-06-2013, 16:05   #11
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Is this the famous, and beautiful schooner Nina', sailed in many Newport-Bermuda races by DeCoursey Fales, and from which his ashes were spread on the race rhumbline. If so, I was aboard her here in bermuda about 30 years ago.

Hope they are doing well.
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Old 12-06-2013, 16:06   #12
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

been a fair bit of westerly/n.w. winds lately so they may take a bit longer than they initially planned for
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Old 12-06-2013, 16:13   #13
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Whangarei, NZ to Newcastle Australia is 1215 NMs.

If I was doing the trip my overdue date would be 27 days.

For a 1929 schooner to sail it in 12 days would be a feat worthy of note in fact it would rival the fastest sailing ships of any era before the 1970's.

People are irresponsible telling friends and relative their hoped for passage duration instead of the duration expected under adverse, damaged, conditions.

Thus mothers are sent to bed at night with fear in their dreams.
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Old 12-06-2013, 17:10   #14
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

It may be possible to check if they have actually left, and if they have when they did.

It is very possible that a boat of that size would carry a fairly diverse range of communications equipment, principally SSB (short wave radio) and satellite phone. If you can get their phone number it may be possible to ring them and ask where they are.

There is probably a short wave radio net for that area. Others would have better knowledge than me on correct procedures.

As others have said boats frequently take much longer than anticipated to make a long voyage. That said if you have a genuine concern for their safety then it would be appropriate to convey that concern to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
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Old 13-06-2013, 14:01   #15
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re: Schooner Nina - MERGED 3 THREADS

Hi I live in Opua NZ where Nina left from have people on board I know my mate is looking after their yacht,we have had some lows coming over from Aussie so nina would have had it on her nose not the best sailing.I know someone was talking on the sat phone to weather man when it went dead so as others have said its problem electrics.Dony worry just yet my mate sailing to fiji allowed 8 10 days left same time he is still going with the weather we have had.If I hear anything at all about Nina I will post it here for you most cruisers leave from here so we hear lots.
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