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Old 13-05-2014, 12:30   #196
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post

After 25 year of practicing high risk pediatric medicine and sailing, taking care of a pediatric seizure on a short handed boat in bad weather is more excitement than I would care to experience.
There is no perfect time to take brats sailing. I advocate selling them along with the house.
Yes, the early years, as you point out, have higher medical possabilities... but then 5 to 10YO and the kids miss those first few and very important schoolyears and socialising with children of that age. 10 to 15 is hell as the children cement life long friendships, go through puberty where they need their peers. Teens need teens, not adults. And finally 15 to 18 the most importnat time of education but also when boys start kicking against authority, girls want to go out by themselves and home life is hell.

So when are parents meant to take children???????????????

I think Eric and Charlotte's early age idea is best, even though medical risk is higher.


***Disclaimer: I don't have children but I saw a post card of one once.


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Old 13-05-2014, 12:33   #197
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
ps Eric you should give the donated money to a pediatric charity or to the Coast Guard benevolent fund. I for one certainly thought the money was being donated to a charity.
Why did you think that? They were very clear that they appreciated any donations to their personal account, but that they recommended donations be made directly to the charities. IMO, money sent to the personal fund that was set up should go to help them get back on their sea legs.
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Old 13-05-2014, 12:51   #198
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Eric...hats off to you. You got your family to safety and you are young and able to give it another shot.

My apologies if you already covered this topic but I was wondering if you (or others) could comment on speed/how much ground you were covering. If you were 900 miles out on day 15 did you feel you weren't making enough speed? At the rate you were going how long would it have taken you to get to destination in South Pacific? Would you get the same boat / same size next time? Or something else?
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Old 13-05-2014, 12:52   #199
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

One thing I think they should be commended for is calling the CG way before things were really bad. Lots of people wouldn't do that. Getting on the Sat phone, calling and appraising the CG of what was going on, probably quickened the response to their EPRIB signal greatly, as the CG already knew they were on the edge of trouble. A lesson for us all.

Long live the cruising family.
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Old 13-05-2014, 13:43   #200
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm not saying that I was carrying the ideal and perfect sail combination and trim for every second of my passage. I fully acknowledge that for the most part broaches are generally a fault of bad helmsmanship, exacerbated (but not always) by an off balanced rig.

What I would say, and I'm not looking for agreement or offering this as a defense, is that in a mixed up sea state that lasts for multiple days it's not reasonable to assume you'll be carrying the ideal trim, balance, and rudder all the time like we're sailing in a test tube.
I don't think anyone is expecting perfection here. I know I'm not. In fact, it's not really about you per se.

I'm just interested in that single moment when things broke. What you did in the days before that is not that important - at least to me.

What could be done to avoid that moment for future sailors is very important. That includes sail configuration, steerage, heading, conditions, all of it - that led up to that damage in that moment. The details matter in this regard.
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Old 13-05-2014, 13:54   #201
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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But I don't think heaving to was the issue in RH anyway.


dave
Dave - what are your thoughts on the primary issue for the damage?
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Old 13-05-2014, 14:04   #202
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Regarding the hull to deck joint, from Practical Sailor:

Construction
From a structural standpoint, the boat is typical of Taiwanese-built boats from that era. Displacing 22,000 pounds, the hull is heavily constructed, almost to the point of being over-built.
The hull is thick, hand-laid fiberglass, while the deck is 5/8-inch teak planking over a sandwich of 3/8-inch fiberglass, 3/4-inch plywood, and another 3/8-inch glass layer. The cabintop is slightly lighter composite, using half-inch plywood as the core. The hull-to-deck joint is both through-bolted and glassed over on the inside. Rarely used in today’s production boats (which rely on high-strength adhesives at this joint instead), this labor-intensive approach yields a long-lasting watertight joint.
....
I am now going to add the irrational fear of my hull to deck joint failing during a knockdown to my preexisting cetaphobia, large ship collision phobia and fear of ramming a container in the dark at 6 knots.
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Old 13-05-2014, 14:16   #203
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

That Practical Sailor is incorrect. Our deck was teak over plywood over wood beams. There was no fiberglass in the cabintop either; it was plywood as well. The only fiberglass was in the hull itself; the rudder, spars, cockpit, and everything but the hull itself was wood.

I've seen a few official-sounding write up of boats that are a bit different from what you see when you're standing there looking at the material yourself.
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Old 13-05-2014, 14:27   #204
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

What does it matter what the boat construction was?

The facts as I understand them are the boat took a knock down and developed a leak from it. The damage was enough that given the combination of the boat and crew condition that a rescue was called for and the boat was abandoned.
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Old 13-05-2014, 14:31   #205
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I think Eric has said it now several times...but people just keep glossing over it for what ever reason I can't figure out.

The boat took a hit...sure...but that isn't why they hit the EPIRB button. If their little girl had not gotten sick, they would by now be at an Island in the South Pacific making repairs after a rough crossing. Boats get damaged on passage all the time folks it's part of cruising.

The lesson here to me isn't that **** happens, but that when **** does happen if you don't have good communications you or someone you love could be dead. I think people want to ignore this Kobayashi Maru "no win scenario" because they don't want to admit some things are just out of their control. Eric faced the ultimate Kobayashi Maru test and made the right decision.

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Old 13-05-2014, 14:46   #206
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
What does it matter what the boat construction was?

The facts as I understand them are the boat took a knock down and developed a leak from it. The damage was enough that given the combination of the boat and crew condition that a rescue was called for and the boat was abandoned.
Nobody is questioning abandoning the boat - particularly because of a health issue. Like all threads, this one drifted a bit to try to understand a problem and what one might be able to do to mitigate the issue. The boat construction came up because Eric said he had a non-trivial hull-deck leak and others with experience with his type of boat described that construction as needing extreme violence to cause an opening there. Now, apparently, we find that not all of these boats were built as stated.

This is very good information and a valid discussion for everyone. Particularly for those with a HC36

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Old 13-05-2014, 14:57   #207
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Dave - what are your thoughts on the primary issue for the damage?
I don't know, I find it perplexing. I think eric had his hands full so perhaps he didn't investigate a lot.

The fact there was stanchion damage, and solar panel ripped , may have caused stanchions to work loose and provide a water path in.

I find it hard to accept that a bolted and glassed over hull joint leaked after a knockdown. One that Eric said DIDNT put the mast in the water.

I mean Ive been slammed off a wave into a trough twice in a biscay crossing, the second we had a mast beyond 90, as far as we could tell ( tiny furled main) , we came back up, very messed up below, but no hull damage. we had a damaged hatch due to the anchor somehow contacting it ( Sailing 101 stow anchors - doh)

and wait for it .... this was a 2000 jeanneaux Deck saloon. !!!! ( man...)

Its perplexing, had she existing damage somewhere. ?

furthermore I think its also to really difficult to appreciate what happened, it tends to be a blurr

I remember being hit by a massive breaking wave, all foam and jets of water, luckily hitting us square on the bow ( well not lucky , by design) . I saw the wave roll up the bow and remember thinking thats interesting, next nothing but foam, water, all over us, Im tall 6'5", so my head surfaced first, whole boats under the water, with the mast sticking up over the foam, Then she surfaces like a U-boat.!! . sorry reminiscing now. ( its a sign Im getting old !!)



None of the crew had the same story of what happened.!!

**** happens, stuff breaks.

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Old 13-05-2014, 15:02   #208
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Nobody is questioning abandoning the boat -

I haven't questioned abandoning the boat, ever. Even on the earlier threads.

I have always felt that most discussions here about abandoning boats was nothing but armchair sailing because none of us were there. I don't believe abandoning a boat is EVER some little easy decision to make or is taken lightly by the crew that were on the boat.

I am starting to have other questions about this whole thing, but since I wasn't involved in making any of the the series of decisions that led up to them I am just making them a note to self to not do that.
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Old 13-05-2014, 15:06   #209
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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The lesson here to me isn't that **** happens, but that when **** does happen if you don't have good communications you or someone you love could be dead. I think people want to ignore this Kobayashi Maru "no win scenario" because they don't want to admit some things are just out of their control. Eric faced the ultimate Kobayashi Maru test and made the right decision.
LOL... You mean (a) he had Klingons... ( b) it was all a simulation.......

what eric made was a decision, it turned out too be right. equally anything could have happened, he could have made other decisions , they could have turned out to be right to wrong. Hindsight is a great benefit.

Merely because he was right , doesn't (a) mean we shouldn't debate the nature of his decision, because its helps illuminate it for all of us, and (b) suggest and debate alternatives

I do not second guess any skippers decision to abandon ship, not wolfhound, not the Alpha, not RH. ( and my record is hear to read). But that not the issue.

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Old 13-05-2014, 15:22   #210
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I know this is interesting for all the old salts to kick around and apply what happened to what they thought they knew or understood. But I think it is also a great discussion for wannabes to read. Probably even more so for the wannabes because mostly the old salts already understand the forces at work "out there."

I think sometimes dreamers have an idealistic view of Pacific trade wind sailing (the Coconut Milk Run??) and conjure up images of languishing on deck in the sun with a book and a cool drink while the water shimmers like crystals and playful dolphins frolic at the bow, only rising to put on more sun screen or get another cool drink. So they commence to preparing their coastal racer/cruiser for the trip....not realizing that, while many of these said boats do make it (I would image MOST of them do), and even with inexperienced and unprepared crews (grace be to God and a lot of good luck) they need to prepare for the reality of what could possibly await them out there if they don't plan their trip and prepare their boat and themselves properly.

Considering what a robust vessel the Rebel Heart was, there is a great lesson to be learned here about the power of the ocean. It's not a lesson that can really be learned doing day sailing in protected waters or where a run back to shore is easy when things turn to sh!t. Hopefully others making important decisions about cruising, on which boat, where, when, and with or without children aboard, can take something away that will prevent them from having to learn a similar lesson the hard way.

We've all read it a thousand times, and I am sure it is true, that most well built production boats today can take far more than the crew can, but that doesn't negate the fact that there are still boat hulls littering the bottoms of waterways all over the world. We should all take heed, if for no other reason than to assure we have the proper respect for the forces we may encounter out there and prepare ourselves accordingly.
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