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Old 11-05-2014, 10:30   #61
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Mark,
I agree that using 2182 is a poor choice....and I was NOT recommending that, just listing all the freqs....
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I'm not sure its good to reference 2182 at all as it may be put into presets that could be used in a future emergency and consequently NOT be responded to.

I dont know how many other countries provide a decent service in the Pacific or Asia, but those wanting to follow Rebel Hearts path, and/or use HF, may be better off without giving 2182 a thought...
Perhaps I should've not listed 2182....but figured if I deleted it form the list (as it is not used/recommended by most), someone here would criticize me for not providing the "facts", and "editing" things to make my point...
And here, like in many of my posts, I was just trying to post the facts...


Yes, the USCG was discouraging use of MF (2mhz) for the past 20+ years, and has recently abandoned all their use/monitoring of it (as I noted in red)...
And, I did include the link to the USCG Marine Communications Page, which details all their voice and DSC watchstanding, etc....
DSC DISTRESS


And, if this was a discussion about what "Distress Frequencies to Use", we'd actually NOT be talking about Voice freqs much at all, but we'd be talking about DSC....
As except for the USCG, AMSA, NZ Maritime, and possibly one/two others, there are NO MF/HF Voice radio watchkeeping going on, because it is being done on DSC (VHF-DSC, MF-DSC, and HF-DSC....depending on which nation and what location...)

So, while I understand and agree with your posting....I was accurate in my posting of the "GMDSS freqs"....
And, as I've posted many times, if you don't have MF/HF-DSC, and need to call on SSB Voice, the first choice when out at sea (Sea Area A3) would probably be 8291khz (depending on exactly where you are in relation to the few stations listening, time-of-day, etc.), and then either 12290, or 6215, or 4125....

But, with DSC being an integral part of the GMDSS for the past 20 years (and mandatory required for all SOLAS signatories and all SOLAS vessels for the past 15 years, since Jan 1999)....
And, worldwide with currently 84 operational HF-DSC shore stations monitoring HF-DSC, and approx. 450 operational MF-DSC shore stations monitoring MF-DSC, and over 1000 (??, I lost count after a few hundred) operational VHF-DSC shore stations monitoring VHF-DSC....(info from the GMDSS Master Plan update, July 2013)....
When are "cruisers" going to understand that "SSB Voice" will only do "so much" these days....and "DSC" is an important feature to fully understand and make your equipment decisions accordingly??? (not simply say that they cannot afford the extra $1000, but then have a new iPad sitting next to them???)



So, with that in mind, I'm adding bold type emphasis....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
The Maritime GMDSS Distress / Calling freqs are:

Voice: 2182khz; 4125khz; 6215khz; 8291khz; 12290khz; 16420khz...

DSC: 2187.5khz; 4207.5khz; 6213khz; 8414.5khz; 12577khz; 16804.5khz

Quote:
Effective 01 August, 2013, the U. S. Coast Guard terminated its radio guard of the international voice distress, safety and calling frequency 2182 kHz and the international digital selective calling (DSC) distress and safety frequency 2187.5 kHz. Additionally, marine information and weather broadcasts transmitted on 2670 kHz will terminate concurrently

NBDP (SITOR): 4210khz; 6314khz; 8416.5khz; 12579khz; 16806.5khz; 19680.5khz; 22376khz; 26100.5khz;


Here is the USCG Calling/Distress Freq page...
DSC DISTRESS (the USCG Communications Page)


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:34   #62
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Previous damage would have had to have been the equivalent of being dropped from a crane onto concrete (your assessment of magnitude). They had that boat many years, and Eric crawled through all of it. I can't imagine him missing previous damage of that magnitude.

Yet, he himself said that dipping the boom in the water caused the hull-deck joint to open up and let in a large amount of water. This isn't conjecture.

Since this is a bluewater boat in what must have been survival conditions, you would expect a huntabentalina or catamaran to be ripped completely in half, no?

Mark
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:42   #63
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I haven't read everything in the thread and for my own sanity am skimming over arm chair admiralty. But in regards to distress signals, I used:

- The Pacific Puddle Jump radio net, which we had checked into for I'd say two weeks straight. Maybe not the first few days into the trip, but once we were a few hundred miles off we'd try to hop on once every day. Primary, alternate, secondary alternate.

- 2182khz

- Every HAM (I have no HAM license, but in distress I think it's allowed) channel that I had ever heard traffic on.

- Every HAM/SSB traffic that I had ever jotted down in my radio log book that I heard traffic on. I don't have that log book in front of me, but I'd estimate we're talking two dozen bank+channel combinations.

- DSC / VHF. I really don't see why anyone's talking about this; the nearest vessels were several hundred miles away, if that. No AIS/radar/VHF/visual contacts for a week. We had the squelch zeroed for a week and never even got static. The first static we heard was two minutes before the C130 rolled in.

- Iridium emergency short codes, but none of those worked and replied with the "you cannot dial emergency numbers in your current country" voice responded.

This was all prior to hitting the EPIRB, after the call to the USCG, once I realized the SIM card was bingo.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:54   #64
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

And if you want to throw a bullshit flag that's your business, but keep in mind the 129th guys saw the water coming in over the starboard quarter bulkhead and helped pump for the days they were onboard.

So maybe we had a natural mountain spring develop there and nice pure crystal water we could have bottled was coming through.

Or maybe a tiny little gnome sat in the overhead, with a very active bladder.

The water came in primarily when we shipped green water, but also just when the rail was in the water. The aft starboard railings took a decent hit; our solar panel on that side went into the drink and some of the rails vanished.

I think I correctly explained in the interview that even with our flooding it really wasn't that bad, the only materially bad aspect was that it got sea water all over the radio and put a ton of moisture into the battery compartment. By the end, we had lost our solar controller, inverter, voltage meter, and lower distribution panel.

If you removed Lyra's medical problems we would have muscled through it.

Honestly for you guys focusing on the boat damage, I have a feeling you really didn't listen to anything I said; I tried to make it pretty clear that ultimately it came down to a sick person onboard who wasn't responding to medical treatment. We were three (plus) weeks out, my best efforts to establish long range communications didn't work, and we were putting nothing but distance between us and the effective range of US (and Latin American) rescue personnel.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:06   #65
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I got it all from the interview, and you made it clear.

And it wasn't JUST a sick person on board. It was your daughter. You both needed to be with her when she was rescued off the ship. Easy decision there.

I enjoyed the interview.

I would recommend everyone read it, and the following stories that followed that portion, which were also special.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:10   #66
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Keep in mind, none of the modern day electronics would have prevented his boat being broached and the water egress.
Yes, I realise that. I was just trying to discuss thematicaly, not specificly to Eric, as in cruising generally, but, yes, using some of his examples.

Re: Budget. Yesterday I had to buy a new blob for the boat... It cost 120 Happy Hour beers, half an EPIRB, narly a Samsung Galaxy, close to a small laptop, and a boats worth of life jackets.

The boat always gets more than I do and at times it becomes a tad demoralising.

But it beats the hell out of buying a new lawnmower!
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:10   #67
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Eric,
Thank you for the details!! (it is appreciated!)
I hope you don't mind some comment that others may learn from???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I haven't read everything in the thread and for my own sanity am skimming over arm chair admiralty. But in regards to distress signals, I used:

- The Pacific Puddle Jump radio net, which we had checked into for I'd say two weeks straight. Maybe not the first few days into the trip, but once we were a few hundred miles off we'd try to hop on once every day. Primary, alternate, secondary alternate.
Not exactly sure what their freqs are, but I assume they're in the 4mhz, and 6mhz, (and possibly the 8mhz) bands, which would only typically have a daytime range of a few hundred miles...
And, I suspect that none of them had their HF radio on (or at least not on those freqs), unless the Net was actually operating....


- 2182khz
NOBODY is listening to this freq....
12290khz (12.290mhz) would have been your best bet, daytime or evening...as this is monitored by USCG in Pt. Reyes,CA and Honolulu!!
Or possibly 8291 at night...


http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall
This is the USCG Communications Page...


- Every HAM (I have no HAM license, but in distress I think it's allowed) channel that I had ever heard traffic on.
I VERY good idea!!
14.300mhz is the best place to start!!!

- Every HAM/SSB traffic that I had ever jotted down in my radio log book that I heard traffic on. I don't have that log book in front of me, but I'd estimate we're talking two dozen bank+channel combinations.
Unless you had exhausted 14.300mhz....I'd not recommend trying "every other ham traffic net", nor other "SSB traffic nets", as most are SHORT-RANGE "local"/"regional" Nets...and on their freqs, would be unlikely to hear you from more than a few hundred miles away...


- DSC / VHF. I really don't see why anyone's talking about this; the nearest vessels were several hundred miles away, if that. No AIS/radar/VHF/visual contacts for a week. We had the squelch zeroed for a week and never even got static. The first static we heard was two minutes before the C130 rolled in.
Yeah, VHF-DSC might seem like a waste at a time like that...but the fact is that a 25-watt VHF-DSC signal will travel farther than your Voice signal (although not too much father), but certainly will travel farther than a 2-watt AIS signal...

But, here is where HF-DSC comes in!!!
And, we've already covered that!!


- Iridium emergency short codes, but none of those worked and replied with the "you cannot dial emergency numbers in your current country" voice responded.
Lessons learned here for everyone!
THANK YOU!!!


This was all prior to hitting the EPIRB, after the call to the USCG, once I realized the SIM card was bingo.

Sorry....gotta go! (family awaits!)

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:11   #68
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I tried to abstract out a bit and say "would I do anything differently if it was a passenger or crew member?" I think the only difference is I would have stayed with the boat.

But even at that, with a now-fried EPIRB and the long range comms out, I'm not sure if I would have felt comfortable as a captain putting people's lives in that situation. The only "advantage" would have been monetary in regards to keeping the boat, and that seems like a pretty tiny motivator compared to the risk you'd expose your passengers and crew to.

I've had a lot of time to run through various scenarios; the stuff makes you think.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:28   #69
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

yes, well, theres the repair costs too. Is it worth it, and perhaps in a part of the world where it won't be easy and < $$$ to do?
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:04   #70
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I expect all that Erics, says and his recent posts are illuminating. I still don't understand, and like minaret, why a broach cause the hull deck joint to fail. This is a serious serious failure and one that only really happens outside significant previous damage.

Again, no right thinking person, seeks to assign blame here, or engage in the idiocy that goes on here sometimes about questioning the motives of abandoning the boat. You took a decision as Captain and that is to be respected.

Would you care to comment on the mental state of all concerned, was there a will to continue, it would definitely seem from the blogs, that it was tough going for all concerned.?

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Old 11-05-2014, 12:18   #71
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post

I've had a lot of time to run through various scenarios; the stuff makes you think.
Of course its natural after the event to second guess all the decisions you made. And its not all that healthy a thing to do. Better just to be comfortable that you made good enough decisions that have been successful.

Its more to us to run through these various scenarios for our own future passage-making. So thats why this thread, and the others closed by the Mods, are important imho, even though some posts are outright critical, and some may appear to be critical of you personally, unintentionally. These are ways we are trying to make our own situations better. So, yes, your situation should make us ALL think.


Also re EPIRBs... I think its ridiculous they have set, sealed, batteries. They should be easily replaceable with normal batteries, either AA size, or rechargeable etc batteries.
As your story points out, after you hit the EPIRB it was 3 days before your electronic position wasn't needed anymore, but an EPIRB only lasts 48 hours.

48 hours is bugger-all in the rescue of a long range cruiser on any of the long passages in a circumnavigation.


So thanks for the better information on the water ingress and the other factors involved. Sorry if it sounds like we are badgering you. But the information that gives inspiration if we are in the same situation is extremely valuable.



Mark
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:20   #72
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Hi Eric,

Glad you have all made it back safely. My condolences about the loss of your home.

I don't want to distract from all the fun dissecting or second guessing your decisions, but I am more than a little curious to know how you have enjoyed your fifteen minutes so far?

I have dealt with/encountered some celebrity-types professionally and I will always remember a comment a friend made once when he said "I've never met anyone famous who didn't want to be"

It strikes me that the same cannot be said for infamy, and I am curious to know your thoughts about your experience dealing with the media.

I believe it's always better to regret the things you have done than the things you didn't do. Do you have any regrets about things you did or didn't do?

We all know how to best prepare ourselves with guns and anchors, any thought son how to survive a media storm?

Cheers!
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:21   #73
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Could SV Rebel Heart have continued on and made it to her destination? Maybe, maybe not. But we do know that Charlotte is enjoying Mother's day with her children. Losing a boat is a bad thing. Things could have turned out a lot worse.
Could Eric have sailed her solo the rest of the way? Maybe, maybe not. Father's day is coming up.

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Old 11-05-2014, 12:31   #74
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Also re EPIRBs... I think its ridiculous they have set, sealed, batteries. They should be easily replaceable with normal batteries, either AA size, or rechargeable etc batteries.
As your story points out, after you hit the EPIRB it was 3 days before your electronic position wasn't needed anymore, but an EPIRB only lasts 48 hours.

48 hours is bugger-all in the rescue of a long range cruiser on any of the passages in a circumnavigation.
EPIRBS are designed to sit in remote locations , like outside high up, on a ship for many years and then work unattended. This does not suit rechargeable systems.

Equally there is really no need to transit for the total duration of the rescue. in RH cases they were located by the aircraft, later then day and the ship had little trouble finding them.

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Old 11-05-2014, 12:47   #75
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Hi Eric, read the transcript, couldn't listen to the broadcast. Good interview. Glad you and the family made it back safe. Wish you well on your next endeavor. Looking forward to your posts in CF again. All the best.
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