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Old 22-08-2016, 16:26   #31
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

I sailed a Mirage 27 from Brockville to Port Credit (delivery on Lake Ontario) about a week before your story. I took the outside route, leaving Kingston early Thursday morning. This meant sailing overnight. The day was glorious, but the weather and forecast were getting worse. Before darkness, I put a double reef in the main, and we proceeded under double reef, engine, and no jib. The owner thought I was either crazy, lazy, or over cautious. The jib had been pulling well, and he wanted the sail up. I asked him if he were willing to go on the bow during the night when the wind picked up, and he relented (hank on jib, no furling). By midnight the wind and seas had grown. It was blowing 30 (at least), but with enough south in the SW wind for us to point our course without the main luffing. The seas built to maybe 3 metres, the bow was submerging after some of the bigger waves, which was about every 5th one. Having that little bit of main up gave us a lot of power and kept the boat steady, without excessive heel...it was just right. And if the engine failed, we would still be in control.

The owner popped up during the night and suggested we head into cobourg. I explained that cobourg, or any other port, would be at least 5 hours away, and likely add an extra day to the delivery, at least. In fact, with a terrible weekend forecast, the boat could be stuck for several days. Until that moment, he thought the lake was like the 401 (highway) where you just pull over if you get tired or scared. The owner then wanted to hug the shore, for safety. I had to explain how a lee shore would be the worst place to be...the shore is our enemy, and shallow water would mean bigger waves. We pushed on. The bad conditions lasted several hours, but by dawn, the wind and seas were dying down enough that I woke the owner to take a watch while I finally slept. The autohelm was doing all the real work, keeping watch was really just keeping watch for ships or changes in the weather.

The wind remained strong, with the double reef pulling well, for the rest of the trip. Just a few miles from Port Credit we were hit with a squall of blinding rain and big gusts. Again, the main steadied us, and we were fine. But the rain pellets seemed really hard, and painful on our faces.

When we finally arrived, the weather was fine. The marina had good lee, so it seemed very calm after such a rough night. I said goodbye, and took a train home. The next morning, a really severe storm front moved through, causing some real damage in the Toronto area (ashore). We were all glad we had hurried through, and not out in that mess.

FYI, Brockville to Kingston, 12 hours (upwind, upcurrent, with stops).
Kingston to Port Credit, 29 hours, non-stop, outside route.
We likely could have gone faster, but I didn't want to push the 40 year old yanmar YSB. It probobly would have been fine, but I really did not want it to quit. It smoked (white) a bit during the worst of the seas, but burnt clean when not so rough. I was glad it was not an atomic 4, since adding gas to the fuel tank would have been a nightmare/impossible during those conditions.
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Old 22-08-2016, 16:46   #32
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

30yearslater: Slightly off topic but there is reasoning behind it. Back in approximately '95 on Lake Winnipeg, similar condition. But we were racing J24's, Nantucket sleigh ride does not cover half of it. I never knew a J, let alone a sailboat that small could hit 17 knots, surfs up, with all the crew on the stern except for the chute trimmer. I was quite surprised when the rudder popped out of the water, in a large gust at the top of one wave, so was the captain. The mast is pointing dead down wind, parallel to the horizon. In under 4 seconds I was from the stern wires (always was the heaviest crew on whatever boat I was racing on), had my hand on the hatch board and was placing it (the water was under a foot from the open hatch), when the trimmer finally could hear the captain yell to let loose.
You were absolutely correct in your actions, in the violent down bursts in these systems we encounter on the larger lakes, will lay the boat over in an instant, and they are over as rapidly as they develop.
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Old 22-08-2016, 20:18   #33
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
. I have seen the worst storms of my life on the lakes .

I sailed a storm off Townsville, Australia in which another boat disappeared forever. I didn't think it was bad compared to Lake Ontario!
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Old 22-08-2016, 21:47   #34
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

on aug 20 bqyc had a race around the county starting 11am 9 boats left for 36hr nostop race ..i was running solo sailing sat in lake ontario was great but hit by same storm sunday knew in advance of pending storm so put 2 reefs in main and put up storm jib was a rough ride for a while but being prepared for bad weather makes a hudge different. .
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Old 23-08-2016, 00:59   #35
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

There is some really good advise here. This is why I joined Cruiser's Forum. There isn't the bragging but good solid tried techniques that others have used in similar or same situations on Lake Ontario. What I was hoping for was more rabbits to put in my hat of nautical tricks to cope with the unexpected. I am pleased to have found several suggestions I will be trying in progressively higher wind ranges. That is of course if I can get out of my harbor in such conditions since the blasted thing is shallow and I don't want to turn my fixed keel into a centerboard. I always enjoy hearing what techniques others use in any given condition. Even though I started working tugs and sailing at 16 and have enjoyed shipboard fires on the Atlantic there is always more to learn. I suppose it keeps the mind young. For the LO300 crowd, I always enjoy watching the racers go by and you can see some of the photos I took last year on the facebook page. In the words of a friend from many decades ago, "If you wait for good weather, you'll never go." So said he as we layed his Peason 36 down coming into Rochester in a beam sea. Always enjoyable sharing experiences with others and maybe as Mike O' says, "By the time I'm dead maybe I'll be good."
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Old 23-08-2016, 12:41   #36
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Just a thought, but I have some Seaspecs, which are sunglasses with a strap, with clear lenses. They are great for overcast days when I want to stop my eyes stinging but it's too gloomy for tinted glasses. Wouldn't they be handy for squalls on the lakes?
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:31   #37
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Sails are true friends;motors are fair weather friends. Two potential problems with relying on an engine when in distress: clogged fuel filters and sucking air into your engine raw water intake when excessively heeled causing impeller failure from heat/running dry. The first can be almost eliminated with clean fuel practices and maintenance but the later can be uncontrollable and unpredictable in excessive conditions. I have never experienced the first problem but did experience the latter when approaching the Virgin Islands from the North in huge offshore swells and gusting winds that kept us on our rail with a double reefed main and 60% of a reefed headsail. We were running our engine(foolishly) to charge our depleted batteries as we rocketed west of the Dog Islands en route to Virgin Gorda. Once in the channel, our engine alarm sounded and we shut it down. We sailed into our anchorage and discovered the problem. However, the Great Lakes are, in my opinion, more difficult to sail than the ocean. Conditions change rapidly resulting in steep, square-faced waves with a short fetch unlike the reasonably predictable ocean waves/swells. Always trust your sails as your best option in a blow. Your main should have three reefs and you must be able to reef your headsail if it is a furler or carry a storm jib to hoist when in doubt with an approaching storm cell. Glad you fared well. Next time will be better. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 24-08-2016, 15:08   #38
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

WTF is a rotating thunderstorm? This is the storm I went through the middle of. Found it on farcebook from this site: https://www.facebook.com/Ontariostor...273461/?type=3
Hey, Rognvald, how did Draken Harold make out with the pilot issue? I saw it from home on the Towarf AIS and thought how much I would love to sail out to see that. Anywho I am pretty much convinced in light of the new information that I did the only thing possible as any sail in this beast would have been disastrous. Under normal storm conditions definately carry something but as I now see this wasn't normal. Proof that God protects fools and orphans of which I am both.
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Old 24-08-2016, 15:19   #39
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

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Originally Posted by 30yearslater View Post
WTF is a rotating thunderstorm? This is the storm I went through the middle of. Found it on farcebook from this site: https://www.facebook.com/Ontariostor...273461/?type=3
Hey, Rognvald, how did Draken Harold make out with the pilot issue? I saw it from home on the Towarf AIS and thought how much I would love to sail out to see that. Anywho I am pretty much convinced in light of the new information that I did the only thing possible as any sail in this beast would have been disastrous. Under normal storm conditions definately carry something but as I now see this wasn't normal. Proof that God protects fools and orphans of which I am both.
A rotating t-storm probably means that the winds are start to rotate, the precursor to a waterspout or tornado. The doppler radar will show a hook in the clouds.

The Draken "found the money" and hired pilots. It was a bit of scam with the Draken crew trying to avoid paying for the pilots that they knew were required. There is a response to their pleas from the head of the Pilots association on gcaptain.com, sorry don't have the link.

This weekend the Draken will be in Oswego and open for tours. H Lee White Maritime Museum
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Old 24-08-2016, 16:00   #40
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

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Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
A rotating t-storm probably means that the winds are start to rotate, the precursor to a waterspout or tornado. The doppler radar will show a hook in the clouds.

The Draken "found the money" and hired pilots. It was a bit of scam with the Draken crew trying to avoid paying for the pilots that they knew were required. There is a response to their pleas from the head of the Pilots association on gcaptain.com, sorry don't have the link.

This weekend the Draken will be in Oswego and open for tours. H Lee White Maritime Museum
Thanks Dave. It looked like you folks at the east end had to deal with the garbage into Sunday. What's the saying about walking and oars? Walking inland with a pair of oars until someone asks what they are. Then you're far enough away from water. Nah, too much fun sailing to be discouraged by a mere bit of bumpy weather.
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Old 24-08-2016, 16:34   #41
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30yearslater View Post
WTF is a rotating thunderstorm? This is the storm I went through the middle of. Found it on farcebook from this site: https://www.facebook.com/Ontariostor...273461/?type=3
Hey, Rognvald, how did Draken Harold make out with the pilot issue? I saw it from home on the Towarf AIS and thought how much I would love to sail out to see that. Anywho I am pretty much convinced in light of the new information that I did the only thing possible as any sail in this beast would have been disastrous. Under normal storm conditions definately carry something but as I now see this wasn't normal. Proof that God protects fools and orphans of which I am both.
Draken made it as far as Green Bay and was forced to end their Great Lakes journey early and return due to the lack of funds required for a union coast pilot. When Dave Lochner, in a previous post, called their plea for a waiver of the pilot requirement "a bit of a scam," it is pure conjecture on his part and cannot be based on fact since he cannot possibly have any intimate knowledge of Draken's competent and honest captain or of its voyage planners/contributors and the previous conversations/discussions held before their historic trip. It would be nice to keep this discussion apolitical and not a criticism of our outstanding men and women of the USCG(which this is not!), but the decision to end Draken's journey was the result of the stranglehold of union coast pilots and the unwillingness of the political branch of the USCG to contravene this association and their considerable economic power and potential impact. This was a historic event. Its goal was not for profit but for historic and educational purposes. The requirement of a union coast pilot through the Great Lakes is patently absurd for a captain and crew that sailed this vessel from Norway in conditions far worse than those of a Summer cruise in the Great Lakes. If there are exceptions to rules, this should have been one since if the boat were 3 feet shorter, this requirement would not have been necessary. $450. per hour? And you wonder why our country is going broke? Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 24-08-2016, 16:46   #42
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Thanks Rognvald. Fair winds to you as well. I hope I can see the ship out there. What an impressive sight that would be.
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Old 24-08-2016, 19:07   #43
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

Here's the link to the Pilot's Association's response to the Draken issues.

Draw your own objective conclusions.

Viking Ship Organization was aware of US Pilotage Requirements on the Great Lakes - gCaptain
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Old 25-08-2016, 09:12   #44
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

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Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
Here's the link to the Pilot's Association's response to the Draken issues.

Draw your own objective conclusions.

Viking Ship Organization was aware of US Pilotage Requirements on the Great Lakes - gCaptain
" The organization behind the Viking Ship, Draken Expedition America, has claimed that they were caught unaware of US pilotage requirements when they entered the St. Lawrence Seaway in early June after being told by the Canadian Great Lakes Pilotage Authority that they are were exempt because they were less than 35 meters long. . . Despite their exemption from Canadian pilotage, they voluntarily hired pilots in the Canadian waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway for fees of CDN $17,000." Capt. George Haynes/Lakes Pilot Association


The water is over the dam. Draken is returning to Norway. The bottom line is that the US Coast Pilots Union would not waive the fees for Draken to continue as did the Canadian Great Lakes Pilotage Authority. Draw your own conclusions based upon the facts. However, which organization would be considered fairer by a reasonable person based upon the historic nature of this trip? Kudos to the Canadian Great Lakes Pilotage Authority for their enlightened approach to Draken's problems. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 25-08-2016, 10:58   #45
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Re: Survived Lake Ontario Storm

" So the Coast Guard, which sets pilotage rates, increased those rates in March, pushing a $200,000-a-year job closer to the $320,000 mark, still less than some pilots on the coast earn."


Here is the whole issue in a nutshell regarding the Great Lakes Coast Pilots. The following NPR article details the concern that shippers will look for other avenues of transport as the new rates are effective. Apparently, $200,000 annually is not sufficient compensation for a Great Lakes Coast Pilot. Let's see . . . the salary for the President of the United States is $400K, VP is $237,700K. . . the beat goes on.
http://www.npr.org/.../shipping-indu...akes-freighter...
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