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Old 07-06-2015, 05:35   #46
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Re: Offshore novice question

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More recently.. June 05 I was about 60 miles W of Flores soloing a Hunter37c to to the UK when a big low caught about 30 of us out there..
Did not even bother heaving to just dropped everything and battened down for 4 days.. high winds, huge seas and nonstop rain that cut visibility to maybe 200 metres..
Boy was I glad it stopped when it did and the horizon opened.. Flores was dead ahead about 5 miles distant with 100 waterfalls cascading off her cliffs from all the rain.. another 1/2 day and I'd has been bits off plastic scattered on the rocks.
No damage topside.. still had the dinghy on the coach roof despite watching green water sweep overhead and the occasional toss by a breaking wave.. on one I was pitched over the table to land on the opposite berth.
The lanterns were swinging well in Peters, Horta when we all got in with tales to tell.. a few blown sails.. coupla masts lost but thankfully all survived.
Interesting thanks. Reminds me of a fun big friend of mine, who sails a steel, wood masted boat which is similar to Gypsy Moth IV in terms of design. She's currently moored in NZ. He bought her 15 years ago with no knowledge of sailing, and sailed her from Oz to his native Holland solo, thence deciding to do a solo nonstop circumnav. During that, in the Southern ocean, he was rolled through six times in one storm, and describes walking around his saloon as if it were a crazy fairground ride, from sole to sole via the headlining. Amazingly not dismasted, but the heavy lowish aspect wood masts held by steel ensured that, plus the fact that he was ahull and no canvas. Best thing about that boat is its Gardner engine, which sounds like old London bus and takes half a minute to die off once killed. It predates the mid 60s hull by at least a decade!
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:57   #47
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Re: Offshore novice question

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This is a great idea in theory, not always possible or true in practise. Depressions, tropical waves and rotational supercell type systems are not always well forecast and despite what you say here frequently do NOT show up in the most advanced forecasting data. This is not true of all areas and latitudes, but is indeed true of the intertropical zones of interaction between high and low latitude, temperate to tropical convergences. Please see my post on that above. Of course being weather aware and understanding it and having forward planning is great and vital. In smaller, slower moving craft, it is simply not always enough. This is just a fact. And… I am a commercial skipper also.
I've spent half a lifetime working with weather systems in what some would call 'high southern latitudes'. I would like to think I now know and understand them and I would even say they are rather simple creatures.... a notable exception being the systems that have just fallen off the SE corner of Australia and are heading out into the Tasman.... nasty bastards.

I think it would take me another two lifetimes to understand and come to grips with the weather in the North Atlantic.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:03   #48
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Re: Offshore novice question

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I've spent half a lifetime working with weather systems in what some would call 'high southern latitudes'. I would like to think I now know and understand them and I would even say they are rather simple creatures.... a notable exception being the systems that have just fallen off the SE corner of Australia and are heading out into the Tasman.... nasty bastards.

I think it would take me another two lifetimes to understand and come to grips with the weather in the North Atlantic.
Absolutely. As I noted in several posts above, the high latitude systems are by and large quite simple and predictable. It is the inter zones such as the Southern edges of the SPCZ which are hard to model and can be extremely unpredictable.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:18   #49
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Re: Offshore novice question

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Absolutely. As I noted in several posts above, the high latitude systems are by and large quite simple and predictable. It is the inter zones such as the Southern edges of the SPCZ which are hard to model and can be extremely unpredictable.
Yep, what many if not most call the 'Southern Ocean' ( one of my mega-peeves... the 'Southern Ocean' lies south of 60S or the convergence .. take your pick... where very few venture) is in fact the 40s... about the same as the Med... most northerners sail in far higher and more complicated latitudes.

In my southern experience... anything under the lee of a big land mass... ie east of Australia or offshore of southern Brazil or Argentina is going to have unpredictable weather which is going to have you living in very interesting times with steep and nasty seas delivered up at very short notice.
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