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Old 24-04-2013, 07:26   #46
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
That's an interesting story, SnowP, about the Bluff to Hobart gig.

Do you think there might have been a counter-flowing ocean current to cause the swell to steepen so seriously, off soundings? It's great being able to get satellite data on this stuff these days, no?

(Or, thinking of our recent musings.... any sudden changes in seafloor topology?)

It all makes a lot of sense. I'm a big fan of the specials that have been on PBS over the last couple of years looking at the dynamics under the sea's surface and how they affect sea life. Tremendous upwellings near any kind of ridge on the ocean's floor that create nutrient-rich currents for sea life. These reports don't get into how it affects surface waves, but it's all water -- very fluid and easy for energy waves to be transferred. If the food is moving, the water carrying the food is moving.
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Old 24-04-2013, 07:39   #47
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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It all makes a lot of sense. I'm a big fan of the specials that have been on PBS over the last couple of years looking at the dynamics under the sea's surface and how they affect sea life. Tremendous upwellings near any kind of ridge on the ocean's floor that create nutrient-rich currents for sea life. These reports don't get into how it affects surface waves, but it's all water -- very fluid and easy for energy waves to be transferred. If the food is moving, the water carrying the food is moving.

I KNEW I could find a source for this! I do believe these upwellings of food-laden currents can affect surface waves. The Japanese realized it centuries ago and depicted it in their art:

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Old 24-04-2013, 16:28   #48
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Thanks Evans for your reply to my comments in which you discuss and cover very well all the other opinions I mentioned on storm tactics. I apologize for being too blunt. Like a lot of readers I am here to learn and prepare for a storm but have not, and hope not to, find myself in one.

Yes the information I mention was mostly written a while ago albeit it some updated.

This seems to be a topic we are all passionate about, and you have got me rethinking. It does seem that the two 'constants' are that no two situation and no two boats are alike and luck is really useful.

Both you and indeed the Pardeys look to sailing in some way in very heavy weather. However most seem to recognize that all the crew (and that seem often to be two or one persons) become fatigued at some stage and so the yacht will need to be set to take care of itself.

Thanks again, Regards, Dave
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:16   #49
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pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Interesting stuff... the Gulf Stream is not circular...
Wonder what that is that meanders past Ireland, Cornwall and along the Biscay and off the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal... and across the top of the Azores come to that... before curving right and heading back towards the US...
But back on topic...
I'm not as tough as this lot... I just heave to and go below.. stick the kettle on and drink hot coffee/chocolate, munch biccies and other yummy nibbles and get stuck into a good book... don't see much point in clambering about risking life and limb chucking stuff of the bow or stern... stay warm, well fed and watered, plenty of rest and ride her out... gets it over much quicker than trying to run before and sundry other ideas.
But that's me... its not advice... its what I do..
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:27   #50
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

I think the bit that comes to europe is named the north atlantic drift,.
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:35   #51
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Interesting stuff... the Gulf Stream is not circular...
Wonder what that is that meanders past Ireland, Cornwall and along the Biscay and off the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal... and across the top of the Azores come to that... before curving right and heading back towards the US...
But back on topic...
I'm not as tough as this lot... I just heave to and go below.. stick the kettle on and drink hot coffee/chocolate, munch biccies and other yummy nibbles and get stuck into a good book... don't see much point in clambering about risking life and limb chucking stuff of the bow or stern... stay warm, well fed and watered, plenty of rest and ride her out... gets it over much quicker than trying to run before and sundry other ideas.
But that's me... its not advice... its what I do..

I didn't say it wasn't circular, Boatman.

I said that long stretches of it run N-N/E. Have a chart handy?
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:51   #52
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pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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I didn't say it wasn't circular, Boatman.

I said that long stretches of it run N-N/E. Have a chart handy?
I didn't say 'You' said it was... and a fair bit runs E and S and W... and the N. Atlantic drift is the bit that splits of and heads NE while the main section heads to Europe and back around... else you would not have the Sargasso Sea..
Mind... my World Pilot Charts are from the 70's... so things may have changed...
Global Warming and all this modern stuff...
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:03   #53
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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I didn't say 'You' said it was... and a fair bit runs E and S and W... and the N. Atlantic drift is the bit that splits of and heads NE while the main section heads to Europe and back around... else you would not have the Sargasso Sea..
Mind... my World Pilot Charts are from the 70's... so things may have changed...
Global Warming and all this modern stuff...

No, you didn't mention me by name. However, I was the one who said it. CLEARLY in my post I was talking about where it runs N/NE. MY POINT WAS that the Gulfstream is fairly narrow at that point, and that by moving east, you can get both out of that current and away from shore. The scenario I posited was a storm from the north. In the Gulf Stream along Florida that can be a pretty bad scenario, but might well be escapable.

Since it is a major, circular current, of course it turns. The suggestion that anyone here might not know that ... well, whatever you care to believe.

Personally I think your storm plan is not the best, unless you're leaving someone above, unless you're talking about a milder storm. Until now, the discussion was about more severe blows, and I suspect that most people here would not just go below and hope for the best in a really raging storm. If that's your plan, that's OK -- I'll just go on that other fellow's boat over there.
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:20   #54
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
Thanks Evans for your reply to my comments in which you discuss and cover very well all the other opinions I mentioned on storm tactics. I apologize for being too blunt.

No apology necessary for me. There are some strong opinions on all this and they do differ. Lin and Larry are good friends, but we have had some knock down fights over this because Beth and I think their 'magic bullet' message is dangerous and misleading while they think it is the biggest legacy they will leave to the cruising community.

all the crew become fatigued at some stage and so the yacht will need to be set to take care of itself.

I would say a decently skilled crew of three could keep going indefinitely without fatigue becoming a problem (which is in part why some insurance companies ask for 3 and why delivery skippers like 3). A strong single hander will obviously need self steering to be able to handle some part of the work if things go on past a day or two. The crew of two is where things become complex to generalize. Two young strong French pro racers can helm indefinitely thru the worst conditions, while retired desk worker and housewife probably are cooked after 8 hours. You need a good assessment of where you are on this to pick your technique. But I think a lot of people underestimate what they can do, and they can do much more than they think if they stretch and try and don't give up.

As to the yacht looking after itself, that varies all over the map. Hawk will look after herself running up to surfing speed (but no higher as she starts to need a human helm after that and that's where the drogue comes in - I might be able to improve that limit a bit with an upgraded autopilot compass) and will forereach by herself with the wheel locked and we have not found the limit for that yet. She will not heave to well and she is damn uncomfortable with a para-anchor (using the 'normal' technique and not the pardey's . . . there are some serious difficulties rigging a pardey bridle on hawk and I had Larry look at this first hand when we were with them in Puerto Montt). SIlk was completely different. She hove to like a happy duck, and would run and almost never surf (and if she did surf she liked a warp rather than a drogue) forever, but did not forereach all that well. We never tried the para-anchor on her. And these two boats sort of bracket the current 'mainstream' designs with Hawk on the performance side and Silk on the traditional side.

The simple fact is that these survival situations are very rare, and mostly even the worst 'storms' are really only 'heavy weather' and almost any boat will just simply look after itself if you go below and simply close the door (note: I am not saying that's the best tactic, its not, but it does work in 'heavy weather' when there are not massive breaking waves). You just have to look at the boats that have been abandoned, even with the compaignway left open, that are found floating months later to realize this (see the benetau that was abandoned last November that just recently washed up on the beach in Australia after looking after itself for a long way and a long time). And that fact greatly complicates the survival tactics discussion because people who have successfully done heavy weather think they know the answer and really they don't. Personally I listen much more closely on this topic to people who have spent a bunch of time in the southern ocean as the waves are just meaner down there (see Abby Sunderland who tried to 'just go below' and was rolled).

Anyway, thanks for the comment on fatigue. That was useful feedback for the article. I have added two additional thoughts related it into the draft and am noodling about how to make a stronger point about it.
.............
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:29   #55
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I favor the more passive approaches for shorthanded cruisers. Probably for no better reason than that I like reading and dislike getting wet...
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:33   #56
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pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
No, you didn't mention me by name. However, I was the one who said it. CLEARLY in my post I was talking about where it runs N/NE. MY POINT WAS that the Gulfstream is fairly narrow at that point, and that by moving east, you can get both out of that current and away from shore. The scenario I posited was a storm from the north. In the Gulf Stream along Florida that can be a pretty bad scenario, but might well be escapable.

Since it is a major, circular current, of course it turns. The suggestion that anyone here might not know that ... well, whatever you care to believe.

Personally I think your storm plan is not the best, unless you're leaving someone above, unless you're talking about a milder storm. Until now, the discussion was about more severe blows, and I suspect that most people here would not just go below and hope for the best in a really raging storm. If that's your plan, that's OK -- I'll just go on that other fellow's boat over there.

Yes I agree, prevailing offshore currents like the GS, counter -equatorial or the Kuroshio are well known and not circular.
ROTFLMAO.... If you wrote this... which you did not.. its was Pelagic... and I was teasing him...
You can have a dig at my lack of humility regarding storm survival all you like.. and as I said.. its what I do.. its not advice.. and its served me well since '85 and for thousands of miles..
And as for you going on the other fella's boat...
Make my day...
PS: please define a severe blow... 40-50-60-70knots..... maybe 80...??
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:37   #57
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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.............
I just to have say that I for one really appreciate the serious discussions that have taken place here. If I should get caught in a severe storm I will have my hands full as my boat is definitely on the tender side, and it helps me greatly to hear both your and the Pardey view. It will all have to apply to my boat, and the skills of me and anyone else on the boat with me (presumably the cat won't be of much help).

It's OK by me if feelings run high. I can read past that and pick out the many valuable contributions that have been made and I'm grateful to everyone who took the time to give thoughtful responses.
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:39   #58
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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I favor the more passive approaches for shorthanded cruisers. Probably for no better reason than that I like reading and dislike getting wet...

If it works, you bet. Especially if you're by yourself, being pounded by high-wind driven rain while you pilot your boat through difficult waves is hard work, and if we can give ourself some relief, that's a good thing. I would want to do it before I was so tired I wasn't thinking completely clearly.
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Old 24-04-2013, 21:53   #59
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Yes I agree, prevailing offshore currents like the GS, counter -equatorial or the Kuroshio are well known and not circular.
ROTFLMAO.... If you wrote this... which you did not.. its was Pelagic... and I was teasing him...
You can have a dig at my lack of humility regarding storm survival all you like.. and as I said.. its what I do.. its not advice.. and its served me well since '85 and for thousands of miles..
And as for you going on the other fella's boat...
Make my day...
PS: please define a severe blow... 40-50-60-70knots..... maybe 80...??
Sure, Boatman. Whatever you say.
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Old 25-04-2013, 01:32   #60
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Evans,

Your point about crew fatigue and "never give up". Certainly the skippers leadership is probably the single most vital asset when in a truly nasty situation.

I recall reading (but unfortunately I can't recall where), about a navy ship that was attempting a rescue off a smaller boat on a lee shore (I believe this was in the 1950's or 60's). The ensign who was ordered to go had a choice of using the motorized launch or the pulling boat. He chose the pulling boat and effected the rescue.

Afterwards, the skipper commended him for his choice, noting that the motorized launch had a finite limit to its power. When the engine was maxed out - that was it - no power reserve.

The pulling boat on the other hand (according to the skipper), had virtually unlimited amounts of reserve power. "When you are in a life-threatening situation, the human element is always the deciding factor"

I was a long time ago I read that, but it has stayed with me ever since. Probably because it has a certain ring of truth to it.

Certainly a learning point for all of us - when the crew gives up, all is lost.

Thanks again for one of the most concise articles on storm survival I yet read.

Cheers
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