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Old 06-02-2011, 05:30   #16
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Good God. I would never attempt such a thing. I would rather stand off at sea until conditions improve. In bad weather, you're always safer where there's no land (I stole that phrase from another forumite, but now it's my own!).
Dockhead... its only coz I know a lot of these ports... there are some I would not dream of doing the same thing...
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:47   #17
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Dockhead... its only coz I know a lot of these ports... there are some I would not dream of doing the same thing...
The thing about crossing bars in heavy weather is that you may have much less water in the troughs of big waves than the chart shows. A lot of vessels have come to grief and been smashed to bits because of this phenomenon.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:58   #18
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The thing about crossing bars in heavy weather is that you may have much less water in the troughs of big waves than the chart shows. A lot of vessels have come to grief and been smashed to bits because of this phenomenon.
LOL... tell me about it... saw a boat broach trying this... the guy had almost made it but he'd got his timing a touch late and the wave overtook him and passed his stern... a wave at a different course deflected by another bar clipped him and he lost it totally and dropped into the trough off centre and hit bottom... bounced side on and the next wave creamed her... lost the mast and a lot of gear but amazingly she floated and the only harm to the crew was a broken arm and a few cuts and bruises...
Get in a position where your rudders in the air and your screwed big time..
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:19   #19
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Is that some sort of a Beneteau First boat? A picture of the bow section on BBC News shows a round fore hatch that reminds me of some earlier models...
I believe it's a Stern 33, a Finnish racer/cruiser.
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Old 06-02-2011, 14:39   #20
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Maybe not a Storm

I see the mainstream media reports the vessel as hit by a storm but I wonder if anyone knows what the weather was?

Hard to resist aspeculation and I wonder if it was light winds which helped lead to this sad event - a GRIB I downloaded on Saturday (and kept me comfortable in Dunkerque where it was windy) suggests that there were very light Northerly winds off the Portuguese coast. And when I look at the tide it seems 03:30 was only just before HW.

If I had heard a VHF report of dangerous swell off the Harbour but had a reason to be in - I might convince myself to try if the wind was very light and I had timed my entrance for HW.

Somwhere I read (Maybe Hiscock) "If in Doubt - Stay Out" but I often worry it is not burned deeply enough into my brain.
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Old 06-02-2011, 15:07   #21
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It seems this sad case is another example of someone sailing to a schedule rather than the conditions. The article says they were planning a crew change at that harbor, so they probably felt constrained by both the schedule and the destination. It is a hard lesson for most of us to learn that our plans don't matter: we must work with what mother nature dishes out regardless of how inconvenient it is. It was a lesson learned at some expense by me, but I was lucky; I didn't lose the boat (close, though). Every new cruiser should know that schedules and plans can impair judgment and must always be questioned.
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Old 07-02-2011, 19:00   #22
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Ram,

The reason you have not been in this harbor is that it is in the town of Svaneke, a small town on the Danish island Bornholm in the Baltic south of Sweden. The translated title is "crazy entrance".
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Old 07-02-2011, 19:13   #23
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Idlegreg.... if there was a storm it was north of Porto... just down the coast we had light northerlies.... the danger with Portugal is the storms out in the Atlantic generate some very large swells. One does not really notice them that much till you try coming into port.... then there's a sudden change the last 1/2 mile as you approach the mouth of the river and the sand bars.... it can be windless for 5 or 6 days but you'll still find 2 - 3 metre + breaking waves....
Take a look at www.magicseaweed.com Spain/Portugal swell chart
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Old 07-02-2011, 21:36   #24
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I found that on delivery from Cascais to Vilamoura...not a lot of wind, but my god, three metres of swell, easy. I particularly noticed this leaving Sines at dawn on a glassy sea, motoring into a lazy, but deep, swell. Technically, it was dead calm, except for the short elevator ride every nine seconds.

My skipper was disappointed that it didn't blow more than 20 knots at Cape St. Vincent...frankly, a bit of a damp squib after his stories about it being "God's washing machine!"
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Old 07-02-2011, 21:54   #25
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LOL... only in an Easterly
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:34   #26
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ncusdan.

Thanks for the support (post #4).
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:55   #27
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In some places the Harbours look like they were put in the dumbest places possible (for access and safety) and some I would hesitate to enter in good conditions..........until that is you explore the coasts around that area and realise it was the best spot for a harbour, given what else was (not) available

Harbour does not always = valet boat parking.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:00   #28
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True. If they call it a "roadstead", set a bridle, because it's what they call the bit between a harbour and the open ocean, only shallower...
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:50   #29
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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
It seems this sad case is another example of someone sailing to a schedule rather than the conditions. The article says they were planning a crew change at that harbor, so they probably felt constrained by both the schedule and the destination. It is a hard lesson for most of us to learn that our plans don't matter: we must work with what mother nature dishes out regardless of how inconvenient it is. It was a lesson learned at some expense by me, but I was lucky; I didn't lose the boat (close, though). Every new cruiser should know that schedules and plans can impair judgment and must always be questioned.
its one of the reasons i like sailing. most times in or lives we want to manage our time etc. with sailing there nature rules...
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:42   #30
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Boatman - sounds like your experience agrees with my guess at the weather - and I like your explanation of the swell hazard, which I suppose is particularly bad on that coast.

What worries me is that with all reports suggesting the yacht in this case was hit by a storm, some might get the idea it was a combination of bad weather and the dangerous entrance which casued the sinking. It may be that calm weather offshore leads skippers to underestimate the dangers.

Anyway in this case maybe the crew did not get the warnings.
Given you know the coast (and posted that useful swell forecast link) maybe you or another who knows the port can answer the following...

The radio warnings mentioned in the report - are they on the VHF? if so is it announced on Channel 16 or must one know which channel to monitor?

Also "singals were hoisted" - would there be lights to show the Hr is closed (and if so what lights)?
My Reeds entry for the port says it is "Impracticle in Waves over 3m ...." but makes no mention of lights or shapes to indicate the Hr is closed.

Who knows I may get down that way sometime and would love to properly learn any lessons before I get there :-)
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