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Old 17-04-2015, 20:38   #31
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
...

So please, be honest with me -- do any of you drive through unfamiliar reef passes solely with a GPS? Without being able to see into the water or any nav aids or bearings to landmarks?

...
To paraphrase Bowditch...the prudent navigator continuously uses every means available to fix his position.

When traversing a new area I always keep that in mind and use every resource Ive got including eyeball nav and traditional costal piloting in addition to modern electronics (including RADAR to confirm positions of land masses). I do a LOT of pre-plannig and run multiple versions of electronic charts (and don't totally trust any of them).

Years in Florida & Belize were also good preparation for the San Blas. Lots of boats go up on the reefs in Belize for similar foolish reasons as they do in the San Blas. Just heard about one bonehead who tried to enter a questionable cut in the reef in Belize at night...another total loss.
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Old 17-04-2015, 20:44   #32
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

We've discussed electronic nav issues a lot, but one boat handling mistake FireFly made was sailing downwind into an unfamiliar pass...once they realized they were in trouble they could not strike sail fast enough to avoid being driven further on to the reef.

A painful mistake and a good lesson to learn from this loss.
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Old 18-04-2015, 08:53   #33
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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T

Years in Florida & Belize were also good preparation for the San Blas. Lots of boats go up on the reefs in Belize for similar foolish reasons as they do in the San Blas. Just heard about one bonehead who tried to enter a questionable cut in the reef in Belize at night...another total loss.
4 boats lost in Belize so far this year and we are only in April!!!!

January
French Steel Boat on the reef near Caye Caulker

April
To Sea/Do Sea near San Pedro,
Southerly 32 Blue near Punta Gorda, new owners
French Aluminium boat near Nicolas Caye
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Old 18-04-2015, 09:35   #34
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
We've discussed electronic nav issues a lot, but one boat handling mistake FireFly made was sailing downwind into an unfamiliar pass...once they realized they were in trouble they could not strike sail fast enough to avoid being driven further on to the reef.

A painful mistake and a good lesson to learn from this loss.
Yes, I am also bored with the usual conversation about electronic navigation. As the years wear on and electronic devices proliferate onboard it feels silly to argue over whether or not to have one more copy of charts on paper in addition to the half dozen copies on several independent electronic devices.

But I didn't realize that experienced people drive their boats heads down, like a chartplotter video game. Where they have complete faith in the little green boat icon and drawn reef on the screen and don't cross check it.

Our style is hugely different from that. It works well for us. I feel we are safe as we can be. But I wonder if we take ourselves too seriously, if I haven't been updating my style with the times, when obviously people with a completely different way of navigating can wander all over the Caribbean for nine years without a problem. It would be very cool to chill out and drive wherever we want whenever we want. Without waiting for the right time of day or all the bearings and drama and planning that we do now.

Maybe this is why people share track files. I've never understood that. But now it makes sense, if the boat that made the track has the same draft, then with those files you really could navigate through very tricky places in poor visibility, or even at night, without a care. I'm guessing track files can be used to control an autopilot, to make it completely magical and maybe even more safe than our old timey way

As it is, places like the Tuamotus scared me. I could only visit three atolls before I'd had enough with narrow reef passes. Every one was a little dicey. I haven't been to the San Blas (but hope to visit soon), and approaching outlying reefs from the windward side seems like a whole new level of risk. At least in the Tuamotus we approached in the calm lee of a huge atoll.

But that was fifteen years ago. Before GPS was accurate to a few feet. If the future is already here, and we can stop worrying about navigation, provided we have the right charts and track files loaded into our computers, then I think that's pretty cool. That's way more convenient, and in a way, safe. It opens up a whole lot of new places to explore, with less stress. It allows us to leave tight anchorages at night or the wrong time of day if the weather turns. And etc.

I now want to figure out how to tell OpenCPN to control my autopilot to drive us out of a tricky spot the same exact way we drove in. That would be super cool. Does that work? Is there enough precision? Can you use it to weave back out through coral heads?
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Old 18-04-2015, 10:19   #35
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

If you don't have a paper chart, what else DO you look at? A chart plotter. That is giving you information.

We have paper charts.
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Old 18-04-2015, 20:18   #36
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
....

I now want to figure out how to tell OpenCPN to control my autopilot to drive us out of a tricky spot the same exact way we drove in. That would be super cool. Does that work? Is there enough precision? Can you use it to weave back out through coral heads?
In theory it could be done, but I don't trust auto or any charts for weaving thru coral heads...really an eyeball navigation situation.

Tracks can be quite handy, but Im not comfortable using them from others. I prefer to do my own nav and lay down my own tracks to use later.
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Old 21-04-2015, 20:13   #37
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

A bit on another recent wreck: Shipwreck - The Nomad Trip

I would have said it was the most recent wreck, but unfortunately there has been another since (Porvenir again).

Mark
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Old 22-04-2015, 11:30   #38
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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A bit on another recent wreck: Shipwreck - The Nomad Trip

I would have said it was the most recent wreck, but unfortunately there has been another since (Porvenir again).

Mark
Do you know how it happened?
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:52   #39
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Do you know how it happened?
Single hander fell asleep approaching the middle of the Hollandes reef system from the North (wreck was straight North of the Hot Tub anchorage).

This is a surprisingly common reason and location for wrecks in the San Blas. It is about 30hrs from Cartagena - which makes it ~3-5hrs longer than most people's ability to stay awake. However, I don't know why so many boats pile up there because no waypoint or compass bearing should ever be placed anywhere close to that area.

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Old 23-04-2015, 17:46   #40
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Single hander fell asleep approaching the middle of the Hollandes reef system from the North (wreck was straight North of the Hot Tub anchorage).

This is a surprisingly common reason and location for wrecks in the San Blas. It is about 30hrs from Cartagena - which makes it ~3-5hrs longer than most people's ability to stay awake. However, I don't know why so many boats pile up there because no waypoint or compass bearing should ever be placed anywhere close to that area.

Mark
Yes, Ive heard similar stories of that location and nearby (including the drunk/stoned captains with a backapacker at the helm). Can't imagine why anyone who is not drunk/stoned/asleep would even attempt any entrance near there...especially at night when they seem to happen most. Even a small ship up on the reef near there (windward side of Los Bajos).

Heard some conversation on the SSB net about their efforts to salvage this wreck.
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Old 23-04-2015, 17:55   #41
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Heard some conversation on the SSB net about their efforts to salvage this wreck.
Just saw a picture of it sitting on a dock in Linton. Apparently, they unbolted the keel, pulled it over the reef into deeper water, retrieved the keel and reattached, and towed it to Linton.

The picture shows a wasted up hull side of the boat, and all the bulkheads were cut out of it by the Kunas, let alone every conceivable item on it was stripped off and the interior was floating in diesel.

I don't know what the owner thinks is salvageable - or even repairable - about it.

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Old 23-04-2015, 17:58   #42
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Just saw a picture of it sitting on a dock in Linton. Apparently, they unbolted the keel, pulled it over the reef into deeper water, retrieved the keel and reattached, and towed it to Linton.
Wow, what an effort.
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Old 23-04-2015, 17:59   #43
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
A bit on another recent wreck: Shipwreck - The Nomad Trip

I would have said it was the most recent wreck, but unfortunately there has been another since (Porvenir again).

Mark
Heard that they managed to refloat this one ("Carioca") and it is now in Linton (or maybe the stories are getting mixed up). Still don't know exactly why Carioca ended up on the reef.
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Old 23-04-2015, 19:12   #44
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

What's the count?

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Old 23-04-2015, 19:14   #45
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Re: San Blas Panama Wrecks

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The picture shows a wasted up hull side of the boat, and all the bulkheads were cut out of it by the Kunas, let alone every conceivable item on it was stripped off and the interior was floating in diesel.
No way! They stole the bulkheads?!

Does anyone else feel this 'charming naivete and funny misunderstanding of the law that happens to benefit me' is getting a little more sophisticated, industrious, and organized than fits the basic premise?

Do they auction off the anchors and winches on the beach? Ship used sails to resellers in Florida? Put the electronics on ebay?
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