Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-05-2015, 13:10   #31
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,046
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

RE Helicopters, 500 NM is a Very long way for a Helicopter, a Blackhawk just as an example with internal tanks it's got 2.5, maybe 3 hour endurance at 120 kts. External Aux tanks of course increase that, but I've never seen a CG helicopter with them? I believe they can be in air re-fueled, but that is a major coordination exercise and not something I would think you would want to do in bad weather.
I wasn't a Hawk driver, but 500 NM is four hours each way, plus on station time.
__________________

__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:22   #32
Registered User
 
hoppy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Posts: 2,842
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Maybe it would be a good idea to automatically have threads like this one, along with the rescue video merged with the multitude of "blue water boat" threads where the OPs insist that boats which have been built to a minimum standard are OK for world cruising?

Just a thought.
Maybe the same should be said for BWB threads where the OP insists that only an old sturdy boat is fit for ocean crossings. According to our resident expert, It's too early to be making the crossing comfortably and having an "approved" BWB may be causing some skippers to be too overconfident and taking unnecessary risks.

I am wondering why the people on that boat called for rescue. The rigging looked fine, it was sitting high, so not sinking. If they had perhaps lost steering I would have thought they could still ride out the storm with the drogue keeping them steady and then deal with the steering later when it calms down???
__________________

__________________
S/Y Jessabbé http://www.jessabbe.com/
hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:22   #33
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Polux,
I saw this as well, and yes it is clear that the skipper was helming (under power, I assume) keeping the boat stern-to the sea/wind...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Regarding having lost the engine I don't think so, on the end of the movie when nobody was aboard the boat turns around and goes against the wind and sea without sails. I wonder how it can do that without an engine?
And dragging a warp of some kind, probably an anchor, etc. as if it were a proper drogue I doubt the boat would have turned into the waves/wind and started to make way INTO the sea....






Exile, I covered this in detail in the thread last year...
azores 2014 how safe is it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile View Post
Maybe some people decide to leave early out of concern for the official start of hurricane season on June 1st? Or maybe their insurance requires them to do so, as it does for many on the US e. coast that are prevented from leaving for the Caribbean until after Nov. 1st?
Please have a look, and you'll see....
But briefly, an fyi....
a) Most insurance that has named/numbered windstorm exclusions, have requirements/restrictions from July 1st thru Nov 1st (rather than the June 1st thru Nov 30th, "official season"), and most importantly these are usually "geographical restrictions", mostly from approx. 12*N to/thru 30*/31*N from 55*W to 95*W.....and them even more importantly, even if in that geographic area during those months, you are not without insurance cover, but are only without named/numbered windstorm cover!!!

Opinion alert:
All-in-all, any skipper who uses "insurance cover restrictions" as a primary means of determining departure for an Atlantic crossing (or other ocean passage), probably shouldn't be out there anyway....


b) Much of the "seminar", "guide-book", and "boat show" info that is presented is based on many decades old "sailing directions", which are based on the old Clipper Ship sailing routes...
Then the authors / presenters make adaptions/modifications to suit their personal sailing desires and present this as "fact"...
Please note that NOT everyone does that, but much of the advice still being dolled-out, is "leave in April / early May, and enjoy the Med (or UK) all summer!!"
Heck even Jimmy Cornell's books have been touting this approach for years....
And, then you've got the folks trying to head on a northerly route, as if they were trying to be on the northside of a Bermuda-Azores High...when there is no High around!!






c) And with "tropical weather" forecasting and tracking becoming MUCH better just in the past 5+ years or so (especially by the US NWS / National Hurricane Center) and that info being easily disseminated for free, etc. AND with continental weather (for N. America) becoming more severe and a bit less predictable in the past 5+ years or so, it is becoming obvious, that "hurrying to leave" to avoid "hurricane season" is getting more ridiculous....
Yes, a hurricane at sea IS something to be concerned with, but with few exceptions you're much more likely to encounter severe continental / cold-core Lows / fronts, during an early (April/May, and even into June!) west-to-east crossing, that will be significant....than you are to encounter "tropical weather" / warm-core Lows....
(those are the weather facts...)







Again, I don't have the time to re-type it all here....but it is all there for you...
Have a look...
azores 2014 how safe is it?










Now, as for the rescue specifics....some of this is being lost in translation...and some might be simple media errors....
My thoughts are that until we know more it's probably not too good to speculate....but just a couple thoughts....
"500" is probably km, not nm....500km is about 255nm....
And, while I haven't seen the helo in question, it looks to have some side pods (stub wing / pods / pylons)???? Perhaps A64 pilot might be able to assess this better than me, and better identify the helo???







Fair winds...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:28   #34
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

a64pilot, I have been wondering if they refueled from the Herc. Makes sense to me why it would be there as well as pinpointing the craft for the helicopter. I think when Javier Sanso (if memory serves) lost his keel in the 2012 Vendee Globe he was about 350 miles south of Azores and he was close to being out of range of the helo. They didn't have much hover time for sure.
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:30   #35
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post

(...)

I cannot understand very well why they are abandoning the boat. It seems bad to me but not that bad.

(...)
Well. I think only those people lifted into the heli can tell us their story. The boat seems, visually, 100% fine. We must wait to hear why they abandoned.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:36   #36
Registered User
 
NOLA_sailing's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
Boat: Catalina 30 Tall Rig
Posts: 234
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Nola the idea of the drogue is to keep the wind and seas aft by creating drag. I thought it looked like the yacht turned as well but then thought maybe it was the helo turning around that gave that impression. Slow internet here so I'm not going to re watch it right now. The sea state in the last vid looks more manageable than the sea shown in Phils original Portugal news vid
That was my thinking but wasn't sure if being deployed off the stern instead of the bow changed the effect on the vessel. Haven't had the pleasure of ever deploying one or being offshore for that matter. Thanks for the input.
__________________
NOLA_sailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:41   #37
Registered User
 
Exile's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Land of Disenchantment
Boat: Bristol 47.7
Posts: 2,961
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Polux,
I saw this as well, and yes it is clear that the skipper was helming (under power, I assume) keeping the boat stern-to the sea/wind...And dragging a warp of some kind, probably an anchor, etc. as if it were a proper drogue I doubt the boat would have turned into the waves/wind and started to make way INTO the sea....






Exile, I covered this in detail in the thread last year...
azores 2014 how safe is it?
Please have a look, and you'll see....
But briefly, an fyi....
a) Most insurance that has named/numbered windstorm exclusions, have requirements/restrictions from July 1st thru Nov 1st (rather than the June 1st thru Nov 30th, "official season"), and most importantly these are usually "geographical restrictions", mostly from approx. 12*N to/thru 30*/31*N from 55*W to 95*W.....and them even more importantly, even if in that geographic area during those months, you are not without insurance cover, but are only without named/numbered windstorm cover!!!

Opinion alert:
All-in-all, any skipper who uses "insurance cover restrictions" as a primary means of determining departure for an Atlantic crossing (or other ocean passage), probably shouldn't be out there anyway....


b) Much of the "seminar", "guide-book", and "boat show" info that is presented is based on many decades old "sailing directions", which are based on the old Clipper Ship sailing routes...
Then the authors / presenters make adaptions/modifications to suit their personal sailing desires and present this as "fact"...
Please note that NOT everyone does that, but much of the advice still being dolled-out, is "leave in April / early May, and enjoy the Med (or UK) all summer!!"
Heck even Jimmy Cornell's books have been touting this approach for years....
And, then you've got the folks trying to head on a northerly route, as if they were trying to be on the northside of a Bermuda-Azores High...when there is no High around!!






c) And with "tropical weather" forecasting and tracking becoming MUCH better just in the past 5+ years or so (especially by the US NWS / National Hurricane Center) and that info being easily disseminated for free, etc. AND with continental weather (for N. America) becoming more severe and a bit less predictable in the past 5+ years or so, it is becoming obvious, that "hurrying to leave" to avoid "hurricane season" is getting more ridiculous....
Yes, a hurricane at sea IS something to be concerned with, but with few exceptions you're much more likely to encounter severe continental / cold-core Lows / fronts, during an early (April/May, and even into June!) west-to-east crossing, that will be significant....than you are to encounter "tropical weather" / warm-core Lows....
(those are the weather facts...)







Again, I don't have the time to re-type it all here....but it is all there for you...
Have a look...
azores 2014 how safe is it?










Now, as for the rescue specifics....some of this is being lost in translation...and some might be simple media errors....
My thoughts are that until we know more it's probably not too good to speculate....but just a couple thoughts....
"500" is probably km, not nm....500km is about 255nm....
And, while I haven't seen the helo in question, it looks to have some side pods (stub wing / pods / pylons)???? Perhaps A64 pilot might be able to assess this better than me, and better identify the helo???







Fair winds...

John
Thanks John! I'll check out the prior thread for sure . . . as soon as I finish getting through all your excellent threads & vids about the M802 & SSB radio!
__________________
Exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:41   #38
Registered User
 
hoppy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Posts: 2,842
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Exile, I covered this in detail in the thread last year...
azores 2014 how safe is it?
That's quite a good post. It would be kind of nice if it could be made easily findable for anyone planning their first ocean crossing
__________________
S/Y Jessabbé http://www.jessabbe.com/
hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:50   #39
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post

Regarding having lost the engine I don't think so, on the end of the movie when nobody was aboard the boat turns around and goes against the wind and sea without sails. I wonder how it can do that without an engine?
It looks as if she is actually motoring towing a drogue.

If she were sailing by bare poles, she would (???) be moving slower.

BTW Losing engine in a sailing boat is not a reason for an abandon.

And a broken rib may call for evacuation but not of the other 3 seamen.

So it is clear we do not know the whole story.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 13:52   #40
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Although not directly on point of the discussion of this particular rescue, this is directly on point of the thread subject....
So, I'm starting to think I should've just reposted everything I wrote last year....
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
That's quite a good post. It would be kind of nice if it could be made easily findable for anyone planning their first ocean crossing
Maybe a LONG read....but hopefully informative...and it's right here for all to read!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Alex,
While I'm flattered to be asked to contribute (and I will), I'm not so sure that "carnage" is a good way to describe things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll

With the transatlantic crossing season beggining soon i thought it might be an idea to discuss ways and means to avoid some of the carnage that happens every year.

no doubt there will be members preparing at the moment for the
passage that generally starts with vessels leaving the caribean late april,and the east coast of usa in may.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll

perhaps Ka4wja would like to comment on the weather and why it causes so many problems.

perhaps others would add comments on preperation,and hind sight from previous trans atlantic's that might be of benifit to passagemakers this year




------ First off, no matter how much fact is presented a thread like this will also have a good deal of opinion in it, but as long as we all recognize that when it comes to opinions there is no "right" or "wrong", we should be able to provide lots of good/helpful info (and maybe even consensus)...

So, with that said here are some of my thoughts....


1) Based on my experience and my knowledge of others' experiences, most boats will take much more abuse than their captains/crew can take...
Yes on an Atlantic crossing, gear might break, chafe will happen, your vessel may suffer some serious wear 'n tear, etc. but in general most boats will survive just fine...(the worst thing a typical boat crossing the Atlantic would need to contend with, would be an incompetent captain/crew...


2) Notwithstanding the above comment (#1), perhaps the most misunderstood concept is just how much toll, the constant 24/7 use, for weeks at a time (in what can be a fairly rough environment), takes on systems on-board....

--- Being able to secure all hatches and ports, from the sea, wind/waves/rain/spray/etc. as well as all thru-deck plates, rigging chainplates, etc. is very important!!
(not the least of which is to ensure good crew morale and adequate sleep....who likes to sleep on a wet bunk, or when dripped on!!)

Before you leave, use the dock hose with a hi-pressure nozzle to check every hatch, port, opening, etc...if it leaks at all, fix it now or be prepared for the hassles at sea...

Making sure your thru-hulls are secure and you can close-off seacocks as needed (and/or only open the ones needed), and have wooden plugs at the ready by each thru-hull....
And having the plug at the ready for the boat speed paddle-wheel and/or depth transducer, as well, is important....
I heard from a captain of a Swan 46 (?), whose boat came down off a wave in the N. Atlantic and "pop"....the boat speed transducer was forced right out of its thru-hull fitting and they had a geyser shooting sea water at a quite high volume all over the boat (filled the bilge and were wading thru water on the cabin sole, by the time they got it plugged!!), so don't forget the plugs for those thru-hull transducers!!

Check your stuffing box, shaft seal, etc....and be prepared to act should a leak or failure occur....(I've know some say that they check their stuffing boxes everyday when offshore....but to me that's overkill...)



--- Yes, chafe of running rigging is usually the first thing mentioned, and yes it can occur, especially if lines are not run fair and smooth...but even if you do have good blocks, well set-up, etc. it can still happen...
The main halyard as it comes off the masthead sheave is one often overlooked place to check very carefully before departure, for any issues....make sure the line runs smooth and free, and doesn't come off the sheave at a great angle when the sail is let out for a downwind run, etc..(your sailmaker and/or rigger, can be of great help here, should you find an issue...)
Don't forget to check your main preventers and vang, as well...
Understand that 2 - 3 weeks of 24/7 sailing with good wind in the sails will cause more chafe issues, and possibly do more damage, than a 5+ years of normal sailing / coastal cruising / island hopping....this is often a surprise to some, but it is a fact!!!


--- Standing rigging also gets a real work out here...
If it's not rusty, many folks just assume their standing rigging is fine...and many times they're correct....but that doesn't tell the whole story...
While not a common occurrence, breaking a rigging wire does happen...(usually at a terminal, caused by corrosion inside a swage, etc.), so having a "rigging inspection" (and replace suspect rigging / terminals) before you leave is a good idea...
And, many will also bring with then a coil of rigging wire and terminals, long enough to replace the longest stay on-board....although now-a-days carrying a length of synthetic rigging rope and ready with appropriate attachment, is a better way to go!!

Bottom line is...old, suspect standing rigging can be a cause of some REALLY bad things happening at sea....check it out / replace as necessary, before you leave!!



--- Sails themselves can suffer issues...
Whether reef point cringles being torn, or sail slides breaking....or torn webbing, etc. anywhere the stress/forces are concentrated is an area of concern BEFORE you shove off across the Atlantic...
Make a very close inspection of these areas, as well as where your mainsail may touch the spreaders, etc. (have spreader chafe patches sewn-in if your sailmaker think necessary).
Also have a look at your genoa and its leech, where it may contact the spreaders....make sure it is in good shape and repair as needed....
(or have your sailmaker go over your whole suite of sails, since this is a sort-of "pay me now or, PAY me later" situation...)
Remember that 2 - 3 weeks of 24/7 sailing with good wind in the sails will cause more sail issues, and possibly do more damage, than a 5+ years of normal sailing / coastal cruising / island hopping....this is often a surprise to some, but it is a fact!!!

--- Spreader boots are a must for most boats with overlapping genoas...
And, while many modern boats look odd with "baggy wrinkles", some like 'em to keep their sails from chafing on the shrouds, etc...


--- Make damn sure all your reefing systems, lines, blocks, sheaves, rollers, swivels, etc. are ALL smooth and free....especially when under load...
Those of you like me, with single-line reefing systems, should take extra time to evaluate your mainsail reefing system and make every effort to remove as much friction as possible now, and test your system out under load / with a decent wind, before you head across an ocean....as trying to pull in a reef when still sailing at/near hull speed (which you might do a sunny / blustery day in Biscayne Bay) is going to be a bitch when in 12' - 15' sea in the middle of the night in the N. Atlantic....
Now, yeah heading into the wind is what some may tell 'ya, but this may introduce anger/frustration in the off-watch crew and/or cause more issues if you end up lying-a-hull, etc. when trying to do it...
Oh, and of course if you've waited this long to put in your reef, yeas you're already too late.. BUT...
But, let's be serious here....we've all heard the adage "if you're thinin' 'bout reefin', 'ya already too late"....but how many of us really abide by thisin our daily sailing??? (not many I suspect....so, the chances are that you WILL find yourself way over-canvased and you'll need to put in a reef later than you should, and in rougher conditions that you have probably ever done!!!)

So, for the love of all you hold dear....please have your reefing systems sorted-out before you leave to cross the Atlantic!!!


--- Make darn sure your roller furlers are working smooth and easy, and all furling lines are lead fair and smooth...(I can furl my > 550 sq ft genny, sitting down at the helm, with one hand...even with some wind in the sail....if your furler isn't smooth, check it out now!!!)

Also, make sure that your genoa doesn't rub/chafe against the pulpit, lifelines, spreaders, radar radome, etc....

And, make sure you genoa cars and blocks run smooth and free (and if you have adjustable genoa cars, maker sure you can easily adjust them and that you know how/when to do so...)



--- Steering systems....
It seems that steering systems get overlooked by many....(that "hey it's worked great fro years" approach can find you with serious steering issues in the N. Atlantic!!)

Here are some FACTS...
a) If you can accomplish these 3 things, you and your boat will survive just fine..
- Keep the water on the outside of the boat...
- Keep the mast pointing up...
- Keep the sails in one piece and attached to the boat
I addressed these 3 concepts above...

b) If you can do this additional thing, you'll make it to shore just fine...
- Keep the boat pointed in the right direction (which usually requires ONLY a functioning steering system and a compass)
This is addressed by the steering system...(and having a decent steering compass...hopefully one that has been professionally deviated)

So, when it comes to steering system....while every boat is a bit different, they all have rudders and some way to turn 'em!!
Most have chain/cables, sheaves/pulleys. running from a wheel to the quadrant on the rudder post....as well as some form of self-steering / autopilot...(and hopefully an emergency tiller)

Edson is a great source of info on steering systems and their maintenance, even if you don't have an Edson steering system....
And, while I can't go over all the checks/maintenance here, just cleaning and lubing the cables and sheaves, AND tensioning the cables properly will do a LOT to improve the reliability of your steering system...

Also, the quadrant / rudder post attachment, rudder post bearings, autopilot tiller arm and autopilot drive brackets, are all things that should not only be checked but given due assessment for the significant additional stresses that the constant 24/7 use, for weeks on end, will impart on them...

Bottom line here, understand that your steering system IS going to be stressed more in one Atlantic crossing than it would be in probably 10 years of coastal sailing / island hopping, etc...
Do NOT assume all is well with it...



3) Some other thoughts about systems, items, things, etc...

--- An eastbound Atlantic crossing is not a trade-wind route, and with vessels generally leaving from the lower latitudes of the Caribbean, the SE US, and mouth of the Chesapeake, this means you're likely to be doing some windward sailing (or at least much more than those on the "Milk Run" do!)
On this eastbound passage it unlikely that you'll need to pole-out your genoa, so placing your whisker pole on the deck, stowing below, or not having one at all, will give you less weight/windage aloft and give you more room to work on rigging / sail issues at the mast, if/when they arise...



--- There are lots of things that can start being "cranky" when at sea for weeks at a time...especially when being used 24/7, and/or being subjected to the constant 24/7 motion of the sea/wind for weeks at a time...

- Your main boom gooseneck comes to mind....have a look at it now...nake sure it is secure and moves smoothly....and lubricate it well before leaving... {A true story here, when sailing on my current boat from Lanzorte, Canary to the USVI, one night my brother came up into the cockpit during my watch, in his underwear and a PFD/Harness, with a can of Boeshield and some paper towels....he proceeded to tell me his "plan" to stop the "frigging creaking" of the gooseneck so he could get some sleep!!! (the head of his bunk was right next to the mast)....I watched from the cockpit as he carefully made his way along the jacklines, and to the mast and secured him self to the padeyes there....and then spent just a few seconds spraying Boeshield on the gooseneck and pin...as I pulled the sheet in and let it out, a few times....he went below and went to sleep....a week and half later (after 3 days of sailing thru Tropical Storm Olga), we were eating fresh lobster in Anegada, before heading to St. Thomas....I checked the gooseneck before we left Gibraltar, but I hadn't lubed it....it took a week or two at sea to make "creak"...}

- Other things are macerator pumps, watermakers, hose clamps and plumbing fittings, etc...
- Even some electrical connections may have issues....poor wiring crimps, loose terminal screws, etc.

Remember that 2 - 3 weeks of 24/7 offshore sailing with good wind in the sails will cause issues, and possibly do more damage, than a 5+ years of normal sailing / coastal cruising / island hopping....this is often a surprise to some, but it is a fact!!!




4) There are many more things, but I need to move on to weather, etc...
You'll notice I didn't even mention weather in any of the above...strange you think???
Not really....because if you can't keep the sea water on the outside, keep the mast up, keep the sails in one piece, and keep the boat pointing in the correct direction...then any talk of weather / weather systems is moot!!!

So, PLEASE read over the brief synopsis above, again....and understand it, before reading my thoughts on weather systems...

Okay....now onto the good stuff...
(and, understand that even I can't write everything here...at least not in one sitting


a) Jack Tyler (who wrote this wonderful page about Atlantic crossings) is a MUCH better writer than I am!!!
And, even though he wrote this 11 years ago, it is still valid...
So, read his thoughts/observations/advice thoroughly...
Routes to the Azores


b) If I could get across only 5 points about weather, to those prepping for an Atlantic crossing, they would be:
1 --- There is no such thing as a "weather window" to sail across the Atlantic...(nothing wrong with waiting for nice weather and decent forecast, before departing...but after a few days, you'll simply be sailing with the weather that's out there, and use what weather info you have to improve your VMG and comfort...accept that now and don't worry!!!)


2 --- In the past decade or two, tropical weather detection and forecasting has gotten a LOT better, especially in the past 5 years or so...
So, all the old adages about "getting out of dodge" before a hurricane hits, is just old/out-dated whooey!!!
You do NOT need to leave in the springtime in order to avoid tropical weather / hurricanes!!
(yes, many on the west side of the Atlantic wish to cruise northern Europe, or even the Med, in the summertime, so they want to leave the US or Caribbean early enough to "not miss summer"....but that does NOT need to be April / May...)
Fact is you CAN sail eastbound across the Atlantic for Europe/Med, in June and July just fine!! (I've done it myself...as have many others..)

So, pick your departure / crossing time according to when/where you may wish to arrive and cruise...AND based on when continental weather systems are diminishing that particular year....
(this can mean a departure in May, or June or July....)
But, do NOT pick your departure / crossing dates based on some arbitrary dates set by others (such as rallies), nor on some out-dated and often very ill-conceived recommendations from guide books, or boat-show seminars....(ask the guy/gal giving the seminar, when was their last Atlantic crossing, and from where-to-where, at what days/time of year, etc. and of course how many they've made...)
Remember this is not a trade-wind Milk Run, so even the normal west-about circumnavigators can have erroneous info for an eastbound Atlantic crossing...(ever wonder why most sail west around in warm weather???)

Further, most insurance underwriters are MUCH more concerned that you'll actually make it to Europe unscathed, than they are of your exact departure dates....but in any case, most would just not cover you for "tropical windstorms" if you are south of 31*N, between July 1st and Nov 1st....
So, there should be NO insurance issues to worry about...


3 --- Pick your route across based on YOUR departure point, YOUR planned destination, and the YOUR weather (upon departure and while enroute)...
If leaving from the SE US, yes take advantage of the Gulf Stream as best you can (still sailing with the wind that you have, of course), but do not be over concerned about "eddy's" as they DO move around a lot, and the chances of finding a favorable one is slim...

Do NOT make a beeline for 38* - 40* and head east (unless your exact weather at that time forces you to)...but rather understand that with today's sailboats and today's weather forecasts, there is NO reason to venture so far north, especially if heading for the Med!!! (and not even if heading for the Azores!!)

Do NOT pick your route based on some arbitrary routing set by others (such as rallies or "weather routers"), nor on some out-dated and often very ill-conceived recommendations from guide books, or boat-show seminars....
(ask the guy/gal giving the seminar, when was their last Atlantic crossing, and from where-to-where, at what days/time of year, etc. and of course how many they've made...)


4 --- Understand that there is a wealth of weather information and forecasts easily available to you at sea, for FREE (and of course also available on-line when you're prepping/planning)...
These are synoptic weather charts....surface charts, wind/wave charts, and upper air charts....prepared by trained/experienced ocean meteorologists (who, in the US anyway, sign their own name to each forecast!!)
For LOTS of details, please have a look at these threads/discussions....

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f121/favorite-nav-wx-websites-121548.html#post1479096

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/obtaining-accurate-offshore-hi-seas-weather-data-forecasts-while-at-sea-103555.html


And, understand that these are NOT Grib's (which are the raw computer model data, with no human interaction, nor editing, etc.), but these synoptic charts are real weather charts, drawn by trained/experienced ocean meteorologists...and are used daily by 1000's of professional mariners and ships at sea, and by 1000's of sailors on private sailboats as well...



5 --- Understand that the "continental weather" coming off N. America, has a significant effect on an eastbound Atlantic crossing, until the Bermuda/Azores High has built-in and become stationary (which can happen as early as May, or as late as August...but typically by late June...)
So, if crossing the Atlantic from the US to Europe earlier than late June, be very aware that it is this "continental weather" behind you that can come up and kick 'ya in the butt...
The fronts and their associated Lows diminish in intensity as you get later in the season....they can be a real bitch in April...still a bit fierce in May...and while usually even less intense in June, they can still pack a wallop!!
{end of June 2007, caught in a full Gale as I headed east about 75-100 miles north of Bermuda....we got just the tail end of it and had only 12 hours of winds of 40-45kts, and only 24 hours of winds 30-35kts....boats just 100 - 200 miles to my NE, had 50kts+ for > 24 hours....and these are NOT tropical systems, but continental Lows (cold-core Lows) carried swiftly along on a front....and this is at the end of June!!!
BTW, just 3 - 4 days later, on 4th of July....we were all but be-calmed!!!
The Atlantic was as smooth as a bathtub all day long....we listened to some music, while trying to keep my 1400+ sq ft asym filled with air...after 4+ hours averaging 1.5kts, and after looking at the new weather faxes, I cranked up the Yanmar and we went looking for wind...found it about dinner time, and before dark we were sailing along just fine....TRUE story!!}




5) Finally there is the "communications" issue/debate....
This is actually my forte....and with 40 some years experience with it, I better be pretty damn good at it, or I'd be a idiot for commenting on it!!

I think I'll simply write another post specifically about communications on the high seas, etc...

But, 'til then...I'll post a few basic concepts here, along with some VERY IMPORTANT links.....


As for who to contact if you do get in trouble (i.e. need to declare a Mayday / Distress), contact EVERYONE!!!

And, in order:
1- Activate your EPIRB...(will alert COSPAS-SARSAT and then relevant RCC's)

2- Send out a DSC-Distress on your DSC-Radios (VHF-DSC and HF-DSC)....(note that this will alert all vessels in your area...and when more than 100 -200 miles offshore the US, etc. it is these other vessels that will come to your assistance / rescue!!!)

3- Send a Distress via INMARSAT-C...(will alert other vessels in your region as well as that regions RCC's)

Only after those systems have been used, would alternative measures be recommended...such as a sat phone call, InReach device, Spot device, etc...
And, then only if within a a mile or two, try flares / horns, etc...


If you get in trouble, but do NOT require rescue / are NOT in distress, the ONLY way to signal for assistance / information / etc. from other vessels is via DSC-Radio....
This will put you in touch with other vessels (and/or shore stations) directly, and allow you to speak with them directly....
Inform them of your troubles, seek assistance, etc...
And, you can actually get help (water, diesel, food, medical advice/assistance, etc.) from these other vessels right there in your area....remember a big container ship running at 20 - 24 kts can cover 500-600 miles in a day...so what might seem like an unobtainable distance (of say 100 miles) can be covered in a few hours, and give you the assistance you require before anyone on shore can even find out who is out there to assist you!!!!



--- EVERY vessel/sailboat must have a VHF-DSC radio, programmed with a gov't issued MMSI#, and connected to a GPS....(I recommend a dedicated GPS for the DSC radios, and recommend leaving this VHF-DSC radio and GPS running 24/7 while at sea...)



--- I recommend that you have a 406mhz, that is properly and recently registered...preferably one that has its own built-in GPS (sometimes called a "GPIRB"...)
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Please read this thread/discussion, and read the pages that have links provided...
Knowing this information can save your life, or someone else's....and it'll only take you a few minutes!!!
(the Grain de Soleil" incident was what prompted me to investigate further and write the above thread...)


---- If you desire to have long communications on-board (whether for weather info/forecasts, safety, distress, ship-to-ship communications, ship-to-shore telephone calls, etc.), I recommend an Icom M-802 HF-DSC-SSB radio....
Please read these threads/discussions, and watch the videos!!!
Knowing this information can save your life, or someone else's....and it'll only take you a few minutes!!!


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-m-802-instr-videos-basic-adv-and-live-dsc-distress-call-114734.html

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!




Again, PLEASE read these threads/discussions, and read the pages that have links provided....and watch the videos!!!
Knowing this information can save your life, or someone else's....and it'll only take you a few minutes!!!
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-m-802-instr-videos-basic-adv-and-live-dsc-distress-call-114734.html




Trying to contact an RCC via sat phone can be VERY problematic....and especially so if they're 1st language is not the same as your 1st language!!!

The ONLY way to signal other vessels for advice/information/assistance is via DSC-Radio...(since Jan 1999)
VHF-DSC when within VHF radio range....and HF-DSC when outside VHF radio range....


The ONLY way to signal shore stations (other than the USCG) for advice/information/assistance is via DSC-Radio...
VHF-DSC when within VHF radio range....and HF-DSC when outside VHF radio range....
(the best way to signal the USCG is via DSC-radio)


The best way to signal a Distress / Rescue is via EPIRB, DSC-Radio, and INMARSAT-C....(these are all parts of the GMDSS)

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/marcomms/2MHzDistressWatchkeepingClosureSafetyAlert.pdf



A couple excerpts from USCG radio watch keeping regs...

GMDSS regs are the same/similar....



Use of NAVTEX is almost ubiquitous in Europe and it does provide decent current weather info and 24 hour forecasts for the Med, etc.
But as you know it only provides weather info for near-offshore waters out to about 200 miles offshore...so while it's good in Europe and the Med and then only for short-term forecasts, it's not of too much use when crossing the Atlantic...




Yeah, there is more (especially regarding communications), but I gotta' go for the moment...


Fair winds to all..


John
s/v Annie Laurie

C470 Projects by Boat Name
KA4WJA - Callsign Lookup by QRZ.COM


As I wrote above....it's a LONG read, but informative!


FYI, some addition references....
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr

EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)


I hope some find the info useful...



Fair winds...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 14:07   #41
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

I have looked up last week's worth of North Atlantic NOAA radiofaxes (weatherfax) and clearly the situation was beyond simple. For those who decided on an early crossing, it had to be very tough.

The wind was probably not the major factor but consecutively passing cells and fronts sure made a hell of sea state out there. It is nearly always the sea state that does the critical damage.

The two boats mentioned sure look like they should be up to the job anyways.

BTW on this side of the pond we would not call an Atlantic loop a circumnavigation. This word is often reserved for rtw trips.

Any more info on the Dutch, US and Swedish boats?

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 14:10   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Oeiras, Portugal
Posts: 1
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

The helicopter was a EH-101 Merlin. The mission took 12 hours, 930Km south of the Azores (this information is from the Portuguese Air Force Official website: Esquadra 601 localiza náufragos no meio do oceano | Força Aérea Portuguesa)
__________________
mariof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 14:15   #43
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Currently Indiantown FL
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 1,847
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA_sailing View Post
That was my thinking but wasn't sure if being deployed off the stern instead of the bow changed the effect on the vessel. Haven't had the pleasure of ever deploying one or being offshore for that matter. Thanks for the input.

Better to try it out now instead of waiting for storm conditions. Next time your out running downwind, tow rope over the stern and see how the boat reacts.


We've used lines looped two times and our Seabrake drogue once. The two times trailing lines were to help stability and control on the autopilot and not survival situation. The drogue was used when we were coming back across the Atlantic, regularly hitting low teens and getting really, really close to broaching.

Matt
__________________
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
funjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 15:19   #44
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Ka4, I was speaking with Jimmy a few months ago regarding the best time for that passage and he was pretty clear that he thought May was the absolute earliest and strongly advised against leaving Bermuda or the leewards before the beginning of May. He also states in World cruising routes the best time as May-July.
Nick, the family on the L400 were planning a circumnavigation and changed plans, maybe the swan was returning from a circumnavigation via the Caribbean. I guess more news to follow..
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 15:25   #45
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Portugal W.Coast
Boat: Fun&sporty Cat but looking for the one....
Posts: 17
Re: 2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?

Hi, I just saw it on the news here, so I´ll try to get you the information we are getting here in Portugal. It´s my 1st post, and translation is not easy in another language, so bear with me:

Our Coast Guard is saying conditions were Severe.
There were at least 2 capcized boats

According to our Navy, in this operation were used:
2 C-295M Airplanes
1 EH 101 Merlin helicopter
1 PC-3 Orion Airplane
1 C 130 J from the american coast guard that was in the Azores

The rescue mission took about 12 hours under 50Kn winds and 33ft seas, aparently conditions had been worse but by the time these news images were taken the weather had calmed down to half of what it was.

First distress calls were recieved in Azores 2 AM on the 6th April.
At 1 AM on the 7th 3 of the 5 rescue missions were completed, and ongoing operations ; 2 sailboats / 6 sailors(2 childs) still to go.

The Lagoon 400 Rêves D´ô was 500nm / 930Km south of the Azores with 2 adults and 2 children.
The M. Ship Yuan Fu Star from Hong Kong was asked to go to the crash site, arriving at 4 AM and rescuing the mother and the 9y old boy from a life raft.
Apparently the sailboat had just sunk recently but the husband and 6 y old girl were not able to get in to the life raft and were adrift.
The Portuguese airforce deployed the P-C3 Orion to the site to try to locate them.
2 hours later at first light, they were able to spot them and threw them a survival kit. The Spanish Hospital ship Ezperanza del Mar got to they´re position at 9:30h and rescued them but moments after the litle girl would not resist the hipothermia.

So, this is all I could get and "verify", there is also some more unconfirmed information but i won´t put it over here because it will just fuel speculation.

Very sad news news over here in Portugal, I ask you please to avoid all speculation if you can. Phrases like : it doesn´t seem that bad, I would wait it out, ocean capable it is not etc, just hurts those that survived this thing ! .........and will keep them from telling us what/how it happened, so in the end it´s our loss of important learning information.

I can not even imagine the pain of those parents.

A4
__________________

__________________
aqu4tro is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Azores, azores

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: Panama to Fl and Fl to Azores to Gib 2015 firstmatejac Crew Archives 10 21-03-2015 19:24
Crew Available: 2015 Is My Year To Cruise. Looking For More Experience onebigadventure Crew Archives 3 06-11-2014 19:13
Crew Wanted: Year in the Med 2015 on a Hanse 505 Hanse Sailor Crew Archives 13 17-03-2014 15:17



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.