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Old 30-09-2003, 12:34   #1
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Ghost Ships in Hurricane Marty???

This picture stolen from, and the story plagerized from Bajainsider.com


This is one of the most haunting images from the Hurricane Marty... The vessel with the shreaded head sail is underway...At the time, the name of this vessel was unknown, but many saw here sailing out of harbor... After the passing of the eye, the 130MPH winds from the south began. Vessels from Marina Abaroa and Marina de La Paz started crashing into each other, now all moving to the north. "Magic Moon" as it was later found out to be, was 'sailing' out of the marinas.

Radio reports began circulating of this ketch running bare pole out of Ensenada La Paz with from 1 to 4 persons onboard. It was later discovered "Magic Moon's" phantom crew had been just that. No One was steering the boat...

Under only the guidance of the wind, she passed through all the pilings, the other boats, and down the narrow, curving channel, over the sand bar and out to sea. She should have had to "jibe" numerous time to navigate down the channel, change heading about 90 degrees to the port to head out of the channel, and then change course again about 90 degrees to head towards the Island where she ended up... She was later found wrecked on Espiritu Santos (Sainted Spirits) some 15 miles north. With all the sightings and the irony of her final destination, was someone or "something" at the helm in her final voyage home? And they wonder why sailors are a superstious bunch...

Trippy Huh?

Have you heard any "Ghost Stories" relating to crusiers?

PS...In case you didn't hear, and many didn't in the US, hurricane MARTY hit Mexico just shortly after Isabel hit the US...I would guess thats why the US media didn't cover it...It was officially a catagory 3 when it hit La Paz...Officially cat 3, but friends of mine there registered 140+ wind speeds...so, maybe a 4....
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a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

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Old 30-09-2003, 19:28   #2
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Riding out the storm

This brings me to a question that I have wondered about for along while. Personally, I have never been in a storm on a vessel smaller than a 300,000 ton ship (typhoons in the S. Pacific). But why is it that all the vessels that I hear of in a storm had no crew on board. Or is it that the news just doesn't report it.
Anyway, if my vessel were threaten of getting washed ashore I think I would be on board trying my best to avoid that happening. One heck of a big anchor with lots of chain sitting on the windward side of everyone else riding out the storm with my motor well tuned ready to start up if need be. I don't understand why someone would let a 100-500 thousand dollar yacht go a drift. Marinas are no place for a large vessel in a storm. I understand that some might be too far away or that some just let the insurance handle it or even some have so much money that a few hundred thousand is nothing.

Am I missing something????????
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Old 30-09-2003, 19:56   #3
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delmarrey...With a ship as you discribe, the decision is easy: Head out to sea...but a 40 or 50 foot boat is not a large vessel...the choices are not so easy with a 40 or 50 foot boat and your (60 year old) wife as your only crew...I have many friends who decided to do different things in the face of this hurricane: Some moved into marinas...some moved out and anchored...Some tried to out run the hurricane, some hauled their boats up on the hard...I don't believe there is one "right" thing to do with a small craft in a hurricane... It is true that more boats are lost in shore to a hurricane, but more LIVES are lost aboard boats at sea in a hurricane... I can replace any object, even my beloved "Faithful". You can't really anchor on the windward side for more than half the hurricane...once the eye passes, the wind clocks 180 degrees so, all the sudden you are on the Lee! The motor can help alot, unless / until you pick up one of the hundred lines that are now floating free in the water...and if you've got a line in your prop, and your anchor is dragging, and you've got 100 other small boats doing the same thing, and no one available to come to your aid, because they got thier own headaches, and THEN the winds clcoks: It comes just as hard at you from 180 degrees...now you aren't dragging anchor anymore, it's broke free and ...and...anmd NOW WHAT!!! AHHHHH!!!

Here's an e-mail I got from a good couple of friends...They decided to come in and go to a marina, and he is a very good seaman and charter captain for the "Moorings" there...they, (by luck or skill?) went into the only marine that wasn't destroyed...


Skipper & Crew of the Faithful,
We beat a rapid track to Palmira and escaped without a scratch on our new paint! Loren from "Tenacity" and another boat from the V.M. came down with us and had a pretty tough night. Fortunately, they had Mike making sure they were tied up well so as to protect our boat. But Marina de La Paz is a disaster area with boats sunk, crashed into the rock wall and piled on top of each other. When the wind was from the north in ranges from 75-113 (!) knots, the docks from MdLP broke loose and went into Aboroa. Then when it clocked, all the boats from both marinas came crashing back through MdLP and it was havoc. People were on the radio BEGGING for someone to come to help them on thier boat. It was just horrible! They were just begging! It was heartbreaking! Jerry and Candy had just bought another boat ( Danzante') but still had "Makai". They took both boats into MdLP to keep them safe and lost them both. They lost both thier boats! Over seventy-two boats are damaged or sunk. "Magic Moon" ended up totalled on a beach on Espiritu Santu yesterday. Everyone is walking around in a daze or crying. We are suffering from survivor's guilt, I think! Thank you for thinking about us...I am convinced that all those prayers from friends did the trick! Trulah A. is fine on her stantions, as is Moonshadow also on the hard,..which seemed to be the safest place this hurricane...In hurricane Julliette the only boats lost were on the hard! These hurricanes just don't make sense...Slade lucked out... He had just left to go to North Carolina to see his mother, and put his boat on the hard or she would have been totally ruined. Puerto Escondito was hit really bad too. It was just AWFUL! But we survived. I hope we will See you soon? Tonya & Mike


Check out [url]www.Bajainsider.com, follow the links and get some other direct hand knowledge of one man who went through trying to stay with "Novia", which wasn't even his boat, and when she was holed by another boat he had to figure out how to get off and save his life!

INMO, There is no "common" knowledge about how to deal with a hurricane, there are different hurricane strategy though...I've been through three on boats and I've done them all at anchor, but only because putting the boat somewhere and taking my family ashore somewhere safe was never an option...Faithful her self has been through many hurricanes, on the water and on the hard, but we have been lucky...She went through this Marty on the hard.

A stinking Gale or Storm blowing up? Let me out a here! I'm putting out to sea..."A hurricane? Geez...ahhh...I've seen them pick boats right up a hurrle them the length of a football field...Maybe I'll get off while I can, cause I know I can't get off once the dance starts"....

Lotsa questions go through ones head...try to answer these...remember, when you answer these questions for yourself, this hurricane wasn't even predicted to come anywhere near where it went...it blew up out of no where in a couple days, and you've heard on all the nets, your weather fax, and all the place you get info, that it will head up into the north pacific and peter out...Remember, you are in a third world country and you DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE WEATHER CHANNEL!

1. What actions would you have taken concerning the protection of your boat within the last week/ couple days you do have and when do you think you would have done these things?

2. How likely are you to have stayed here, compared to leaving for some place else. Keep in mind that your options have been:

2.1 Stay here and secure the boat, hoping for the best. (Apparently the favorite option for most boat owners. Most small boat owners elect to take thier chances in a marina if they can)

2.2 Head South to stay out of the way of the hurricane. It is really too late to consider this option now, but you could have done that at any time in the last week. But, even if you had a second sense that this storm was going to come, where would you head? Cabo San Lucas? Mazatlan...remember, once this storm got to Mexico, they modeled it to to track right up the sea of cortez at 25 knots, so that direction isn't even an option...

2.3 Find a very secure place to anchor and secure for the storm. (Almost none of the local marinas will let you tie up to their docks during a hurricane, if you break free, you aren't going there... if you are in one do you leave?)

3.4 Pull your boat out of the water and see what happens. (This has some risks in the event of a direct hit, and you will not be sure how soon after the hurricane that you would be able to put it back into the water. And you may not be able to get it hauled in time anyway)

3. How would your answers be different if you were just passing through, compared to if you actually lived here? How about your crew...how do they affect your choices...

Deciding what to do with your boat in a hurricane is pretty tough, especially if it is your only home!

I've secured many boats for hurricanes over the years. I've also run from storms, too. No matter the case, I have always done one thing: Pulled my pucker string tight and prayed for some luck... I couldn't say what I would do in the next one...if God forbid I find myself in one again...These hurricanes are so frightening on a small boat...If you choose to anchor out because you though it made the most sense, understanding that when the Sh** hits the fan, there will be no one to help out, I would fully support your call...But, I would not be inclined to second guess any skippers call, unless it was just plain stupid or dangerous...and I have scores of friends who lost there boat in Marty, and I bet they made the best choice at the time...I believe they would change there choice here, now, today....hind sight is 20/20...If there was always one right way to do it, that's how everyone would do it always...

Man...sorry this got to be so long I never should have taught myself to type!
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a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

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Old 30-09-2003, 23:41   #4
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I guess that answers that!

Everyone needs to make their own choice on how to handle what's coming at them given time, place and what's available.
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Old 01-10-2003, 04:38   #5
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BARRETT:
Excellent post!!!
Sorry to learn of the devastation.

If you're moored (dock or anchor) during a hurricane (or storm), I'd offer the following:
1. Do all you can - anchors, chafeing gear, remove windage, seal openings, etc...
2. Then GET OFF the boat, if there is anywhere (at all) safe ashore.

I quote BRADBARRET:
"...Maybe I'll get off while I can, cause I know I can't get off once the dance starts"...."

I've abandoned ship in a full storm, and can promise you - it aint easy!

Once she starts "honkin", there isn't much you can do. Try puting you boat in gear @ 2500 RPM, then try to pull (by hand) against the prop'. Tough, eh?
On most boats, this represents an equivilent to something like 25-30 Kts of wind. Wind force is factoral with wind speed (60 Kts = 4 times the force of 30 Kts).
OMO & FWIW
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Old 01-10-2003, 09:51   #6
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Re: Ghost Ships in Hurricane Marty???

Quote:
[i]PS...In case you didn't hear, and many didn't in the US, hurricane MARTY hit Mexico just shortly after Isabel hit the US...I would guess thats why the US media didn't cover it...It was officially a catagory 3 when it hit La Paz...Officially cat 3, but friends of mine there registered 140+ wind speeds...so, maybe a 4
Well I was actually in Cabo San Lucas when Marty hit and Category 1 is more like it. Still nothing to mess with but no way were winds 140 or even 100. Peaks of 80 are more the case.
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Old 01-10-2003, 10:00   #7
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I'm sure your correct Paul, for Cabo San Lucas it may have been a 1...My friends who's e-mail is above, and I know them well and trust there on board equipment, say thier aneometer it was what 75- 113..."Officially" of course it was a 3 when it directly hit La Paz..., I could be wrong,it didn't directly hit Cabo did it? I was told there was virtually no damage,and know boats affected at CSL??...To your experience, was that True???Did cabo take a direct hit? I would be interested in hearing about that...
Anyway, as you say 80 knots is still alot...and as Gord touches on above, 80 knots is not just "twice as powerful" as 40 knots! What ever the unofficial wind speeds, in La Paz and all the way up to San Carlos on the Mailand side, Marty did some pretty bad damage!
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I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

See the Faithful...
www.geocities.com/bradleybarrett
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:42   #8
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The damage is Cabo was not huge on a destroyed building type of scale. Winds of about 80 mph don't seem to flaten structures like over 100 mph winds do. Most of the serious damage was from poorly built drainage systems. Washed out things of all descriptions and places where water could not escape in a reasonable manner. The types of flying debris and building damage I saw when I was down looking at Hurricane Andrew was way more serious and those wind speeds were more along the lines of what sustained 100 mph winds can do. Yes, 80 mph is not just twice as bad as 40 mph and 100 mph even a greater difference. 100+ mph peels the asphalt shingles off a brand new 6-12 roof.

Even though your friends measured a gust of 117 mph (I would trust the max reading on a wind instrument) I can't see how it Could have been sustained. 80 sustained is more like what I saw (it was dark when it hit so you don't see a whole lot). geographic features can also cahnnel winds in small areas to make more damage.

Cabo is maybe 85 miles due south of where your friends were. The storm had a general track of north along the Pacific coast with a bit of a eastern hook as it neared the Baha. It was a category 3 out on the water but it very quickly dropped intensity as it moved north and first touched land. I don't see how it could have been that much different that short distance away. By comparison the destruction back at my house in VA from Isabele in terms of wind speed damage was pretty close to what I saw in Cabo. What I did not see in Cabo was the damage from storm surges like we had here nor the fallen trees. The low lying areas on sothern end of the Chesapeake took some heavy damage from downed trees and 4 -5 ft of storm surge spiced up with some waves of large proportions. Faltened buildings were not at all common even in the worst hit areas.

Both storms did a lot of damage from flowing water. The sandy soil on the Baha and on the Chesapeake both erode exceptionally fast when you pound water on it. Here near me I know of places where gently sloping land to the shore was taken back 50 ft and now is an 8 ft cliff right out the back door of folks along the York River.

The destruction of Marty was pretty severe though the fact that it was not near an economic or population center seemed to take away any of the news coverage. A major storm shutting down Washington DC gathers world attention. The poorer people in the Baha and here out at the end of Guinea Neck, VA don't seem to catch many CNN headlines even if they took it a lot harder than politicians did. The seriousness of a storm is also political.
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:31   #9
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Brad,

Great story and pic. Thanks for posting it

Another interesting tale:

In the misty dawn of January 31, 1921, a Coast Guardsman on watch at the Cape Hatteras Life-Saving Station sighted a mighty five-masted schooner, all sails set, wrecked on the treacherous Diamond Shoals. Rescuers rushed to the ship, but when they arrived they found the Carroll A. Deering deserted, with no trace of the captain, Willis B. Wormell, or the crew. When, several months later, a bottle was found on a nearby beach, purportedly containing a note from a crew member who ascribed the schooner's fate to its capture by pirates, a sensational panic in international shipping ensued. The captain's daughter successfully lobbied for a federal investigation, but months of inquiry failed to turn up either the missing crew or a reason for the ship's demise. To this day, the fate of the Deering has remained one of the greatest mysteries of maritime history.


Bland Simpson assembles the known facts into a compelling reconstruction of the Carroll A. Deering's final voyage and its baffling aftermath. Using contemporary sources including newspapers, FBI reports, ship's logs, and personal and official correspondence, he weaves together historical narrative with the voices of key participants in the drama. Simpson's haunting chronicle keeps the story of the Deering alive, an apt memorial to the ghost ship and its lost crew.

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