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Old 14-01-2007, 13:32   #46
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I hesitate to add anything to my original post on this thread in that I think he did the right thing, for him.

Turning back to what little we know (or were told) about what happened, my understanding is that he was running under solely a Staysail when she rolled.

As someone who intends to be buying a Staysail (see one of previous threads!), I was quite surprised to read this. My Thinking was that this was a sail you put up when everything is already set and you need / want a bit more "oomph"...........and it is not a heavy weather sail. The last sail up and the first one down?

My thinking is that this sail would not have been reefable and more importantly would have raised the COG and although with no other sails up she may well not be overcanvassed ordinarily, due to the shape of the sail any large gusts would not neccesarily have spilled so easily as from a Mainsail (whether reefed or not).

My thinking is that with the sea state he describes (waves / swell from 3 directions) that a large gust coupled with the sea state (I hate the word "Freak" ) may have laid her over and then coupled with a certain combination of wave actions may have tipped her past the point of no return...........and maybe her having lost a bit of weight when the Bilge Keels were removed made the last bit of difference??

Please do correct any errors / misconceptions. Not that I am intending to go that far south
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Old 14-01-2007, 14:19   #47
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Originally Posted by Kai Nui
Cavu, assessing the situation and taking actions to secure the vessel and assess the options is what I woul have done. I am assuming Ken did that.
You know what they say when you assume.

Then I assume the picture of all that stuff hanging in the water is your assessment of securing the vessel.

I would have pulled it onboard for possible use or cut it free.
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Old 14-01-2007, 15:07   #48
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Way too much info to find a good Quote.So,CAVU,Why don't you start a seperate thread on survival at sea and offer online courses.You sound so 1,2,3 about how and what you would do in any given situation.I AM NOT trying to inflame any arguments here and can understand both sides of the posts that have come out of this.Just maybe a few seasoned sailors out there don't have a clue as to what should/shouldn't be done.I guess also that it would be easier to be brave and to act responsable with a few sailors under ones comand,but,alone with little or no experiance to fall back on it might be a hard ask of anyone who has just had the crap scared out of him.Now for the ice cream!!I agree with ya!I think ya right,Ken should have done a bit more,I also think that Ken might have done all he could given his own experiance.All in all,he is alive,save ship/save life,save ship/save life.I think if he could have he would have done both,you would have,after all you are more experianced in such situations.Mudnut.
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Old 14-01-2007, 15:53   #49
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The Decline of Self-Reliance

As an outdoor educator and former search and rescue staffer, I've witnessed the changing nature of "outdoorsmen" through the years. Of particular concern was the emergence of cell phones on the scene. The trend toward carrying phones into the wilderness has sparked many a debate and is summed up in this quote from a NOLS risk management manual. "Never forget that a peril of portable phones is a loss of self-reliance. With the spread of cell towers and satellites, our society now has unrealistic expectations for rescues in the wilderness. Search and rescue personnel tell tales of adventurers who expect quick responses in the middle of nowhere while they sit passively and do little to help themselves."

I don't want to jump too deeply into the fray with regard to Mr Barnes' situation after the roll, but, while reading his account of the event, I kept thinking over and over, "Why are you just sitting there?" (and then the media stories that kept referring to granola bars and pop tarts - what the @# did that have to do with anything?)

The question is this. How has the emergence of modern communications devices impacted those taking to the sea? As with those venturing into the wilds on land, have we created a false sense of security by loading up boats with all the electronics to the point that we are willing to take risks that we shouldn't because we feel comfortable in our abilities to easily call for outside assistance?

(Same goes for all the boaters out there with the fancy electronic navigation goodies who'd be hard pressed to plot a position using a chart, compass, and watch, or, God forbid, resort to celestial navigation. That's another topic alltogether, though . . . )
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Old 14-01-2007, 16:08   #50
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Exactly Raven, only it's worse than that. Because of all the new stuff there are more rescues, more press coverage, then the politicians feel obliged to jump in and order licensing, registration and any other BS they can think of and we all suffer.
Anyone going away from the dock today has a far greater responsibility to keep out of trouble/get out of trouble without assistance than ever before because of the impact their actions/inactions will have on all other recreational sailors.
As an aside, I never felt the need to tell the world where I was going next, why all the press? was he raising money for charity or something?
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Old 14-01-2007, 16:34   #51
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It's just the dumbing down of sailors or those who want to be sailors. I think electronic navigation has had a lot to do with it. Going to sea and knowing where you are is so easy now. Not much effort is required. Most have never seen what the sea can do. Many have no idea of seamanship. Some learn, some don't. If you get in trouble, help is just a phone call away. It's a walk in the park. Go for it!
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Old 14-01-2007, 16:39   #52
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It's a walk in the park. Go for it!
Sounds good to me
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Old 14-01-2007, 17:23   #53
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Raven, I think the advent of the GPS more than any new long range communication has had the greatest impact on cruising. So many sailors have no clue how to dead reckon from A to B or use a sextant. Even though we had loran around the states, that system was basically a U.S./near land system. Sailors got backbones when the GPS came on the scene.

SAT phones are nice and the price is coming down. Communication before the SAT phone could be had through the SSB and numerous hams or other ways to relay. I've been involved with a DATA LINK system and we have used it for years. When it becomes marine commericially feasible communications will be easier for data transmission but this still will not be as earth shattering as the GPS. Sailors like to know where they are rather than talking to someone. JMHO.
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Old 14-01-2007, 17:32   #54
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It's amazing how many people are ready to sit behind a computer and comdemn the actions of someone who was alone, in a part of the world known for severe weather, facing a forecast storm when even before that storm hit his boat had been rolled, dismasted and disabled. It's all so easy from home isn't it?

He had some very difficult decisions to make, he made them, and he is alive to tell about it. Maybe if he had decided differently he wouldn't be.
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Old 14-01-2007, 18:19   #55
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While there are a lot of questions raised by what Mr Barnes did after the roll, I find myself wondering more about the decision that today's sailors make BEFORE embarking on a circumnavigation. Call me old-school, but I really think that such a decision should be made from the context of self-reliance and a broad base of experience and skills. Make the decision to go as if the EPIRB and Sat phone were NOT among the options. If you feel comfortable with your skills, your boat, your preparation, and the risk of being completely on your own, then, by all means, set sail and go.
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Old 14-01-2007, 18:24   #56
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Mudnut, how's it going? Great name. Kinda reminds me of Wingnut from Endless Summer. Ahhh, the good old days. To answer your question, I did teach for many, many years sea survival classes for the U.S. Navy. I moved into instructing airline pilots in simulators and teaching international flight procedures while flying for a major airline. During that time, I helped in designing and testing a system called FANS. (Future Air Navigation System).

As for getting back into training civilian sailors, too many opinions. In the Navy, students didn't question instructors. We gave them such intense training, they couldn't. They were sponges and for the most part loved what they saw and sucked it all up. No one had previous experience like this to ask questions. How many do you think were ever put in a helicopter fuselage, windows blacked out, dropped into the water and turn upside down? Better pay attention in class because the next class is real time and you must pass. We than suspended them from parachute risers attached to an I-beam on the stern of a ship and pushed down them down the beam until they fell into the water. They were than dragged behind the ship until they could get out of the harness to simulate the chute inflated and dragging them across the water. Once clear, they had to get their life raft out of a seat pan pouch and inflate it. Inside the raft, they deployed smoke, shot a flare and a helicopter swooped in and hovered overhead so they could experience the rotor wash on the water. A thumbs up and they were required to get out of the raft, grab the hoist cable, attach it to their chute harness, give a thumbs up and were hoisted up to the copter. At that point we lowered them again and left them floating until another ship picked them up. Great confidence booster for those that passed.

Nowadays, I teach an occasional captain's course and cruise whenever possible as well as commercially fishing for tuna. Would I love to teach sea survival again? Absolutely. But, if I couldn't do it at that level, it would be boring.

So nowadays, when I'm bored, I come on to a site like this, bait the moderator (his words) on a sensitive subject and give my opinions. Which, as the say, are like A-holes, everyone's got one.

If nothing else, when the subject gets heated, I do think people read more intently and think rather than skim. What happened to Ken can happen to anyone. How you handle it is up to you. I'm going down fighting and trying. Not sitting and wringing my hands while talking on a SAT phone to my girl friend who's arranging press coverage and posting on my website.

Just wait until they charge the adventurers for their rescue. This rescue did not help the sailing community. Won't happen? How did Sea-tow come about? Anyone hear the estimated price to save Ken?
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Old 14-01-2007, 18:59   #57
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Staysail

David,

Indeed, the staysail can be hoisted to an already full inventory for some extra drive. It is also used instead of a jib in higher winds. The staysail is closer to the center of the boat, and is not as tall, so there is less heeling and turning force (than with the jib), making the boat easier to balance in higher winds.

On VALIS, on a reach in low wind I fly genoa, staysail, full main. As the wind picks up the configuration I use is:
* All sail
* Roller-reef the genoa
* Main at first reef
* Furl the staysail
* Furl jib, fly staysail, main at 2'nd reef
* Main at 3'rd reef and flying staysail
* Main furled and flying staysail - this would be Ken's configuration.

I've never had to put up the storm jib (which I will run up the staysail stay), or put up the trysail, but the idea is to have the sails lower, smaller, and towards the center as the wind increases. VALIS balances nicely on staysail alone.

I have roller reefing on both headsails, but it is possible to have a reefable staysail (probably not too common, though). My genoa and staysail have two reef positions marked, and sometimes I use the second reef, but the sail shape does suffer. One some points of sail the shape is good enough to be useful when deeply reefed.

(I'm not going to touch the rest of this discussion, but it is interesting to read and wonder what I would have done in Ken's place.)

Regards,
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Old 14-01-2007, 20:37   #58
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Originally Posted by CAVU
. What happened to Ken can happen to anyone. How you handle it is up to you. I'm going down fighting and trying.

That may be your choice. Many of us would prefer not to go down (fighting or not) but to stay up and survive.
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Old 15-01-2007, 01:27   #59
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I think that is what he meant.
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Old 15-01-2007, 02:42   #60
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pretty brave

interesting discussion and it shows 2 schools of thought. Speaking first hand from someone who has lost a rig at sea you feel completely compromised. It seems no one has discussed that the lack of a mast will considerably increase the motion of the vessel at sea. Yes you could set up a temp rig and get home but honestly the Southern Ocean is a unforgiving place. Whos to say you won't get rolled over many more times? I remember reading david lewis (famous Australian sailer) discuss this in his book when he lost his mast deep in the southern ocean and how unconfortable it was. We cannot judge any mans decision for getting off his yacht - we are all different. His chances of a roll over again and more damage were high - I for one value my life over my boat. A close friend was sailing this year to Chile and turned back 12 days out due to the incredable bad weather and honestly guys this guy is New Zealand SAS and a trainer at that so he would probably kick all you tough training guys in here with one hand. The Southern Ocean is unforgiving and if it was me I probably would have done the same if your life was in danger. Some of us have spent dark nights by ourselves at sea fearing that the next wave will take us - remember that feeling (on land we sometimes forget it) and suddenly you feel that he may have made the right decision.
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