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Old 02-11-2011, 08:15   #16
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

Familiarity also breeds children, but that is for another forum. Like you Still Hopefull, the further I get from the rest of the herd, the better I like it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:24   #17
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

By far the most dangerous place I have seen isn't offshore but in and around Peanut Island and the Palm Beach Inlet on any major holiday weekend.

So many %^&*@I idiots.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:27   #18
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

For me, being out of sight of land is a completely different experience than being able to see it. I know I'm out there when I need to sight the compass to know which direction I'm headed.

There was a recent thread where someone was asking the forum's confirmation for a scheme to get rid of his binnacle compass, since he considered it obsolete technology. I didn't reply, because had I done so I would have typed something incendiary, like, "Dude, you need to get away from land once in a while."
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:34   #19
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
For me, being out of sight of land is a completely different experience than being able to see it. I know I'm out there when I need to sight the compass to know which direction I'm headed.

There was a recent thread where someone was asking the forum's confirmation for a scheme to get rid of his binnacle compass, since he considered it obsolete technology. I didn't reply, because had I done so I would have typed something incendiary, like, "Dude, you need to get away from land once in a while."
+1 in all respects, concerning the magic of being out of sight of land, and concerning compasses.


If the OP's original question was about what is really dangerous about sailing -- that answer is easy -- if we're talking about the risk of death. Sailing is actually pretty safe, statistically. And I would bet that near 99% of all accidental deaths from sailing come from falling overboard. If you want to be afraid, rationally, then your Number 1 fear should be that someone might, God forbid, fall overboard. And your fears Numbers 2 and 3, too. If you cruise in cold water, you can add fears 4 through 10. Nothing else comes close, for danger to human life while sailing.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:04   #20
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

The most dangerous waters I've sailed in were the Gulf of Aden.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:14   #21
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

I wasn't thinking of human threats when answering the question. I went into Mogadishu on a container ship, and we were fired upon with mortars as we were leaving the harbor. Since then I have made all port calls through out the middle east, and I currently work in the Gulf of Benin, which has almost weekly pirate attacks and a mean 1.5 knot current that runs most of the time. I guess what differentiates it for me is the pirate attack are random and the ocean always requires the greatest respect.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:51   #22
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

My home sailing area is known as "The Gravyard of the Pacific"

Columbia Rver Bar and coast of OR/WA. Thousands have lost thier lives here.

Big waves, strong winds, frigid water, lee shore, strong currents, shallow bars. Anything else would be boring..
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:59   #23
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

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I think it is specifically BECAUSE of the possibility of storms. Heavy storms. Strong winds. Big waves. Things that are difficult to deal with in any small boat, no matter how well prepared you are. And those who have never been through it are also never quite sure how well prepared they are.

Head out on a 20-30 day crossing and you are heading out into the unknown. Doesn't matter how may weather forecasts you check before you go, they just aren't that accurate beyond 5-7 days. So things could change and a completely un-forecast storm could catch you. And when you're 10 days sailing time away from the nearest help, you are completely on your own.

I think that's why people "worry" about long, blue-water passages. Maybe "worry" is the wrong word, but trying to plan and prepare for the worst is the prudent thing to do when thinking about such a passage. Yes, the actual dangers are probably more numerous and immediate in coastal cruising. But when a Coast Guard SAR helicopter is only an hour away after you set off your EPIRB, the consequences don't seem to require as much planning on your part.
Bad weather dosent have to be an issue if you do a little homework.. a Barometer, an Aluminac, and a couple simple books on weather forcasting, and a good eye.. you can pretty much be your own weather forcaster.
And even thou you mght not be able to "out-run" the storm, you can shurly put yourself in a position where the wether is favorable..
Its not nessessary to have all the modern electronics and weather fax's to plot a corse around a storm.. Just like a sextant, seems very complicated until you put it to use..
We have a good barometer at the nave station, with pin points on the face for tracking the preasure, and have sailed as far as 100 miles off our rumm line to avoid a storm.. and knew about the oncomming weather more than 24 hours ahead of the storm front..
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:03   #24
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

short intervals and huge boxy seas-- ie, close to shore, has not ever made me comfy --i like 100 miles out where is nicer and wIthout the chop of rebounding seas from coast/shore. smoother and better fishing and not a lot of folks. rarely see traffic. NIIIICE!!!

that also goes for gulf of mexico, where is always a bit choppy due to the formation of the surface of the earth under the water.....built like a washing machine and is like sailing in a norge.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:12   #25
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

Basically,
#1: people scare the **** out of me.
#2: coastal cruising can be terrifying alone.

Just remember that you can drown 5 ft from dock or 500 miles at sea...hardly any difference...**** happens.
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Old 02-11-2011, 14:59   #26
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Re: Most Dangerous Sailing / Boating Is Coastal, Not Offshore

I have to echo Piney, crossing the Columbia river bar is some of the most frightening water around if you get there at the wrong time or just before the right time. Only time I ever grabbed my survival suit and ran for the pilot house.
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Old 02-11-2011, 15:04   #27
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Re: Most Dangerous Sailing / Boating Is Coastal, Not Offshore

Bernard Moitessier called the coastline "the great whore"; it attracts sailors during a storm but is in fact highly dangerous.......

Smart man old Bernie....
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Old 02-11-2011, 15:27   #28
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Re: Most Dangerous Sailing / Boating Is Coastal, Not Offshore

Not sure if this comes under the dangerous label, confusing yes, coastal yes. On the Hauraki I was sailing back to Auckland from the Great Barrier Island on a downwind run under full spinnaker. About five miles off Rangitoto I saw a fleet of racers coming straight at me all with spinnakers flying. They were about two miles away. The weather forecast that morning had been for variable winds. IMO they don't get more variable than that.
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Old 02-11-2011, 15:30   #29
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Re: Most dangerous sailing/boating

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Hell. There are plenty times that I'd love to lose human contact for a while. Actually I think that might be one of the main reasons I would like to be able to go sailing. I don't always play well with the other kids.
Yup!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 15:32   #30
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Re: Most Dangerous Sailing / Boating Is Coastal, Not Offshore

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About five miles off Rangitoto I saw a fleet of racers coming straight at me all with spinnakers flying. They were about two miles away. The weather forecast that morning had been for variable winds. IMO they don't get more variable than that.
What would one expect near and about the land of ODD?
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