Well, what happened? This forum was active when I started reading it. As it was "recommended" that one should read the entire history
of the forum before butting in, I did just that. And to be completely fair, I went and read all of the Bumfuzzle logs
right from the beginning. Undertaking one is an epic venture in reading, let alone both. But I did it and now I find the forum's gone silent. Well I've invested a lot of time in this endeavour
, so I'm going to make my post; call it an overblown sense of entitlement or what have you, I don't care.
I hope Rhonda checks in on this. She's the one who inadvertantly played Frankenstein and gave life to this monster, but I think was denied the satisfaction of a suitable discussion of her original topic, as everyone went off on tangential rants. Hopefully, I'll add a unique opinion addressing that first post. Since it's also been stated that "tone" can not be fully appreciated from writing, I'll make the caveat that all I say here is good-natured - I have no malicious intent and no axes to grind.
First I'll state that I enjoy the Bumfuzzle logs
; they're entertaining, enlightening and even educational. We all can learn from their experiences, good or bad; their successes; and their mistakes
. There's an old airman's adage that "a wise pilot learns from the mistakes
of others, as he'll not live through learning
all of them himself." Many of Pat's and Ali's adventures parallel my own travels; it's nice to hear about the changes that have happened in some of these places over the past fifteen years. It's also nice to hear that some things haven't changed. As to their level of experience, I think the point is largely moot, but my 2-cent opinion is they prepared and researched for their trip for about a year, then got their feet wet close to home (well, in this case, Florida) before incrementally venturing further afield. I think it was a reasonable approach, as experience is the best teacher, and it's just as easy to drown in Lake Michigan as it is to drown in the Caribbean
. Could they have more experience? Sure, but couldn't we all? The reality is that you can never have enough training/knowledge/experience to handle every eventuality. At some point you have to assume the risk and strike out. I think they summed it up nicely:
'It seems like we have been here so long preparing that you start to forget what you are preparing for._ That probably explains why there are so many boats in Fort Lauderdale
that are clearly never used._ I am sure the owners started out with grand plans for all the exciting voyages they would go on, only to find themselves preparing and preparing until they finally gave up on the whole idea.'
I think it's clear from their logs that Pat and Ali are open to advice and they obviously read these forums
, presumably to learn. In the format of a forum, I think it's desirable to offer the benefit of one's experience, without judgment. Whether that advice is followed or not, it should not matter. If need be we simply agree to disagree. I emphatically disagree with those who would drag down a forum into spates of name-calling, insults and unfounded aspersions. I won't point fingers; you know who you are, and you could benefit from this article:
The Bumfuzzle logs are chock full of educational material. I could easily speak to dozens of excerpts, but I'll spare you that and address only a few. This is for the benefit of all who read it, not just the 'Fuzz. First of all, you "weigh" anchor
, not "up" it. Sorry I can't help it, but they take terminology very seriously in the Navy
. It galls me to no end to see major boat manufacturers refer to their boats' 'kitchens' and 'bathrooms.'
Next, a "cable" in the nautical sense is a measure of 200 yards; this equates to one-tenth of a nautical mile. Canadian charts
(not 'maps') and (if I remember correctly, Admiralty and Australian charts) are gridded in degrees, minutes and decimal-minutes. That means that you have a handy scale running up the side of the chart, where each tick is a cable (on the large scale ie. harbour charts); use latitude scale, not longitude. American charts
use seconds, so no handy scale and the added conversion challenge if your GPS
can't display in DMS.
My last point from their logs is their June 05 crossing of the Clarence River bar:
'Then just as we entered the runway we saw a huge wave about 75 yards in front of us that seemed to be moving in slow motion as it moved straight up the river…Suddenly there were huge breaking waves roaring up behind us…Number one is that river bar entrances are not something to be taken lightly, ever.'
More than a few highly experienced mariners have found themselves in similar situations. If you want to know how this happens, google
the term "tidal bore". Although it may not technically qualify, the effect is the same. While you're at it, check out "seiche" and "standing wave". Knowledge is power, but luck and guts play a big part in life.
Now to Rhonda's request - I don't buy the 'lightning strike' argument either; it's clear that shoddy manufacturing played a major factor. Another factor is the fact that there was fibreglass over antifouling, which suggests that damage was hastily repaired somewhere along the line: it could have been in S Africa
; it could have been the original owner; it could have been dropped in the Florida
boatyard, or the yard in Panama
, and repaired on the sly, so it was unbeknownst to Pat and Ali. Only one party really knows that answer, and I doubt the truth will come out here. I'm not saying that Charter
Cats necessarily had a responsibility to a second owner of a two-year old boat, but they should have been more truthful and upfront about it, and didn't need to string Pat and Ali along with apparent concern. Notwithstanding Charter
Cat's piss-poor customer service
and dubious expertise, I tend to agree with the builder's concern about replacing roving and cloth with chopped-strand. Although they got a nice fair finish, the strength of the hull
would most definitely be lessened. Well maybe not less than the way it was, since it had never been bonded to the core
, but certainly less than if it had been built as it was designed. You would hope that any builder
that wants to stay in this business would take notice of possible patent flaws. In this case the builder
should have gone to Panama
or hired a local surveyor
to have a good look at Bumfuzzle, rather than making a specious diagnosis, based solely on emailed photos. That the surveyor
didn't spot these flaws, despite his acknowledged experience and expertise, goes to show how difficult it is to determine flaws in a 'glass hull
. Then again, any hull material presents its own challenges. Oh well, caveat emptor.
Final word, to Pat and Ali - keep on doing what you're doing, you have more fans than detractors.
OK - one more final word (last one, I promise). I applaud the Bums' efforts to simulate Taco Bell on board (two words, "onboard" does not exist in the English
language, Brit, Yank, Canuck, Aussie or otherwise; though through common usage, it might as well); I offer a method to make pizza on board. We've been barbecuing pizza for the last couple of years using a pizza stone. If anyone wants more info, pictures, recipes
, I'll be more than happy to oblige. (I didn't say the last word would be short).
There now, I've got that out of my system. Cheers.