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View Poll Results: What have you hit at sea?
8 x 40 cargo container 2 6.90%
Sleeping whale 2 6.90%
Cargo ship 0 0%
another sailboat 2 6.90%
Lost city of Atlantis 8 27.59%
Other ... please explain! 17 58.62%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2007, 10:01   #16
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Logs are my biggest concern. Usually after a heavy rain. We have two rivers entering the head of the sound. One comes from heavely forrested mountain terrain and it is subject to fast rising, like most all NZ rivers. Logs often get flushed out into the sound and you don't see them. You will see the odd small branch floating, but it maybe attached to something large underneath. I have learn't that if the branch does not move up and down to the ripples and wavelets on the water, it is attached to something much larger beneath. However, I am not too worried. The bow of my boat is very strong.


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Old 05-12-2007, 15:43   #17
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Tuna nets & lines have been a pain in the saildrive, & I have come close to a whale wile it seem to be sleeping, and starteled it so bad it exploded the water around it.
I do worry about contaners & ships wile doing night passages

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Old 06-12-2007, 17:39   #18
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Have seen containers afloat quite a few times on ocean passages. Interesting as Gordís articles confirms, they didnít look like they had been there for years (just months).
Before GPS I hardly saw any, but now that we are all within a half mile of an optimum track, you see more.
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Old 29-12-2007, 09:37   #19
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BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Highlands and Islands | Mystery container found on beach

This huge mystery container has washed ashore. Yikes!
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Old 29-12-2007, 10:15   #20
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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post
At a recent evening gathering, the topic came up of running into "things" while sailing offshore.

We concluded that the odds of hitting anything were very low. But the two most likely obstacles a sailor was to hit would be a container, or a sleeping whale.

One online article stated that as many as 10,000 containers are washed into the sea each year, all floating just below the surface. That number sounds a little high to me.

Another article stated that the fall from a ships deck to the ocean would break open a container, making it sink. are containers water tight in the first place?

It also came up that people have reported hitting sleeping whales, causeing the boat to sink. It seems that hitting a whale would be easier on your boat than hitting a steel container.

So... What are the odds? How many containers fall in? square footage of ocean (pacific and atlantic) compared to square footage of containers out there?
I can't elaborate on anything about the whales, but I can on containers. I went to maritime college on the island of Terschelling in the North of Holland. Every winter season was good for about 20 - 50 containers lost, and washed ashore in that small place alone. They all float, don't you worry. It was a good source of income for the lucky ones on the island.

Now the chances of hitting one, that's a different story, and I think chances are pretty slim. In all my time in navy and merchant marine we never hit anything, let alone a container.
Having said that, I decided to have my new boat built in steel. Just to put the odds on my side. No guarantee, I know, but I think I will sleep better.
'How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.' - Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 29-12-2007, 10:43   #21
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containers at sea

I, too, decided to build my boat in steel, for a variety of reasons. I spent about a dozen summers in the 70's and into the 80's flying a very small airplane ( a tandem, 2 seater, tail dragger super cub) 200 miles off shore on the eastern end of Georges Bank spotting swordfish for a commercial harpoon boat. I have about 3500+ hours in the air, which equates to about 250,000 miles 500' above the ocean, at an average of maybe 70 miles an hour. In all that time I saw a tremendous amount of weather, sea life, and debris in the ocean, and 3 containers. But the containers sure looked dangerous, floating usually at an angle with one corner just awash, and I really wouldn't want to hit one. There were about 20 pilots doing this, at the time, and between us we would see maybe 1 or 2 containers per summer. We'd call the coast guard with their loran numbers, and they would come out and use them for target practice and sink them, when they could find them. They do exist, and although your chances of hitting one are very small, it sure could ruin your day. Bob S/V Restless
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Old 29-12-2007, 12:50   #22
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I hit a log that lifted the boat up out of the water, stopped for a few seconds before sliding down the other side. It was in the middle of the ICW just north of Belhaven, NC. My triton drafts 4 feet! Not a patch of water that I'd want to explore if the props hang that low...

While not at sea, it was quite an interesting experience! Big splash and all when the counter slapped down...
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Old 29-12-2007, 17:10   #23
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There are two things I've hit.

One was a submersed broken off piling, doing about 5 kt. I thought for sure I'd lost the boat. It nose dived and spun around and heeled over about 5ļ then righted. Stuff went fling every where even people. I ran below and pulled the deck plate to check the keel bolts. Whew! all was OK!

The second time I was sitting back enjoying a 10 knot blow on a closehaul when I heard this thud under the boat. I never seen what is was but when I got put back in my dry slip there was a huge scratch running from the waterline down to the keel. I must have hit a log with a spike sticking out.

Any coastal area where there is logging one really has to keep one's eyes open. My neighbor and one other power boater I know have both lost an outdrive cruising in theses waters.
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Old 30-12-2007, 05:19   #24
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I keep my boat in the CT river, in the spring there are a lot of trees, stumps etc coming downriver. Most of the time you cant see them; I have hit two pretty good sized stumps. And while that is not as bad as a whale or container, it scared the hell out of me both times. Sounded like it was tearing the bottom off the boat, but fortunately, no damage.
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Old 30-12-2007, 09:36   #25
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except for a crab pot or two in the north west, I did have an unuasual event down south.
About 3am and 4 hours out of Santa Barbara heading north, were sailing smouth and enjoying warm weather up the channel past the oil rigs, when we slowly came to a stop. looking over the side with flashlight in hand, I could see a mas amount of garbage, pallets, plastic bucket, and even a plastic chair.. Didnt know what it was so I fired up the motor and backed out of the mess..
The next day we pulled into the Yacht Club at Morro Bay and the guys on the dock were laughing.. one said, he saw that we hit an "Oil Pod" on the way up. When I got off the boat, I saw what they were laughing at.. 40 feet of my 42 foot boat was covered with this thick tar-like scum.. It seems that these pods of oil scum float around out there and as they float, they collect all kinds of junk..
Took me a week to clean all that crap off the boat...........
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Old 02-01-2008, 16:14   #26
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You need a category for many other. We hit a whale approaching Maui, thankfully it was a glancing blow, no damage to the boat and the whale, according to the crew on watch, seemed ok. Previously my wife and I hit a sea lion late one night in Puget Sound. The boat slid to one side and the sea lion yelped. Branches and other tree bits are pretty common. Small bumps and thumps are easy to come by. I have a friend who hit a mid channel marker, but that's his story to tell.
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Old 02-01-2008, 16:37   #27
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channel marker

That reminds me of the story of my friend Tim, who went out for his first swordfishing trip, harpooning, with Turtle of Menemsha. Turtle was called Turtle because he was vertically challenged, being about 5'3" tall and nearly that wide, but he was also vertically integrated, since he owned both the fishing boat and the fish market, so he did all right. They finished up a few days of harpooning, doing pretty well, and it was time to head her back to the barn. Turtle gives Tim the wheel, points to a target on the radar, and says 'wake me when we hit that", and goes down to sleep in the focs'l (this is on an old wood Desco shrimper). Tim glues himself to the radar, keeping his eye right on that buoy, and cycles down from 16 mile to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1, all the way to 1/8 mile, and wakes Turtle up by stoving in the bow of the boat right above Turtle's head when they hit the buoy. They're down there with fire axes, chopping up the bunks and stuffing a mattress in the hole. Luckily it's just above the waterline, and they make it back to the Vineyard, where Turtle gently beaches the boat, and has a few choice words for my friend Tim. Bob S/V Restless
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Old 02-01-2008, 19:27   #28
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Bob, I once saw a photo of a sword fish with his bill stuck thru the rear quarter of a wooden sport fisherman. I'm told they aren't afraid of much Any experience with that?

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Old 02-01-2008, 19:59   #29
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Seeratlas, it's true they're not afraid of much. Their only natural enemy is a Mako or a great white bigger than they are, and possibly a pod of kiler whales, but they can dive much deeper than them so they really have few or no natural enemies. On top of that, they seem to have a generally lousy disposition... aggressive and generally nasty. I've seen them chase each other. They are known to occassionally attack boats, and one of the boats I was involved with way back, which was wood, did find a sword stuck 6" inside the boat through the 2" cypress hull between 2 planks. Bob
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Old 02-01-2008, 20:50   #30
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Hit a few logs with my old boat, a 9 ton, long keel-attached rudder sailboat, cruising at 5 or 6 kn. in British Columbia. There would be a thump, and then a log would float to the surface about 150' behind us. Obviously escapees from a log boom, as they had no branches, roots, etc. No worries. Usually about 1' in diameter, 40' long or so. They lie parallel to the wavelets, and so are invisible. I was glad I wasn't in my former spade rudder-equipped boat.

Off the Philippines, in 1980, I saw a number of uncharted buoys in very deep water (3000' deep), miles offshore, made of steel, about 30' long, crudely boat shaped, obviously designed to attract fish. What we would see first were small fishing boats tied to them, bobbing in maybe 6' waves. They were unlit as far as I could see, and pretty scary.

Also saw really large tangles of floating trees many miles offshore of New Guinea, which the Pilot mentioned were to be found in the area. Some looked to be maybe 20' high. There were no waves to break them up so close to the equator.

Saw 0 containers and maybe one whale in 20,000 nm. Saw more as a tourist in one afternoon in Hawaii on a tourist boat. Eric Hiscock reported having a sailfish impale his boat Wanderer III once. Went right through the planking. I saw a few of those near New Guinea, and got thumped a few times by them as they lunged at smaller fish trying to hide near our boat.

Another strange thing I saw at sea when it was calm was water skimmers, those little bugs that skim on the surface of the water, maybe halfway between LA and the Marquesas Islands. You wouldn't notice Atlantis unless it were calm. Let's face it, no sailor loves a calm.

- People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. -George Bernard Shaw
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