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Old 28-02-2014, 21:44   #76
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
My thoughts exactly. This is usual when an untypically big wave is approaching: it is preceded by a larger than usual trough, which causes a significant undertow, or outwards flow.

It is a classic "wrongly assigned cause" trap to draw a straight line between speed over ground and diesel fuel throughput.

, or hearing (to detect the revs dropping over the musical accompaniment -- I hope it wasn't provided courtesy of live musicians on the breakwater ! That's about as likely an inference as some of the more far-out ones I've read).

It seems highly unlikely that s/he would be doing anything but willing the boat forward: it would have been obvious to him or her that, even in the absence of a monster wave, s/he was far from 'out of the woods' at that location.
Do you conclude this to be the case as well when they were approaching in the open water ? I had the volume down low so i could not hear the RPM's or music in the back ground. I did see however evidence of the captain playing with the RPM's of the engine (bubbles from the propeller) as he goosed it to ride the wave's forward.
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Old 28-02-2014, 22:25   #77
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Re: Bad Bad Day

The first time I watched the video I thought to myself, "that looks a lot like the Garrucha harbor entrance." My wife thought the same. I singlehanded our boat in last time surfing six foot swells and thought nothing of it, just like the guy in the video... same approach. Had my PFD on, but don't remember if I was tethered for sure... probably was.


Unlike some folks on CF, I really can't see anything the helmsman did wrong other than not being tethered. 'Guess I'll need to look over my shoulder next time for the BIG ONE.
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Old 28-02-2014, 22:32   #78
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Jimmy Jazz:

Dunno, mate. You may well be right - if so, it might be in order to avert cavitation

( if the prop is well aft, can be problematic if the hammer is kept down in steep seas )

equally, though, the difference in bubbles might arise from that same cause, (cavitation) unaverted. I haven't had a close look, and your guess is just as good as mine anyway.

I'm not saying, incidentally, that it is impossible that the skipper buttoned off prior to the killer wave, just pointing out that it seems unlikely, and that the 'evidence' is so ambiguous as not to constitute evidence.

Given a donk in good order, I would personally (if I HAD to run such a bar) consider going some way in, then turning around and make way slowly on the reciprocal,(ie jog back out, head into it), while getting a feel for the rhythm of the sets. Maybe several iterations until a pattern emerged ... and if a pattern did NOT emerge, head back offshore and make other plans.

It's too dangerous, in my view, to carry this investigation out while bum-on to the swell. You can handle a MUCH worse breaking crest bow on than bum on in an offshore sailboat, provided you see it coming in time to get some speed on.

And it's easier to see (and your headspace is a lot clearer) when you are looking ahead from a strong defensive position, as opposed to looking behind from a vulnerable one (broaching being an ever-present danger).

Anyone doubting this should do a youTube search for "Point Panic! Rogue wave"

(text continues: "nearly takes out sailboat in Waikiki Harbour"

Even with scarily little speed, they manage to stay bow on.

Up until the point of a reverse pitchpole, achieving this single objective is sufficient, albeit heart-stoppingly scary.

Once you have a feel for the pattern, the idea is to let a big set go through , and (depending how fast you can go, and how far you must go) make a judgment call on when to spin the boat and set off.

The optimum (theoretical / hypothetical !) strategy is to wait for the set to decay to maybe half maximum amplitude, then head in ON THE BACK of a moderate sized swell, matching it for speed.

But a yacht cannot generally go anywhere near fast enough under power to do that, and sailing in is not an option: if there's enough apparent wind to generate that much power the bar will be suicidally impassable, even if you have a genius crew to be able to handle the sails, and you can out-helm Jimmy S.

Some people will recommend surfing in on such a wave. Even this requires lots of engine power (and a prop well forward). It might be an option on a powerful multihull, but for a ballasted monohull - I personally don't rate it as viable.

I think all that can be done is to work out if there's time to dribble in at best speed, letting the waves overtake, in the likely period remaining before they start to build again for the next set. I would personally keep the hammer down, full time (absent cavitation). If the engine was not up to that, then to attempt entry is probably foolhardy.

A true rogue wave, completely out of sequence, can happen, but I think most surfers would say it's very rare. I don't think we can judge from the footage whether this was one, because it seems to me we would need twenty minutes or more showing the breakwater at the entrance.
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Old 28-02-2014, 22:55   #79
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Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by Wolfy View Post
Inexperience and truly bad judgment caused this scenario, I also believe most of the "Posts" on this escapade were written in a drug induced state...the motor boat rescue was simply pathetic, coming in over powered, way too fast and at the wrong angle of approach for personnel recovery....
I have one strict rule....If in doubt stay out!! Bad decision to come in with those breakers up your butt!

Great good advice !!! , stay out for how long , no food , possible worst weather to come. This is the bay of biscay. Sometimes you have a rock and a hard place. Maybe they should never have gone out. Who knows. But they were out a d had to take a decision

That weather could go on for days around there. How long do they stay out etc. etc


The skipper did a great job , the rescue was faultless.

It annoys me simply cause something unfortunate happened, then all the armchair admirals are out criticising, whereas if they were there themselves, it would be bown trouser time


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Old 28-02-2014, 23:45   #80
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Re: Bad Bad Day

If, as one poster noted, there was a safe harbour 2km (2 miles ?) away then this was unecessary risk taking.

Once they took the risk the helm may have handled it well, may have been incompetent, may have been unlucky but it's all moot.
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Old 28-02-2014, 23:59   #81
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by Oregon Waterman View Post
I am glad I am so comfortable in the water...

I tow surf, meaning we tow each other into large waves. This Winter we have been out in 30' plus surf, been one of our smaller years. When one of us falls while surfing, it is up to the surfer on the ski to find the surfer, set up to get him out of the impact zone while keeping the ski safe.
We don't refer to this as a rescue, retrieval maybe.
Anyway, being out in 30' foot surf, waves breaking on your head, being pushed down so far into the darkness and tossed about like a ragdoll...I don't know, if I was where this happened, I would have grabbed my stand up and paddled out to keep the swimmers company or maybe floated one or two into the beach. What I mean is, I see nothing in this video to panic about.
Nothing.
A set of ten waves coming through at 30' plus while floating in the impact zone, yeah, time to keep your head straight. But peaked up short period waves like this video shows?
Where is my longboard?


You kids and your harnesses, jacklines, no one on deck, blah blah blah, stay away from most ports in Oregon, most of the year. While we close bars a few times a winter, the day shown here...we would be out surfing it. Its a good looking peak, right and left.
Reading posts here that say "I wouldn't cross that! CRAZY!!11!!!1! OMGZBBQ!1!11!!1!"...

My goodness.

Of course, these same "sailors" use epirbs on small lakes, and most likely harness up in any wind over 5 knots.
While wearing helmets.
Under bare poles.
Seriously.

I get safety but I cannot fathom the depth of the fearmongers and armchair sailors in this thread.

And at risk, I dare say it was better hashed out at reddit.



TL DR
The skipper did fine, every one did what they should have, no lives lost, better discussion at reddit.
photo's or it didn't happen
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:00   #82
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I think the proximity of San Salvador is the one piece of armchair criticism which may have substantial merit. Check out the link http://goo.gl/maps/HkeII (posted above)

(I'm not saying no other criticisms have merit, but this one does seem on the face of it to be an elephant in the room)

Setting that aside, I can't say better than Dave did when he wrote:

<<The skipper did a great job , the rescue was faultless.

It annoys me simply cause something unfortunate happened, then all the armchair admirals are out criticising, whereas if they were there themselves, it would be brown trouser time>>
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:52   #83
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Re: Bad Bad Day

San Salvador is actually worse. In a big onshore swell , you risk getting either rolled or carried past the entrance onto the beach.

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Old 01-03-2014, 10:55   #84
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Re: Bad Bad Day

[QUOTE=Andrew Troup;1480369]

Given a donk in good order, I would personally (if I HAD to run such a bar) consider going some way in, then turning around and make way slowly on the reciprocal,(ie jog back out, head into it), while getting a feel for the rhythm of the sets. Maybe several iterations until a pattern emerged ... and if a pattern did NOT emerge, head back offshore and make other plans.

It's too dangerous, in my view, to carry this investigation out while bum-on to the swell. You can handle a MUCH worse breaking crest bow on than bum on in an offshore sailboat, provided you see it coming in time to get some speed on.

And it's easier to see (and your headspace is a lot clearer) when you are looking ahead from a strong defensive position, as opposed to looking behind from a vulnerable one (broaching being an ever-present danger).
End quote

As someone never in this situation and wanting to learn, i wonder about using this method but backing into the harbour while facing into the swell. Keep the boat pointing into the swell and let each swell push you into the harbour. I dont mean full throttle in reverse and "make a run" at the right time backwards but take your time and slowly let the swells do the work while using forward thrust to keep the bow straight when needed.

Any thoughts good or bad on this?

Andy

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Old 01-03-2014, 12:14   #85
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Re: Bad Bad Day

[QUOTE=wellin;1480672]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

Given a donk in good order, I would personally (if I HAD to run such a bar) consider going some way in, then turning around and make way slowly on the reciprocal,(ie jog back out, head into it), while getting a feel for the rhythm of the sets. Maybe several iterations until a pattern emerged ... and if a pattern did NOT emerge, head back offshore and make other plans.

It's too dangerous, in my view, to carry this investigation out while bum-on to the swell. You can handle a MUCH worse breaking crest bow on than bum on in an offshore sailboat, provided you see it coming in time to get some speed on.

And it's easier to see (and your headspace is a lot clearer) when you are looking ahead from a strong defensive position, as opposed to looking behind from a vulnerable one (broaching being an ever-present danger).
End quote

As someone never in this situation and wanting to learn, i wonder about using this method but backing into the harbour while facing into the swell. Keep the boat pointing into the swell and let each swell push you into the harbour. I dont mean full throttle in reverse and "make a run" at the right time backwards but take your time and slowly let the swells do the work while using forward thrust to keep the bow straight when needed.

Any thoughts good or bad on this?

Andy
Terrible idea. You'll want to get past the dangerous situation as fast as possible... not prolong your time at risk. IMHO It's not a time to experiment.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:57   #86
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Andy

I remember wondering about this possibility, once upon a time, and I quickly came to a similar conclusion as Kenomac.

There is, however, a narrower application of the broad principle which, under unusual circumstances, and with suitable skill and experience can work.

It can be feasible to send a small boat in through surf, stern first, in the way you suggest, but on a long line from a towing point low on the bow, running out to and paid out from a boat offshore.

This is occasionally done to get ashore safely on remote islands with no harbours, particularly in the high latitudes, using two RIBs, one of which stays outside the break. The rope stays hooked up while the party are ashore.

When the time comes to leave the offshore boat provides all the muscle until the inshore boat is deep enough to risk dropping the engine. The offshore boat is also well placed to decide on timing.
On reflection: not so much "well placed", given that the view of breaking sets from offshore is harder to decode than the view from inshore, but they will have had nothing better to do while awaiting the return of the shore party than decode them. (Unless they drop a small anchor on a buoy to tether the line, and return to the mother ship).

In theory it seems possible you could adapt this method to a single, bigger boat, from on board, using an anchor and a long line. In practice I can't imagine trying this unless (say) someone on board was in a critical medical condition which made it essential that they be put ashore immediately.

And even then, the situation would have to combine a number of highly unusual features, plus the boat would need a massive bollard, a very effective anchor, an extremely long line and a gifted line handler or handlers. And, preferably, shoal draft and retractable rudder(s)

If the line was on a reel (which means a massive reel or a very compact bar, or both) you might be able to reduce the time, and number of wave encounters, by using reasonable amounts of reverse thrust.

The more I think about this idea, the less I like it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 13:00   #87
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Re: Bad Bad Day

[QUOTE=wellin;1480672]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post


As someone never in this situation and wanting to learn, i wonder about using this method but backing into the harbour while facing into the swell. Keep the boat pointing into the swell and let each swell push you into the harbour. I dont mean full throttle in reverse and "make a run" at the right time backwards but take your time and slowly let the swells do the work while using forward thrust to keep the bow straight when needed.

Any thoughts good or bad on this?

Andy

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You should do this experiment in good flat weather. Back into your basin all the way to your slip. Sailboats rarely back well and have terrible control. If the boat has a folding prop, there will be very little help from the engine.

The knockdown wave was pretty freaky. I didn't see another even close to its size through the rest of the clip. I think the skipper could have done this entry 30 or more times on this day and never had a repeat.

It seems that the skipper made one adjustment to wave train while still out. He did a 360 waiting for bad stuff to pass. Also, the apparent variation in speed as they motored in could be either waiting for opportunity & timing or, as happens in big waves & shallow water, there is a big ebb preceding each wave. This will appear to slow the boat. If you checked charts, there is only one approach, parallel to the wall. There was still water just ahead of the knockdown and this is where he was headed. The crew could not be picked up by the yacht because they were flushed out of the channel into the shallows. Kind of lucky the boat popped up in deep water with the engine running. I'm not going to second guess the guy's skill or judgement but he may have used up his quota of luck.
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Old 01-03-2014, 16:09   #88
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Just to clarify, the apparent quote source in N58's post is misleading.

He gives good advice, I reckon, Andy.

Many modern boats are very controllable while backing (deep spade rudders in combination with saildrives tend to offer this characteristic) - in some cases, it's a better bet to thread your way through a marina backwards than forwards, because you can "hover" on one spot indefinitely stern-to the breeze, especially in a sloop, if another boat is blocking your manoeuvre.

It's much easier, too, when chatting to people on an anchored boat, to back your transom up (from leeward) within talking distance of their cockpit. You can then let the boat weathercock the bum into the wind, and all you have to do is snick it into reverse, at idle, for brief periods whenever the distance become uncomfortable for talking.

The alternative, in any sort of breeze, is either to raft up, or stand off and shout, or jiggle about, perpetually vigilant to avoid the bow falling off on the wrong tack and (if they know what's good for them) causing the people you are visiting to leap to their gunwhale and prepare to fend.
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Old 01-03-2014, 16:10   #89
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I have watched the "panic point rogue wave" video and it looked like the boat had a relatively safe exit in some big whitewater. So i thought reverse this process to get back in by powering forward out to sea when the wave hits then as it crests and the bow comes down, reverse carefully in the slack till the next wave is about ti hit then power forward hard again through the white water. So you would go one step out to sea and two stepps back til your in safe water inside.

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Old 01-03-2014, 16:17   #90
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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I have watched the "panic point rogue wave" video and it looked like the boat had a relatively safe exit in some big whitewater. So i thought reverse this process to get back in by powering forward out to sea when the wave hits then as it crests and the bow comes down, reverse carefully in the slack till the next wave is about ti hit then power forward hard again through the white water. So you would go one step out to sea and two stepps back til your in safe water inside.

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Jesus. I nearly fell of my armchair laughing at this suggestion. Oh my sides

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