At 11:45 A.M. the ship was overpowered by a terrific squall and lay nearly on her beam ends. I decided then that our best course of action was to get the ship before the wind
under bare poles, with a small sea anchor
streamed astern to steady her, and oil bags placed along both sides. Had we been in open waters she could have lain, as she wished, under bare poles with absolute safety
; but the steepness and irregularity of the breaking seas made it essential, in my opinion, to keep her bow or stern on to them at all costs.
The sea anchor
was bent to a 3 Ĺ-inch warp and secured aft. Eight oil bags were filled with fish
oil and placed along her sides, and knives were placed handy to cut away the trysail in case it jammed and left the ship temporarily out of control in a dangerous position.
Storms and Sea Anchors
An old technique is to pour oil on the sea to reduce the breaking waves. Apart from the environmental considerations, few yachts would carry sufficient to have any effect. Although some people have reported success with pumping cooking
oil out through the heads whilst lying ahull (hove to under bare poles).
The boat slowly slips to leeward leaving an oil slick and the extra surface tension of the oil on the surface reduces the tendency of the waves to windward to break and thus protects the boat.
Sailtrain: Seamanship, heavy weather conditions.