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Old 03-12-2014, 07:02   #91
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
By your above scenario, one would not have any electronic means of obtaining a position fix at all.

So a good sextant, expensive, calibrated and maintained mechanical timepiece, sight reduction tables and a slide rule - and regular practice with these - are minimum requirements for going offshore?

I wonder how many cruisers here really have these skills anymore (or ever had them)? I do not.

BTW, it would take a catastrophic flood to kill the hundreds of dry cell batteries we have aboard. I think we will be in a life raft (using dry cell batteries in our radio and GPS) when that happens. Likewise, the dinghy will have to sink before its battery is taken down. Heck, to even reach our house batteries, the flood will have to be up to the top of the deck with just the coachroof above water.

By that time, any paper charts will be floating in battery acid and the sextant will need a dive tank to recover it.

I will say this again: when it comes to this particular topic, people have opinions formed from many years (and technology generations) ago, and they have rarely updated them with a fresh look at the current situation. Or they apply their own personal situation to everyone in general.

Mark
Nope. It is surprising that you don't think of the obvious… or is it? I mark my position by hand in the log entries I make at least once per watch, which amounts to around every 3-5 hours. That is positions, conditions, windspeed and direction, current speed and direction, cloud cover, barometric pressure, course over ground, etc. Given this it is a trivial matter of Ded (deduced) reckoning to continue to work position from the last known one, given boat speed and compass course, as of course I know the variation wherever I am. I am willing to bet you don't anymore. And before you say it, yes, I carry a Walker log on my own boat at least. Even failing that, I am more than experienced enough to estimate boat speed and get a pretty good ded fix from my last position. More than good enough with latitude to get me to wherever I need to go. I can also find latitude using nothing but my hands to a tolerance of around 1 degree throughout the Northern hemisphere and also the Southern (with a slightly greater error margin) to a latitude of around 30 degrees South, though the latter is easier in the latter half of the year, to be fair. But paper charts are exactly what would be most useful in that kind of situation. From your earlier post I am guessing you don't even keep a regular and complete log. As to "flood", you are likewise wrong. All it takes is a stove in window or port light, a and a few minutes sorting it out (if you have the capacity) in a violent seaway to have pretty much everything soaked through in salt water. Also, leaks can be insidious. I have seen a computer based chart plotter wrecked by a leaking forward hatch 5 meters away. The leak was slow, but followed a series of handholds, ledges and cabling that you would never have considered reasonable until you traced it back to source. Killed the thing stone dead. Fortunately had paper… Really I think we are talking apples and oranges. I want to ask you, are you likely to be heading from the likes of NZ to the Australs, or Japan to the Aleutians, or the Maldives to South Africa any time soon? If your sailing is mostly coastal and mostly First World, then you're fine. Heck, I've seen people cross many an Ocean with boats and equipment I would consider far below minimum, and a lot less redundancy than you have… but just as it is possible to jump without a reserve parachute a 1000 times and walk away with a smile on your face doesn't mean it's smart or good practise to do it, eh?
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:09   #92
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

I will say this again: when it comes to this particular topic, people have opinions formed from many years (and technology generations) ago, and they have rarely updated them with a fresh look at the current situation. Or they apply their own personal situation to everyone in general.

Mark
Oh, and with regard to that… what part of my repeated observation that I constantly use at least two independent chart plotters with two different chart sets did you not notice? I am thoroughly au fait with every up to date tech. Believe me, I also use personal AIS beacons, laser flares, 406 PLBs, Satphone, Sat data and just about anything else you can name. It comes with the job. So, kindly don't refer to me in this wise… It is possible I am applying the fact that I do a lot of unrestricted and "out there" ocean sailing to the general case… but then we are talking generally, are we not?
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:10   #93
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Patron saint of sailors did not help some sailors. So much for the mumbledumble.

And I call the place Cargados Carajos. NOT Saint Marlon.

Look up cargados then look up carajo(s) then decide how much religion and movies should be mixed up with sailing.

No official statement from the skipper yet.

It was after dark they hit, huh? Odd they did not hear the swell breaking on the reef.

b.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:25   #94
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
I am willing to bet you don't anymore.

You would lose that bet. Why do people always assume those using electronic navigation no longer have basic navigational skills or procedures?

From your earlier post I am guessing you don't even keep a regular and complete log.

Guess again…

As to "flood", you are likewise wrong. All it takes is a stove in window or port light, a and a few minutes sorting it out (if you have the capacity) in a violent seaway to have pretty much everything soaked through in salt water.

Here, you are wrong concerning our boat. A stove in window or port would require flooding us up to deck level before our house batteries are breached. Many boats similar to ours out there. Some have their main batteries in water-tight compartments.

Then there is that niggling issue of dry cells, dinghy battery, start batteries (two of them in separate compartments), solar panels, generator, etc that would have to be also taken out with this hypothetical stove in of our windows and ports.


Really I think we are talking apples and oranges. I want to ask you, are you likely to be heading from the likes of NZ to the Australs, or Japan to the Aleutians, or the Maldives to South Africa any time soon? If your sailing is mostly coastal and mostly First World, then you're fine. Heck, I've seen people cross many an Ocean with boats and equipment I would consider far below minimum, and a lot less redundancy than you have… but just as it is possible to jump without a reserve parachute a 1000 times and walk away with a smile on your face doesn't mean it's smart or good practise to do it, eh?
Maybe - our plans are very fluid. Should I start learning to do funny things with my hands?

Mark
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:38   #95
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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That was Alvimedica I think. A US speaker perhaps. I am not sure he meant derogatory, he may have meant that it is not coast guard proper (which it was not) and lifeboat proper (which it was not).

The derogatory or not is very culture based. The sailors are very tired by now and under extra stress. Sometimes the beauty is in the onlookers eye, and 'derogatory' is too.

b.
I had intended to post the exact same thing. In the US, doing the quotation thing with your fingers isn't necesarily used as a pejorative, just as Barnakiel points out. Sometimes it is used to mean "ostensibly".
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:18   #96
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Don't they use a ECDIS system? I can see issues with Navionics or CMap consumer grade stuff, but if they use big ship navigation systems, they are looking at paper charts anyway.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:38   #97
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Does not matter what chart they used. The feature was on the chart and they hit it. They made some sort of mistake and we will learn from them. But to learn from them we must first hear from them.

It would be very, very odd if nobody were looking at the chart. So I think maybe the chart is off the WGS and their positioning was WGS based. This is a common mistake.

I think it was in the dark and in the dark the margin should be way off the reef? There seems ample deep water E of the reef and we all know most of the error is W-E, and ...

Perhaps there was a wind shift or they got a tangle...

Now best sit and wait till we hear from them on what actually happened.

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Old 03-12-2014, 08:45   #98
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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It was after dark they hit, huh? Odd they did not hear the swell breaking on the reef.
Apparently they were doing 19 knots at the time.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:55   #99
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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You should be rich and have a huge chart locker if you sail 18 000 miles a year and have all those detailed maps, or then you are talking about ocean sailing and not about coastal sailing. If you do extensive coastal sailing along big distances it is not practical to have all those maps (that are on the E chart) on paper also.
Firstly, they are charts and roll very tightly. Secondly, you only need mid to small scale. And, yes it is practical. You just have to know what to select. On average, for a 2000 nm by 1000 nm zone that pans out to around 4-7 charts. Or do I need to repeat again that I ALSO use electronic charts?
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:15   #100
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Hmmm… what is the navigator from the VOR boat Alvamedica doing… how very quaint:

http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/photo-view/28975.html
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:27   #101
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

As with most accidents of this type, the problem wasn't with the sources of position information, GPS or sextant, but rather a loss of situation awareness likely caused by fatigue or ultracompetitive misplaced priorities. Both GPS and sextant with paper charts are tools to keep your situation awareness with regard to position at a high level. These racers simply failed to use the tools available to them that it takes to have adequate situation awareness. Nothing to do with GPS vs sextant and paper charts.

I've always been amused by the argument that a sextant is more reliable than a GPS, especially when you have multiple, independently powered GPS's aboard to choose from. colemj has pointed out the extreeeeeeeme unlikelihood of all 11 of his GPS failing and all his batteries dying at the same time. All it takes for a sextant to become nothing more than dead weight is a cloud in the wrong place, and God forbid it's an overcast day or week....
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:27   #102
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

Since they hit the reef nearly in the middle, data error is clearly not a factor.

Looks to me like a similar error to the one that claimed the boat that hit the Coronado Islands in the Ensenada race.

Thankfully, this crew will live to explain and face the embarrassing music.


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Old 03-12-2014, 10:57   #103
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Since they hit the reef nearly in the middle, data error is clearly not a factor.

Looks to me like a similar error to the one that claimed the boat that hit the Coronado Islands in the Ensenada race.

Thankfully, this crew will live to explain and face the embarrassing music.


'

They were sailing S to N, I think. Most old chart data error is W to E (due to chronometer errors). So, clearly, chart accuracy +/and /or/vs. GPS datum/chart datum could be a factor.

Never ever approach land nor a reef at a sharp angle ... you may have heard of such a rule. I think I read it in the Pardey's.

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:04   #104
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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Picture worth a thousand words. Sure looks to me like they were trying to "cut it close" to the island, didn't notice the reef.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...2&d=1417536978
I think this may speak volumes. Look at the tracks of all the boats that were ahead of them - all systematically cutting it a bit closer depending on how far behind they were. Vestas's track seems to have been going for a really close pass and then makes a strange turn to the West and back again.

I think there was some confusion at that point and an error on getting back on track. Or maybe it was just a wind shift they were riding and they didn't/couldn't correct enough.

I don't think it has anything to with charts or chart plotters at all.

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:09   #105
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Re: Team Vestas hits reef

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They were sailing S to N, I think. Most old chart data error is W to E (due to chronometer errors). So, clearly, chart accuracy +/and /or/vs. GPS datum/chart datum could be a factor.

Never ever approach land nor a reef at a sharp angle ... you may have heard of such a rule. I think I read it in the Pardey's.

b.

This is an interesting thought. So do you mean "sharp angle" refering to coming straight at it versus tangential, or are you saying avoid a certain course such as 270 or 90 or somesuch?
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