Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-09-2012, 12:41   #1
Registered User
 
Cowboy Sailer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: on the boat. Gulf Coast
Boat: C&C 38'
Posts: 351
Images: 2
Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

A stationary high had lingered in southern Mexico for several days. It created strong breezes and we decided on a few days cruise around Corpus Christi Bay. We first headed toward Port Aransas. We spent two days at anchor in the lee of the barrier island while we did boat chores that are easier done away from a dock.
We moved our 38 foot sailboat to a new anchorage in a pretty cove and enjoyed swimming and grilling fish and just relaxing for two more days. Then we pulled the anchor up and started the down wind run back to Corpus Christi Marina.
The wind started to build and I partially furled the foresail. The boat was going about six and a half knots and the relative wind was in the mid twenties from about 25 degrees off our stern. I was thinking about reefing the main. You know what they say, “When you first think about reefing it is time to reef!”
The next events are a little hazy. I was on the port side holding onto the Genoa sheet and attempting to wrap it around the winch when a really strong gust and/or a really big wave rolled us to starboard and yanked the sheet from my grip. I remember flying backward through the air. The small of my back hit the opposite cockpit seat. My hips and legs headed towards the cockpit floor and my head bounced off of the starboard cap rail as my body whip sawed backwards.
My wife says that I did not get knocked out. I remember thinking, “I have just broken my back!” I looked forward and our partially furled Ginny and fore-stay was flailing around ahead of the boat. I hollered, “Hold her headed downwind.” I crawled forward and had her turn somewhat into the wind. I had a lot of trouble getting a line on the fore-stay. I got knocked around a lot but I got a line around the stay just above the furling drum. There was no way I could control it by hand but I got the line on a winch and pulled the fore-stay back to the bow pulpit.
Then I took a rest. I mostly hurt all over. I was amazed that my back was not broken. I attached the baby stay and ran the spiniker halyard to the bow and tightened both of them up. The partial
genoa was still whipping itself to death. I went forward again and wrestled the sheets around the mast and tied them as my wife headed us up and then resumed downwind after they were secure.
We sailed until we were ready to enter the marina. I dropped the mainlsail and kinda bunched it up on the boom and got a couple of sail ties around it.
We motored into the marina. I knew that we could not dock it in this wind. I remembered that there was deep water and some sturdy cleats by Joe's Crab Shack and the seawall was close to being aligned with the wind. I did a u-turn when near the place I had in mind. I put it into reverse and full power almost stopped the boat's forward, downwind motion. The boat angled toward the concrete wall.
At this point I have to compliment the staff of Corpus Christi Municipal Marina. They saw that I was in trouble a came running to help. About the time I was getting the stern mooring line cleated off the lines holding the fore-stay parted and it went to flailing about again.
They secured the fore-stay to a steel post. A rigger came to help and went up in his bosun's chair and cut the ripped sail loose and men on the ground pulled it down. A captain berthed nearby brought me some extra fenders. Thanks everybody! They said that we had gale force winds a little while ago.
We got out of the emergency room about two am. They were more concerned about the blows to my head than anything. They x-rayed my skull, my neck, and my back. I have lumps and bruises but no bad injuries. They say that wearing my PFD saved my back!
So, when the weather is bad wear your PFD!
__________________

__________________
Jerry and Denver
Happy Old cruisers!
Cowboy Sailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 14:33   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Nassau 42 SV Ceol Mor
Posts: 789
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

So glad to hear that you are ok!
__________________

__________________
S/V Ceol Mor
42 Nassau Undergoing refit in Kemah, Tx
Our little blog has moved: www.theceolmors.blogspot.com
Mimsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 14:48   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 43 & S2 6.9
Posts: 963
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Also glad to her you are ok.

I guess whether the PFD would help our back or not really depends on the type. Mine wouldn't help my back at all.
__________________
maytrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 15:04   #4
Registered User
 
DumnMad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nelson NZ; boat in Brisbane
Boat: 45ft Ketch
Posts: 1,246
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Tough day out. My bones hurt just reading about it.
__________________
DumnMad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 15:12   #5
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
Also glad to her you are ok.

I guess whether the PFD would help our back or not really depends on the type. Mine wouldn't help my back at all.

No mine wouldn't either but it was probably a good idea for other reasons too.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 15:21   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Therapy's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: W Florida
Boat: The Jon boat still, plus a 2007 SeaCat.
Posts: 6,894
Images: 4
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

DANNGGG!

Glad you are OK.
__________________
Who knows what is next.
Therapy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 15:24   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Glad to hear you're OK...

some of the worst conditions I've ever had were in CC bay...

Lots of wind and shallow water...
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 16:16   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Glad you are okay Sailor. What type of PFD were you wearing?
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 16:21   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Wow. Glad you are gonna be alright.
__________________
Boatdrinks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 17:38   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,921
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Ouch, glad you come through with no serious injuries...bet your gonna be sore for a few days though!

I used to keep a previous boat in CC Marina. Fun spot. Great for day sails and moonlight cruises of the bay, but can get a little breezy there!
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 18:19   #11
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Our rule is that PFDs must be worn whenever the foredeck is wet. Doesn't matter how it got wet.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 20:16   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

Ouch. Bad story.

We had a similar event here a month or so ago without the rigging failure.

In this case the crewman did break his back.

Once you get in the 40 foot range very little trimming happens by hand, or else...

Were there any other indications of building conditions we could take note of? Downwind, two up, on a big boat, in building conditions can be scary as hell and things can go sideways quickly.

Hope you heal fast.
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 21:51   #13
Registered User
 
Cowboy Sailer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: on the boat. Gulf Coast
Boat: C&C 38'
Posts: 351
Images: 2
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

I was wearing one of those West Marine vest type PDFs. The Doctor said that the padding on the back cusioned the blow and spread out the force of the blow and saved my back. I later found black bruises all over my body. I must have cracked the bone in my forearm also. The metal that parted was a 3/8's by 2" stainless bar just like my chain plates are. It had a hidden crack that nobody could have ever found.
It reminded me just how close we are to leaving this mortal coil at anytime.
__________________
Jerry and Denver
Happy Old cruisers!
Cowboy Sailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 21:56   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
jackdale's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 5,040
Images: 1
Re: Wear Your PFD

I fixed the thread header.

I wear a PFD at all times underway. That saves having to make judgement about the weather.

I am tethered in bad weather, at night and offshore.
__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203,204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 22:39   #15
Registered User
 
Jaxxiam's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 35° 46' 14" N 83° 56' 50" W
Posts: 97
Re: Wear Your PFD When the Weather is Bad

I'm glad to you are safe.
Safety, Safety, Safety! No need to take unnecassary risks.
__________________

__________________
Jaxxiam is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
pfd, weather

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:59.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.