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Old 14-05-2015, 12:29   #46
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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You found him by chance when sailing or responded to a call?
Both were by chance. One was on a lake and the other was on the Sacramento River.
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Old 14-05-2015, 14:04   #47
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

"That is a great story. Enjoyed reading it! It just makes you wonder.. How can 14knots become 60 plus in such a jiffy. But it can! I bet you sail now with one hand on the ejector seat at all times.

Nice story. Did the "Providence" get knocked also.?"

I don't know, we came upon the Providence some time after while motoring up the bay, we got hit about 1/2 an hour earlier and had been motoring up the bay after recovering and stowing the sails.
It just put the icing on the cake when we saw it glide by like a shadow. My buddy Ken still gets the creeps when we mention it, for some reason, stuff like this always happens when the two of us are involved, not bad, just weird.
When we got hit we could see stars and the line of thunderstorms was just at the edge of my radar range, by the time we saw the Providence the clouds had rolled in and it was quite dark.
Microbursts are a very localized and pretty damn powerful, you can be 3 miles away and have little or no effect from one, but if your in the middle of one it's pretty damn impressive. It lasted only a short time and then the winds settled into the 20-30 knot range as the thunderstorms rolled in.
They've been known to turn airplanes into big black splotches in the ground near airports in the past, usually near thunderstorms in the summer, now with the advent of dopler radar it's easier to spot.
THe winds in them tend to be more vertical than horizontal depending on where you are in relationship to it. Weirdest thing I've ever experienced, it just wasn't like any type of wind I'd experienced before or since. I've had summer t-storms throw big wind for a short period before but even then your usually able to see it coming and it usually comes along with the storm front, but this was 16 miles away and in clear skies. It didn't just start with increasing wind, it was like getting slapped down hard, with the wind increasing from 14 knots steady to pegging the wind speed indicator in 20-30 seconds. In the boat it was like what a fly would experience when getting swatted. It came down, then spun some, not like it was from a fixed direction, the boat did almost a 360 when trying to get it pointed up. I think no one got scared because we were all trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Anyone else ever had an experience like this?
I've been in violent thunderstorms before so I know what they're like, this wasn't that type of weather condition. When I tried researching the conditions a microburst was the only thing close to explaining it.
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Old 14-05-2015, 14:07   #48
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

On the flip side, i was pretty impressed with the boat, it showed no ill effects. Even checked the rig with a tension meter the next day and it was unaffected by the beating it took the night before.
That puppy popped back up as soon as we let the sheet go and responded like nothing happened, I never had any doubts about it's seaworthiness after that.
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Old 14-05-2015, 14:40   #49
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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On the flip side, i was pretty impressed with the boat, it showed no ill effects. Even checked the rig with a tension meter the next day and it was unaffected by the beating it took the night before.
That puppy popped back up as soon as we let the sheet go and responded like nothing happened, I never had any doubts about it's seaworthiness after that.
No... Never experienced any weather like that. I understand the concept of not being scared in a flight or fight moment. I had a car crash once and ended up in the center reservation with a big lamp post getting ever closer. It was all 100% slow motion in my head and even felt I had time to do a crossword puzzle. Very strange but I just knew I had to turn away from the post and ended 90 degrees back on the motor way and looked up after it had all stopped and noticed a big Merc flatbed cabin about 2 meters from T-boning the passenger door. No fear but just a weird kind of calmness.

I was too young at the time to have nightmares after the event but now with an understanding of mortality I look back and think.. MMm That was close.
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:12   #50
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Most things happen so quickly that you don't really have time to be scared while they're happening. One time, I had the back stay fail in about 35 knots on my old 25 footer about 40 miles off shore that both damaged the mast and resulted in me hanging off the shrouds sans life jacket with one hand trying to catch the wildly swinging remains of the backstay with the other in 8 foot seas and didn't really think twice about it. The wife was below at the time horribly seasick but that event seemed to cure her pretty fast! Limped to a nearby island and refuge and jury rigged. Prepared to leave next morning with the weather still much the same and I have to say that at that moment I was putting on my foul weather gear whilst looking out of that nice calm bay at a white sea with bumpy horizon and the prospect of a 30 mile trip back to port under outboard power and a handkerchief of furled headsail was the time I've felt the most "anxious". Once out there, not too much of a problem despite being knocked down twice and fortunately the weather started to moderate after a couple of hours.
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:30   #51
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

No wind. No transmission - after we hit a small piece of fishing net. Middle of the Pacific High.
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:38   #52
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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No wind. No transmission - after we hit a small piece of fishing net. Middle of the Pacific High.
Oars? What did you do?
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:59   #53
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Most things happen so quickly that you don't really have time to be scared while they're happening. One time, I had the back stay fail in about 35 knots on my old 25 footer about 40 miles off shore that both damaged the mast and resulted in me hanging off the shrouds sans life jacket with one hand trying to catch the wildly swinging remains of the backstay with the other in 8 foot seas and didn't really think twice about it. The wife was below at the time horribly seasick but that event seemed to cure her pretty fast! Limped to a nearby island and refuge and jury rigged. Prepared to leave next morning with the weather still much the same and I have to say that at that moment I was putting on my foul weather gear whilst looking out of that nice calm bay at a white sea with bumpy horizon and the prospect of a 30 mile trip back to port under outboard power and a handkerchief of furled headsail was the time I've felt the most "anxious". Once out there, not too much of a problem despite being knocked down twice and fortunately the weather started to moderate after a couple of hours.
Knocked as well.. Seems Neptune was not happy with you that day.
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:07   #54
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Not long after I bought my first boat, an Oyster 26, I bunked off work for the afternoon and went for a sail - my first solo.

It was a lovely day with a 15 knot SW wind so I sailed off the mooring and headed North across the Forth. I was watching the dark bands of clouds that formed ahead of me, intrigued by them and, because they were downwind of me, utterly failed to realise they were heading towards me. The warm 15 knot SW wind suddenly became a cold 30+ knot NE wind and I had way too much sail up.

I clipped on for the first time ever, hove to, and got two reefs in the main. I then rolled half the genoa away and bricked it the whole way back across the river. Back in the harbour it took me over half an hour to get back on the mooring, while avoiding getting pinned onto the breakwater.

The sense of relief of getting that mooring line on is immense.
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:27   #55
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Motoring up Lake St. Clair (St. Lawrence Seaway) at night in solid fog. Dead reckoning (this was before GPS) would get us from one set of channel buoys to the next, we'd go to the middle of the channel and take a bearing for the next.

The Lakes freighters could see our masthead light above the fog and were directing us by radio, except for the one that wasn't paying attention.

I was on bow lookout and saw it coming through the fog, yelled "hard right rudder" and the helmsman turned left, straight across in front of it. I ran the length of a 36' boat in 0.2 seconds and jumped on the throttle and, to make a long story short, we survived.

A couple of guys asleep in the V-berth heard the noise and one stuck his head out of the hatch - his story and probably subsequent nightmare was that the first thing he saw was an anchor going by.

Someone on the deck of the freighter yelled "get out of the channel." With a six foot draft we had been trying to avoid that, but we decided it was good advice after all. Anchored just outside of the channel for a couple of hours while we all hyperventilated.
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:49   #56
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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One night at anchor at Colonia, Uruguay, about 0200....

Had spent the day in Monte and had lunch at a nice place in the mercado down by the old port. I had fish... forget what it was called but it wasn't called what it really was...
A several hour bus ride back to the boat... a quiet night at anchor....

At 0200 it happened.... thought I was going to die, turned on the light in the head.... had a look in the bowl and knew I was going to die....

Fortunately we had inet access aboard.....

Escolar: The World's Most Dangerous Fish // Medellitin

Do not eat escolar! However I must admit it was yummy....

Other scary stuff? Being a very slow thinker nothing much scares me at the time but I do wake up screaming from my dreams at times when I think of what might have been...
Thanks for posting that link. I read that very good page and chuckled (and learned) and now I have added "Escolar, the Worlds Most Dangerous Fish" to my file "Sailing Hazards."

Next time I go eat sushi/sashimi, I will definitely SKIP the "white tuna."
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:53   #57
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Most things happen so quickly that you don't really have time to be scared while they're happening. One time, I had the back stay fail in about 35 knots on my old 25 footer about 40 miles off shore that both damaged the mast and resulted in me hanging off the shrouds sans life jacket with one hand trying to catch the wildly swinging remains of the backstay with the other in 8 foot seas and didn't really think twice about it. The wife was below at the time horribly seasick but that event seemed to cure her pretty fast! Limped to a nearby island and refuge and jury rigged. Prepared to leave next morning with the weather still much the same and I have to say that at that moment I was putting on my foul weather gear whilst looking out of that nice calm bay at a white sea with bumpy horizon and the prospect of a 30 mile trip back to port under outboard power and a handkerchief of furled headsail was the time I've felt the most "anxious". Once out there, not too much of a problem despite being knocked down twice and fortunately the weather started to moderate after a couple of hours.
Funny what you can get used to, my one piece of advice for most younger trainees I've had at my paying job was that you're only as good as your worst experience. Every piece of experience seems to increase your threshold for handling situations, as long you remain humbled by the forces of nature you won't cross over into overconfidence.
My experience with offroad and road going motorcycles, as well as a couple hydroplanes I built and ran as a youth seems to have formed a way of working through situations in real time without freezing or panicking. In a tough situation you have to remember to slow things down and think them through quickly to come up with a solution, remembering to breath helps avoid the panic, freeze reaction. When you don't know what to do and panic starts to roll in it's time to stop, take a deep breath and think it through, this has saved my ass more times than I like to think, at this point it's become second nature.
Like you said, it's funny how things can seem so calm in the middle of mayhem when you slow it down, it seems like you have hours when in reality it takes place in seconds and minutes. From what I'm told it's a leftover from evolution as a self preservation instinct formed when we weren't at the top of the food chain.
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:17   #58
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Funny what you can get used to, my one piece of advice for most younger trainees I've had at my paying job was that you're only as good as your worst experience. Every piece of experience seems to increase your threshold for handling situations, as long you remain humbled by the forces of nature you won't cross over into overconfidence.
My experience with offroad and road going motorcycles, as well as a couple hydroplanes I built and ran as a youth seems to have formed a way of working through situations in real time without freezing or panicking. In a tough situation you have to remember to slow things down and think them through quickly to come up with a solution, remembering to breath helps avoid the panic, freeze reaction. When you don't know what to do and panic starts to roll in it's time to stop, take a deep breath and think it through, this has saved my ass more times than I like to think, at this point it's become second nature.
Like you said, it's funny how things can seem so calm in the middle of mayhem when you slow it down, it seems like you have hours when in reality it takes place in seconds and minutes. From what I'm told it's a leftover from evolution as a self preservation instinct formed when we weren't at the top of the food chain.
I had a KDX 250 that I used bomb around on but there was one time when I took it out on the road to get to this off road track and was following a van far too closely and far too casually as had only one hand on the bar and smack from under the middle of this van appeared a loose brick which I had no time to avoid at all directly in line with my wheel and it put me on my side in split seconds. It really really hurt but luckily I had some old school mx armour on which helped although it did not feel like it at the time. You are right. I was doing all sorts of crap on my bike but my road sense was useless. Experience or lack of it can be the weakest link. I always look out for the unexpected now. I think though if I remember rightly when I saw that brick I did get momentarily very anxious because my mind computed I was going to hit the deck and there was no escaping it. 10th of a second maybe.
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Old 14-05-2015, 20:15   #59
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Originally Posted by lifeofreilly57 View Post
Funny what you can get used to, my one piece of advice for most younger trainees I've had at my paying job was that you're only as good as your worst experience. Every piece of experience seems to increase your threshold for handling situations, as long you remain humbled by the forces of nature you won't cross over into overconfidence.
My experience with offroad and road going motorcycles, as well as a couple hydroplanes I built and ran as a youth seems to have formed a way of working through situations in real time without freezing or panicking. In a tough situation you have to remember to slow things down and think them through quickly to come up with a solution, remembering to breath helps avoid the panic, freeze reaction. When you don't know what to do and panic starts to roll in it's time to stop, take a deep breath and think it through, this has saved my ass more times than I like to think, at this point it's become second nature.
Like you said, it's funny how things can seem so calm in the middle of mayhem when you slow it down, it seems like you have hours when in reality it takes place in seconds and minutes. From what I'm told it's a leftover from evolution as a self preservation instinct formed when we weren't at the top of the food chain.
Too true. The closest I ever came to death (so far) was on a motorbike. A known killer of bike riders is "target fixation". Back to boating I certainly understand wave shapes a lot more since way back then - especially those that are standing up due to wind against tide while being squeezed between a couple of adjacent islands, along with having some refracted stuff thrown in for good measure as well!
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Old 14-05-2015, 21:08   #60
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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"That is a great story. Enjoyed reading it! It just makes you wonder.. How can 14knots become 60 plus in such a jiffy. But it can! I bet you sail now with one hand on the ejector seat at all times.

Nice story. Did the "Providence" get knocked also.?"

I don't know, we came upon the Providence some time after while motoring up the bay, we got hit about 1/2 an hour earlier and had been motoring up the bay after recovering and stowing the sails.
It just put the icing on the cake when we saw it glide by like a shadow. My buddy Ken still gets the creeps when we mention it, for some reason, stuff like this always happens when the two of us are involved, not bad, just weird.
When we got hit we could see stars and the line of thunderstorms was just at the edge of my radar range, by the time we saw the Providence the clouds had rolled in and it was quite dark.
Microbursts are a very localized and pretty damn powerful, you can be 3 miles away and have little or no effect from one, but if your in the middle of one it's pretty damn impressive. It lasted only a short time and then the winds settled into the 20-30 knot range as the thunderstorms rolled in.
They've been known to turn airplanes into big black splotches in the ground near airports in the past, usually near thunderstorms in the summer, now with the advent of dopler radar it's easier to spot.
THe winds in them tend to be more vertical than horizontal depending on where you are in relationship to it. Weirdest thing I've ever experienced, it just wasn't like any type of wind I'd experienced before or since. I've had summer t-storms throw big wind for a short period before but even then your usually able to see it coming and it usually comes along with the storm front, but this was 16 miles away and in clear skies. It didn't just start with increasing wind, it was like getting slapped down hard, with the wind increasing from 14 knots steady to pegging the wind speed indicator in 20-30 seconds. In the boat it was like what a fly would experience when getting swatted. It came down, then spun some, not like it was from a fixed direction, the boat did almost a 360 when trying to get it pointed up. I think no one got scared because we were all trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Anyone else ever had an experience like this?
I've been in violent thunderstorms before so I know what they're like, this wasn't that type of weather condition. When I tried researching the conditions a microburst was the only thing close to explaining it.
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Not sure if it was a micro burst but if you google images: "shelf cloud"... we drove under one of those once . We were only about ten miles offshore coming into harbour. Beautiful day, sunshine, 5 knots wind maybe and this thing loomed off the cost. I radioed the local marine rescue and they said nothing happening, bit of a shower and cloudy. We reefed everything and drove up to it amazed at nature. As we got closer to the edge we could see a couple of miles inside and the air was light green, lightening was hitting the water all over the place and about three waterspouts were running around. It was such an amazing sight, really jaw dropping. Still no wind but there seemed to be sea water in the air in there, even though the water was flat. The super cell or whatever it was must have just been born that minute! Just for us. Well the wind came all in one go. We didn't have instruments but another boat out there said over 70knots, bang, in about 5 seconds, we were held over (big beamed steel motor sailor) at about 80 degrees from vertical and started sailing sideways, we developed a bow wave on the side of our boat . The noise and scene was absolutely terrifying. Went on like that for some minutes as we were flipped and held down from side to side. Being a thunderstorm of some kind, it eased fairly quickly, maybe 15 minutes but after a couple of minutes of that crazy wind the water wasn't flat anymore. When the wind dropped enough the boat stood up to allow us to motor into the crazy short waves which started up. 20 minutes later dead calm again. The cell went up the coast and scared the life out of everyone behind us.
I have no hesitation in saying it was by far the most scared I have been in my life. Couldn't think at all for a very long ten or twenty seconds which is quite unsettling. I didn't think we were going to die, I thought we had died and had gone to hell!! My exact thoughts. But then I just clicked back into normal, had too, my poor wife needed someone to tell calming lies. Just a thunderstorm I kept saying to both of us, be over soon. Light green sky, lightening, waterspouts, shelf cloud and 70 knots in five minutes takes a little adjusting too
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