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Old 21-05-2015, 16:29   #76
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

There have been times I've felt really frightened:

Waves higher than the spreaders on the Yankee 30 in my first gale on the way from HI to San Francisco...

Finding ourselves the bacon in a sandwich between north and southbound freighters, maybe 1/8 mile off...

Collision course with a tugboat that kept following my course changes...

Thunderstorm in NSW, 60 k wind, tropical downpour of rain, could not even see the bow, but then the rain lessened, and there we were, knotmeter pegged, about to T-bone a freighter!...

I know I was scared when we were dismasted 65 mi southeast of Cape Moreton, because I went below and brought up the life vests--first time I'd ever done that, but all i could think about at the time, was how to help get rid of the rig, as is was bearing on the boat...

But the time I was most frightened of all was one time after Jim and I had left NZ bound for Fiji, and we both came down with the Victoria A flu. First, we thought we were seasick. Then the diarrhea started, and fevers, and profound malaise. For two whole days, we were hove to, and no one could keep watch. [Eventually, Jim got better, and was able to keep watch, and eventually, we returned to NZ. Departed again about 2-1/2 wks later.]

Ann
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Old 22-05-2015, 10:23   #77
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Two were the worse.. First last year headed into the Messina Straits the winds were a bit up but nothing serious. Messina Straits control called on the radio and gave us permission to enter as they saw our AIS. Just then the wind went on the nose at 35-40+ and the sea went to very steep and very short. Pulled the sail and motor on and not far from Scillia so decided to go in but at 3,000 rpm running between 0.5 and 2.0k. As bow dropped off a wave and went into trough before it could rise to the next the wave on top of it. a lot of angling into the waves to keep the bow up a bit. Took over 2 hours to get into shelter of land and beat the crap out of the boat.

Second, a night sail down the Panama coast towards the canal. Saw a thunder storm on radar that passed in front of us. But when it hit land the offshore winds blew it back out and it elongated and surrounded us. All was ok as wind was behind us. It was blowing and raining so hard had rain coming into the back of my glasses. Rain was vertical. Suddenly a lighting strike 100yards of so off the back of the boat and all the circuit breakers went off. We were on autopilot and wheel went over and boat turned into the wind. Took a bit to get if off, a few seconds that seemed like hours and hand steering while trying to figure out where we were as all circuit breakers were turned back on and all instrument turned on. Then trying to figure out how to turn back in big seas without taking a huge wave on the beam. It was pitch black and could only guess on wave height and which one to turn on. Did make the turn and continued on.
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Old 22-05-2015, 10:59   #78
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

In 2009, we were moored up in Christiansted Harbor, St. Croix. I was working on the new desalination RO project at WAPA Richmond. After work on night, my wife brought the dinghy ashore and we went to dinner. It was just dark when we were headed back to the boat when we noticed that there were people on our boat. I sped up towards the boat as anyone would I guess when one of the guys started shooting at us from our own boat as they were jumping into their fishing skiff to make their getaway. We of course headed back toward the boardwalk area where people were and called the police. after a half an hour, we decided the police were not coming, and headed back to our boat. As we were assessing the damage these guys or whoever did while trying to disconnect our electronics a police boat showed up with guns drawn ordering us to stand still and keep our hands where they could see them. I was trying to explain that we were the boat owners and had called them to no avail. One officer was on board ordered us to lie face down in the cockpit with his gun trained on me. I was telling my wife what to do in Spanish ( She's Dominican) and he put his gun to the back of my head telling me if I said another word he would blow my F***ing head off. I really thought I was going to die at the hands of these ill trained idiots. They finally got the just of the situation only after a coast guard skiff showed up (Thank God) and put an end to this situation. I never said a word about these two marine police to the coasties.. I just wanted it over with and for them to get off of my boat. We finished this job two months later, and left St. Croix never to return.
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Old 22-05-2015, 14:45   #79
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

This was another one... learning experience that is,

Best friend and I purchased a 1958 Trojan 22 in Long Beach during a tropical storm. One quick test ride in the rain and we were sold (22 yrs old at the time). Waited in the slip through the weekend, called in sick Monday and had to get the boat up to Ventura to our waiting slip... we were out of time.

As we left Long Beach harbor, the Ford Intercepter began loosing rpms. As we rounded the point and really hit the swells, we had to slow to a crawl so's not to fly off the peak and land in the trough. With the seas a little confused we frequently rolled far more than comfortable and elected to put on the PFD's. After hours of what should have been a fast trip, we pulled into Channel Islands marina rather than attempting to go all the way to Ventura.

Again slept in the v-berth only this time, upon waking in the morning, I noticed my shoes were floating 6" above the floor! We quickly purchased a large bilge pump and emptied out the boat. Undeterred, we pressed on to Ventura, tied up at our slip and headed home after rigging the pump. The marina called, concerned that the pump was on 45 min of each hour..

We did put the boat in dry dock and began a 2 year process restoring everything.

The lessons? 1. don't buy a boat in need of massive repairs because the price is right, two docks over there was a '59 23' Trojan in pristine condition for not more than we ended up sinking into this one in repairs. 2. When an engine's rpm's slow by itself, this is not a good sign, go back. 3. When catching air under the hull coming off waves, don't expect that 20+ yr old plywood hull to put up with it.. 4. Audible bilge alarms are a good thing.
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Old 23-05-2015, 08:10   #80
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

As a former CG Rescue Specialist I've had many many opportunities to be scared on a boat, but for me, I can easily identify the scariest of them all- it was at dock.

I was sitting around reading in the cockpit when I heard my wife screaming that our son had stopped breathing.

Fist thing I did was call 911, then did a head tilt chin lift, got a little cry out of him, then he would stop for a while and I would reposition his airway again and he'd start breathing. This went on until paramedics arrived and put him on oxygen and gave him some drugs. He was fine after a couple of hours in the hospital, we never did find out what happened, but the doctors said he must have choked on something.

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Old 23-05-2015, 08:52   #81
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Howdy Y'all!

I don't know of an easier way to do this, but after reading these good sea stories (scary stories) I want to sincerely thank you ALL for taking the time to write and share them here.

If this forum had a way to show a "Like" with a simple button click, I would have clicked "Like" on all of the stories to give the writers some public appreciation individually.

Putting a "Thumbs Up" or similar emoticon did not seem fitting for some of the stories, but I was glad to see the stories here in the forum.

Reason: I think it is the real and simple stories like this that give a new sailor or even an old sailor something to consider and from which we can all learn a lesson.

It is particularly good to see the breadth of "scary" things that can happen, as some are really threatening and many are those "unexpected" things that can surprise any sailor, including those with many sea miles and lots of previous experience.

I really appreciate experience and respect those who have more than me or even just different experiences. But, I sure hope I don't have to experience what some of you have experienced!! Yikes!
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My Friendly Suggestion or Request About Sea Stories:
As a reader (and curious sailor), one thing I do like to see in this kind of sea story, is when the writer also posts what "lessons" they learned from the incident. Those "lessons" can include things to avoid or things to do or remember next time, and that is a good "lesson" too for the sailors unfamiliar or less experienced.

After some reflection I am sure we all can think of things we "shoulda" done and "coulda" done or "woulda" done if we could do it over.

Clearly stating those is one easy way to share that hard earned knowledge with others who want to learn to avoid that same situation or know what should or could be done if faced with similar situation.
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Old 23-05-2015, 09:03   #82
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
As a former CG Rescue Specialist I've had many many opportunities to be scared on a boat, but for me, I can easily identify the scariest of them all- it was at dock.

I was sitting around reading in the cockpit when I heard my wife screaming that our son had stopped breathing.

Fist thing I did was call 911, then did a head tilt chin lift, got a little cry out of him, then he would stop for a while and I would reposition his airway again and he'd start breathing. This went on until paramedics arrived and put him on oxygen and gave him some drugs. He was fine after a couple of hours in the hospital, we never did find out what happened, but the doctors said he must have choked on something.

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Hi SteadyHand. Lesson for this one of mine is definitely know up to date first aid and CPR. It could save some ones life!

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Old 23-05-2015, 09:17   #83
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Steady Hand,

What I learned from our experience with the flu is to always carry compazine suppositories to stop vomiting; and, I learned to sit up to try to sip water (to prevent dehydration), because it'd come back up if I did it lying down. We also carry hydration fluid.

Maybe we should have a thread on lessons the ocean cum weather have taught us.....

Ann
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Old 23-05-2015, 11:03   #84
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

There were two too close calls.

The first was a dark & stormy night at anchor in Andraitx, Mallorca. (Why do storms always hit between 2 & 4 am?) There were a lot of boats in the anchorage. I don't recall the wind speeds but I'd guess 35 - 45 kts. Everyone was up & in their cockpits; lots of boats were dragging. We weren't dragging but so many boats were that we were in danger of being hit. The captain was at the helm with the engine idling & I was working my way to the bow for some reason I now don't recall. Our attention was on the dragging boats ahead of us. I didn't see the boat coming from behind until my captain screamed my name & GET DOWN at the top of his lungs. I dropped like a rock to the deck, from which I had a frighteningly clear view of this sailboat clearing our bow by about 3’ at full throttle. He had raised anchor behind us & was trying to motor ahead. He was moving forward but he hadn't enough steerage yet & it appeared he was going to t-bone our port side--with me on the port deck just forward of the shrouds. To get steerage he applied full throttle and he did manage to miss us, but just barely!

The second time was a beautiful sunny afternoon tied up at the waiting quay at La Savina, Formentera. I’d sprained my ankle earlier & was alone on the boat. I watched an obviously brand-spanking new 36’ Beneteau come in to tie up alongside the quay behind our boat. There was no or little wind & the skipper seemed to be doing ok but it was obvious that his hair-brained crew had NO idea & he didn’t have enough experience to direct them. They hadn’t put fenders out & were coming along side a stone quay! I hobbled over to help hold them off while they found their fenders (if they had any). A sudden & totally unexpected surge pulled the Beneteau straight away from the quay. I was holding their lifelines when the boat was sucked away & I fell between the boat & the quay—dangling from the top lifeline. Time stopped as I instantly realized that boat was going to come back hard against the quay & I’d be the fender! I scrambled up & over the lifelines & landed on their boat just before it crunched against the wall! That pretty new Beneteau took some nasty rash to the hull before they found fenders. Apart from the bruises on my legs & arms from going over the lifelines like a monkey, I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t even wet. But I sure as hell went back to my own boat & poured myself a stiff drink! My captain ambled back a while later to find me on my 2nd or 3rd drink & sporting shades of blue & purple which only lifelines seem able to impart. Needless to say, I have been extremely mindful of the possibility of surge ever since, and am highly unlikely to offer help to keep a boat off a wall. In hindsight, I should have simply taken one of our own fenders over & held it in place until the other boat was settled.
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Old 23-05-2015, 11:41   #85
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

I hate to think how many decades ago this was but my dad, some of my friends and I were sailing on either Card or Black Sound south of Biscayne Bay. Can't remember which... Anyway, we had enough WIND to actually sail so we were happy! We were all tired of having to use the engine which generated more heat and this was in the summer so we had enough heat. AC on a boat? What are you talk'n about Willis?

So we finally have some wind and off we go! Wonderful! We are sailing north back to Miami when to our NNE we see not one, not two but THREE BIG water spouts! The water spouts were heading across our bow to the NNW or maybe NW and we could hear them. They might have been a mile or two away I guess. These things just suddenly popped out of the cloud(s) that were providing us with wind. I think my friends were scared but it was pretty obvious to me that our slow 4-5 knots was not going to take us into the path of the water spouts or that they were heading directly towards us though it looked like might happen when they first showed up.

The scary thought was that there was nothing we could really do if they headed towards us but dropped the sails and try to motor off to one side and let them pass. There was no way for us to out run them.

It was really cool to see the three water spouts.

Later,
Dan
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Old 23-05-2015, 11:47   #86
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pirate Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

My wheel coming off in my hands while jockeying with 8 other boats waiting for fuel on a windy day in Palma de Mallorca...
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Old 23-05-2015, 11:56   #87
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Boatman, I do hope that wasn't very recently. Or was it?
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Old 23-05-2015, 12:28   #88
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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Steady Hand,

What I learned from our experience with the flu is to always carry compazine suppositories to stop vomiting; and, I learned to sit up to try to sip water (to prevent dehydration), because it'd come back up if I did it lying down. We also carry hydration fluid.

Maybe we should have a thread on lessons the ocean cum weather have taught us.....

Ann
Good points, Ann.

What you said about the compazine suppositories reminded me of the sailboat that was abandoned off southern California primarily due to the severe seasickness of one member of the crew (as they were on their way to Hawaii). His seasickness was so bad he was continuously heaving. The "lesson" from that story was to take (have aboard) "motion sickness" medicine in the form of suppositories, as the more common pills would not stay down long enough to be effective IF a crew member gets seasick. Simple solution to a problem, but one that most will not think about before needing a solution..
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Old 23-05-2015, 12:47   #89
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

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There were two too close calls.

CLIP…

In hindsight, I should have simply taken one of our own fenders over & held it in place until the other boat was settled.
Both very good stories (and scary close calls)! WHEW! Some close ones!

I know my heart would have been racing!
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I also like your last point about taking over a fender to help.

I can see that as being a very smart move (good thing) and less risky than trying to hold off any boat at a dock.

I have seen some irate skippers who, while at the helm of their 35 foot or larger boat, think anybody (newbie crew or even old dock hands) can use only their body to hold their baby off a dock or pier, while those many thousands of pounds of mass have their own idea (momentum). This happens when they come into a slip too fast or when they lose control in a tight spot (crowded marina or narrow slips etc.).

Little boats, little wind, no current, no waves? That is easy.

Big boats, stiff wind, some current, some waves? That is NOT so easy. (understatement)

I have often thought, "OK, let's switch places, so you can put YOUR body at risk as a human fender!"
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Old 23-05-2015, 16:51   #90
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Re: What was your most scariest boating moment.

Well, this was not really scary at the time, only when I thought about it after it was over.
We were motor/sailing our 32 foot Hunter north from San Diego to Oceanside. Four of us on the boat and it was a nice clear day light breeze (hence the motor/sailing). The other wife was down in the galley working on lunch. The rest of us on deck saw some whales and were sort of heading towards them, of course all of us were focused on the whales ahead.
I glanced over my shoulder, just because I have this habit of always looking around. I saw one of the Blue Whales making a run from East to West of us and it looked like a collision course. I yelled and made a hard turn to port. Bob (the other guy on the boat) yelled at Sharlene to look out the port hole.
As the whale went by, she saw the eye of the whale through the port hole in the galley. Way to close for comfort.
Had the whale hit us, I seriously doubt that our boat would have floated, and the water was very deep there, we were about 5 miles off shore, and of course no one had a life jacket on.
Exciting and scary after the fact.
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