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Old 08-10-2016, 11:02   #166
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pirate Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Hmm. Hundreds of islands with no good hurricane holes? Doesn't pass the smell test. How do any boats then survive the many storms that hit the Bahamas?
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Hurricane holes are a myth.. there's no such thing.. just places of lesser or greater odds of survival.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:43   #167
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Weather claims two sailboats off coast; Coast Guard rescues crews | KOMO
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:13   #168
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I'm glad all were safely rescued. That night here in Sequim at the Dungeness lighthouse winds were recorded at 57 mph out of the South.
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Old 08-10-2016, 14:22   #169
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

In retrospective, you will notice Matthew tracked a considerable distance further offshore than showed by forecasts when it was early enough to make such a decision and hope to effectively execute it.

Now we can say such a decision would have been be a stupid one for most cruising boats except the maxis or trawlers. And more doable from Nassau than from Miami.

Now this teaches us that it is not just about taking our chances but also about very seriously considering the 'what is the worst thing that could happen' for any our chosen scenario. For you can walk away from a boat tied to the dock but not from one trying to dodge the weather in the open waters.

Big hug, I hope you all are safe now.

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Old 08-10-2016, 16:07   #170
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

We survived Mathew in Charleston which is not a hurricane hole due to the low topology. Sometimes you need to leave the boat and live to fight another day. We centered our boat in a slip facing the predominate wind direction. Tripled the forward spring lines to keep the sugar scoops off the dock and doubled all other lines. Removed all canvas and dodgers. Checked on the boat today and no damage. We noted that several boats in the marina sank and a lot of damage to other boats. We bought the boat in July and stayed on the boat through two tropical storms(Hermine & Julia). With hurricane Mathew we decided to leave the boat. In 3 months we are beginning to have some expertise in storm prep with two tropical storms and one hurricane.

Do not try to outrun storms when the forecast models are only accurate for a few days.
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Old 08-10-2016, 17:18   #171
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Seamanship is officially dead and so it would appear is reading comprehension.
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:35   #172
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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I understand. But we knew matt was coming in this general direction days ago. Long enough to get out of its way if you sailed directly east placing your vessel out of the matt's path. Of course it is too late now.
===

One problem with that strategy is wind direction. Given the counter clockwise flow around the center, the winds north of a US east coast storm will generally be out of an easterly direction. If you reach south, that will put you on a path to the eye wall and disaster. That leaves you with north which puts you into a race with the storm which most sailboats will lose.
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:43   #173
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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===

One problem with that strategy is wind direction. Given the counter clockwise flow around the center, the winds north of a US east coast storm will generally be out of an easterly direction. If you reach south, that will put you on a path to the eye wall and disaster. That leaves you with north which puts you into a race with the storm which most sailboats will lose.
The shortest distance from A to B is a straight line. Matthew was heading North East at 9K. If you departed last Sunday or Monday you could have easily gone far enough west to avoud completely even the outer bands. By day 2 you could have headed South East and found an outer Carribean Island to tie up in and enjoy a cold drink.while watching the devastation on the bars TV.
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:49   #174
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pirate Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
The shortest distance from A to B is a straight line. Matthew was heading North East at 9K. If you departed last Sunday or Monday you could have easily gone far enough west to avoud completely even the outer bands. By day 2 you could have headed South East and found an outer Carribean Island to tie up in and enjoy a cold drink.while watching the devastation on the bars TV.
And if you were in N Florida or Georgia.??
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:55   #175
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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The shortest distance from A to B is a straight line. Matthew was heading North East at 9K. If you departed last Sunday or Monday you could have easily gone far enough west to avoud completely even the outer bands. By day 2 you could have headed South East and found an outer Carribean Island to tie up in and enjoy a cold drink.while watching the devastation on the bars TV.
===

One of us is having a geography problem. Going west on the east coast of the US takes you inland on my charts.
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:55   #176
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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And if you were in N Florida or Georgia.??
Pray. That's of course after heading up a creek to mangroves or striping every piece of canvas off your boat and tying it well with 15 to 20 lines at the marina.

Having said that. If your were on the space coast or even Jacksonville you had at least 4 days warning to make a run for it.
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Old 08-10-2016, 18:59   #177
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I have never been in a hurricane and only once in the forecasted path of a cyclone (same thing, but it is an Australian name), and that cyclone was barely a storm when it arrived on shore.

I can see some good reasons why setting out to sea could work. Yes, I am familiar with Buys Ballot……

At the same time, there are many compelling and practical reasons why people do not head out on approach of a hurricane, that is in addition to the arguments stated before: like the unknown path.

- When heading to open ocean, it is a near certainty that rough weather will be experienced
- Many boats by design or fitout (or lack thereof), may not be suited to such weather
- Many skippers will not have the experience to deal with such weather
- Even if boat or skipper is up to it, most of the boats will not be ready on a very short notice
- If the skipper is prepared to go, it will be nigh impossible to get good crew on a very short notice. Remember the owner/skipper wants to save his boat, the crew does not have that motivation
- And it has been said before: many of the owners are still in fulltime work or have other commitments ashore, and to take a week or two off without any notice: very hard to do.

Even if heading out to sea is best, I would estimate less than 1% of recreational boats head out to sea.

Unfortunately hurricanes (cyclones) like Matthew will cause a lot of angst prior to arrival (not necessarily bad), damage and deaths on arrival (bad, very bad), and months or years of overcoming the effects of such event (bad).

And here I am, tapping on the keyboard in a warm and safe house, on the other side of the world. My biggest concern is a large tree in the garden, just blown over in the strong winds…… Somehow it does not add up.
I am pretty certain that anyone affected by Matthew, has no time to check this forum, and if they do, think something like: “Effing armchair sailors. What would they know?”
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:47   #178
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I do. I just survived Matthew without going to sea. Call me crazy. Also crazy is arguing with WAB.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:53   #179
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Some persoanal experiences....
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I am probably less disposed to the concept of towed devices than to bow deployed sea anchors. I’ll relate a couple of incidents of mine:

1) I’m sailing from the Chesapeake Bay down to St.Thomas, USVI on Christmas eve in a heavy full-keel 47 wood cutter staysail ketch. I know there is a storm approaching, but I figure if I can get out past the Gulf stream (avoid the northerly wind against the north flowing current) before it hits, then I will ‘run’ with the wind and waves in the open ocean. It turns out to be a much more intense storm than predicted with a very intense center that moves just north of Bermuda. I experience 60-70 knots of wind for two and a half days. I am surfing BIG but organized seas using a hankerchief-size staysail. It’s reported that two other vessels nearer the center of the low pressure are sunk in the same storm. I have two other inexperienced crew onboard and we are doing 3 hour shifts, as that is as long as you can concentrate on avoiding a broach. I decide the wind is high enough to run under bare poles and save the staysail from gibing itself to death, and maybe keep my bowsprit out of the backface of the wave at the bottom of the trough. We slow down all right, but now the crest of the waves are breaking over my stern and completely filling my cockpit. Tons of water is captured in the cockpit floor space and spills thru the engine hatch seams located there. It’s drowning my brand new diesel engine, and the slower surfing speed has aggravated our broaching tendency. Bilges getting full of water. Back up with the staysail until we are all so tired, I decided to heave to with a rudder forcing her to windward and a backed staysail forcing her off wind. Finally some much needed rest for all of us. I cannot think of a drogue arrangement that I could have left UNATTENDED in this situation, either in reference to broaching tendencies caused by the opposite rotation of the surface waters at the crest of the wave as opposed to that in the trough, nor with reference to the amounts of water I was collecting in the bilges.

2) I’m in the Gulf stream at its intensified narrow point between Fla and the Bahamas in a 60’ Chris Craft power yacht with a big broad stern and 1300 gal of fuel in that stern area. It’s blowing from the north against the northerly flow of current with produces a short very-steep chop of peaky waves. Powering into this chop is ridiculously rough with this underpowered slug. Beam-to is scary. Running with it seems to be the option. The big broad (very buoyant) stern gets picked up by the waves and tries to bury the bow. Steering is practically non-existent with those little tiny rudders in ineffective water. Not a fun time. Thank goodness it only latest a matter of hours. I feel as though I would rather have set to a bow anchor.

3) Delivering a 38’ yacht fisherman from Florida to Venezuela. Had a very rough crossing from Turks & Cacaos to Porto Plata. So rough I had to cut speed way back and arrived well after dark. Lighthouse at Porto Plata is not lit (under repair). Channel markers are not lighted. Range lights are totally obscured with new vehicle road lights leading to the new tram to the top of the mountain. There are coral reefs on either side of this channel. I’m seasick (or something), tired, and low on fuel. Sure wish I’d had a sea-anchor to throw out for the night. Instead I had to run up and down the coast till I could find this big ‘rock’ in the dark, and then estimate the location of the channel from there. Luckily I made it. (next morning revealed a big new Ocean 71 ketch aground on one of those channel reefs…..didn’t make it several weeks earlier….very expensive mistake).
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:57   #180
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

These guys escaped to Miami from Freeport:

Video is filled with a lot of nonsense, and the timeline is not very clear, but what is clear is that hundreds of miles ahead of the storm does not mean E winds and mountainous seas.

I would also recommend that contrary to what is shown in the video, proper storm prep would include removing the sails and bimini top and stowing them below.

The take-away from this, is that done early enough, you have plenty of time to remove a boat from the direct path of a hurricane. Of course you take your chances that the hurricane will change its path and hit you nonetheless. That said, modern storm predictions are pretty good, and certainly have proven quite accurate up to 3 days in the future, and provide a reasonable indication of the general path of the storm a couple days beyond that.
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