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Old 10-10-2016, 19:44   #241
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by seaskip View Post
And calling people fools for staying put. Maybe while you were making money out of them? Sounds like you had a great excuse not to go hey. I'm sure you'll get a chance to prove me wrong one day.Ill be watching this summer. The met guys reckon more cyclones than normal.
Oh, one more reason to be cautious. What about the folks who have to go out in appalling conditions to rescue someone who got it wrong?

Right. I've got my helmet on. Fire away😜
Sometimes we came back with crew missing or deceased.
( so others may live.)
Wife was cg rescue swimmer.
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Old 10-10-2016, 22:07   #242
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Crossing Gulf Stream in Northerly

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for those proposing a Gulf stream crossing, either heading west out of the bahamas, or east to open ocean----how do you manage the timing of the crossing??? what if the wind is strong out of the north when you get there??
I've crossed the Gulf stream in a northerly,...headed out of Ft Laud going to Bimini in a 47 wood ketch.

The sea is on your beam and you carry enough sail to keep you heeled over and moving along nicely. You are sailing along the lengths of those sizable waves rather than directly into them or down them. Its actually a nice sail.

I started out at night so I would arrive Bimini in daylight (use to be a tricky entrance if I remember correctly)
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Old 10-10-2016, 22:33   #243
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Once, a long time ago, we were sitting in Noumea, when a tropical storm blew up off the Solomons.

Then it started to move towards Vanuatu, and intensify.

We took a look at the situation, and there is no question of our using most of the cyclone hangouts in New Caledonia (can't even get into two of them due to our 2.2m (7'2") draft. So, we went and checked out and headed for Gladstone. I actually think the decision to head to sea is far easier for folks who are already out cruising, and with a destination for cyclone season already planned, compared to people who want to stay local. Knowledge of general tendencies of the cyclones in the area informs the decision. Once to the latitude of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, they usually curve off towards the southeast, so heading west makes sense. What No Ties described for Pam seems to partly have been lack of seamanship, but I suspect, also innocence--a lot of cruisers don't seem to have the necessary respect for the weather....labeling it lack of seamanship skills, while correct, doesn't really address why that lack is there.

However, I'd like to agree with skip from NSW, (whose boat could use those two holes I mentioned) that I do not think it wise to head out towards where the storm is going to be likely to be (i.e., I wouldn't have headed for New Zealand, because decaying cyclones do head that way, and the storms they become can be quite unpleasant when they arrive in NZ.)

Fwiw, that run was our fastest average days' runs we ever had for that boat: 159.5 average mpd, on a boat with a 29 ft. waterline, and we were looking over our shoulder the whole way.

Ann
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Old 10-10-2016, 23:21   #244
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I've followed this thread from the safety of a secure anchorage in the non-cyclone season here in Oz, and these are the conclusions that I have drawn:

With adequate warning, moving from an exposed place (like Bahamas) a relatively short distance to a safer place (mainland) is a very valid and useful technique to reduce risk to boat and crew.

The safest methodology is to remove the boat from cyclone-risk areas before the season develops, when one can make the requisite passages at leisure and in good wx. This is the method used by many cruising yachts, and is generally successful. It does require seasonal migrations, and that makes it awkward for folks with land ties and/or employment time constraints.

In the Atlantic, leaving an exposed place (Bahamas, etc) and going out towards the East in hopes of completely avoiding the storm system is possible with the right boat and the right crew. Because of uncertainty in track f/c there is inherent danger in this procedure. It is likely to be difficult to recruit crew for such a voyage, and not all yachts are adequately built or maintained to face cyclonic winds and seas safely, and there can be no certainty of avoiding them. Uncertainty about departure times and return times limits the feasibility of using such methods for each threatening f/c. In general, this method is not suitable for many sailors.

Now to opinions:

The vast majority of yachts in the Florida area are owned and operated by casual, part time amateur sailors. To denigrate them as "non-seamen", while technically quite true seems irrelevant. Of course t hey are not professional sailors, ones who posses the skills and experience that would make the "Eastward ho" escape feasible. A great many of them have never sailed offshore at all, and it would be folly for them to attempt to escape a hurricane at sea. For them, the various marina and hardstand venues make sense... especially if done in a prudent manner. For those who choose to not make preparations, well, I must admit some scorn for them. They not only fail to be seamen, they fail to be responsible yotties and present risks to their neighbors as well as to their own boats.

We have been cruising in cyclone territory for some years now. We have used the "get outta Dodge first" method, generally evacuating from cyclone risk areas around the onset of the season, and not returning until afterwards. None the less, we were caught once in mid-May (6 weeks after the nominal closure ) in a Cat one cyclone (Lisa) in the Kermadec Islands, and were forced to go to sea when the eye went over us and put us on a lee shore. Not fun, but only a Cat one storm and small and fast moving to boot. We have been threatened by a couple of other just out of season storms, and in one case did move inter-island in Vanuatu to reach a better anchorage. In that case (Xavier) there were only two days warning before the predicted arrival, and we had to scurry. That storm never once followed its predicted path, and to our good fortune, went elsewhere. On another occasion, we chose to head for Australia from New Caledonia. We had more warning for that one, and knew that it would likely go between New Caledonia and Vanuatu, leaving the Coral Sea route reasonably safe, and with the sure knowledge of safe havens in Oz when we arrived.

Despite these pretty successful events, I would personally not consider going to sea, hoping to escape a threatening cyclone by evading it in the open ocean as in the Eastward from Florida gambit. To me, the life threatening risk to our aging bodies is too great by a large margin. Younger and tougher folks may well make a different decision... though few seem to have done so.

One final thought: The `100,000 destroyed boats predicted by WAB don't seem to be there. No figures have come to my attention, but I expect that her claim will prove to have been off by between two and three orders of magnitude. From what we have seen, the majority of boats that did come to grief were not prepared for the storm, and the ones that were well prepared have mostly survived. So, the impetus to leave in order to avoid sure destruction seems to have been exaggerated; one can only wonder what the survival rate for folks who did go to sea would have been.

I apologize for the lengthy tirade, but I feel that this is an important subject for sailors in the tropics. I've tried to make sense out of a very mixed and passionate bunch of posts and opinions. Works for me, dunno about anyone else.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:09   #245
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I've followed this thread from the safety of a secure anchorage in the non-cyclone season here in Oz, and these are the conclusions that I have drawn:

With adequate warning, moving from an exposed place (like Bahamas) a relatively short distance to a safer place (mainland) is a very valid and useful technique to reduce risk to boat and crew.

The safest methodology is to remove the boat from cyclone-risk areas before the season develops, when one can make the requisite passages at leisure and in good wx. This is the method used by many cruising yachts, and is generally successful. It does require seasonal migrations, and that makes it awkward for folks with land ties and/or employment time constraints.

In the Atlantic, leaving an exposed place (Bahamas, etc) and going out towards the East in hopes of completely avoiding the storm system is possible with the right boat and the right crew. Because of uncertainty in track f/c there is inherent danger in this procedure. It is likely to be difficult to recruit crew for such a voyage, and not all yachts are adequately built or maintained to face cyclonic winds and seas safely, and there can be no certainty of avoiding them. Uncertainty about departure times and return times limits the feasibility of using such methods for each threatening f/c. In general, this method is not suitable for many sailors.

Now to opinions:

The vast majority of yachts in the Florida area are owned and operated by casual, part time amateur sailors. To denigrate them as "non-seamen", while technically quite true seems irrelevant. Of course t hey are not professional sailors, ones who posses the skills and experience that would make the "Eastward ho" escape feasible. A great many of them have never sailed offshore at all, and it would be folly for them to attempt to escape a hurricane at sea. For them, the various marina and hardstand venues make sense... especially if done in a prudent manner. For those who choose to not make preparations, well, I must admit some scorn for them. They not only fail to be seamen, they fail to be responsible yotties and present risks to their neighbors as well as to their own boats.

We have been cruising in cyclone territory for some years now. We have used the "get outta Dodge first" method, generally evacuating from cyclone risk areas around the onset of the season, and not returning until afterwards. None the less, we were caught once in mid-May (6 weeks after the nominal closure ) in a Cat one cyclone (Lisa) in the Kermadec Islands, and were forced to go to sea when the eye went over us and put us on a lee shore. Not fun, but only a Cat one storm and small and fast moving to boot. We have been threatened by a couple of other just out of season storms, and in one case did move inter-island in Vanuatu to reach a better anchorage. In that case (Xavier) there were only two days warning before the predicted arrival, and we had to scurry. That storm never once followed its predicted path, and to our good fortune, went elsewhere. On another occasion, we chose to head for Australia from New Caledonia. We had more warning for that one, and knew that it would likely go between New Caledonia and Vanuatu, leaving the Coral Sea route reasonably safe, and with the sure knowledge of safe havens in Oz when we arrived.

Despite these pretty successful events, I would personally not consider going to sea, hoping to escape a threatening cyclone by evading it in the open ocean as in the Eastward from Florida gambit. To me, the life threatening risk to our aging bodies is too great by a large margin. Younger and tougher folks may well make a different decision... though few seem to have done so.

One final thought: The `100,000 destroyed boats predicted by WAB don't seem to be there. No figures have come to my attention, but I expect that her claim will prove to have been off by between two and three orders of magnitude. From what we have seen, the majority of boats that did come to grief were not prepared for the storm, and the ones that were well prepared have mostly survived. So, the impetus to leave in order to avoid sure destruction seems to have been exaggerated; one can only wonder what the survival rate for folks who did go to sea would have been.

I apologize for the lengthy tirade, but I feel that this is an important subject for sailors in the tropics. I've tried to make sense out of a very mixed and passionate bunch of posts and opinions. Works for me, dunno about anyone else.

Jim
Good post Jim and I pretty well have to agree with everything you have said here.

Outa Dodge is a good strategy and I do it every year, fills the cruising schedule nicely. In the 13/14 cyclone season I was caught in Darwin so took the boat out of the water and used the opportunity to do a hull refit.

I was on a drilling barge on the Northwest Shelf in the days before satellite weather observations and one caught us before we could evacuate. The eye went right over us and all round it was a nasty experience. There was a 2,000 ton work boat keeping station with the rig and during the worst of it about 1/3 of it was rearing out of the wave fronts then both props would spin in mid air when she dropped into the troughs. We were watching with lots of comments like "Jeez I'd hate to be on that thing". After the storm the boat tied up alongside and the crews mixed and they told us about 1/3 of our 330' barge was rearing out of the water and they were saying "Jeez I'd hate to be on that thing".

I think that for the smallish boats most of us have it's just too damned risky to do anything but make the boat and oneself as safe as possible which might mean making it as secure as possible, and then fleeing.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:31   #246
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

One final thought: The `100,000 destroyed boats predicted by WAB don't seem to be there. No figures have come to my attention, but I expect that her claim will prove to have been off by between two and three orders of magnitude. From what we have seen, the majority of boats that did come to grief were not prepared for the storm, and the ones that were well prepared have mostly survived. So, the impetus to leave in order to avoid sure destruction seems to have been exaggerated; one can only wonder what the survival rate for folks who did go to sea would have been.

Jim
It appears WAB might have bailed from this thread due to the way she was being denigrated. BTW, the 100,000 boats (if you read her reply) were not her prediction.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:59   #247
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I've followed this thread from the safety of a secure anchorage in the non-cyclone season here in Oz, and these are the conclusions that I have drawn:

With adequate warning, moving from an exposed place (like Bahamas) a relatively short distance to a safer place (mainland) is a very valid and useful technique to reduce risk to boat and crew.

The safest methodology is to remove the boat from cyclone-risk areas before the season develops, when one can make the requisite passages at leisure and in good wx. This is the method used by many cruising yachts, and is generally successful. It does require seasonal migrations, and that makes it awkward for folks with land ties and/or employment time constraints.

In the Atlantic, leaving an exposed place (Bahamas, etc) and going out towards the East in hopes of completely avoiding the storm system is possible with the right boat and the right crew. Because of uncertainty in track f/c there is inherent danger in this procedure. It is likely to be difficult to recruit crew for such a voyage, and not all yachts are adequately built or maintained to face cyclonic winds and seas safely, and there can be no certainty of avoiding them. Uncertainty about departure times and return times limits the feasibility of using such methods for each threatening f/c. In general, this method is not suitable for many sailors.

Now to opinions:

The vast majority of yachts in the Florida area are owned and operated by casual, part time amateur sailors. To denigrate them as "non-seamen", while technically quite true seems irrelevant. Of course t hey are not professional sailors, ones who posses the skills and experience that would make the "Eastward ho" escape feasible. A great many of them have never sailed offshore at all, and it would be folly for them to attempt to escape a hurricane at sea. For them, the various marina and hardstand venues make sense... especially if done in a prudent manner. For those who choose to not make preparations, well, I must admit some scorn for them. They not only fail to be seamen, they fail to be responsible yotties and present risks to their neighbors as well as to their own boats.

We have been cruising in cyclone territory for some years now. We have used the "get outta Dodge first" method, generally evacuating from cyclone risk areas around the onset of the season, and not returning until afterwards. None the less, we were caught once in mid-May (6 weeks after the nominal closure ) in a Cat one cyclone (Lisa) in the Kermadec Islands, and were forced to go to sea when the eye went over us and put us on a lee shore. Not fun, but only a Cat one storm and small and fast moving to boot. We have been threatened by a couple of other just out of season storms, and in one case did move inter-island in Vanuatu to reach a better anchorage. In that case (Xavier) there were only two days warning before the predicted arrival, and we had to scurry. That storm never once followed its predicted path, and to our good fortune, went elsewhere. On another occasion, we chose to head for Australia from New Caledonia. We had more warning for that one, and knew that it would likely go between New Caledonia and Vanuatu, leaving the Coral Sea route reasonably safe, and with the sure knowledge of safe havens in Oz when we arrived.

Despite these pretty successful events, I would personally not consider going to sea, hoping to escape a threatening cyclone by evading it in the open ocean as in the Eastward from Florida gambit. To me, the life threatening risk to our aging bodies is too great by a large margin. Younger and tougher folks may well make a different decision... though few seem to have done so.

One final thought: The `100,000 destroyed boats predicted by WAB don't seem to be there. No figures have come to my attention, but I expect that her claim will prove to have been off by between two and three orders of magnitude. From what we have seen, the majority of boats that did come to grief were not prepared for the storm, and the ones that were well prepared have mostly survived. So, the impetus to leave in order to avoid sure destruction seems to have been exaggerated; one can only wonder what the survival rate for folks who did go to sea would have been.

I apologize for the lengthy tirade, but I feel that this is an important subject for sailors in the tropics. I've tried to make sense out of a very mixed and passionate bunch of posts and opinions. Works for me, dunno about anyone else.

Jim
Nice post...
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:18   #248
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
The vast majority of yachts in the Florida area are owned and operated by casual, part time amateur sailors. To denigrate them as "non-seamen", while technically quite true seems irrelevant. Of course t hey are not professional sailors, ones who posses the skills and experience that would make the "Eastward ho" escape feasible. A great many of them have never sailed offshore at all, and it would be folly for them to attempt to escape a hurricane at sea. For them, the various marina and hardstand venues make sense... especially if done in a prudent manner. For those who choose to not make preparations, well, I must admit some scorn for them. They not only fail to be seamen, they fail to be responsible yotties and present risks to their neighbors as well as to their own boats.
Jim and Ann, thank you both for very good 1st-hand accounts, and the sage summation.

I agree that for Floridians with boats there, it makes little sense to scramble the boat to sea. Most should as a requirement for insurance have plans in place to deal with mitigating damage for named storms. For visiting boaters, there might be a greater incentive to depart. Some marinas at which we stayed in Fl would not let your boat stay at the dock during a storm. You would need to find another marina to be hauled at short notice; not an easy task. Add to that if the boat is your only home, no insurance or massive deductible (as is normal for named storms) and the impetus to leave is that much better. As you said, big difference between casual boaters and full-time cruisers.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:12   #249
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pirate Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Let's not overlook the fact that sailors who headed to sea from Florida to NY likely aren't back to their homeports yet. I am eagerly awaiting those many firsthand reports from those who really know what they're doing.

Like it or not, life's a crapshoot.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:10   #250
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I rode out the edge of the storm up in a sheltered creek near Oriental, NC.
There is no way I would have tried running east or north to avoid the storm. The predictions and changes to the storms intensity and path were way too erratic. Even with multiple days notice, there was no way to get my boat prepped for that long of a trip out at sea. Of course many would argue that I have no business being at sea in my production boat regardless of conditions.

I used what time I had to strip and prep my boat and ride it out. I would like to hear if any one from North or South Carolina headed out in advance. Which way did you go? How did it work for you?
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Old 11-10-2016, 22:32   #251
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I would like to hear if any one from North or South Carolina headed out in advance. Which way did you go? How did it work for you?[/QUOTE]

Second that.
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:41   #252
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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I would like to hear if any one from North or South Carolina headed out in advance. Which way did you go? How did it work for you?
Second that.[/QUOTE]

===

We bailed out from Southport, NC when Matthew was still south of Hati and Cuba. The forecast track at that time was showing a direct hit near the NC/SC border with a Cat 4 storm. We'd been docked at the St James City Marina which is well protected but has relatively low pilings for their floating docks. Our strategy was to head offshore to St Mary's inlet, about 250 nautical miles to the southwest. Weather was still excellent at that time and we made it in about 36 hours with our 8 1/2 knot trawler. The Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville area is normally fairly safe due to the westward curvature of the Florida coast. But after we got there the storm track had shifted west and was now projected to follow the coast. That led to a second bail out to the St Johns River where we found a secluded creek just north of Green Cove Springs. We prepped the boat as well as possible, rented a car, and went to the west coast for two days - a very difficult decision for me. We returned to find our inflatable full of water but undamaged. After bailing it out, the outboard started right up and we returned to find our trawler all OK and right where we left it.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:27   #253
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

wayne b
Glad you all made it OK. Must have been a tough decision. As far as I know, Southport did get hit, the town docks were damaged and are still closed.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:25   #254
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Off course.

Plenty of preparation (even if this implies just pre-visualisation) EARLY ON.

Start getting ready in November you will have a bag of tricks by May.

First come first served so act early on. Not when the hurricane is already a fact and everyone around is in the panick mode.

Too bad some of us have their boats where the hurricanes are a common thing, like Florida or places up the coast.

Wishing you all a less dramatic end of this hurricanes season.

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Old 15-10-2016, 15:09   #255
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Boatyard in St Augustine

Last Wed and again today I visited a boatyard here in St Augustine that was playing host to a whole lot of good multihulls, including one owned by a freind of mine Randy West,....75 footer PPalu

This boatyard had done a really excellent job of securing most all the vessels in its yard. Basically the catamarans for the most part were up set up off the ground level with big wooden blocks. The the large size screw-in ground anchors were put in place at the 4 corners. Ratchet type HD nylon straps were then tired around and/or onto the vessels at the four corners. (I've utilized those ground anchors before and they are extremely strong holdinf anchors. They utilize these same type srew-in achors to tied down mobile homes nowadays.)

They sripped the boats of all sails but left mast up if they were already standing. Hardly any suffered damage, while the boat yard itself received damage to 3 of its big shed buildings,...mostly loosing roofs and siding.

I must admit that I had no knowledge of this yard and its capability to haul wide cats and place them on land woth proper tie downs. I would have been content with this.

Happenstance, when I met with Randy on Ppalu he gave me a book, The Hurricane Book
Books by D. Randy West « Project Ppalu Blog / Website

Ppalu at St. Augustine Marine Center « Project Ppalu Blog / Website

https://www.amazon.com/Hurricane-Book-Sailing-Captains-Memoirs/dp/1453845496

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The Hurricane Book a sailing captains memoirs is a true tale by a story telling sea captain of his experience and survival of 18 hurricanes at sea and on land. From his childhood memories through surfing huge storm swells, as the pier that he was jumping off was washed away, the captain leads the reader through adventure and drama. From life in the Caribbean to tales of Hawaii and even history making hurricanes in France one gets the feel of harrowing survival, howling winds, and huge waves and nowhere to hide. Speckled with historic notes, National Hurricane Center facts and amusing anecdotes, the book asks the final, nagging question that has bothered him all his life...Are these things following him around?
BTW Ppalu is for sale.
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