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Old 11-12-2009, 21:05   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA
Boat: GS 52 - Shenanigans
Posts: 29
Hello to All...

I'm writing to introduce myself to you as I join your community. I am a semi-retired environmental attorney, currently engaged in some environmental consulting (green side only) in the Washington D.C. area (where else?). I've been racing and sailing my Ericson 37 up and down the East Coast since 1981. Since I cut down from full time work, I've been an assistant coach for the offshore sailing team at the Naval Academy, which has led to three trips to Bermuda on 44 -48 footers and a "seamanship" instructor for the mids, which involved a number of trips to Newport and Florida. Most recently, I've purchased a GS 52 to replace the Ericson. That boat is in Mallorca and, commencing Jan. 27, the plan is to sail with some friends from Mallorca to St. Lucia, via Gibraltar and Madeira. I stumbled on your site while researching weather issues for that trip. I find your site full of information and, while I will contribute where I can, the collective experience of the group is pretty impressive.

With respect to the recent very long thread about the loss of the Cheoy Lee off NC, I would offer up the following from my 35+ years: (1) most serious problems are not the result of a single event, but a cascading type of thing where one problem compounds and enlarges (2) the best prepared, best sailed boats can go down, so don't assume that someone must have screwed up if something bad happens. Sometimes it's just bad luck. I was present at a situation a few years ago where an Academy boat skippered and navigated by one of the most prepared and conscientious professional sailors I have ever encountered (a full commander in the USN) had a very severe grounding while that sailor was wide awake and fully involved in navigating the boat - in bright sunshine (albeit in 40 kt of wind; but that was not a factor) and in a well marked inland waterway. I was driving a second Navy 44 in squadron a half mile behind at the time and witnessed my 25,000 lb sistership, which drew 7.5 feet, slam into a 3 foot sand bar at 9 kt. The stern of the boat went up like a deer's tail and it took 18 hours to get it off. The cause: a simple communication issue between nav & helm -- Do you see the red nun off to starboard? Leave it to port. Yeah, I've got it." They each had different nuns in mind as the helm hadn't actually seen the first nun the navigator was worried about. So, to those who chewed up the owner of the Cheoy Lee, I will confess, "There but for the grace of god, go I." Regards, Bruce B

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:45   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bruce.

Thanks for complimenting our combined wisdom, and for adding to it, with your first post.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 12-12-2009, 10:36   #3
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Aloha and Welcome aboard!
Good to have you here and posting.
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Old 18-12-2009, 05:51   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: Morgan OI 30' Itinerant
Posts: 254
Bruce seem like a good reason, a/w some other top notch skippers, for being here. Looking forward to more of your informative posts. A well known expression..."two kinds of sailors....those who run aground and those who lie". Its so easy to be critical of someone who hit the shoal, or hit the rocks. Its so much better to try and learn from these...mishaps.
ie...after a relatively long sail last summer, I came across Cape Cod bay on an overnight sail under some beautifle stars. At around 2 AM my buddy was at the helm and I was resting...he knew the channel but thinking it was high tide he tried to cut across the shoal about 1/2 mile from my mooring....we were stuck there until the next tide. Live and learn...
A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again.

J.M.Synge, in The Aran Islands
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Old 18-12-2009, 10:54   #5
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Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
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Welcome to the forum Bruce B.
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
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Old 18-12-2009, 11:58   #6
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Location: West Coast, BC , Canada
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Posts: 595

Bruce your experience as a skipper and enviromental engineer will add greatly to the knowledge here.

Go outside and PLAY!
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