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Old 17-08-2012, 00:21   #16
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Day two of transport home is complete, absolutely beautiful day today. Unlike yesterday ...also known as the scariest day of my life.
The trip started uneventful at best, had I known what was about to happen, I would have stayed in bed. About an hour and a half down the ICW, I get a notification that there's a tornado in my area. Skies quickly turn black, and it starts raining so hard that I can't see the bow 20 feet in front of me. Only thing I can think to do at that point is drop anchor and hide below, this thing was on me, and there wasn't any getting away from it. As I'm cleating off the anchor, I feel the wind go vertical, the updraft sucked the jib off the deck and ran it all the way up the forestay. Followed by... you guessed it, knockdown. How I managed to stay on the bow, I'll never know. Somehow got the sheet back under control, lashed it down again, and headed inside to ride out the rest of it.

Had I known, I would have skipped it, but since I did it, I now realize a few things I wouldn't have before.
#1, I no longer feel the need to haul out and check the bottom, I'm pretty sure the port side looks just like starboard, and I've seen that well.
#2, I've seen my mast underwater and the boat recovered once the hurricane force wind stopped (I've lived in Wyoming, I've felt 85 mph wind, this was more than that)
#3, I have more confidence in my boat and myself than I had 2 days ago. I'm not a sailor, but I'm one step closer, I survived a direct hit by a tornado, alone.

I checked weather and radar before I left, a little rain, but no indication of anything worse, I don't see how I could have avoided it.
And honestly, I'm kind of glad I did.
You can't read or buy experience like that.
Anyway, time for sleep, back underway in 4 hours.
Hold fast folks, I'm sure the action isn't over yet, I'll be so happy to pull into the cove we're going to call home tomorrow night. Then the real work begins.
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Old 17-08-2012, 00:38   #17
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

congrats on your change in life and surviving the storm. keep us posted with your upcoming travels.

fair winds
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Old 17-08-2012, 01:46   #18
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

I took on a thirty foot Cat as my first boat. Had the benefit of not leaning, and having room on deck for my size twelves.
Sail conservative, use the smallest sails you've got, have the fore sail ready to raise before you cast off, don't do it on the move. Keep an anchor in the cockpit, tied to something substantial (no, not your waist). Boats don't come with a handbrake, it's the next best thing, even if it doesn't actually stop the boat.
Oh, and fit and connect the rudder before you cast off. (My first trip in a dinghy, sails raised, cast off, no rudder).
Small boats are tougher than most natural things, I would suggest stuffing all spaces with empty milk containers, the stiff plastic ones. If you do find a rock it will help to slow the sinking, may even keep her awash. Don't expanding foam them in place, tie them together so you can drag them out to seal, or flat sheet plug, any penetration from the inside. There are some sealing compounds that harden in contact with water, they'll solve little problems. Cushions and props slow bigger leaks, plastic cushions being ideal, plastic plates can be even better if you can arrange a post to lock them in place.
Living aboard is harder than you think, but has tremendous benefits, apart from financial. if work has showers then most of the problems are solved, shipping water is probably the hardest, it's damned heavy. Two gallon containers are ideal, five gallon ones are awkward in a dingy, milk bottles, bless them, are great, for water and for dry goods too, like sugar/coffee. Keeps the damp out.
Get the proper gas bottles, not the camping ones. Twin burner stove is enough, with oven is better but I never used it. Cast iron fry pan does wonders with practice.
Wish you short showers, warm nights, and happiness in the life I should have lived. It's always drawn me, always too much to give up.
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:14   #19
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

YOWZERS!!!

Glad you are OK.
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:37   #20
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

ps, respects to Ravenblood, that was a christening, pagan style.
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Old 17-08-2012, 16:12   #21
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

Might I be so impertinent to suggest your boat has a name now?

Tornado
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Old 17-08-2012, 16:24   #22
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

Quote:
I feel the wind go vertical, the updraft sucked the jib off the deck and ran it all the way up the forestay. Followed by... you guessed it, knockdown
I think this is poltergeist activity.

At any rate, you have a nice and solid little ship there. I hope she gives you years of fun and adventure. Good for you living your dream!
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Old 17-08-2012, 17:40   #23
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

At the very minimum, I would say that the kind of updrafts you described. was cer tainly the result of conditions that are part of a tornado. In the future I would try and secure the Jib prior to encountering high winds.

I would say you made it through a learning experience, and were quite lucky. Glad that it worked out in your favor.
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Old 17-08-2012, 17:59   #24
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This was the first thread I've read as a brand new member. The title caught my attention. I too, am ready to make a big transition. I too, wonder if my dream will ever become reality. I too, know that it WILL happen.
My hats is off to you, good luck!
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Old 17-08-2012, 18:45   #25
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

Eh, maybe Tornado Dancer.

If it weren't for all the water involved, I'd say that was a baptism by fire.

Keep that good sense of humor: it's your best tool. We can tell you're wet and having a blast.
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Old 17-08-2012, 21:17   #26
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I definitely agree that there's a name in this story somewhere ...
It's something that I shall never forget.
Poltergeist activity, baptism by fire, pure dumb luck, right place at the wrong time, all of these are true.
My little ship is a survivor, and so is her captain.
If anyone has a suggestion for a good name, I'd like to hear it.
I'll be reflecting on that day for a long time, what went wrong, how to be better prepared next time. but strangely enough, I don't fear it. We've been through it together, and we have a bond now. Someone suggested that the boat wasn't happy with me, I believe none of this. Poseidon threw the lot at me to test my resolve. I made no calls for help, I simply did what I needed to do, and carried on.
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Old 17-08-2012, 22:12   #27
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

I have an even better suggestion for you. She got knocked down and rose up again. How about "Defiant"? I like that even better than "Tornado" or "Tornado Rider".
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Old 17-08-2012, 22:49   #28
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

Hmmm...
How about: "Molly Brown"
"HMS Cork"
"Dorothy"
"Flying Toto"

I don't think you can prepare for what you went through. Those were pretty unusual circumstances. I bet it never happens to you again, even if you decide to sail the vast seas of Kansas.
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Old 17-08-2012, 23:07   #29
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenblood View Post
Greetings everyone,
my name is Tox, I'm a 38 yr old artist in NC. Been reading here for around a year now, never posted simply to not be the guy with a dream that's probably not going to happen.
This is happening, I'm committed.
that being said, I have a few friends that are full time solo cruisers, and they've been very convincing over the past couple years.
I've reached a point in my life that I know I'll never buy land, tired of renting,and have never really been happy on land. When I was a kid in Michigan, I used to canoe down the river any chance I got, sometimes calling my parents 3 days later asking them to drive a hundred miles to get me.
Then after graduation, I joined the marines and started traveling the Atlantic and Mediterranean via Navy ships. In total, made 6 atlantic crossings, 2 in the winter. Not saying that compares at all to a pocket cruiser, but it let me know instantly that I'm comfortable and happy out if sight from land, and I have seen and can physically handle rough weather and huge swells. I was at peace out there.
Anyway, fast forward to today.
I've recently purchased a 1961 Sparkman & Stevens design, Ray Green built New Horizon 26. I believe its hull #61. It's been almost fully restored, new standing rigging, sails, paint, rewired mostly (I've got question of the quality of the wire used, will be checking it thoroughly). Here's some photos if you're still reading
ImageShack Album - 18 images

Attachment 44620

I've got a Yamaha 9.9, 4 stroke to put on the transom,and I should be starting my livaboard life tomorrow morning. I'm pretty sure I've planned ahead as much as I can at this point. Never sailed before, but I know boats and understand the physics and dynamics of how sailing works, and am as prepared with as much knowledge as I think I could be for never having sailed. I have about 70 miles of ICW to run south to get it home, I wont get much of a chance to put up sail anyway on this first trip. I found a nice little cove with 4' in it a mile from work that I'm going to anchor in. There's a couple other sailboats anchored there, I don't think anyone will give me trouble there

Attachment 44621

I'm going to spend the next couple months getting it set up with solar and the necessary gear for a run to the Bahamas after hurricane season winds down, and learning to sail it.
That's where my life is right now, I'm sure I'll learn a lot more very quickly, and hoping I've already learned enough not to get myself killed or sink my new home.
Thanks for listening to a grumpy bastard babble on, hope to see some of you out there.
Wow ... your boat looks great ... very nice refurb

Please keep us all informed of your progress and cruising plans ... we will be in the Bahamas from early December and for a few months before leaving for the pacific. Would love to meet up with you there!
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Old 17-08-2012, 23:21   #30
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Re: It's Time For A Transition In Life

You being an artist and all ... I would give it a cute name ... something like 'Little 1'
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