It's been good to see some avid searunner folks on this forum.
I posted a piece about big seas and parachutes on the 'biggest wave' thread. Maybe it belongs somewhere else.
For what it's worth, I'll repeat it here:
Early November 1992. Steering
120* mag from Norfolk, bound for Virgin Islands
in a Searunner 31 tri. We stepped into a worsening 5-day storm, first kicking up the Gulf Stream
with opposing winds. Then clocking around blowing harder and harder, leading to 45kn winds steady plus strong gusts, and a whole lot of fetch. Seas: 30 feet, maybe a bit more. 6 foot breakers crisscrossing from 2 directions.
We deployed a 16 foot parachute anchor
twice, the first time for 20 hours. The parachute was payed out so it lay in the next crest as we topped ours, and that required 400 feet of rode
plus the chute leader plus 70 feet of bridle
Sweet it was on that chute, riding like a duck on an elevator. The board was up and the rudder
tied off so we couldn't back down on it, and the GPS
told us that we only lost
2.2 nm in that time. The bridle
was led through a pair of big snatch blocks on the ama bow bridle plates, a la Jim Brown. So we pulled them in two feet every couple of hours to adjust any bridle chafe.
We had no windlass
, so when the winds dropped down to 25kn we retrieved the whole rig using two winches in series. At the time, it seemed like a whole lot of retrieving, but we'd gotten some rest and could proceed: just keep sailing the boat.