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Old 06-04-2013, 07:54   #16
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

By the looks of the storm track and path of the Bounty, they'd have faired a lot better if they hadn't changed course and crossed the path of the storm.
Now excuse me while I go clean my bilge.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:58   #17
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

It seems strange to me that leaving port in a 60 year old vessel to face a huricane can be passed of as an error in judgement. This most especially since it is established that the bilge pumps failed due to debris clogging. I am not quick to judge but, with thoughtful consideration, I am not afraid to judge either. There is a saying in aviation, taking off is optional but landing is manditory. No thinking captain would have taken that vessel to sea under those condition. It is a great pity one of his crew died, but as for the captain, no tears here.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:27   #18
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Wow! Thanks for that, what an incredible read!

I was totally immersed in the carnage of the moment when the **** hit the fan. I am eager for the decision on fault coming later this year.

This one quote will stick with me till then:

"Ships are safer at sea during hurricanes, Walbridge said. I've sailed into hurricanes before."

This will likely be the Captain's epitaph.

May Neptune be gentle with the dead.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:54   #19
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

The US Navy takes their ships to sea when a hurricane approaches. What with the US Weather Service using 8 different computer models to track hurricanes, there was no excuse to wait until it was to late.

Let this serve as a warnings to all you folks who want to hitch a ride on any boat expecting the Captain to know what he's doing.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:15   #20
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

I believe that the captain's comments about "chasing hurricanes" had little to do with this case. First of all, he wasn't chasing Sandy. Rather, he was heading into her.

No doubt when making the "chasing" remarks, the captain was talking about sailing in behind a hurricane to catch the S and SE quadrant winds (in the northern hemisphere) where one would expect strong westerly and southwesterly winds. I'm sure the was NOT talking about sailing into the northerly quadrants of a hurricane, especially not the NE where the winds are strongest.

Yet, that is exactly what he did here.

It would appear from his initial statements and sailings after leaving New London CT that his plan was to get way east -- outside the path of Sandy. Somehow and for some unknown reason, he turned westward, sailing directly into the path of the largest hurricane to hit the East Coast in many years.

Why he did this, i.e., turned to the west, is the big unknown to me.

And, of course, why he sailed at all in expected hurricane conditions -- in that boat in that condition with that crew -- is the key question underlying all which followed.

The comments about ships at sea being safest in a hurricane has absolutely no relevance here. Yes, for big ships with strong propulsion systems and good speed with plenty of time to avoid the worst conditions this makes sense in many situations.

But for a leaky 18th century design with known structural problems and novice crew -- especially in some of the most critical positions -- the statements about "safest at sea" are pure nonsense.

As one master shipwright familiar with the Bounty said, "just getting across the harbor to the fuel dock would have been a major voyage for that boat".

Bill
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:31   #21
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

Sadly, there is a fairly recent precedent for the Bounty sinking. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch was bearing down on Central America-Honduras-Nicaragua. The windjammer Fantome was in port. The captain made a similar choice- took it to sea before the storm hit, and she was never seen nor heard from again- not even debris was found. Lost, with all hands.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:41   #22
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

The windjammer was the Fantome, using an"F" not a "Ph".
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Old 06-04-2013, 15:48   #23
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

They had put the paying passengers ashore and tried to save the Fantome by sailing offshore.

The loss of the Windjammer Schooner, Fantome
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:25   #24
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Re: Hurricane Sandy vs The Bounty

Ah the Fantome! Brings back memories. My gal and I were passengers on board her back in the 1980's. I was much younger then. It was around the time of the Grenada invasion and the Captain asked me to keep mum on it. I had a portable Shortwave radio with me and he was concerned that the crew some of whom Grenadians would jump ship. Memories of the broken air conditioning in that stuffy cabin causing me to sleep on deck most nights. Then there was the on board sail maker known as offshore Eddie. I think he slept on deck under the stairs beneath a pile of canvas as I recall.
I was sad to hear of the loss of the Fantome in the Hurricane but, at least her captain was attempting to get as far away from the Hurricane as possible. Unfortunately the storm circled back and overran the boat. Whereas the Bounty's captain made plans to sail towards the storm.
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