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Old 14-09-2009, 19:51   #1
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Para-Anchor in a Gulf Stream Storm?

Hi folks,

We was sittin' on the wharfe with beer chin-waggin with the other cruisers last night.... all real important stuff like cruisers natter about.... when we got to talking about deploying the Parachute Anchor. Now we all agreed that its use is when there is large breaking seas.
These seas are most often found only in storms wind against current for example the Gulf Stream and Agulahs current.

Both have a core width of about 35 miles (note: not counted are eddies etc).

If one is dim witted enough to get into one of these spots would you set the Parachute anchor or sail the 35 miles to get to safer water?

Thoughties please


Mark
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Old 14-09-2009, 20:23   #2
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Well, some of us want to do the Horn, so I take exception to your disciption (though accurate) that I'd be dim witted to enter into such waters.

I have Been in 70 plus winds with huge breaking seas, can't imagine running in that (Never liked the idea of running) I prefer facing the storm/seas. But I will carry both drogue and the sea anchor for different scenarios of dim wittedness.
cheers,
Erika

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Old 14-09-2009, 20:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I take exception to your disciption (though accurate) that I'd be dim witted to enter into such waters.
'Dim witted' I mean to try and cross the 35 miles during a storm. I would stay either side of a current if there was a storm. I didn't mean 'dim witted' as to be anyone crusing the east coast of the USA or southern ocean

This question is about if one is unfortuante enough to have accidently got into the situation.

Those who jump into it on purpose would probably sail through it


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Old 14-09-2009, 21:03   #4
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When the wind picks up, I slow down.

As tempting as it may sound, keeping moving in "black hole" conditions is asking for it. Better to back off, get a comfortable (relatively) tack for the boat and wait it out. I prefer a chute' on my trimaran, every boat is different. But the idea is to let it ride, no fwd. movement into it. Any movement will increase the energy that may overcome you and break things, or hurt people.
I have fished for 29 winters in the Bearing Sea, the 125' vessel I run is capable of almost anything, but those are my rules. We have all come home in one piece after all these years, with out harm to the boat or men because of it.
Just some "everyday" shots of working the grounds in the Bearing Sea Winter time.....:-)
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Old 15-09-2009, 05:15   #5
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Depends, the Gulf Stream is only about 35 miles wide down south where it cuts between Florida and the Bahamas, but it widens as it heads up the coast. By New York it's usually about 300 miles wide, and easier to get caught in. But yea, where it's only 35 miles wide I couldn't imagine being caught unaware in a large storm with todays weather forecasting.
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Old 15-09-2009, 05:20   #6
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I think I would factor in the "depth" of the storm and it's expected passage time. Lets just say that it is expected to moderate in say 5 hours and that you could travel at 7 kts. So it is 5 hours sitting at one spot in relative safety (and comfort) behind the para-anchor or traveling with the storm for 5 hours (7kts*5hrs=35nm) taking your chances with each wave and even once "safer" water is reached, you will still have the storm to deal with (assuming the storm is traveling with you).
I would take the para-anchor option
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Old 15-09-2009, 07:08   #7
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Well, if it's that windy then boat speed is in the mid teens so it's 2 hours and a bit to cross but........ I think I would rather sit for a bit in a nice anchorage and work on being less dim. Lumps get old and gear cost a couple bucks.

Hope the cruise is going well!

Cheers,

Joli
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Old 15-09-2009, 07:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmolan View Post
I have fished for 29 winters in the Bearing Sea,
You'd think after 29 years you'd know it's spelled Bering. Sorry, couldn't resist
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Old 15-09-2009, 08:02   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
You'd think after 29 years you'd know it's spelled Bering. Sorry, couldn't resist
No problem.....actually it is spelled both ways depending on which chart or which country published the info your looking at.

I know because I fished one season for two months right under the "A" in the name Bearing on the chart....
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Old 15-09-2009, 10:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I think I would factor in the "depth" of the storm and it's expected passage time. Lets just say that it is expected to moderate in say 5 hours and that you could travel at 7 kts. So it is 5 hours sitting at one spot in relative safety (and comfort) behind the para-anchor or traveling with the storm for 5 hours (7kts*5hrs=35nm) taking your chances with each wave and even once "safer" water is reached, you will still have the storm to deal with (assuming the storm is traveling with you).
I would take the para-anchor option
The additional consideration is that even with the para-anchor out you are being dragged north at 3 knots or so and eventually away from land, so there are many issues to consider. Also the region where the stream is 35 miles wide is a major shipping lane. I'm not sure I want to be tethered to a para-anchor with a dozen 800ft ships bearing down on me. Lastly if I went out in a major storm where the maximum distance from a safe anchorage on either side is only 26 miles and reasonably dependable short term weather reports are readily available I would have to assume that I might be a deserving candidate for a Darwin award.
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Old 15-09-2009, 10:44   #11
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Cross the 35 miles... set a parachute in the stream? you're kidding right? Maybe if there's no wind and I need to get to Lauderdale fast... :>)
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Old 15-09-2009, 12:00   #12
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I've been in the Gulf stream in a Northeaster- but I was not the Captain and we were in a 50ft. yacht. Still got thrown around a bit. I would sail out if I could. I always consider sea anchors what you do when you can't sail- but my experience is alot less than many others on the board.
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Old 15-09-2009, 12:21   #13
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Now, this is the kind of thoughts you got exactly because you were: " ...sittin' on the wharfe with beer chin-waggin with the other cruisers last night...."

For real life knowledge of what happens when you deploy a parachute in the Agulhas ask Greg Currie of Bekka. I will only inform you that he literally kissed the hard land when he did come to Richards Bay.

So I think neither Agulhas, nor the Gulf Stream. But maybe in the vast open water with a huge (not tropical) weather system yes why not.

My option thus would be - conditions permitting - get the hell outta the current. Or stay out and cross when conditions permit.

Doh my 2 cents.
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Old 15-09-2009, 13:28   #14
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Methinks in depends on the boat I was in.
I fully accept it is better to sit out the really rough stuff in a multihull with a sea anchor - as the risk of tripping up is too high when running in such conditions.
Same was true with older style slower mono's.
I don't believe the same is true with a modern monhull so in one of those, I would run to get out of it pronto.
But agree with all others - with todays weather and routing info - to even get in the scenario means you're either a work boat with limited speed and options - or have not done enough advance planning.
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Old 15-09-2009, 13:44   #15
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Actually John, a large number of multihullers prefer to run with a storm, when necessary using a series drogue to slow progress and reduce the risk of pitchpoling. And with particularly fast mulithulls, many try to outrun the worst of a storm.

In any case, there is very little in common between 'older style slower monos' and the modern multihull in terms of behavior at sea. In fact, although generalizations are always dangerous, they have much more in common with newer, faster monohulls, which also have an increased tendancy to pound when going upwind in bad conditions.

Where we all agree is with respect to today's weather routing and the advisability of a Gulf Stream crossing in very adverse conditions.

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