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Old 28-11-2013, 14:11   #46
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Some might say this was the curse of Herb.

/joking.
I certainly miss him.
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Old 28-11-2013, 16:56   #47
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Herb was always my Guardian Angel. I am friends with him for over 23 years, back to when he was in Bermuda.

He will be missed. He saved countless lives. He would never have wished this incident on anyone.
Eric


God Bless you Herb.
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Old 30-11-2013, 20:51   #48
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
another thing -

I like the idea of ralleys but I am warry of commiting to a departure schedule. My expeience is that lots of bad stuff happens on boats decause you tried to keep a schedule.

You know what they say, "the most dangerous thing on a sailboat is a schedule".
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:02   #49
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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You know what they say, "the most dangerous thing on a sailboat is a schedule".
The participants in the SDR, of which I was crew on a friends' sistership were repeatedly advised to choose their own dep time, ultimately based on ones' own analysis of the weather forecasts available...whether it was from Chris Parker,... the vast array of other sources which is certainly available for anybody dep from the US mainland or the SDR weather briefings which made use of all of the above.
Comments that boats were made to leave on a specific Rally date/time are WRONG and this fact seems to elude some posters on this thread...


The Rally fleet was "advised" to leave on a NOV 5-6 timeframe depending upon boat size/speed and potential conditions tolerance. We left on the morning of Nov 6, as did the bulk of the fleet, EVERYBODY fully aware of the approaching strong cold front with a prefrontal trough and the sea states that usually result from these events...

On our boat we agreed that we had experienced the roughest, most confused seas (in the stream and exiting it afterwards for awhile... 36N -36.2N) that any of us had seen to date and our combined experience is considerable....
They werent the biggest, typically 4-6 feet , sometimes up to 10 feet but "pure washing machine... square nasty".We were triple reefed and a jib hanky and the boat was getting knocked around and banging at times but surprisingly dry and stable, not in any way threatened.... but we had to hand steer in 1 hr shifts for the worst of the event as Auto was being quite challenged in those conditions.

That's what we experienced in that area of the stream... others may have and probably experienced different.... the rest of the trip was characterized by periods of great sailing... sailing... motor sailing... motoring and overall great fishing!

Everybody agrees, or should agree... that weather forecasting/sea states is not an exact science and be prepared for the inevitable variations....

Beating into 50 knot winds for 3 days or being in 60 foot seas and winds gusting to 100 knots is entirely a different matter.... that just escapes me... But if that is what you like or are looking for... soldier on...


Bob
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:46   #50
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

^^

agreed . . . the salty dog is perhaps the 'least scheduled' of the various rally's.

But there was still a general date set.

And perhaps more importantly there is (almost) always a 'herd mentality' at work in groups . Note this is even true in a cruising anchorage when boats are leaving for the same destination even with no rally. You really have to intentionally filter out the group thinking and make sure you are making the best choice for you, your particular crew and boat. This is very hard to do. It is generally against human psychology. In particular it is natural to listen to the more experienced (but that could be a bad thing because they are probably better prepared for tough conditions) and the pro routers (but as I comment just below they seem to have systematically/repeatedly failed on this route over several years).

Finally, I don't think the pro (and semi-pro) weather routers have been doing the fleet much of a service the past few years. It was pretty obvious this year that earlier departure was better (and this is not Monday morning QBing, as you can see my post to that effect before the event). In a previous year it was obvious that leaving earlier and staying west were both better than later and east (as most of the routers were calling for). And that is also not Monday morning QBing as I was on a delivery and that's what we saw ahead of time in the NWS forecasts and what we did. I am fascinated by why the routers are doing this - I do not know the answer.

Finally, there were a couple hundred boats going down that route, many of them with limited offshore experience, and it is a tough route in early Nov, so the failure rate is actually not all that bad. It could be much better, most of these things could have been avoided, but it is not terrible all things considered (inexperience and conditions).

Fact of life: occasionally things break and stuff happens at sea - in a large fleet there will be incidents.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:26   #51
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

I agree that the Norfolk to Eastern Carribean route can be a tough go in early November (as compared to some other popular migrations around the world) and this has certainly been my own experience and demonstrated in previous Rallies.

With this in mind I would come to the defense of the Pro and Semi-Pro weather routers who are somewhat hamstringed by the desires of the Rally organizers to launch their fleets to jibe with dep/arrival "booked" activities. The SDR set a "good for us" dep date of Nov 4 and the Carib 1500 has done similar in the past.
This certainly contributes to herd thinking and with less experienced boats, "if its good for everyone else it must be good for me" ... that thinking probably contributed to the problems some boats experienced.

We were prepared to leave Oct 31 onward as we and I on my own boat have always been ready to do. That is purely a function of the Insurance stipulations that most boats are subject to regarding the Hurricane Season coverages and movements for pleasure boats. The dates that the Rallies set.. were and are irrelevant to the boat I crewed on and would be for my own boat if i participated in them. We made our own weather decisions , are subscribers of Chris Parker and others and would leave when it was logical for us.
I cannot understand why the Rally organizers don't stage dep Rally activities in Oct leading upto a Oct31/Nov1 potential dep date for the above reasons and I think this is a flaw in their thinking...

"Fact of life: occasionally things break and stuff happens at sea - in a large fleet there will be incidents."

That is very true Evans and as "Captain Ron" wisely agrees:

"Anything's gonna happen,

it's gonna happen out there."


Bob
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:52   #52
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Bob, Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Bob,
I did not intentionally sail out into horrendous weather. I have had the misfortune of having this weather happen in transit. I have NEVER left in bad weather conditions , or for that matter left when conditions were forecast to deteriorate. Stuff just happens out there.

The point I was trying to make in my initial note was that some of the boats, I feel, were not prepared for the worst possible conditions.
Fair Winds,
Eric
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:15   #53
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Eric
I am sure you did not intentionally sail into crap and hell....I guess I was commenting on your multiple experience in those kinds of conditions... which I hope to never experience, forgive me if I portrayed you as reckless...
and I fully agree that unprepared, inexperienced boats could be at great risk in the worst possible conditions and in the SDR that may have been the case.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2013, 17:50   #54
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Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Bob,
No problem!
I guess even the most prepared people run into problems.
This is a copy of my friend Eric Forsyth's log from a few days ago.
He was heading from Long Island and trying to circumnavigate the Antarctic again. He lost crew and sailed from The Azores south to Cape Verde and across to Brazil solo , he has logged over 250,000 miles on a home built boat.
He has circumnavigated twice and done the Northwest passage at age 80 he is now 82 or 83.
take a look at www.Yachtfiona.com
Fair Winds
Eric OCC CCA


NOVEMBER 30, 2013
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona ran into a gale and has sustained damage. Computer and email also down. Destination has been changed to Cape Town, South Africa. ETA is January 1st, 2014. All is well on board. More details to come.
502 00 S 55 32W--On route from Port Stanley, Falkland Islands to King George Island, Fiona ran into very heavy weather (60 knots wind, rough seas). During this period, several items were damaged on Fiona; major events were practically sinking, due to a hose coming loose, breakage of the steering chain, loss of primary computer, and finally, the staysail was torn to shreds. All items were repaired except for the staysail, for which we did not have a replacement. Without the staysail, progress in high winds is very difficult. Thus, we have decided to go to Cape Town, South Africa for a new staysail and much-needed repairs. Aside from everyone taking a good, salty bath, no one was hurt and all members of the crew are well. To break the 3000-nm journey to Cape Town, we will stop in Tristan Da Cunha. Our ETA for Cape Town is New Year's Day.
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Old 02-12-2013, 19:13   #55
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

I was on the 2011 NARC rally which ran into trouble. Zulu the Alden 54 was also on this rally, and was a fast boat that had no apparent problems, so in response to one of the earlier posts it is a well founded boat that has been through bad ( or worse) weather before.

I also did the SDR in 2012. We were delayed in Hamptonseveral days waiting for a weather window. Some boats left a day before the scheduled departure date to get ahead of the bad weather. The rest of the fleet stayed in Hampton, with pot luck dinners and daily weather updates. There was a general consensus based on Chris Parker's forecast as to when the rest of the fleet should leave, but it was up to the individual captain. We were in a large proven offshore boat with some experienced crew so we left a day earlier than most of the fleet on the back side of the storm to try and avoid lighter winds predictd later on. We based our decision on Chris Parker's forecast, our own review of other weather forecasts and discussions with some of the more experienced captains on the dock. In the end It was our decision, and given our boat and experience it was the right one, or we just lucky. BUT there was no pressure from the SDR for us to delay our departure, it was purely our decision.

I would do the SDRagain for the camaraderie, the seminars and the free forecasting from Chris Parker, plus the fact that the schedule was mine, and not someone else's.
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Old 02-12-2013, 19:49   #56
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Neilsty,
Are you in Simpson Bay Marina?
Kimberlite is on C dock.
Fair Winds
Eric
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Old 02-12-2013, 21:00   #57
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Eric....Capt Forsyth is pure ARRRRR!!!!......

Bob
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Old 03-12-2013, 14:01   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
another thing - I like the idea of ralleys but I am warry of commiting to a departure schedule. My expeience is that lots of bad stuff happens on boats decause you tried to keep a schedule.
+1

Schedules will get you killed.

I get there, when I get there.

I always tell family and friends that want to visit they can pick the date OR the place but not both.
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