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Old 24-05-2008, 09:53   #31
cabo_sailor's Avatar

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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
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Been away from the comp for a bit - All good advice.

First let me address svHyLyte - you're right about the position - my bad for an aging memory. We were south of Sarasota - in fact we had just passed Fort Myers - after the storm we even started to head back towards San Carlos bay and then changed our minds again to continue to Venice.

As to the weather radio - I can't explain the poor reception but by the time we could hear the warning it was too late.

I think that one of the reasons this episode has bothered me for so long is that I really do know better. Many of the suggestions that have been posted are for things that I would normally have done and I'm at something of a loss to explain why I didn't do them. The suggestion about using the radar for advance warning is something that I normally do but for some reason I didn't. If the sails had been up I would have reefed but not taken them down altogether because I'm aware that they help steady the boat but why I didn't think to raise a reefed main at the time is beyond me.

Anyway, a few other responses are in order. First the suggestion to head for deeper water is good but keep in mind that the west coast of Florida doesn't really have deeper water in the sense of say the Atlantic. The deepest I've encountered is around 150 feet and I was 100 miles offshore. Still it makes sense to get as much sea room as possible.

My lady was in the cockpit with me for moral support - she really does want learn to handle the boat and has made great strides but at the time she was still just a beginner. Our joint goal is that she become skilled and confident enough to take the boat out by herself.

Heaving to would have been my first choice but I had never done so in a squall and was uncertain whether it would work or just get me in more trouble due to the constantly shifting wind direction. From what you all have been saying I gather that the shifting wind would not have been a factor - good to know. I have hove to in 30 knots with just a reefed main sheeted in tight and the boat does so easily. At that time I spent a great deal of time emulating Larry Pardey while hove to by dropping small balls of paper towel over the side and watching with amazement while they just sat there.

One other suggestion that I would follow in future is to shut down the wind generator. It's an AirMarine and makes a racket even under more benign conditions. In those conditions it screamed like a banshee and did not do my frazzled nerves any good at all.

While I don't look forward to repeating the experience, it taught me some valuable lessons. By being able to discuss it with all you fine folk has also greatly helped me put it in perspective. The Cabo Rico is a very strong, sea worthy and sea kindly boat. Intellectually I know it will take a great deal of punishment and still get me safely home. I suppose that we all have to go through some of these less than pleasant times in order to build our confidence.

Once again thanks to all of you.

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Old 24-05-2008, 13:53   #32
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This seems to have been high winds but likely short duration in shallow water, close inshore but some 7 miles from land. You could heave to, but whatever tactic you use you only need a scrap of sail. Various other tactics that you might use offshore don't apply. What about anchoring? 20-30 feet of water and Florida you surely have a substantial anchor and chain.

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