Wow - I leave the forum for a mere year and look what you all get up to.
An amazing read - Listened to the interview part I and read the transcript for Part II.
I literally almost cried on the description of the rescue
team parachuting in.
To paraphrase, "How great is it to come from a country where you press a button on a tiny machine in the middle of the ocean and a short time later your country comes with a C130 and 4 professionals dedicated to saving their countrymen and anyone else in their waters jump out of it and live on board with you for 3 days."
You evaluated your options, pressed the button and saved your family
(especially your sick daughter) - you lost
your home (about $100k) but you are young and life is long. I'd make that trade
There of tons of grist in this thread to talk about but I am late to the party so I will limit to two (OK - three).
Taking a child to sea. A doctor quoted a disease that can happen in one in 3000 kids
in the first 5 years. Divided that by 2 and came up with a probability of 1 in 1500 that one of your kids
would suffer that - a reason not to take kids to sea... But that is a frequency not a probability. the probability that either child gets the disease in 5 years is 1/1500 = 0.0007.
The probability (assuming random distribution as opposed to a disease that worsens over time - e.g. heart disease) that the illness occurs on a given day in that 5 years is P / (365*5) - Multiply that by the passage
length for cum probability over the length of passage
. The probability of either child getting that disease over a 3-4 week passage is infinitesimally small. I posit that the skipper
especially us older ones are at higher risk of debilitating illness than the kids. You can argue multiple competing diseases etc. but I hope some folks get my point.
Second - Some have posed the question, "What if the child was not sick." Absolutely this boat would make it to port of call. The volume of 70 gallons of water
is about 10 cubic feet. This is a diesel tanks
worth of water
per day. The volume of this boat is likely around 1,000-1,400 cubic feet. As noted a 1 gal/stroke thrash pump
pumps that out in 70 strokes. I am not imagining this family
wading around knee deep water in the salon
. They weren't sinking.
My question is, "What if the boat did not broach?" - They were 2-3 weeks from port. If they hadn't lost
comms (sat phone) they could have likely called for a medical
evacuation and this thread doesn't exist except perhaps how awesome the medical
evacuation went (mom & kids perhaps)
My final thought is this - Eric said, and I agree, that when the boat starts shipping
water one should expect electrical systems to start dying. This got me to thinking about batteries. We stick them in the bottom of the boat where we have space, and where we want heavy weights in a boat. We tie them down and think about them being secured in a knock down or broach but my thought is what if the battery bay was waterproofed. You'd have to figure out venting and so on but isolating the batteries from water ingress seems a good idea. Couple that with routing the electrical circuitry as high as possible as quickly as possible, maybe to the the point of routing the master switches etc. well above the water line.
Oh -back to kids on board. I do think they add complexity and you can call that risk. When the going gets rough, and it will, two adult sea-persons now have the burden of watching out for infant safety
and well being. The handling of the boat then largely becomes a single
handed operation. I am pretty sure it was Eric who said that no autopilot
can steer a boat as well as an experienced helmsman in mixed sea/wind conditions. I agree. I also agree with his point about making way as expeditiously as possible to penetrate and get out of those conditions.
I give Eric 100% credit as an able Captain
(and I use that word on purpose - Eric passed the test and had the cert) and seaman. I've seen enough of his posts to say I don't agree with everything he's said in the past but I won't second guess his boat handling and boat prep.
My only concern (in perfect hindsight) is, should the 2 adult seapersons have bee standing 12 hour watches and helming the boat until the weather
system was behind them? They still may have been knocked down but possibly not. This would have changed some things - Even though the sat phone was out they may have been able to communicate via SSB and arranged the (probably inevitable) medical evacuation.
But bow I am armchair skippering and don't want to pursue it.
If the number one priority of the Captain
is to preserve the safety
and lives of crew, Eric passed the test.