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Old 19-01-2018, 11:28   #16
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

30 miles from Cabo San Lucas, approximately 20 miles offshore at 3am I spotted a target on radar. Distance 3 miles but on a collision course. I adjusted course 5 degrees starboard. Checked a few minutes later and still on a collision course, so 10 more degrees starboard. Distance 2 miles. Checked a few minutes later, still on collision course! 25 degrees starboard. Looking through the binoculars I could make out a round “object” with many different colored blinking lights spinning in the water, like a merry go round but taller, more like a space capsule heading straight for us. There was an obvious wake visible so I estimated its speed at 10 or 15 knots. 45 degrees starboard and its still heading straight for us! It passed within 30 yards of us and I swear it was a ufo on the water. My friend and I looked at each other and couldnt speak for several minutes. Still have no idea what it was.
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Old 19-01-2018, 11:31   #17
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

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http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...1&d=1516386213

Here is the craziest thing I ever found floating in the water, southwest of Grand Cayman. 300 kilos of cocaine.

Hah!! I think you win with that one!
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Old 19-01-2018, 11:37   #18
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

As a single hander, I wish I didn't read some of these.

I haven't seen anything too crazy out there, but a good friend of mine found bricks of hash floating in middle of flat seas. I think he kept a snagged a brick or two... for the authorities...
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Old 19-01-2018, 11:51   #19
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

Not really “crazy”, but kinda neat. Came across this bear swimming across the bay. Must have been a couple of miles off shore at this point.
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Old 19-01-2018, 12:07   #20
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

(November 1996, approx. 45 miles east of Hilton Head Island en route to Ft. Lauderdale on a SSW heading, at approx. 11:30 PM EST.) While on watch with a second seasoned skipper the cockpit was suddenly illuminated brighter than day. Looking directly abeam to the east we observed what appeared to be a brilliant green object trailed by burning orange ash streaking down from the sky and into the ocean. With no other reference points it was difficult to gauge the size and distance but given the brightness and size of the illumination we estimated it to be less than a mile away. At first we thought it was a flare but realized it was green and streaking down. We believe it was either a piece of space junk ( magnesium??) or a meteorite. Either way it was quite spectacular and surprising!
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Old 19-01-2018, 12:11   #21
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

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6 bright orange 40' shipping containers floating within a few hundred feet of each other in the Bering sea. It was remarkable that they stayed so close to each other.

Jenny's pretty sure she saw an alien spacecraft once, too. No kidding, we're not crackpots!
[B]Kind of a long story[B]

On a beautiful clear night in the Gulf of Maine in September 1988, we were sailing on a close reach from Southwest Harbor to Cape Cod. We were about a third of the way and about 55 miles off shore.

At 1AM I came off watch and went below to nap. As I was close to sleep the watch holder starting knocking on the deck calling "Skipper". I went above and he pointed to a group of "flares" off to the south at or over the horizon. There were groups of what looked like orange parachute flares, kind of floating and kind of drifting back and forth close together.

I got on the radio and called the Coastguard and reported the sighting and they confirmed that another boat had reported the same thing. We were instructed to alter course and head toward the flares and to standby and be prepared to render assistance if needed. I fired up the radar and engine and headed toward the sighting.

Now the commotion brought the rest of the crew (total 4) on board on deck and we were all watching the lights. We continued to see the flares appear and float and then disappear. We thought that no vessel but a passenger cruise liner could be firing off this amazing large number of flares. In an hour we estimated 30 or 40 sets of flares.

We were making 7 knots and had been heading toward the lights for an hour, listening to the Coast Guard radio chatter and watching the radar. We could see the other sailboat that had made the first report and at about 5 mile ahead and see other targets at 12 miles. We heard the CG talk to the Navy, the Air Traffic and get to reports of problems. We watched the flares and noticed they were appearing in groups of three in a roughly triangular pattern. There were several groups of three that kind floated around together and then disappeared. This continued as we watched.

After a little longer I saw an aircraft on radar heading into the area were the flares were still floating, and could hear the pilot on the radio saying in an excited voice "these are not flares, I repeat, these are not flares, there are lights within the lights" and abruptly the flares went off. The plane circled, a helicopter appeared and a couple of fast boats approached the location over the next 40 minutes. They boarded a commercial fishing boat lying a hull and found the crew all asleep.

After another 30 or so minutes the CG decided there was no emergency and called off the search operation. The CG called us, thanked us and released from standing by. No explanation or chatter about the event followed. We altered course and headed back toward the Cape and watched on the radar as the aircraft and boats disappeared.

My wife took the watch and I stayed with her on deck as her back up. Just before dawn she went below and I stood watch alone. And blink the lights on the horizon started again.....
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Old 19-01-2018, 12:59   #22
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

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A befuddling thing for us literal-minded types - sailing 11 months last year, we never saw Portuguese man-of-wars except twice:

- smalls ones every couple of minutes for the day before we made land in Horta, Azores, Portugal, and

- more small ones every few minutes for the day before we approached Lagos, Portugal!
I saw a whole school of small purple Jellyfish off the coast of SC one year. There must have been at least two per square foot of water. They went on for at least a mile.
Another time I saw a very large school of Dolphins off the Outer Banks of NC. There were more than 100 of them.

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Old 19-01-2018, 13:25   #23
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

Very bright full moon night. Before we had AIS. A ship with no lights on. Collision course. I altered course, Jim's below decks alseep.

We pass safely, and when the ship was about 1/4 mi. past us, all of a sudden, his nav lights come on, and there is a klaxon going, hoot, hoot, hoot, continuously.

What to do? I hailed the ship, "Ship that just started a klaxon, ship that just started a klaxon, ship that just started a klaxon, This is the sailing vessel Insatiable II, (repeat name 2 times), do you require assistance? do you require assistance? Over, over."

Long pause. Repeat call.

Long pause, "Insatiable II clear."


It was odd but I guess they were having some kind of a drill, and either weren't keeping radio watch ( comms down, part of drill), or didn't require assistance. Had the ship actually been sinking, we would have needed to take people out of the water, and I would have got Jim up, but the night passed uneventfully.


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For me, the best thing I ever saw on the water wasn't crazy, but I found it lovely.

The young white humpback whale had been born somewhere south of Cook Is. on the New South Wales coast, and had been reported on the news. We were heading north towards Southport, Qld. on the NSW coast and had taken the inside route around Danger Reefs. And, there, just off Cook Is. on the inside (the whale watching boats were outside), we saw Migaloo, and his mom, and he was practicing broaching. It was afternoon sun, shining on him, and he shone like fresh snow against the sea.

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Old 19-01-2018, 13:35   #24
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

30+ years ago was motoring in the Sea of Cortez on a glassy calm day and saw something in the water. Motored over and picked this net float up, still have it as a cool trinket. The Barnacles are over an inch tall. Not unusual I guess, just fun...
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Old 19-01-2018, 13:38   #25
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

Sailing between French islands in the Caribe one morning, I noticed a military type ship, smallish, maybe 100 ft?, going round and round in about a one mile circle. I just sailed right on through and discovered they were dumping some kind of oily muck for all that time. My white hull ended up covered with it, took months to scrub it off. So much for ecology incentives...
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Old 19-01-2018, 13:39   #26
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

Here in the pac nw I too have seen bear and more often deer swimming between islands.
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Old 19-01-2018, 13:43   #27
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

... and one more... In the Straight of Juan de Fuca, I was headed East, back to civilization after spending a summer rounding Van Isle. It was sunny and a light breeze. Reading a book in the cockpit on autopilot I noted a big Killer whale fin a couple miles ahead. Pretty used to them I figured he would gradually go another direction and went back to reading the book. I looked up a while later and didnt see him so figured he was gone. A bit later I see his fin about 4-5 ft off the side of my boat cruising by (he was going the opposite direction)
I think he was just on "autopilot" also. He didnt indicate he had any inkling I was there.... just cruising along...
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Old 19-01-2018, 13:51   #28
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

I almost collided with a moose. It came from the right, but it turned almost 180 degrees few meters before hitting the boat. I wonder what the colregs say about this . After we had passed the moose, it turned again and continued towards the island that it was originally heading to. We were sailing at a strait, where the moose was about 500m from the island where it started, and about 500m from its target island.
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Old 19-01-2018, 14:41   #29
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

In the late 80s, in the San Juan Islands, we saw a pod of Killer Whales off in the distance and altered course to see if we could get a better look.
They sounded but we kept heading in that direction.
All of a sudden they came up and we were right in the middle of them.
Some of them would come straight up and poke their heads out of the water and look at us. The sound of their exhaling was pretty loud. And their breath was foul smelling.
The pod moved on into a bed of kelp and kept going. I was ( still am ) amazed they could swim through that thick kelp.
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Old 19-01-2018, 14:46   #30
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Re: Craziest things and objects encountered on the water

Maybe not crazy but when I was in the USMC we did a float from Okinawa to Korea on a Navy tank ship back in 1989

Well in the middle of the night they come tell me I need to go help with garbage duty

We had about a 50 man chain and let me tell you tons of garbage went right off the back of the ship (and the garbage was in plastic bags)

Not sure if it was legal at the time but I was pretty disgusted by it
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