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LakeSuperior 04-06-2014 10:32

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by who_cares (Post 1556800)
On a side note, can you even use a sextant in the Great lakes? In the USCG Cel nav isn't required for the Lakes because it's too hard to get a good horizon... I never tried, but I imagine as long as you're offshore far enough you can use them?

In general, there are always azimuth angles on Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron where there is a water horizon.

Additionally, you could purchase an artificial horizon for your sextant.

donradcliffe 04-06-2014 11:03

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
3 Attachment(s)
I want to thank Rebel Heart for coming on to give us his experiences. My picture of what happened is getting clearer and clearer. Most CF members have never been offshore, and RH writes well enough to give a picture of what it is like.

Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1556711)

That's a lot of heavy weather. I don't blame you.

We had the big plexiglass in, but I opened the sliding top door because I was getting ready to exit and go into the cockpit. Just bad luck on my part there.

Squalls, waves and wind are just a part of passages. What RH experienced was pretty normal passage weather. You need to keep a weather eye out and prepare for stronger wind before it hits.


No offshore forecasting, but I did use uuplus.net for email and gribs via my Iridium satellite service. I really liked uuplus.net; they're a great service provider. Like many I found that weather is pretty much all you're concerned with offshore and although you get a general idea of what's going on with gribs and the such, there just isn't anyway to accurately predict offshore weather to the detail that many would like.

The attached wfax files show the best weather information you are going to get unless you have a really good internet connection. You need to read the waves and clouds to get a more detailed picture.


We had one dorade, on the port side, and a ton of water went into it. It was tough because the interior was getting swamp like with the rain and heat so we wanted to keep as much open as we could, but you'd pay the price for it when green water showed up.

The cowling on the dorade boxes needs to be turned so the opening is downwind.

We had some of the "aironly" vents as well, but those let water in too. If someone knows of a way to keep a green-water-shipping-boat ventilated well without letting waves of water into the cabin, I would be all ears.

Its called a fan.

And now a message to all the first-timers. Do your first passage on someone else's boat, and let your partner do it too (preferably without you). It will save an enormous amount of stress on you and your relationship. **** happens at sea, and if you go with someone like Mahina Tiare, you will see how it is avoided in most cases, and handled if it occurs.

SVNeko 04-06-2014 11:47

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 1554781)
DAN has never had a policy of flying anyone to the USA or their home country. Their policy is to evacuate one to the nearest medical facility capable of handling the medical problem. They have also clarified their policy stance regarding cruisers and they still cover that.

Mark

And how is that different than what I wrote?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

colemj 04-06-2014 13:31

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SVNeko (Post 1556876)
And how is that different than what I wrote?

You wrote: "They recently made clear that they are not in the business of flying cruisers with illnesses back to the USA. "

I was making it clear that they never had the policy of evacuating anyone to any specific requested country or to any specific requested facilities. Their policy is to evacuate people to the nearest facility capable of handling the problem.

I was also making clear that they have recently revisited and clarified their stance on this, and cruisers are covered.

Mark

SVNeko 04-06-2014 15:30

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 1556959)
You wrote: "They recently made clear that they are not in the business of flying cruisers with illnesses back to the USA. "

I was making it clear that they never had the policy of evacuating anyone to any specific requested country or to any specific requested facilities. Their policy is to evacuate people to the nearest facility capable of handling the problem.

I was also making clear that they have recently revisited and clarified their stance on this, and cruisers are covered.

Mark

Still no substantive difference but thanks for the addition.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

cwyckham 04-06-2014 15:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by SVNeko (Post 1557076)

Still no substantive difference but thanks for the addition.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Looks completely different to me!

Glad to hear they are covering cruisers. It's a great organization.

Andrew B. 04-06-2014 17:01

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cwyckham (Post 1557094)
Looks completely different to me!

Glad to hear they are covering cruisers. It's a great organization.

Looks redundant to me.

S/V Alchemy 04-06-2014 18:08

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by who_cares (Post 1556800)
I couldn't imagine going offshore without a battery operated GPS and VHF... electronics are probably the most delicate part of any boat and in my mind that's one of the weakest links, so having some kind of a backup is a safety requirement...

How bad was the broach? Were you all the way over on your side?

On a side note, can you even use a sextant in the Great lakes? In the USCG Cel nav isn't required for the Lakes because it's too hard to get a good horizon... I never tried, but I imagine as long as you're offshore far enough you can use them?

Sure you can. I have no trouble getting a horizon to the East...there's no land...and if you want you can use an artificial horizon or just use the intersection of water and land on the other side (for a sun shot/noonsight). Get away from city lights and there's little problem doing the planets or nav stars at dusk...Venus and Mars are particularly good at the moment. Just plug in the usual height of eye and refraction adjustments, and you're golden. I can usually get within 1-2 NM if I'm weaving and bobbing at the right frequency!

who_cares 04-06-2014 18:14

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1557187)
Sure you can. I have no trouble getting a horizon to the East...there's no land...and if you want you can use an artificial horizon or just use the intersection of water and land on the other side (for a sun shot/noonsight). Get away from city lights and there's little problem doing the planets or nav stars at dusk...Venus and Mars are particularly good at the moment. Just plug in the usual height of eye and refraction adjustments, and you're golden. I can usually get within 1-2 NM if I'm weaving and bobbing at the right frequency!

Very cool, like I said, it wasn't required so we never did it, but it's awesome that you can.

S/V Alchemy 04-06-2014 20:20

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by who_cares (Post 1557194)
Very cool, like I said, it wasn't required so we never did it, but it's awesome that you can.

Training your body to take a sight from a moving deck has always seemed more of a challenge to me than finding the horizon or doing the (almanac-assisted) math.

I suppose I would change my tune if I had to work out via the lunar distance method. It's not wrong, but let's face it, CN is hard enough; why pretend you don't know the time?

Jim Cate 04-06-2014 22:49

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
FWIW:

From a typical height of eye from a small yacht, say 8 feet, the horizon is a bit over three miles away. So, any time you are more than that distance from land, you can use the visual horizon for your observations. You don't need an ocean for that!

Cheers,

Jim

boatman61 05-06-2014 04:48

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
For me these days a Sextant is pretty much redundant..
If you've been maintaining a proper plot on your Passage Chart and your GPS/CPs all die on you.. the amount of knowledge we have of our world.. combined with the current/wind info in pilot books should be more than adequate to make a safe and fairly accurate (within 50miles over 1500miles) landfall with DR and your boats compass and S&D log..
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..

who_cares 05-06-2014 05:30

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 1557492)
For me these days a Sextant is pretty much redundant..
If you've been maintaining a proper plot on your Passage Chart and your GPS/CPs all die on you.. the amount of knowledge we have of our world.. combined with the current/wind info in pilot books should be more than adequate to make a safe and fairly accurate (within 50miles over 1500miles) landfall with DR and your boats compass and S&D log..
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..

And of course if you have a handheld GPS you're good even if all your permanent electronics get fried...

A compass, passage chart, and some sort of speed estimate should get you within handheld VHF range of something

S/V Alchemy 05-06-2014 06:25

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 1557343)
FWIW:

From a typical height of eye from a small yacht, say 8 feet, the horizon is a bit over three miles away. So, any time you are more than that distance from land, you can use the visual horizon for your observations. You don't need an ocean for that!

Cheers,

Jim

True, but this is less apparent on the Great Lakes where one is sometimes seeing land behind the shore (which is actually below the horizon) and assuming that one is closer than one is. Having said that, if you have two landmarks (say, a water tower of height X and a radio tower of height Y), you can use this to calculate distance off with the sextant in the customary vertical orientation, or you can flip it on its side to calculate the intersection of the two angles made vis-a-vis one's position, and then just use dividers to calculate distance off. Some models of GPS won't acquire satellites as fast as you can do this "manually". It's something I do when I'm motoring under AP to make hourly position notes in the log, because if I'm motoring, it's probably quite calm.

S/V Alchemy 05-06-2014 06:29

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 1557492)
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..

Thread drift in full effect, perhaps, but I have found that the best answer is "both" the GPS-related toys...and the older DR/CN, etc. (even running a depth contour is valid and prudent when motoring at night, although you want the chart for that)...keeps me in a state of situational awareness in which going on deck for a sight and looking at the sail set, debris in the water, wave sets, and so on...all give me a more comprehensive sense of what's going on. Also, I'm generally not sailing just to peer at a screen. Too much like my working life.

who_cares 05-06-2014 06:36

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
life is thread drift...

Paul L 05-06-2014 06:58

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by who_cares (Post 1557524)
And of course if you have a handheld GPS you're good even if all your permanent electronics get fried...

A compass, passage chart, and some sort of speed estimate should get you within handheld VHF range of something

Here's the big rip-off. If you lost all your electronics, including the handheld GPS, due to a lightening strike, it is quite possible that your compass is now way off from the strikes affect.

S/V Alchemy 05-06-2014 14:25

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul L (Post 1557570)
Here's the big rip-off. If you lost all your electronics, including the handheld GPS, due to a lightening strike, it is quite possible that your compass is now way off from the strikes affect.

While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.

But there's no rhyme or reason to lightning. I was nearby when a brand new Hunter 42 or 44 took a strike to the mast top...it vaporized part of the top plate...and exited in a series of coin-sized holes punched out just above the WL on the starboard bow...where there were no electrical runs. The boat got ducted taped inside and out on the holes and was able to start, with no other damages, save (if I recall) a destroyed VHF.

All that said, if you don't have a microwave, you can make a "Faraday box" for your electronics. And you don't even need to be a survivalist!

DoubleWhisky 05-06-2014 14:44

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1557876)
While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.

But there's no rhyme or reason to lightning. I was nearby when a brand new Hunter 42 or 44 took a strike to the mast top...it vaporized part of the top plate...and exited in a series of coin-sized holes punched out just above the WL on the starboard bow...where there were no electrical runs. The boat got ducted taped inside and out on the holes and was able to start, with no other damages, save (if I recall) a destroyed VHF.

All that said, if you don't have a microwave, you can make a "Faraday box" for your electronics. And you don't even need to be a survivalist!


It had been quite thoroughly discussed here:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ps-122684.html

Paul L 05-06-2014 14:55

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1557876)
While my steel boat is one big Faraday cage, fibreglassers can...and should...keep their satphones and GPSes and emergency flashlights in a box small enough to fit in the microwave...assuming they have one...in any kind of stormy weather.
...

Steel hulls are still susceptible to lightening damage. I have a friend in a 46 steel hull who was hit off Nicaragua. There was a fire in a wiring harness in the engine room and significant damage to major electronics, such as the chart plotter/radar.

SaltyMonkey 05-06-2014 18:37

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 1557492)
Unless of course your an absolute purist and don't have any toys..

I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?

boatman61 05-06-2014 19:04

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey (Post 1558084)
I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?

Don't worry Monkey.. just pee off the veranda...
Check for neighbours first..:thumb:

savoir 05-06-2014 19:20

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey (Post 1558084)
I'm a purist and don't have a head. Whatz that make me?

Someone afraid to kick the bucket ?

S/V Alchemy 05-06-2014 21:14

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul L (Post 1557895)
Steel hulls are still susceptible to lightening damage. I have a friend in a 46 steel hull who was hit off Nicaragua. There was a fire in a wiring harness in the engine room and significant damage to major electronics, such as the chart plotter/radar.

Yes, I understand that, and it's a function of isolation and perhaps something as simple as giving the lightning an easy "out". But steel is generally going to route the blast around the outer skin of the boat. I'd still pull out a lot of leads in a nasty lightning storm...and stay inside the pilothouse.

smackdaddy 09-06-2014 11:13

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
RH - simple question...

Did you repair/replace the rotten decking you mentioned in your blog before you started the trip?

SV THIRD DAY 09-06-2014 11:29

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1556711)

OK, thanks. I'm installing an ICOM M-802 because my kid will be doing high school offshore (my wife's got a teaching degree) and therefore I need basic email offshore to collect and reply to class assignments and so on. So SSB will get a workout on our boat..

Home schooling over SSB email with the M-802????
Tried it....gave up. No attachments plain text emails makes it not a good choice for the home schooling needs. I would go with a Sat phone and data package where you can send and receive attachments.

Just a little experience and frustration talking!

savoir 10-06-2014 05:41

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Cricket Sound - YouTube

S/V Alchemy 10-06-2014 06:25

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY (Post 1560606)
Home schooling over SSB email with the M-802????
Tried it....gave up. No attachments plain text emails makes it not a good choice for the home schooling needs. I would go with a Sat phone and data package where you can send and receive attachments.

Just a little experience and frustration talking!

Thanks, but we shall see. There are plenty of other reasons for wanting to retain SSB capability...and with a cambered steel deck, I should get decent results. It's not "home schooling", by the way, like with a Calvert course. My wife's a teacher; our son will be taking the standard provincial curriculum, only at a distance and with probably a more "periodic" delivery schedule. Clearly, if we are in a port, it would be easier to fire stuff off and receive back marks and comments via e-mail.

Just to swing this back a bit, I wonder if the RH skips got as far as contemplating onboard schooling?

cwyckham 10-06-2014 09:38

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1561138)
Thanks, but we shall see. There are plenty of other reasons for wanting to retain SSB capability...and with a cambered steel deck, I should get decent results. It's not "home schooling", by the way, like with a Calvert course. My wife's a teacher; our son will be taking the standard provincial curriculum, only at a distance and with probably a more "periodic" delivery schedule. Clearly, if we are in a port, it would be easier to fire stuff off and receive back marks and comments via e-mail.

Just to swing this back a bit, I wonder if the RH skips got as far as contemplating onboard schooling?

Lots of great homeschooling stuff on the SV Totem blog.

letsgetsailing3 10-06-2014 09:42

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY (Post 1560606)
Home schooling over SSB email with the M-802????
Tried it....gave up. No attachments plain text emails makes it not a good choice for the home schooling needs. I would go with a Sat phone and data package where you can send and receive attachments.

Just a little experience and frustration talking!

Since RH wasn't really doing any home schooling (oldest kid was 3), maybe you should start a thread focused on this.

rebel heart 10-06-2014 10:10

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1560600)
RH - simple question...

Did you repair/replace the rotten decking you mentioned in your blog before you started the trip?

I mentioned a lot of deck rot; it's a wooden decked boat that we had for eight years. I spent a lot of time in Puerto Escondido ripping cabin top up, coring out rot, and replacing with composite. That was on the port forward coach roof.

Scottuk 10-06-2014 10:55

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
RH

Following Smack's question, was there further rot that you found but did not address prior to your departure? If so where?

Cheers

zboss 10-06-2014 11:06

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 1556216)
Do you have any thoughts (location, better waterproofing, fusing or subpanels) on how you might have made your electrical system more robust?

It's my understanding that upscale modern boats are now being equipped with a distributed electrical system. So instead of having one big electrical panel, you might have a backbone cable from the batteries that snake out and from which multiple panels are dropped. So, you may have a panel for each cabin, a separate panel for the nav lights, etc.

I suppose this alone would make the system more robust. Plus, having a separate battery for the VHF and SSB aside from the house bank.

Am I wrong in this?

cwyckham 10-06-2014 11:23

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 1561309)
It's my understanding that upscale modern boats are now being equipped with a distributed electrical system. So instead of having one big electrical panel, you might have a backbone cable from the batteries that snake out and from which multiple panels are dropped. So, you may have a panel for each cabin, a separate panel for the nav lights, etc.

I suppose this alone would make the system more robust. Plus, having a separate battery for the VHF and SSB aside from the house bank.

Am I wrong in this?

I wouldn't want to split up the banks for radios. There are many disadvantages from a simplicity, weight, and charging standpoint. It also wouldn't really get you much of an advantage.

Most of us have a house bank and a start battery. You should have a way to run your SSB/VHF off the start battery if the house bank gets fried. Usually it's just a matter of switching the 1/2/all switch over.

Terra Nova 10-06-2014 13:28

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 1561309)
It's my understanding that upscale modern boats are now being equipped with a distributed electrical system. So instead of having one big electrical panel, you might have a backbone cable from the batteries that snake out and from which multiple panels are dropped. So, you may have a panel for each cabin, a separate panel for the nav lights, etc...

Am I wrong in this?

Yes. By generalizing. Anyone with enough money can have an upscale boat built for them, to their specifications, even if the idea is experimental or unsound.

It is not uncommon to have multiple distribution panels on boats, like most sportfishers, where there are multiple steering stations. But, even though the circuit might be protected and controlled from a central panel, there are numerous functions which are also controlled at the point of service delivery, like the windlass, lights, radio...etc.

I like traditional solutions for this.

S/V Alchemy 10-06-2014 17:15

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 1561309)
It's my understanding that upscale modern boats are now being equipped with a distributed electrical system. So instead of having one big electrical panel, you might have a backbone cable from the batteries that snake out and from which multiple panels are dropped. So, you may have a panel for each cabin, a separate panel for the nav lights, etc.

I suppose this alone would make the system more robust. Plus, having a separate battery for the VHF and SSB aside from the house bank.

Am I wrong in this?


No, you are correct. A "distributed" system, however, such as the one Nigel Calder advocates, is a somewhat different beast. I do have and will have busses and sub panels, however, for specific low-amp draws in various areas of the boat. This will help to isolate problems should I have them.

S/V Alchemy 10-06-2014 17:18

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cwyckham (Post 1561321)
I wouldn't want to split up the banks for radios. There are many disadvantages from a simplicity, weight, and charging standpoint. It also wouldn't really get you much of an advantage.

Most of us have a house bank and a start battery. You should have a way to run your SSB/VHF off the start battery if the house bank gets fried. Usually it's just a matter of switching the 1/2/all switch over.


Actually, in the system I have devised, if the main house bank is damaged or otherwise out of service, I can switch over to either the start and/or windlass 12 VDCs to run the boat on minimal "get home" power. And vice-versa.

smackdaddy 10-06-2014 19:12

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1561268)
I mentioned a lot of deck rot; it's a wooden decked boat that we had for eight years. I spent a lot of time in Puerto Escondido ripping cabin top up, coring out rot, and replacing with composite. That was on the port forward coach roof.

Yeah I saw that. But that's not what I'm talking about. A few months before you guys left you posted this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1332666)
Probably replacing it, I'm still on the fence. There are big sections of plywood (under the teak, above the beams) that are delaminated and can crumble in your hand. Maybe 10% of the deck, but of course in the hardest to repair areas.

To fix it I really need to pull deck fittings, pull the teak, and then epoxy/screw in new plywood to the beams, then lay up teak or glass-plywood over that.

The idea of putting the teak back down at that point just seems insane.

There was nothing else on your blog about this after the above post. And it certainly sounds from your account like your deck failed out there...10% of which was crumbling in your hand a few months before departure.

Did you properly repair the deck (per your post above) before you guys left? It doesn't seem so as the teak decking was still there. That's why I'm asking. It's an important detail.

sneuman 11-06-2014 17:40

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkJ (Post 1537995)
I don't know of we are allowed to comment in this thread :rolleyes: but I will and its nothing to do with Eric or his boat, but a general comment about the quote below



I find it's weird that so many people claim the old methods are good... And so good that they dont use, or little use the modern methods.

It just seems crackers to me for anyone venturing out to spend so much time learning the sextant (as Eric did) but no time learning DSC etc.

Or, for example, so into paper charts but they don't have Google Earth images and position in real time on Google Earth cached images, and a variety of ECN options.

That "seamanship" is so important and not running into ships so important but will not buy a modern device like an AIS Transponder.

Sat phone really only for work, and would not have been brought along for weather.

The weirdest thing about this particular sinking is that Eric is quite a young man... Much younger than most of us. But steeped deeply into the old ways.

Forum threads often seem to be biased towards the old technology... The writers who use the new kit just dropping out of a discussion whenever someone says "GPS - nice toy but wait till the satellites fall out of the sky"


Mark

I believe they were having power issues too, so old school was good school. Not crackers.

Ex-Calif 12-06-2014 05:40

Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
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 every day.

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.


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