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    • UnderDawg

      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

      Sailing Anarchy is a very lightly moderated site. This is by design, to afford a more free atmosphere for discussion. There are plenty of sailing forums you can go to where swearing isn't allowed, confrontation is squelched and, and you can have a moderator finger-wag at you for your attitude. SA tries to avoid that and allow for more adult behavior without moderators editing your posts and whacking knuckles with rulers. We don't have a long list of published "thou shalt nots" either, and this is by design. Too many absolute rules paints us into too many corners. So check the Terms of Service - there IS language there about certain types of behavior that is not permitted. We interpret that lightly and permit a lot of latitude, but we DO reserve the right to take action when something is too extreme to tolerate (too racist, graphic, violent, misogynistic, etc.). Yes, that is subjective, but it allows us discretion. Avoiding a laundry list of rules allows for freedom; don't abuse it. However there ARE a few basic rules that will earn you a suspension, and apparently a brief refresher is in order. 1) Allegations of pedophilia - there is no tolerance for this. So if you make allegations, jokes, innuendo or suggestions about child molestation, child pornography, abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors etc. about someone on this board you will get a time out. This is pretty much automatic; this behavior can have real world effect and is not acceptable. Obviously the subject is not banned when discussion of it is apropos, e.g. talking about an item in the news for instance. But allegations or references directed at or about another poster is verboten. 2) Outing people - providing real world identifiable information about users on the forums who prefer to remain anonymous. Yes, some of us post with our real names - not a problem to use them. However many do NOT, and if you find out someone's name keep it to yourself, first or last. This also goes for other identifying information too - employer information etc. You don't need too many pieces of data to figure out who someone really is these days. Depending on severity you might get anything from a scolding to a suspension - so don't do it. I know it can be confusing sometimes for newcomers, as SA has been around almost twenty years and there are some people that throw their real names around and their current Display Name may not match the name they have out in the public. But if in doubt, you don't want to accidentally out some one so use caution, even if it's a personal friend of yours in real life. 3) Posting While Suspended - If you've earned a timeout (these are fairly rare and hard to get), please observe the suspension. If you create a new account (a "Sock Puppet") and return to the forums to post with it before your suspension is up you WILL get more time added to your original suspension and lose your Socks. This behavior may result a permanent ban, since it shows you have zero respect for the few rules we have and the moderating team that is tasked with supporting them. Check the Terms of Service you agreed to; they apply to the individual agreeing, not the account you created, so don't try to Sea Lawyer us if you get caught. Just don't do it. Those are the three that will almost certainly get you into some trouble. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DO ONE OF THESE THINGS, please do the following: Refrain from quoting the offending text, it makes the thread cleanup a pain in the rear Press the Report button; it is by far the best way to notify Admins as we will get e-mails. Calling out for Admins in the middle of threads, sending us PM's, etc. - there is no guarantee we will get those in a timely fashion. There are multiple Moderators in multiple time zones around the world, and anyone one of us can handle the Report and all of us will be notified about it. But if you PM one Mod directly and he's off line, the problem will get dealt with much more slowly. Other behaviors that you might want to think twice before doing include: Intentionally disrupting threads and discussions repeatedly. Off topic/content free trolling in threads to disrupt dialog Stalking users around the forums with the intent to disrupt content and discussion Repeated posting of overly graphic or scatological porn content. There are plenty web sites for you to get your freak on, don't do it here. And a brief note to Newbies... No, we will not ban people or censor them for dropping F-bombs on you, using foul language, etc. so please don't report it when one of our members gives you a greeting you may find shocking. We do our best not to censor content here and playing swearword police is not in our job descriptions. Sailing Anarchy is more like a bar than a classroom, so handle it like you would meeting someone a little coarse - don't look for the teacher. Thanks.


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  1. Back in the early 80s: A high powered speedboat called "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads)
  2. I do Ditto- My owner did not even drive until about 5 years ago. And I did my best to kill him as tac/nav at the start of the last N2B race, calling for 5 gybes (asym on pole) to try to get free of the fleet after I called the worst start of my ocean racing career.
  3. It is possible to cut off a number of hours leaving Delaware bay and heading north by skirting the south coast of Cape May, using an unmarked channel just off the beach. The first time I did it I was taking hand bearing sights every few minutes in addition to keeping a GPS track. I have become more comfortable with this channel over the years, and am now willing to do it at night. It requires threading a needle with course changes for a few hundred yards, but the time saving is considerable. Your mileage may vary...
  4. I have done the trip down (and up) Delaware Bay dozens of times, usually as part of a passage to or from New England. It can be tolerable, but it is not generally a pleasant trip. The Bay starts narrow, but then gets wide and seemingly featureless (except for the Salem nuclear plant on the NJ shore). There is a lot of commercial traffic, and the channel is lined with shoals, some surprisingly shallow, which can limit your ability to get out of the way of the ships in places. AIS is a very useful tool, so ships can track you and you can call them by name and make passing arrangements. It is a good idea to study the charts before going down the Bay, so as not to be surprised by the shoals and submerged breakwaters on either side of the channel. When you get to the lower Bay, things open up on the NJ side so you can safely leave the main shipping channel and make your way over to Cape May. I have not gone into Cape May from the Bay side, so I can't be of help in that endeavor. The suggestions earlier about riding the tide are good ones. They also apply to passage through the C&D and even in the upper Chesapeake Bay. If you go through the C&D at night, be aware of the railroad lift bridge. It is supposed to be left in the up position except when trains are scheduled, but that is not always the case. The bridge is black, and while it does have lights, if you are running fast with a fair current, it will sneak up on you. You really don't want to go through it when it is lowered! You may encounter commercial traffic in the canal, usually tugs and barges, so be prepared to squeeze to one side or the other. I can't give a lot of advice beyond what has already been suggested for making a cruise out of this trip. I have always done it as a straight-through passage. April can be damn cold, however, so if you can do it later, that might be more pleasant.
  5. I did a cruise from Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, north through the Strait of Belle Isle and down the east coast to Springdale in 1996, and three trips along the south coast of Newfoundland and back to Baddeck , NS in the last 10 years. Newfoundland is stunningly beautiful and deserted, but you have to like cool weather and deal with fog. The south and west coasts are cut by spectacular fjords, with walls 500 to 1000 feet high, sprinkled with waterfalls. It is possible to hike on shore, but there are no real hiking trails. Game trails and stream beds do provide access through otherwise impenetrable puckerbrush. I would recommend bug nets, as the black fly population is considerable. However, mosquitoes are not as bad as might be expected when at anchor, unless you are close to shore. Having a good anchor is critical. We carried a 50 lb Luke for a Tartan 35, and it was not overkill. Finding a place that is shallow enough to anchor is a useful skill. Even then, boulders, ledge and kelp abound. On my first trips, the chart datum was offset from GPS position by several hundred yards, so GPS positioning had to be adjusted. We used radar to get a usable offset in the fog. On my last trip, GPS positions seemed to be closer to accurate. There are places you can tie off to the shore or tie up to fishing port town docks. Anchoring is possible, but the fjords which cut into the Newfoundland coast can be very deep. Last summer we were off soundings (>1000 feet depth) with land less than a mile away on either side of us! You can find anchorages at the heads of fjords and next to major waterfalls. Sometimes the weather can be foggy and cold along the coast, but warm and sunny once you get into the fjords. Also, the east coast tends to have better weather than the west coast. There are numerous abandoned fishing villages on the coasts, and others that seem to be hanging on by a thread. For the most part, the locals are quite friendly. We have bought seafood directly from local fishermen, and it is always amazingly good. Cruising boats are few and far between, but you do see some. We have rarely had to share an anchorage. The CCA publishes a cruising guide to Newfoundland. It is very helpful, especially with respect to anchorages, fueling, watering and resupply points. We had a watermaker on board on our last trip, which extended our resupply range considerably. The crossing between Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland through Cabot Strait has a reputation for rough weather, but every time I have crossed it has been a pussycat trip. I am probably due! Others have had rougher trips.
  6. AP- whose WFR class did you take? I have maintained a WFR from SOLO for the last 8 years, and did not find their emphasis to be as you describe. I believe that WMI (associated with NOLS) and SOLO (who originally developed the WFR protocol) are the two top providers of WFR training. I don't know much about the others. As others have said, not having to use the training, while good in the larger picture, does cause the skill to degrade. I have found it useful offshore, (assessing spine after fall from upper bunk and dealing with head laceration), and several times ashore, (identifying and dealing with incipient heat stroke; stabilizing broken limbs). It has also helped me with some self-awareness of potential issues offshore, particularly hypothermia and dehydration. In general, WFR classes are focused more on deep woods/wilderness situations than offshore situations, but the training for long-term stabilization and care is certainly useful. For offshore, I suspect that a wilderness EMT course would be far more useful than a standard EMT course.
  7. Took one from northern Chesapeake to Newport through Delaware Bay and offshore for the 1978 NAs. Made it most of the way back... That is another story.
  8. I think several people have hit on the essence of the problem. With GPS, you know where you are on the earth to within about 12 feet. The part of navigation that used to take up the vast bulk of a navigators time and energy, figuring out where you are, has become trivial. There are still datum issues when you get outside primary shipping lanes, but you aren't relying on DR, two day old celestial fixes, depth sounder readings, RDF and radar if you were lucky. For an ocean racing navigator, the job has morphed into being a weather routing expert. On the races I have navigated on, weather analysis probably occupies 99% of my time while offshore. This changes when making landfall or rounding obstacles, but even then, you should know where you are and be simply trying to give the crew the fastest possible course around the obstace rather than merely trying not to hit something hard in fog or darkness. My practice on offshore races has been to be actively monitoring our course during landfalls and when passing around or through obstacles, each of which I have examined in advance. I request that I get called up at those times, and make sure that the skipper, who always stands the opposite watch, knows when to get me up. If this gets screwed up, I consider it my fault, even though there are at least 3 other people on the boat, skipper and 2 watch captains, who can and do keep an eye on the GPS chartplotter (but not the Expedition display, which is located in a more comfortable but less accessible location). It appears that several of the VOR navigators had not had the opportunity to review the general course track in advance, and simply did not realize that there was a low-lying island with extensive reefs out in the middle of the ocean. Thus, when they approached the area, they were still in offshore weather routing mode rather than inshore navigator mode. One got lucky, one didn't. To misquote Donald Rumsfeld, it is not the things you don't know that screw you up as much as the things that you are sure you know, but that really aren't so. They knew there were 40 meter shoals and nothing else. That wasn't so. How to reduce the chance of this in the future? I think pre-departure planning is key. For a major ocean race through remote waters, the navigators and skippers should review the route and note potential obstacles. Moreover, the race organizers should see that the route is discussed, either as part of the pre-start briefing package or in a skippers/navigators meeting While the ultimate responsibility falls on the navigator and skipper, there is no reason why they should not get some help. I would rather have someone brief me on a hazard I already know about than put a boat and her crew at risk because I missed something important.
  9. Tape the charts to the overhead or create a transparent sleeve up there? Even just carrying the oceanic-scale charts plus the start and finish area charts for the current leg would be an improvement. I agree about keeping the chart-plotter displays off the deck. Night-vision is challanged enough as it is with instrument lights.
  10. Comments above about root causes seem to be on the money. Narrowing it down further, I suspect that fatigue resulting from having had to deal with bad weather (tropical storm) was the immediate cause, probably for both navigator and captain. Failure to zoom was probably a result of fatigue. How to reduce problems caused by fatigue? Doctors and pilots have gone to using SOPs based on checklists. That could have helped. When I navigate I now have a list of daily and periodic tasks written out to help me remember when I am functioning at less than optimal. I sail in waters where MapTech raster charts are available, so the zoom issue has not been a concern but plotting, wx downloads and other elements of a day's work get done. Advance preparation...noting potential issues in advance. Some offshore races do a good job of briefing captains and navigators about hazards approaching the finish (Marblehead-Halifax and Newport-Bermuda are particularly strong on this point). Looking at paper charts in advance and noting problem areas is critical. For a race like this VOR, where it is quite possible that none of the crews have sailed this course before, a pre-leg briefing by the race committee or organizing body could have been invaluable. I would much rather sit and have someone tell me about obstacles I already know about (and confirm my own work) than think I know it all and find out the hard way that I don't. For this race, with only seven sets of captains and navigators, the briefing could be quite informal. They have to cover communication protocols, and in these waters, probably piracy issues, too. so a general discussion of navigational hazards would not be too much to ask. Simply posting a large scale paper chart on a bulkhead wall, with periodic position plots, would help the entire crew understand where they are and what is out there. Also, as folks have noted, paper charts of offshore zones generally don't omit stuff that sticks up out of the water. You may have to drill down to get the detail, but you sure as hell know that something is there. Checkists and advance preparation with multiple sets of eyes may not be perfect antidotes to fatigue, but would go a long way to mitigating the problem. ...and I do know what it is like to screw up and put a boat ashore; in 1978 I punched the keel through the bottom of a J-24 off Hereford Inlet on the NJ shore just before dawn and got a chopper ride to shore.
  11. What happened to the carbon rig on Silver Linings" ex "After Math"? And how come the little gasoline engine? This could be a sweet little trailerable fast pocket cruiser, but to do it right would probably cost $10-20K and add 500 lbs (diesel, tankage, stove, real head, batteries, safety gear, etc.)