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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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dickie greenleaf

40.7 - 'Barracuda'

145 posts in this topic

My business partner asked me if I had heard anything about a boat that run aground in the Portage Lake channel.

 

He said that the boat ran aground, and had sunk later during the recovery. 3 people on board were recovered.

 

A client was there and saw the boat aground... said it was a navy hull, with a large fish on the side..... only boat I remember with that type of graphic is a 40.7 named 'Barracuda'.

 

That channel is a constant source of backfilling due to the wave action, etc., and it's 3 to 4 feet higher than marked on the charts. This was amidst some fairly heavy wave action.

 

Any further information on this?

 

Sad news, if true.

 

DG

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Awwe fuck.

 

That is so sad to see.

 

Sad. But, no lives lost is a good thing.

 

Sorry to see it. Very sorry.

 

DG

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It looks like Barracuda, and it looks like a 40.7. Very sad news if true. They won the NOOD this year over Tsunami via tiebreak, and they have certainly been more competitive this year both in terms of finishing position and boatspeed.

 

My condolences to Steve and his crew, including COLYC legend and Leukemia Cup promoter John Boyle. The picture looks bad, but perhaps they can get her raised, trailered, and patched up by the Verve.

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Damn, sailed w/ Steve & crew at KW when they chartered Finnesse.

That sux.

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Portage Lakes where? There are lots of places with Portage Lakes.

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B)-->

QUOTE(Doug B @ Jul 20 2007, 10:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is a 40.7 but I could not see the name. It is Portage Lake entrance at the town of Onekema.

 

It is most cerainly 'Barracuda'. I saw them while racing up the lake, thinking they were a 36.7. They had the jesus fish on the side, and that's what I'm seeing in the photo... client confirmed it.

 

DG

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Ran aground in heavy seas... keel punched up and through hull floor. Once pulled off, keel area failed, keel fell off. Hole in boat caused it to sink in a few minutes.

 

That channel is home to a harbor of refuge known as Portage Lake. My client said that they have been fighting with the Army Corps to get it, and keep it dredged, but... they refused citing 'Katrina' as the reason they have no $$'s to keep things open and navigable. Water depths on the charts show 10 feet. 40.7 draws close to 9, and I'm sure they thought they would be safe. I've known that the channel was horrible, and have had to avoid it for my delivery to Chicago for the past 2 years.

 

Sad, and my best to the owner.

 

DG

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the dredging issue stands to become an even bigger problem up and down the lakes with this lack of funding, especially in poorer communities or those that fail to see the potential income lost from an inaccessible marina. those on the eastern shore lake michigan shore are especially vulnerable as they are typically adjacent to miles of sandy shorelines where breakwaters and channels are filling with sand transported by longshore drift.

 

makes you wonder why they still have the title "harbor of refuge".

 

condolences to the barracuda owner and crew.

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Ran aground in heavy seas... keel punched up and through hull floor. Once pulled off, keel area failed, keel fell off. Hole in boat caused it to sink in a few minutes.

 

That channel is home to a harbor of refuge known as Portage Lake. My client said that they have been fighting with the Army Corps to get it, and keep it dredged, but... they refused citing 'Katrina' as the reason they have no $$'s to keep things open and navigable. Water depths on the charts show 10 feet. 40.7 draws close to 9, and I'm sure they thought they would be safe. I've known that the channel was horrible, and have had to avoid it for my delivery to Chicago for the past 2 years.

 

Sad, and my best to the owner.

 

DG

 

 

Not argueing. Just saying that it looks like there's still a keel there in the pic.

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Not argueing. Just saying that it looks like there's still a keel there in the pic.

 

That's the rudder... if you look, you can see where the bottom of the rudder has been chewed off by the lake bottom.

 

DG

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Sorry to hear about the boat. Terrible news. Glad everyone is OK. Hope she and be brought back to life.

Here's a couple pix of the boat in better days:

 

post-7091-1184943789_thumb.jpg

post-7091-1184943810_thumb.jpg

post-7091-1184943835_thumb.jpg

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It looks like Barracuda, and it looks like a 40.7. Very sad news if true. They won the NOOD this year over Tsunami via tiebreak, and they have certainly been more competitive this year both in terms of finishing position and boatspeed.

 

My condolences to Steve and his crew, including COLYC legend and Leukemia Cup promoter John Boyle. The picture looks bad, but perhaps they can get her raised, trailered, and patched up by the Verve.

 

That really does suck~

 

Are you Can Canning it next Wed?

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That really does suck~

 

Are you Can Canning it next Wed?

 

Of course, and helping RC score afterwards. I should be back on a normal sleep schedule by that time, only to ruin it again <_< .

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Condolences to Barracuda, owner and crew... I hope she makes a full recovery.

 

Many good times on Barracuda- slept on her down at KWRW one late night because it was closer than the condo, raced 2006 Mackinac and other races on Barracuda last year, and was looking forward to more sometime soon.

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That's the rudder... if you look, you can see where the bottom of the rudder has been chewed off by the lake bottom.

 

DG

 

I can see the rudder. I'm pretty dumb but not that dumb. Just thought I could a smidge of keel poking outta the wawa. Always sad to see any boat go down.

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Condolences to the Owner and crew. Raced against Barracuda at Miami two years ago. Had a slight entanglement at a port stbd. Owner came over made it right immediately. Crew and owner were gentlemen all week. I hope to see them out and about in the future.

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any pics?

 

There was, no idea why the post got deleted. It was the original reply to the OP.

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There was, no idea why the post got deleted. It was the original reply to the OP.

 

 

 

They are on www.sailfastchicago.com. That is where I found them.

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This sucks. I've been sailing with Barracuda this year and missed NOOD and Mac due to first child being born. I'll see what I can find out.

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I can see the rudder. I'm pretty dumb but not that dumb. Just thought I could a smidge of keel poking outta the wawa. Always sad to see any boat go down.

 

 

I thought I saw a bit of keel poking out also, but Dickie kindly pointed out that it was a wave crest sliding along the bottom of Barracuda....we'll chalk it up as an optical illusion...the keel is completely gone leaving a gaping hole that let water in....

 

I was in Leland last night and informed a few of the other 40.7's that were there about the fate of Barracuda, they had not heard and were saddened by the news.....

 

Good luck to all

 

KAS

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I was fortunate enough to be bowman during the NOODs. Steve and John are really great people and the program was transitioning into the top tier of the fleet. Hopefully, they'll get it all sorted out and get that keel rehung.

 

My wholehearted support to Steve and all involved.

aloha

matthew

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Not argueing. Just saying that it looks like there's still a keel there in the pic.

For the record, the keel was finially "lost" at the seawall.

Boat draws 7'9"

Portage Lake Michigan (Onekama Mi.) is approx. 10 miles south of Manistee, MI.

Frankfort Harbor was closed due to lack of Slips and the harbor not allowing us to Raft.

Arcadia Harbor was un-approachable.

Waves in the inlet were average 3-4 ft. with occasional "rogues" 5'-6'....

We fought with the Waves and the Sandbar for over 2-1/2 hours before we lost her.

-there was supposed to be a deeper safer passage along the southern wall, but, this is not the case. (local source).

Bottom of this channel is littered with debris, we snagged a line off the bottom & lost some engine power, this did not help out cause....see attached.

Coast Guard, Sherrifs Police & Local Fire Dept. assisted in the rescue. Aid was also given by a local towing service, who at the end, was able to free Barracuda from the sandbar, Structural damage to the keel was due to the horrific pounding the boat had recieved from the waves lifting the boat & dropping her on the sandbar.

Locals have been pettitioning the Army Corp. of Engineers to Dredge the channel, but money seems to be spent elsewhere...

At the least, these channels need to be posted correctly, some type of warning sign needs to be posted. We could have been seriously injured....

Thanks go to all who aided in our rescue, special thanks to the folks at The Portage Inn & Resort who took us in & made us feel at home in this time of need.

Sailkat

post-15519-1185057234_thumb.jpg

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What a horrible incident. I posted this in another forum, but does anyone know what happened to the T-10 Talisman? I heard the Coast Guard calling in distress securites for them for several hours on Wed night.

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I was very sorry to hear of this loss. I had the pleasure of racing along side you guys for the last day and a half of the Mac and she was a great looking boat.

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Sad, sad news.

We heard rumours of this by the time we got to Holland.

 

Hippie and I delivered Gravitas and traveled in tandem with Baracuda from St Ignace to Charlevoix on Wednesday.

Beautiful weather and nothing to worry about. We left Charlieboy early and never saw her again. Thursday's weather was a very different story. Raven lost her rudder and had to be rescued. Any news of this?

 

Condolences to Steve glad to hear no one was hurt. (I thought there were 4 souls on board?)

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What a horrible incident. I posted this in another forum, but does anyone know what happened to the T-10 Talisman? I heard the Coast Guard calling in distress securites for them for several hours on Wed night.

 

They lost their rig and cut it away. CG towed them to safe harbor.

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Has anyone heard about Raven having issues? I have heard from three sources that they called in a mayday. Both were second or third hand though.

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So so sorry to hear such bad news. Thursday was a wicked day out there. We were in Leland when we heard, and couldn't wait to hear an update or possibly better news.

 

Glad to hear everyone is well. Posted signs about the depth would've been extremely valuable....

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I heard Raven lost her rudder and had to be rescued by CG.

We saw her in Charlevoix where she was working on engine transmission problems.....

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Know the guy that was bringing her back.

 

Raven had 2 issues:

1. Transmission linkage fell apart in the channel at Charlevoix

2. The tiller broke free from the rudder post off Point Betsie on their way to Frankfort.

 

There may have been a diesel spill/leak in there somewhere before Charlevoix.

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I took a road trip today.

 

Hated seeing this on the beach.

 

I did see the J105, 'Tuxedo' make there way through the channel while we were there... must have been skinny under the keel.

 

DG

post-734-1185150575_thumb.jpg

post-734-1185150610_thumb.jpg

post-734-1185150678_thumb.jpg

post-734-1185150707_thumb.jpg

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Know the guy that was bringing her back.

 

Raven had 2 issues:

1. Transmission linkage fell apart in the channel at Charlevoix

2. The tiller broke free from the rudder post off Point Betsie on their way to Frankfort.

 

There may have been a diesel spill/leak in there somewhere before Charlevoix.

 

 

I was helping to bring Raven back and that is what happended. Too bad the rudder post was never tapped otherwise it would have been easier to get control of the boat. Other than the high winds, waves, and the boat spining rapidly, our only fear was that the waves were going to push us into shore (we got within .3 nm and upper teens of depth).

 

The coast guard did their best to tow us in, and in a accidently lucky way got the tow line around the rudder which helped us get the tiller back on :blink: . After we got into Frankfort I found out that the Coast Guard boat was not rated to tow the length of our boat and was not rated for the weather!!

 

Many thanks to Serenity, Turning Point, and Tiger Lilly for hanging around until the Coast Guard came. :D Thanks to Sail Monkey for the drinks.

 

 

On a side note, it is sad to hear of what happended to Barracuda. They were racing well this year.

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If you loose control of your vessel and are being driven into a dangerous lee shore...throw out your anchor.

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If you loose control of your vessel and are being driven into a dangerous lee shore...throw out your anchor.

 

WoddyCC didn't mention it, but I heard that the Raven delivery crew did in fact anchor while waiting for coast guard assistance.

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The anchor was one of the first things we took care of when we got a chance. The only thing it did was drag on the lake floor.

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Portage Lake Michigan (Onekama Mi.) is approx. 10 miles south of Manistee, MI.

Locals have been pettitioning the Army Corp. of Engineers to Dredge the channel, but money seems to be spent elsewhere...

At the least, these channels need to be posted correctly, some type of warning sign needs to be posted. We could have been seriously injured....

 

Portage Lake/Onekama is 10 miles NORTH of Manistee. That really sucks. The Corp of Engineers just rebuilt the entire structure to the channel. The redesigned structure was supposed to help keep it from sanding up. But there's no $$ to dredge it. There are boats literally trapped in Portage Lake because of this BS.

 

I spent every summer until the age of 21 there. We used to love checking out the returning Mac boats that would stop in and anchor off Portage Point Inn.

 

Sad.

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The shit hit the fan for us about 1pm on Thursday just NW of Leland. We were making for Pentwater from Beaver Island when we tuned into the weather radio to hear a squall with 60kt winds and hail behind us. We altered course for Leland to take shelter. Getting into the harbor was a challenge with 4-6ft SURF breaking at the harbor mouth. Once in, we watched 15 other boats brave the worsening conditions trying to make it into the harbor. It was absolutely nuts out there. The boat Decoy tried numerous times to land on a raft, one time making a HARD (semi-crash) landing on Jack-aroe (sp?). They finally got off to another raft.

 

Anyway, glad there was no loss of life, there surely could have been.

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The shit hit the fan for us about 1pm on Thursday just NW of Leland. We were making for Pentwater from Beaver Island when we tuned into the weather radio to hear a squall with 60kt winds and hail behind us. We altered course for Leland to take shelter. Getting into the harbor was a challenge with 4-6ft SURF breaking at the harbor mouth. Once in, we watched 15 other boats brave the worsening conditions trying to make it into the harbor. It was absolutely nuts out there. The boat Decoy tried numerous times to land on a raft, one time making a HARD (semi-crash) landing on Jack-aroe (sp?). They finally got off to another raft.

 

Anyway, glad there was no loss of life, there surely could have been.

 

No harm, no foul from Decoy. We're just a wee bit small to have a NY36 rafting next to us. Jack-A-Roe was heading to Frankfort and we passed by Leland early afternoon and wisely decided to spend the night there. Crazy, crazy getting into the harbor. Though the kite boarders were having a blast!

 

Glad to hear everyone safe on Barracuda. Bummer about the boat.

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To any and all that suffered damage my regrets. This thread is important as a reminder that often the truly safe decision is to not try for shore or a harbor entrance but to get into deep water and ride it out. Once in a harbor (for example Frankfort, Leland is a little small) you may be much better off setting a hook or hooks and riding it out with an anchor watch then trying to get on a dock (if you have it keep the motor on to reduce strain on the hook).

 

In the late 80s we were doing an motorless two man delivery on Toscana the 43 when we made the decision to duck into Frankfort because of the weather. Because we were without a motor there was no way we were going to even try to raft in 40knots so riding a hook was the easy and best choice.

 

Robin

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Gravitas hit 17.4 kts under our number for jib and pressed on to Manistee. It was a great deal of fun. Very sad to see any boat, let alone this boat, on the sand. Glad to hear that they are doing well.

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Water depths on the charts show 10 feet. 40.7 draws close to 9, and I'm sure they thought they would be safe. DG

Closer to 8' A stock deep draft 40.7 draws 7'-9" std. There is a shoal draft version at 6' something.

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Closer to 8' A stock deep draft 40.7 draws 7'-9" std. There is a shoal draft version at 6' something.

 

 

Problem is, with 6 -7 foot waves in the shoal areas it makes the water around 2 feet deep in the trenches.

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Problem is, with 6 -7 foot waves in the shoal areas it makes the water around 2 feet deep in the trenches.

Agreed.

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There are not really shoals there. Problem is the channel has sanded in to be only ~5 deep in spots when the water is flat.

 

Farmers balsted a hole in the dune to create the original channel b/c logging stagnated Portage Lake and malaria outbreaks finally pissed them off enough to dynamite a hole to Lake Michigan and launch the logs out.

 

The dune keeps trying to re-establish itself, filling in the channel.

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sheesh, first Piranha, now Barracuda...

 

If my boat was named after a fish with teeth, I'd be re-thinking that right about now.

 

:ph34r:

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like i said before, the reason for the sanding up of these channels is longshore drift, which is a wind and thus, wave driven current traveling parrellel to the shoreline. consider the beaches of west michigan as what they are, rivers of sand. if you put something 90 degrees to shore or perpendicular to the longshore drift, you're going to get deposition of sand on the lee side. northwest wind, southward longshore current, sand fills in the southside of north breakwall. southwest wind, northward longshore current, sand fills in the northside of the south breakwall. basically, these entrances are hugh groins. check out a groin next time you see one, the sand will have accumulated in the lee side of the groin which faces the prevaling longshore current direction. go play in some lake michigan surf next time its blowing 20+. note your entrance location along the beach, body surf for 10-15 minutes and note your position again. you might be amazed on how far the current has taken you down wind.

 

it makes no sense to budget a harbor entrance re-do without making sure there is a yearly budget for dredging. if you break the shoreline with a channel, you will get sand filling in the channel, if there is abundant sand to deposit. the result is obvious. large turning basins like frankfort, or harbor beach do f*ck all nothing to anchor safely in if you can't get in because its three feet deep.

 

its complete incompetence of local and state government to have in accessible marinas. and it really gets me that instances like this have to happen as they are avoidable. my family has a home about 100 yards north of the arcadia entrance on the michigan shore. absolutely gorgeous place, but fair warning. i can stand with my forehead out of the water along half of the channel entrance. i'm 6'2". they simply won't/can't afford to dredge. makes for wicked good laser surfing in breeze though!

 

the caveat is no sand no problem. that's why the marinas along the rocky northern michigan shore of huron don't have to dredge so often.

 

sorry for the long post, but i feel the frustration of the west mighigan sailors that have to deal with this issue...

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A bit earlier, around 1130 cdt, we were on our way from Charlevoix to Leland for our annual Chubby Marys for lunch. Lightning had ben striking the shore a bit ahead of us (S). Next moment we had some claps right above us, and the rain and sleet hit. The pressure of the rain/sleet actually knocked down the seas.

Check out the max wind speed logged.post-1132-1185254651_thumb.jpg

Again, people safe, lessons for us all to learn from....

 

The shit hit the fan for us about 1pm on Thursday just NW of Leland. We were making for Pentwater from Beaver Island when we tuned into the weather radio to hear a squall with 60kt winds and hail behind us. We altered course for Leland to take shelter. Getting into the harbor was a challenge with 4-6ft SURF breaking at the harbor mouth. Once in, we watched 15 other boats brave the worsening conditions trying to make it into the harbor. It was absolutely nuts out there. The boat Decoy tried numerous times to land on a raft, one time making a HARD (semi-crash) landing on Jack-aroe (sp?). They finally got off to another raft.

 

Anyway, glad there was no loss of life, there surely could have been.

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Something I found ya'll might find interesting. Taken from a post on Sailnet:

 

Those of you from the Great Lakes might find this interesting.

Interesting is probably not the proper word, maybe disheartening is better.

 

An experienced Captain and crew lost thier vessel.

Sorry, I have it only in a word document, I just copied and pasted it here.

 

 

 

 

 

THE SHALLOW ENTRANCE TO PORTAGE LAKE, MI IS AN UNKNOWN AND UNMARKED HAZZARD TO MARINERS

By: Holland C. Capper

Yachtsman

Onekama, MI

 

When a mariner sails between two piers marking the entrance to a harbor he does not expect his life to be placed in jeopardy by an unmarked and uncharted shallow sand bar. But that is the very situation in the entrance to Portage Lake, Michigan and it caused the tragic sinking of the Sail Yacht "Barracuda" out of Chicago, IL.

 

 

Barracuda is (or rather, was) a 40-foot sail yacht owned by Steve Pelke, a member of Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago. Mr. Pelke has sailed most of his life and is an experienced yachtsman. He and his crew raced in the 99th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Race (the MAC). They were one of 305 boats in this year's race.

 

 

After the race Pelke and two of his MAC crewmembers, Mary Aspegren and Don Desimone, began to sail the boat back to Chicago. On Wednesday July 18 they sailed to Charlevoix and on Thursday, July 19 they headed for Frankfort, MI. The weather that day was cloudy with a stiff wind out of the northwest. If was a good day for making time going south and many MAC racers were doing so. As the day wore on the wind and waves increased to the extent that by 4 PM it was blowing 30 to 40 mph and the waves were building to 8 feet and occasionally more.

 

 

By the time Barracuda got near Frankfort they had come a long way, they were tired and wanted a safe place to spend the night. But Frankfort has a rule that forbids rafting (i.e., tying one boat alongside another) and they were turned away. Given the wind and weather conditions it is not known why Frankfort did not relax its no rafting rule and permit Barracuda to spend the night in a safe harbor.

 

 

Next, Barracuda tried to get into Arcadia, However, they touched bottom attempting to do so but were able to return to deeper water and thus keep going.

 

 

The next port was Portage Lake. There is no warning that the entrance between the two piers to Portage Lake has not been dredged for several years and is now only three or four feet on the edges and about six feet in the middle. Recent Charts show a depth of 12 feet across the entire entrance and there are no notices to mariners about the shallow condition that has existed for more than two years.

 

 

The crew of Barracuda was anxious to find a safe harbor before dark. It was now about 8:00 PM; they had sailed all day under difficult conditions and it was time

 

Sinking

Page Two

 

 

to get off the Lake. They consulted their Cruising Guide and found no warning there. They called a local Inn Keeper and he told them to stick closer to the North pier and "they would be fine."

 

 

About two miles off the Portage Lake entrance Barracuda's main sail ripped and so the crew took the sail down and from then on they were under power alone. As Pelke approached the entrance the wind was around 35 knots from the northwest and the waves in the Lake were 6 to 8 feet and in the channel between the two piers, as high as 6 feet. (Some witnesses thought the waves in the channel were 8 feet). Barracuda grounded in the sand just inside the entrance and almost immediately was turned broadside to the wind and waves. A horrible pounding ensued which lasted nearly two hours as the boat and crew were lifted by the pounding waves and then dropped with crashing force to the bottom of the channel. Pelke attempted to motor his yacht to safety but no force on earth could move Barracuda from its grave in the shallow bottom.

 

 

Immediately after grounding a mayday emergency radio call was made to the Manistee Coast Guard. They sent four young men in their rubber rescue boat but given the dangerous condition in the channel there was little or nothing they could do.

 

 

Throughout their ordeal the crew of Barracuda was frightened to death. The wind and waves were so severe that they could not be rescued from their boat. If they had attempted to jump off into the water there was considerable danger that they would be smashed to death by the boat; their situation was horrible. Mary Aspegren called her children on her cell phone. After a brief introduction to their plight she said: "I do not know if I am going to make it. I love you. Get up here as soon as you can." They arrived at 3 A.M.

 

 

Meanwhile, rescue efforts by volunteers were launched. Jim Mrozinski, owner of Onekama Marine and his son-in-law, Ted Bromley risked their lives in a valiant effort to save Barracuda and her crew. Mr. Mrozinski had just come home from a meeting when a fellow Committee member pounded on this door and told him of the emergency in the channel. Mrozinski immediately drove out to the north point to determine first hand the situation. He then drove to Ted Bromley's house, gave him a quick briefing, and the two of them hurried to the Marina and set sail in their 26 foot tug for the entrance. Conditions on Portage Lake were relatively calm but the Channel entrance was a different matter. During their rescue efforts the Tug almost turned over three times and Bromley was nearly swept overboard two times. Ultimately they were able to pull Barracuda into deeper water, where the battered keel fell off enabling the three crew to be safely taken aboard the Coast Guard rubber boat without injury.

 

Sinking

Page Three

 

 

The Corps of Engineers and the United States' Congress have failed to provide adequate funding to dredge Portage Lake Channel and many other channels on Lake Michigan. All of these channels will become dangerously shallow if not dredged on at least an every

other year basis. These unmarked shallow channels put innocent mariners at risk, and also Coast Guard personnel and equipment is at risk. Heroic volunteers are at risk And finally, the entire Manistee County community is suffering economic loss because the Channel between Lake Michigan and Portage Lake is not being dredged as required by law and is not safe for visiting yachtsmen or fishermen.

 

 

(This article was written by Holland C. Capper, MHS 1950. A retired Naval Officer and attorney, he is a 40 year sail yacht racing veteran. Capper has raced 39 Chicago to Mackinac races. He keeps his 33-foot boat in Portage Lake. His boat draws 6 feet. Getting in and out of the channel is a concern.) Contact info deleted.

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The Corps of Engineers and the United States' Congress have failed to provide adequate funding to dredge Portage Lake Channel and many other channels on Lake Michigan. All of these channels will become dangerously shallow if not dredged on at least an every other year basis. These unmarked shallow channels put innocent mariners at risk, and also Coast Guard personnel and equipment is at risk.

 

U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra represents the second congressional district in Michigan. His district covers most of the Western Michigan shoreline. If you'd like to share your thoughts with Rep. Hoekstra regarding the current condition of harbors located in Western Michigan, please go to: http://www.house.gov/formhoekstra/IMA/email.htm

 

A bill is working through Congress (HR 2641) that would provide funds to ensure Michigan harbors are adequately dredged.

 

The projects included in H.R. 2641 are as follows:

 

Arcadia – $160,000

Grand Haven – $781,000

Holland– $497,000

Manistee– $677,000

Muskegon – $566,000

Pentwater – $163,000

Portage Lake – $245,000

Saugatuck – $315,000

White Lake – $125,000

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U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra represents the second congressional district in Michigan. His district covers most of the Western Michigan shoreline. If you'd like to share your thoughts with Rep. Hoekstra regarding the current condition of harbors located in Western Michigan, please go to: http://www.house.gov/formhoekstra/IMA/email.htm

 

A bill is working through Congress (HR 2641) that would provide funds to ensure Michigan harbors are adequately dredged.

 

The projects included in H.R. 2641 are as follows:

 

Hopefully some good can come out of this.

 

Barracuda, hope to see you soon!

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That really fucking sucks!

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What a drag...

 

Keep us posted on how you get her out of there.

Bring in a crane?

 

How's the insurance company dealing with this?

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My deepest sympathies to Barracuda. Tragic. I truly hope some good comes out of it for Michigan harbors.

 

With all respect, I would like to ask people a Monday Morning Quarterback question since I have no idea what I would have done on board that boat to try to save it and would have probably been solely in a crew survival mode. Those pictures look very violent so I think was rightly a lifesaving mission for the rescuers, not a property saving mission. Obviously, Robin's advise is right to find some kind of shelter and anchor out. But shit happens and there you are aground in a shallow channel with a surf coming in and a real blow building. I wonder how people feel they might theoretically handle such a situation? My experience with this is nil.

 

Do you try to get back out into the lake with a boat that is potentially damaged? Trying to kedge off/over the sandbar in those conditions seems nearly inpossible and very dangerous for the crew. Seems if you get free, you go right into the south wall. The only hairball idea I can think off requires some aid to try to swing the boat on a long bowline anchored around something upwind and further inshore. Once the line is on, you do everything you can to heel the boat with all movable ballast and crew on the inshore side to try to break the keel free. Perhaps you can get your anchor to the rescue boat to tow inshore and upwind and drop to get a kedge to use. Perhaps this is impossible and all it accomplishes is more broken gear, and a lost anchor. I just dont know.

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"They consulted their Cruising Guide and found no warning there. They called a local Inn Keeper and he told them to stick closer to the North pier and "they would be fine."

 

Unless you have your own personal knowledge, what the hell else can you do? That just sucks.

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In my opinion, you tell the harbor master at Frankfort to go f*ck themselves and anchor inside thier protected area - rather than be turned away and sent into possibly very dangerous conditions due to thier lame 'rafting' restrictions. But again, thats just my .02...

 

Very sad to see such damage to such a great boat, but very good to hear nobody was injured or lost.

 

 

J

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I can tell you that I've watched countless people over the years try to anchor out in bad weather. With that fine sand bottom (no rocks to snag either), I've never once seen it done successfully. It gets pretty deep pretty fast, making it impossible to get enough scope unless you plan on coming into where the waves are breaking. Again, your bucking bronco of a boat will just pull your anchors right out.

 

Chuck Norris couldn't kedge that boat in those conditions. Plus, you have the sandy bottom issue.

 

They were right to try for the channel. Portage Lake has nice and deep water right in a cove on the northwestern corner. Very protected.

 

In my opinion, the skipper did everything right, proven by the fact noone died. The CG and Corp of Engineers were the failure here. If there are hazards in a 'navigable' channel they should be removed or at least marked.

:angry:

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They were right to try for the channel. Portage Lake has nice and deep water right in a cove on the northwestern corner. Very protected.

 

In my opinion, the skipper did everything right, proven by the fact noone died. The CG and Corp of Engineers were the failure here. If there are hazards in a 'navigable' channel they should be removed or at least marked.

:angry:

 

I couldn't disagree more. What was so vital about their feet hitting shore. Throw up a storm jib and work your way down the lake.

 

Read the above posts, the published depths were marginally more than the draft of the boat and there were 3-4' waves running. This was not a smart approach. I'm glad no one was hurt and it is truly a shame that a nice boat was trashed but I still read the whole episode as human error......sorry.

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Ran aground in heavy seas... keel punched up and through hull floor. Once pulled off, keel area failed, keel fell off. Hole in boat caused it to sink in a few minutes.

 

That channel is home to a harbor of refuge known as Portage Lake. My client said that they have been fighting with the Army Corps to get it, and keep it dredged, but... they refused citing 'Katrina' as the reason they have no $$'s to keep things open and navigable. Water depths on the charts show 10 feet. 40.7 draws close to 9, and I'm sure they thought they would be safe. I've known that the channel was horrible, and have had to avoid it for my delivery to Chicago for the past 2 years.

 

Sad, and my best to the owner.

 

DG

 

Austin, I was referencing DGs comments, I don't have the chart in front of me. 8' draft and a 10' chart with waves as reported would not act as a Siren Song to my ears.

 

I ask again, what was so important that they had to touch shore?

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Austin, I was referencing DGs comments, I don't have the chart in front of me. 8' draft and a 10' chart with waves as reported would not act as a Siren Song to my ears.

 

I ask again, what was so important that they had to touch shore?

 

Have you read post 55?

 

And before you start, having a trysail on board is not a reasonable assumption for great lake boats.

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Austin, I was referencing DGs comments, I don't have the chart in front of me. 8' draft and a 10' chart with waves as reported would not act as a Siren Song to my ears.

 

I ask again, what was so important that they had to touch shore?

 

Reluctantly, here's the chart downloaded today off the NOAA website.

post-7091-1185382906_thumb.jpg

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I digress. It just pisses me off b/c we've been tyring to get it dredged and all knew it was an accident waiting to happen. Why spend all the $$ to redo the entire structure and then not dredge it?

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My deepest sympathies to Barracuda. Tragic. I truly hope some good comes out of it for Michigan harbors.

 

With all respect, I would like to ask people a Monday Morning Quarterback question since I have no idea what I would have done on board that boat to try to save it and would have probably been solely in a crew survival mode. Those pictures look very violent so I think was rightly a lifesaving mission for the rescuers, not a property saving mission. Obviously, Robin's advise is right to find some kind of shelter and anchor out. But shit happens and there you are aground in a shallow channel with a surf coming in and a real blow building. I wonder how people feel they might theoretically handle such a situation? My experience with this is nil.

 

Do you try to get back out into the lake with a boat that is potentially damaged? Trying to kedge off/over the sandbar in those conditions seems nearly inpossible and very dangerous for the crew. Seems if you get free, you go right into the south wall. The only hairball idea I can think off requires some aid to try to swing the boat on a long bowline anchored around something upwind and further inshore. Once the line is on, you do everything you can to heel the boat with all movable ballast and crew on the inshore side to try to break the keel free. Perhaps you can get your anchor to the rescue boat to tow inshore and upwind and drop to get a kedge to use. Perhaps this is impossible and all it accomplishes is more broken gear, and a lost anchor. I just dont know.

 

Consider the line wrapped around the prop, and consider the fact that once the keel comes off, the boat probably is probably not stable in its normal upright position, and then ask your question. I think you can answer your own question at that point. Their only chance to get off was to motor off between waves before they lost the keel, and once the prop was fouled, that option went out the window. After the keel was gone, there was virtually nothing they could have done except save themselves. You need to back up all the way to the point at which they chose to negotiate the entrance before you can do any useful Monday Morning quarterbacking. Obviously, at this point, staying at sea would have been the better option. But I wasn't there, and neither were you.

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Reluctantly, here's the chart downloaded today off the NOAA website.

post-7091-1185382906_thumb.jpg

 

My sympathies to the owner as well. However, I will say that if that chart were available, I would never have attempted that entrance. And if I didn't have that chart, I wouldn't have taken the word of an innkeeper. There's my Monday Morning quarterbacking, FWIW. But I say again, I wasn't there, so I can't really judge.

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Consider the line wrapped around the prop, and consider the fact that once the keel comes off, the boat probably is probably not stable in its normal upright position, and then ask your question. I think you can answer your own question at that point. Their only chance to get off was to motor off between waves before they lost the keel, and once the prop was fouled, that option went out the window. After the keel was gone, there was virtually nothing they could have done except save themselves. You need to back up all the way to the point at which they chose to negotiate the entrance before you can do any useful Monday Morning quarterbacking. Obviously, at this point, staying at sea would have been the better option. But I wasn't there, and neither were you.

 

Chart does not look to good. Thank goodness no one was lost.

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What a drag...

 

Keep us posted on how you get her out of there.

Bring in a crane?

 

How's the insurance company dealing with this?

 

The boat's been removed, and is in Manistee, so I've been told. Adjuster to show up within a few days.

 

DG

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My sympathies to the owner as well. However, I will say that if that chart were available, I would never have attempted that entrance. And if I didn't have that chart, I wouldn't have taken the word of an innkeeper. There's my Monday Morning quarterbacking, FWIW. But I say again, I wasn't there, so I can't really judge.

 

Charts that are slightly older show 10 to 11 feet in water depth. Sad lesson learned for sure. I even think that my chartplotter shows deeper depths, but I know that it's not the case due to locals who have advised me of such.

 

Here's a link to my firm's webpage... this was taken while I was heading to Chicago a few years back... note the number on the bottom of my mast instruments... says 11 feet. Obviously, that's not the case today.

 

http://www.oldmissioninvestment.com/philosophy.php

 

DG

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Consider the line wrapped around the prop, and consider the fact that once the keel comes off, the boat probably is probably not stable in its normal upright position, and then ask your question. I think you can answer your own question at that point. Their only chance to get off was to motor off between waves before they lost the keel, and once the prop was fouled, that option went out the window. After the keel was gone, there was virtually nothing they could have done except save themselves. You need to back up all the way to the point at which they chose to negotiate the entrance before you can do any useful Monday Morning quarterbacking. Obviously, at this point, staying at sea would have been the better option. But I wasn't there, and neither were you.

 

IM-

 

I know I wasnt there and I am not assigning blame, just trying to learn vicariously from others experiences. Do others agree that once the prop was fouled, Barracuda's fate was sealed as IM seems to think? How soon did the keel fail, it sounded like they fought valiantly for over two hours? How soon was she taking in water because of the keep sump damage?

 

BV

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Charts that are slightly older show 10 to 11 feet in water depth. Sad lesson learned for sure. I even think that my chartplotter shows deeper depths, but I know that it's not the case due to locals who have advised me of such.

 

Here's a link to my firm's webpage... this was taken while I was heading to Chicago a few years back... note the number on the bottom of my mast instruments... says 11 feet. Obviously, that's not the case today.

 

http://www.oldmissioninvestment.com/philosophy.php

 

DG

 

Nice Quantum add too.

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What a disaster. Lives were saved, a sure blessing. Very sorry to hear about the loss while I am grateful lives were spared. Survival clearly was not assured. I try to learn from these episodes. I do not intend to lay blame with the wounded, merely to deconstruct the events. Let's all learn so we can all avoid repeating it.

 

Thanks for the chart link. Dated 2005 (when the water was low, but higher than now), showing 7 feet at the entrance, 6 feet down the middle. Subtract for 4 (?) foot waves.

 

This doesnt have much to do with dredging as much as reading a chart.

 

I thought everyone knew to avoid that channel. Now we all know, and I would add to that list: Arcadia (where Barracuda touched bottom!), and Pentwater is not very deep either, plus it has drifted shut even more, it is not safe this summer, and I'm not sure it will be returned to depth. Port Sheldon also. Forget it, especially when there are any waves, or the forecast calls for waves (for your planned exit window, IF you manage to get into these places).

 

Frankfort "harbor" was closed ? What about anchoring in the harbor ? I think I have done that. Perhaps the "marina" was full ? That is a pretty big basin inside. Then your have Manistee (a legit harbor) just to the south of Portage - Onekama.

 

Hope not to have offended anyone in this sensitive situation. It is also worth noting that the big wind and deep water was not reported to have been hurting the boat or sailors, but there may have been more to the story such as seasickness - a person may have needed to get off that boat for medical reasons. It was just noted that they were tired and had sailed father than planned. Isn't that often the case.

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Many thanks to Serenity, Turning Point, and Tiger Lilly for hanging around until the Coast Guard came. :D Thanks to Sail Monkey for the drinks.

On a side note, it is sad to hear of what happended to Barracuda. They were racing well this year.

 

You're welcome. I was the voice of Serenity throughout the entire incident. I am glad to hear we could be of assistance.

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I thought everyone knew to avoid that channel. Now we all know, and I would add to that list: Arcadia (where Barracuda touched bottom!), and Pentwater is not very deep either, plus it has drifted shut even more, it is not safe this summer, and I'm not sure it will be returned to depth. Port Sheldon also. Forget it, especially when there are any waves, or the forecast calls for waves (for your planned exit window, IF you manage to get into these places).

 

 

Are there any others on the eastern shore of Loch Mich that are dicey in a blow?

 

I know that Mich City gets dredged, but is it ok now?

 

More importantly to me at the moment... Holland? South Haven? St. Joe?

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U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra represents the second congressional district in Michigan. His district covers most of the Western Michigan shoreline. If you'd like to share your thoughts with Rep. Hoekstra regarding the current condition of harbors located in Western Michigan, please go to: http://www.house.gov/formhoekstra/IMA/email.htm

 

A bill is working through Congress (HR 2641) that would provide funds to ensure Michigan harbors are adequately dredged.

 

The projects included in H.R. 2641 are as follows:

 

Arcadia – $160,000

Grand Haven – $781,000

Holland– $497,000

Manistee– $677,000

Muskegon – $566,000

Pentwater – $163,000

Portage Lake – $245,000

Saugatuck – $315,000

White Lake – $125,000

 

Should those of us in neighboring states be pressing our reps to support this bill?

 

T

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Holland has freighters coming through a clearly marked channel regularly. Be careful...there are shallow spots in there as well. Call Eldean Shipyard for more information 616-335-5843.

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I was interested after that above chart was posted, so I reviewed some of my own. It seems that the 12 foot depth was back from 1997. This shows the importance of having updated charts whenever going into unknown harbors.

 

As for Frankfort, I had a similar experience with Harbor springs coming home after the 2005 Mac. Big blow (25-30kts) came up and I lost my engine. After several attempts at getting the engine back(bleeding it), I ended up sailing under the jib. My original destination(Charlevoix) was now impossible since it was almost upwind and it was getting late. I made a left hand turn for Harbor Springs...when I got there, I notified the marina of my situation and requested either a place to dock or another location I could go. They informed me that I could not coming into their marina(no rafting rules) and that my only option was to sail across the bay. So I dumped my anchor right where I was, and promptly had the police called by more friendly locals. Oh, and the police won't tow anyone because of liability. Once I got the engine running, I was able to follow a t-10 into Irish's (which the local didn't bother to mention as an option). Not going to question Barracuda's choices, because I was not there. However, when it's your own safety sometimes you need to tell other people too f themselves.

 

Oh, and I think it's b/s for places like HS and Frankfort to not add mariners that are in need.

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I am also not interested in second guessing the Barracuda, wana be real clear about that because we all get our necks in a noose from time to time and have a perfect chance to look foolish. I know I have done so.

 

I want to point out that even an old chart showing 12 feet is insufficient to clear the 8 foot keel with a one inch wave (or a 4 foot wave as the case may be). And the water is "low" so you gotta factor that in, even though chart datum is supposed to be low water datum, and that is supposed to be right about now.

 

When navigating low water (channels or not), factor in water depth today versus historic (chart datum), factor in the wave troughs. Think about it not: I have 12 feet to play with and only an 8 foot keel, so I have 4 feet to spare under the keel...

 

The chart had to show 13 feet for this to have ever been a consideration, or for the water table to be feet above datum.

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First of all those photo's are just horrid to anyone that owns and cares for a boat. My deepest sympathy to the crew, way to stay alive and well in the face of some totally nuts conditions. I can't imagine the violence of those waves on the hull and fittings while you are unable to get off! Holy shit. Nightmare.

 

Next up to those that have asked about Frankfort, easy to anchor there, done it on several occasions, never even gave it a second thought. Nice wide piers with deep draft clearance, been through there in pretty big seas very happy to see the inside of those piers.

 

Not being able to anchor in Harbor Springs? WTF I've done it many, many times. It has a designated anchorage on the charts, no big deal, deep as hell but really protected.

 

Manistee, Ludington, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Holland, then god only knows were to go in a blow. Saugatuck is fine in flat water, South Haven is about 12' off the pier heads, nasty wave train will chase you in and those piers are mighty close together when the seas are up.

 

St. Joe hs commercial traffic but I don't KNOW what the depths are.

 

total bummer.

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I am also not interested in second guessing the Barracuda, wana be real clear about that because we all get our necks in a noose from time to time and have a perfect chance to look foolish. I know I have done so.

 

I want to point out that even an old chart showing 12 feet is insufficient to clear the 8 foot keel with a one inch wave (or a 4 foot wave as the case may be). And the water is "low" so you gotta factor that in, even though chart datum is supposed to be low water datum, and that is supposed to be right about now.

 

When navigating low water (channels or not), factor in water depth today versus historic (chart datum), factor in the wave troughs. Think about it not: I have 12 feet to play with and only an 8 foot keel, so I have 4 feet to spare under the keel...

 

The chart had to show 13 feet for this to have ever been a consideration, or for the water table to be feet above datum.

As a marginally related example, I was foolishly caught between Newport and Long Island Sound last Labor Day when TS Ernesto hit (think 2006 Vineyard Race). The wind was 40-50 knots and waves on the ocean were 10-15 feet. I considered ducking into Stonington through Watch Hill passage to get out of the storm, but the water through the passage was only about 25' deep. The thought of trying to get through under those sea conditions made my hair stand on end, so I continued through The Race and was second guessing myself later when the wind went over 60 knots, but after we made it safely to Westbrook I was very happy I made the decision I did.

 

None of this is to second guess what Barracuda did. It was night time, and for all I know they may have had limited distance before they fetched up on a lee shore. But, traversing thin water in extreme conditions will always be at the very bottom of my list of options.

 

Thank God everyone was safe.

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The photos really sort of kick you in the ribs. I feel really bad for those guys. Thats one of those gut wrenching situations everyone fears. I'm glad they are Ok and I really hope this leads to some sort of navigational notice to be posted so others don't find them selves in the same situation.

 

Really sucks!!! Hope they are able to get back on the water, and rejoin the racing action.

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Man that just made me sick to look at those pics.

 

Condolences on the boat, but glad everyone is okay.

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FWIW,

 

I checked an old digital set of charts ('97) and they show a 12' channel vs the 6' on the more recent. Everything else was eerily identical. My guess is that Barracuda had the older charts and were reassured by the call to the local. The idea of hugging one side of a narrow channel would have worried me enough to keep going but then again, I wouldn't have considered it in the first case outside of extreme issues.

 

Sorry if I am coming off harsh. I am also a pilot and I view altitude like I do distance off a lee shore. My first inclination with wx would have been to head offshore, not onshore.

 

No one got hurt and boats can be replaced/repaired. Once they arrived in the situation, I agree with others that folks kept their head and did the right things....and bravo for those that came out to help.

 

Barkley, I mentioned storm jib....reasonable given they were returning from the Mac.

 

Austin, I understand your frustration, but the depths were published.

 

To all, in flying instruments, one has to carry charts and folks subscribe to a service that sends updates on a bi-weekly basis. For nautical charts, that is overkill, but does NOAA have a website where they show which charts have been updated with a summary of why? That would be very nice.....e.g., Portage Lake Entrance depth changed from 12' to 6'. Otherwise, we need to get the electronic chart makers to offer an upgrade service.

 

Again, sorry this happened, glad it was not a tragedy.....it could have been.

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FWIW,

 

I checked an old digital set of charts ('97) and they show a 12' channel vs the 6' on the more recent. Everything else was eerily identical. My guess is that Barracuda had the older charts and were reassured by the call to the local. The idea of hugging one side of a narrow channel would have worried me enough to keep going but then again, I wouldn't have considered it in the first case outside of extreme issues.

 

Sorry if I am coming off harsh. I am also a pilot and I view altitude like I do distance off a lee shore. My first inclination with wx would have been to head offshore, not onshore.

 

No one got hurt and boats can be replaced/repaired. Once they arrived in the situation, I agree with others that folks kept their head and did the right things....and bravo for those that came out to help.

 

Barkley, I mentioned storm jib....reasonable given they were returning from the Mac.

 

Austin, I understand your frustration, but the depths were published.

 

To all, in flying instruments, one has to carry charts and folks subscribe to a service that sends updates on a bi-weekly basis. For nautical charts, that is overkill, but does NOAA have a website where they show which charts have been updated with a summary of why? That would be very nice.....e.g., Portage Lake Entrance depth changed from 12' to 6'. Otherwise, we need to get the electronic chart makers to offer an upgrade service.

 

Again, sorry this happened, glad it was not a tragedy.....it could have been.

 

Thank You, I agree. I relate it to the Southwest Airline sliding off the tarmac at Midway when it was snowing a couple years ago.

 

Both tear me up.

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Will post pics later today of Barracuda the day before it all happened. I think we have a couple of shots.

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The salvage yesterday...... I asked the salvage crew if this was a, "$30k to $40k job". They said, "More like $60k to $80k". You'd think for that kind of money they'd pull the pins on the shrouds rather than cutting the rod rigging. The mast looked ok when the boat was on her side in the water. Didn't look so good on the barge....

post-5448-1185465336_thumb.jpg

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So sad to see.

 

Raced against her in Key West.

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