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Two epirbs go off between Tonga and NZ


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#1 ice9a

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:54 AM

Its the season for the cruising fleet to migrate out of the cyclone belt in the pacific. For many that means the trek from Tonga or Fiji to NZ.

Unfortunately a big low (pic below) just crossed the track.

SV "WINDIGO" put out a distress call this morning at 06:32 UTC located 24° 59.07S 179° 37.47E. Boat rolled, taking on water and a crew member with a head injury (considered 'not too serious'). They feel they can't launch their life raft in the conditions, and SAR say conditions too rough to drop a raft.. NZ SAR has vectored a ship toward them but it is at least a day away. There is another yacht much closer (30nm) trying to get to them but only able to make 2 or 3 kts in the conditions. News article

No information on the second Epirb as it just went off - apparently further north. French SAR are launching a plane from New Caledonia.

Both are well out of helo range.

Attached File  11071200.jpg   151.27K   69 downloads

#2 Balder

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:50 AM

I am not sure why they are wanting to launch a raft from the sounds of it. I know I only have limited info but - Stay on the boat right. Remember Fastnet! How many abandoned vessels float for days?

#3 floating dutchman

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

The sound fine, not comfortable but O.K.

10 M swells, that's not excatly fun.

The second becon is from a fishing boat that has lost power and is sitting on a sea anchor waiting for a tow home.

http://www.stuff.co....-stricken-yacht

#4 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

OK, I'll stir the pot. What ever happened to self reliance? (Hey, I love life as much as the next guy - I too would activate the EPIRB, as I stepped up into the life raft). So I ask this question: should anyone put to sea on an ocean passage without a fit-for-purpose boat, enough spares, knowledge, food, water, and determination to make it to shore again in their own vessel? Many of the great cruising sailors of the past generation endured crises that required, jury-rigging, hardship and persistence to make it home...have we become a bunch of wimps?

#5 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

This is apparently the current plan:

"Update just now. They are in communications with another yacht close by that is staying with them over night. There is a tanker ( mv chengtu) due at first light i think that will assist with transfer to the other yacht by acting as a lee during transfer.then to transfer to navy vessel. There will be planes overhead as this takes place. jet from wellington on standby to assist with overfly."

All I can say is +100 for this other yacht coming to help in these conditions . . . "Adventure Bound" a Canadian boat. Someone please buy them several rounds of drinks when they make it to NZ.

...have we become a bunch of wimps?



By and large the simple answer to that is yes, and I will include myself (and essentially all of 'modern' society). It's easy and socially acceptable to call for rescue and we lead much softer lives than in the prior days of "wooden ships and iron men".

One thing to note in this specific case, this storm was not super well forecast. I went back to look at the forecast from 3 days ago and there was a tropical low forecast (which one should always be very very careful of) but it developed rather deeper than forecast, with much stronger winds (50kts rather than 30kts) and the track was much further south than forecast.

#6 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

Having suffered a back injury myself, you can easily be at the point where taking a piss is an extreme adventure in a HOUSE that ISN'T MOVING. They just may be unable to do much. If the boat's rigging is trashed from capsizing and the engine is trashed from being underwater they just may have more to do than a couple injured people can cope with.

OK, I'll stir the pot. What ever happened to self reliance? (Hey, I love life as much as the next guy - I too would activate the EPIRB, as I stepped up into the life raft). So I ask this question: should anyone put to sea on an ocean passage without a fit-for-purpose boat, enough spares, knowledge, food, water, and determination to make it to shore again in their own vessel? Many of the great cruising sailors of the past generation endured crises that required, jury-rigging, hardship and persistence to make it home...have we become a bunch of wimps?



#7 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

This is apparently the current plan:

"Update just now. They are in communications with another yacht close by that is staying with them over night. There is a tanker ( mv chengtu) due at first light i think that will assist with transfer to the other yacht by acting as a lee during transfer.then to transfer to navy vessel. There will be planes overhead as this takes place. jet from wellington on standby to assist with overfly."

All I can say is +100 for this other yacht coming to help in these conditions . . . "Adventure Bound" a Canadian boat. Someone please buy them several rounds of drinks when they make it to NZ.


...have we become a bunch of wimps?



By and large the simple answer to that is yes, and I will include myself (and essentially all of 'modern' society). It's easy and socially acceptable to call for rescue and we lead much softer lives than in the prior days of "wooden ships and iron men".

One thing to note in this specific case, this storm was not super well forecast. I went back to look at the forecast from 3 days ago and there was a tropical low forecast (which one should always be very very careful of) but it developed rather deeper than forecast, with much stronger winds (50kts rather than 30kts) and the track was much further south than forecast.


Your cruising log compares favorably to the Hiscocks' or the Smeetons'. While you say that assisted rescue has become socially acceptable, would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

Every case is unique and personal. I spent 16 years making a living at sea, sailed open ocean passages in boats of my own or others, and been through some bad weather. But I have never been faced with a survival situation where I had to decide whether or not to call for help (just lucky, I guess). For me, my own fascination with the sea has a lot to do with self-reliance and personal impeccability, and the unavoidable truth that nature does not factor me in any outcome; I can be crushed like an ant . I suppose I am a motivated fatalist...

#8 damcoyote

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:20 PM


This is apparently the current plan:

"Update just now. They are in communications with another yacht close by that is staying with them over night. There is a tanker ( mv chengtu) due at first light i think that will assist with transfer to the other yacht by acting as a lee during transfer.then to transfer to navy vessel. There will be planes overhead as this takes place. jet from wellington on standby to assist with overfly."

All I can say is +100 for this other yacht coming to help in these conditions . . . "Adventure Bound" a Canadian boat. Someone please buy them several rounds of drinks when they make it to NZ.


...have we become a bunch of wimps?



By and large the simple answer to that is yes, and I will include myself (and essentially all of 'modern' society). It's easy and socially acceptable to call for rescue and we lead much softer lives than in the prior days of "wooden ships and iron men".

One thing to note in this specific case, this storm was not super well forecast. I went back to look at the forecast from 3 days ago and there was a tropical low forecast (which one should always be very very careful of) but it developed rather deeper than forecast, with much stronger winds (50kts rather than 30kts) and the track was much further south than forecast.


Your cruising log compares favorably to the Hiscocks' or the Smeetons'. While you say that assisted rescue has become socially acceptable, would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

Every case is unique and personal. I spent 16 years making a living at sea, sailed open ocean passages in boats of my own or others, and been through some bad weather. But I have never been faced with a survival situation where I had to decide whether or not to call for help (just lucky, I guess). For me, my own fascination with the sea has a lot to do with self-reliance and personal impeccability, and the unavoidable truth that nature does not factor me in any outcome; I can be crushed like an ant . I suppose I am a motivated fatalist...


Would you call for help if you were in a car accident. I bet you would. What happens to your self reliance then. There were a lot of iron men went to sea on wooden boats and died. There are a few tales of dramatic recovery under adversity, but in most cases when hit by that much misfortune most men were just given up to the sea. We maybe a bit softer by the amount of technology we have, but I guarantee if any of those men who have perished at sea could have called in a helo to pick them up, they would be on the horn.

#9 Balder

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

Great response coyote

#10 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:44 PM

Would you call for help if you were in a car accident. I bet you would. What happens to your self reliance then. There were a lot of iron men went to sea on wooden boats and died. There are a few tales of dramatic recovery under adversity, but in most cases when hit by that much misfortune most men were just given up to the sea. We maybe a bit softer by the amount of technology we have, but I guarantee if any of those men who have perished at sea could have called in a helo to pick them up, they would be on the horn.


Sure, if I was smashed up in a car accident, I would call for help. Most car accidents occur near populated centers, with road , access, ambulances, hospitals, etc. If my car broke down in the middle of nowhere, first I would try to fix it, then I would try to walk for help, and faced with dehydration, starvation, or exposure, I would try to call 911. Too often modern sailors give up and call in the Coast Guard rescue as soon as things get unpleasant. (I honestly can't comment if this is the case with these Tonga/Fiji MAYDAYs - I am not judging individual cases, merely commenting on the general situation since the advent of the EPIRB.)

#11 Soņadora

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:44 PM

Great response coyote


+1

#12 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

Having suffered a back injury myself, you can easily be at the point where taking a piss is an extreme adventure in a HOUSE that ISN'T MOVING. They just may be unable to do much. If the boat's rigging is trashed from capsizing and the engine is trashed from being underwater they just may have more to do than a couple injured people can cope with.


I hear you on the back injury. One thing every offshore med kit should have is really strong pain killer.

Just fyi - report is that they have managed to get their engine running. The rig is still in the boat but we don't know in what sort of shape


would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

I would like to say yes, but it is really hard to say without being there. I consider myself 'self-reliant' but I know from first hand experience that we have all been deeply ingrained to call for help. Immediately surrounding an incident, especially with some injury, things on the ground can look and feel hopeless and calling for help seem to be the only sensible option. Often 24hrs later, with some rest and the weather perhaps better and the immediate fear reduced, things are better and you can see more options. I have once called for help (above Iceland, early on in our high latitude cruising) after making some attempts at self rescue, and was told that none was available. I then got really serious and got myself out of it - a sobering and educational experience. I hope I know better now, but you really don't know until you are right there thinking you are about to die.

The old 'men of iron' had no choice. If they wanted to live they had to self-rescue or die trying. That's a very different situation than having the ability to call for help but deciding not to. That generation were also just fundamentally both tougher and more skilled. They could build a boat from scratch from trees! And they could furl square sails in a gale hanging from the yards. I doubt 1 in a 1000 offshore sailors today could do either.

In this case, I am hoping for them that they can decide to attempt to continue on, in company with the other sailboat. But that will depend on the injuries and rig.



#13 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:53 PM


Having suffered a back injury myself, you can easily be at the point where taking a piss is an extreme adventure in a HOUSE that ISN'T MOVING. They just may be unable to do much. If the boat's rigging is trashed from capsizing and the engine is trashed from being underwater they just may have more to do than a couple injured people can cope with.


I hear you on the back injury. One thing every offshore med kit should have is really strong pain killer.

Just fyi - report is that they have managed to get their engine running. The rig is still in the boat but we don't know in what sort of shape


would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

I would like to say yes, but it is really hard to say without being there. I consider myself 'self-reliant' but I know from first hand experience that we have all been deeply ingrained to call for help. Immediately surrounding an incident, especially with some injury, things on the ground can look and feel hopeless and calling for help seem to be the only sensible option. Often 24hrs later, with some rest and the weather perhaps better and the immediate fear reduced, things are better and you can see more options. I have once called for help (above Iceland, early on in our high latitude cruising) after making some attempts at self rescue, and was told that none was available. I then got really serious and got myself out of it - a sobering and educational experience. I hope I know better now, but you really don't know until you are right there thinking you are about to die.

The old 'men of iron' had no choice. If they wanted to live they had to self-rescue or die trying. That's a very different situation than having the ability to call for help but deciding not to. That generation were also just fundamentally both tougher and more skilled. They could build a boat from scratch from trees! And they could furl square sails in a gale hanging from the yards. I doubt 1 in a 1000 offshore sailors today could do either.

In this case, I am hoping for them that they can decide to attempt to continue on, in company with the other sailboat. But that will depend on the injuries and rig.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I would gladly sign on a ship under your command.

#14 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

I don't have any issue at all with real MayDay calls. One of the achievements of modern society is sailors are not considered disposable any more and sailing from point X to point Y should not be a suicide mission. I have never told anyone getting on my boat that this was a "death before dishonor" trip and no help would be asked for no matter what.

That said - I FKN HATE "yuppie 911" where people are essentially cold, sick, and scared. NOT saying this is the case here at all, but we all know of boats abandoned that were essentially intact and floating on their lines. The crew just wanted off and a hot shower. I heard one distress call on 2182 KHz where the skipper kept saying "we have strong winds and heavy seas" and the exasperated USCG radio operator kept replying "Sir, you are near the eye of a hurricane. That is expected weather in that location. What exactly is the nature of your distress". Finally the reply was "Can you come get my wife" :lol: Reply to that was "We don't offer that kind of service".

#15 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

What if EPIRBs had TWO buttons - one for PAN PAN PAN and one for MAYDAY? Would the average "yuppie 911" understand the difference? Inshore, someone might call for a BOAT US tow, but would be reluctant to call the CG on 16 and abandon their boat. Obviously I am being facetious, but to me there is something awfully final about activating the EPIRB - you have given up all hope - the voyage is done, the ship is lost.

#16 Whisper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:46 PM



This is apparently the current plan:

"Update just now. They are in communications with another yacht close by that is staying with them over night. There is a tanker ( mv chengtu) due at first light i think that will assist with transfer to the other yacht by acting as a lee during transfer.then to transfer to navy vessel. There will be planes overhead as this takes place. jet from wellington on standby to assist with overfly."

All I can say is +100 for this other yacht coming to help in these conditions . . . "Adventure Bound" a Canadian boat. Someone please buy them several rounds of drinks when they make it to NZ.


...have we become a bunch of wimps?



By and large the simple answer to that is yes, and I will include myself (and essentially all of 'modern' society). It's easy and socially acceptable to call for rescue and we lead much softer lives than in the prior days of "wooden ships and iron men".

One thing to note in this specific case, this storm was not super well forecast. I went back to look at the forecast from 3 days ago and there was a tropical low forecast (which one should always be very very careful of) but it developed rather deeper than forecast, with much stronger winds (50kts rather than 30kts) and the track was much further south than forecast.


Your cruising log compares favorably to the Hiscocks' or the Smeetons'. While you say that assisted rescue has become socially acceptable, would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

Every case is unique and personal. I spent 16 years making a living at sea, sailed open ocean passages in boats of my own or others, and been through some bad weather. But I have never been faced with a survival situation where I had to decide whether or not to call for help (just lucky, I guess). For me, my own fascination with the sea has a lot to do with self-reliance and personal impeccability, and the unavoidable truth that nature does not factor me in any outcome; I can be crushed like an ant . I suppose I am a motivated fatalist...


Would you call for help if you were in a car accident. I bet you would. What happens to your self reliance then. There were a lot of iron men went to sea on wooden boats and died. There are a few tales of dramatic recovery under adversity, but in most cases when hit by that much misfortune most men were just given up to the sea. We maybe a bit softer by the amount of technology we have, but I guarantee if any of those men who have perished at sea could have called in a helo to pick them up, they would be on the horn.


The car accident analogy is absurd. The personal risks of the rescuers, and the burdens on society associated with jet fly-bys, ships, helicopters, air, sea and ground crews, rescue swimmers, etc. take this to a whole different realm.

Would I call for help? Probably, but more likely if I had crew than if I were solo. But before I did so, I hope I would have exhausted every other option first.

At the same time, I would not feel bad exercising my Boat US towing benefits if I found myself in danger of drifting onto the rocks within their coverage area. But that is more analogous to the car accident rescue since it's close to home. More importantly, I pay the premiums for that contractual service.

#17 Tucky

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Would you call for help if you were in a car accident. I bet you would. What happens to your self reliance then. There were a lot of iron men went to sea on wooden boats and died. There are a few tales of dramatic recovery under adversity, but in most cases when hit by that much misfortune most men were just given up to the sea. We maybe a bit softer by the amount of technology we have, but I guarantee if any of those men who have perished at sea could have called in a helo to pick them up, they would be on the horn.


Based entirely on reading, I'd say that Blondie Hasler meant what he said about "dying like a gentleman" if he got into trouble. I also believe the Smeetons made a similar pledge, and survived. One of the things important to them was that they were going to sea for pleasure, and that made them reluctant to ask for help- they understood that those that went to sea as a job were in a different situation.

That is a long way of saying "change any to many, and guarantee to I'm pretty sure, and I'd agree with you". <_<

#18 damcoyote

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:13 PM




This is apparently the current plan:

"Update just now. They are in communications with another yacht close by that is staying with them over night. There is a tanker ( mv chengtu) due at first light i think that will assist with transfer to the other yacht by acting as a lee during transfer.then to transfer to navy vessel. There will be planes overhead as this takes place. jet from wellington on standby to assist with overfly."

All I can say is +100 for this other yacht coming to help in these conditions . . . "Adventure Bound" a Canadian boat. Someone please buy them several rounds of drinks when they make it to NZ.


...have we become a bunch of wimps?



By and large the simple answer to that is yes, and I will include myself (and essentially all of 'modern' society). It's easy and socially acceptable to call for rescue and we lead much softer lives than in the prior days of "wooden ships and iron men".

One thing to note in this specific case, this storm was not super well forecast. I went back to look at the forecast from 3 days ago and there was a tropical low forecast (which one should always be very very careful of) but it developed rather deeper than forecast, with much stronger winds (50kts rather than 30kts) and the track was much further south than forecast.


Your cruising log compares favorably to the Hiscocks' or the Smeetons'. While you say that assisted rescue has become socially acceptable, would you not have attempted self-rescue before 'pushing the button'?

Every case is unique and personal. I spent 16 years making a living at sea, sailed open ocean passages in boats of my own or others, and been through some bad weather. But I have never been faced with a survival situation where I had to decide whether or not to call for help (just lucky, I guess). For me, my own fascination with the sea has a lot to do with self-reliance and personal impeccability, and the unavoidable truth that nature does not factor me in any outcome; I can be crushed like an ant . I suppose I am a motivated fatalist...


Would you call for help if you were in a car accident. I bet you would. What happens to your self reliance then. There were a lot of iron men went to sea on wooden boats and died. There are a few tales of dramatic recovery under adversity, but in most cases when hit by that much misfortune most men were just given up to the sea. We maybe a bit softer by the amount of technology we have, but I guarantee if any of those men who have perished at sea could have called in a helo to pick them up, they would be on the horn.


The car accident analogy is absurd. The personal risks of the rescuers, and the burdens on society associated with jet fly-bys, ships, helicopters, air, sea and ground crews, rescue swimmers, etc. take this to a whole different realm.

Would I call for help? Probably, but more likely if I had crew than if I were solo. But before I did so, I hope I would have exhausted every other option first.

At the same time, I would not feel bad exercising my Boat US towing benefits if I found myself in danger of drifting onto the rocks within their coverage area. But that is more analogous to the car accident rescue since it's close to home. More importantly, I pay the premiums for that contractual service.


We all pay the premiums for SAR. Its called taxes. Unless you are just not paying those. These assets exsist whether you use them or not.
You don't think police and firefighters are in danger or have been injured or killed attempting to rescue someone. That is absurd.
I think it is safe to say that everyone here hates to think of some inexperienced sailor going out and hitting an epirb at the first uncomfortable roll of the boat.
If you want to go offshore solo with no epirb or safety equipment, have a nice trip, if you arrive at the other end thats great, if you do or if you don't, I could care less.
We really don't have a lot of info as to what is going on here, the boat maybe servicable, but if they have a critical injury why would they not try and get help for the person.

#19 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:28 PM

We all pay the premiums for SAR. Its called taxes. Unless you are just not paying those. These assets exsist whether you use them or not.
You don't think police and firefighters are in danger or have been injured or killed attempting to rescue someone. That is absurd.
I think it is safe to say that everyone here hates to think of some inexperienced sailor going out and hitting an epirb at the first uncomfortable roll of the boat.
If you want to go offshore solo with no epirb or safety equipment, have a nice trip, if you arrive at the other end thats great, if you do or if you don't, I could care less.
We really don't have a lot of info as to what is going on here, the boat maybe servicable, but if they have a critical injury why would they not try and get help for the person.

Agreed on all counts.

I suspect that we all will pay more for SAR services (or perhaps some user-pay scheme will be phased in) if the incidences of pleasure craft using their EPIRBs continue to rise. I would hope that those faced with a PAN MEDICO situation on board would resort to SSB or SATPHONE communication first rather than reaching for the EPIRB. Maybe the end result would be the same - a high seas evacuation of the casualty. Again, I am not commenting specifically on the situations north of NZ, just musing generally on the appropriate use of the technologies.

#20 Whisper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:47 PM

We all pay the premiums for SAR. Its called taxes. Unless you are just not paying those. These assets exsist whether you use them or not.
You don't think police and firefighters are in danger or have been injured or killed attempting to rescue someone. That is absurd.
I think it is safe to say that everyone here hates to think of some inexperienced sailor going out and hitting an epirb at the first uncomfortable roll of the boat.
If you want to go offshore solo with no epirb or safety equipment, have a nice trip, if you arrive at the other end thats great, if you do or if you don't, I could care less.
We really don't have a lot of info as to what is going on here, the boat maybe servicable, but if they have a critical injury why would they not try and get help for the person.


No, I pay zero taxes to any South Pacific nation. Furthermore, I do not expect the taxpayers of those nations to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to mount an air/sea rescue for me when I fuck up hundreds of miles off their shore. While the assets may exist, it costs a lot to use them!

Ambulance crews responding to the fender bender in the intersection rarely incur much risk. On the other hand, firefighters take risks. They do so to protect people and property from arsonists, risks of fires spreading through neighborhoods and cities, brush and forest fires, etc. Most of their work is to protect people who did nothing to place themselves in peril. Police take risks to protect us from criminals. Can you sense an important distinction coming?

That is completely different from the risks of flying a couple minutes beyond fuel capacity and dropping a swimmer in 50 foot waves to save a couple who placed themselves in peril 200 miles offshore purely for recreation.


#21 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

Sorry - The USCG rescues EVERYONE in their area, not just US Taxpayers. SOLAS and all that - we expect everyone else to do their bit too. I have *zero* support for sailing as a suicide mission unless you are alone AND somehow got everyone you know to pledge not to ever ask about you. And no, I would not go sailing with no comms. I frequently have my own child and his young friends aboard. If one of them manages to trip and cut their head open or whatever, as the skipper I would be beyond negligent to just tell them bleeding and concussions will make a man out of them and there won't be any medical aid coming in the near future.

As for recreation, we save recreational drivers, bike riders, motorcycle drivers, cavers, divers, tree climbers, hikers, fisherman, bird watchers, arctic explorers, antarctic explorers, herion overdosers, attempted suicides off the local bridge, drunks getting into various problems, people who get shot by the vice president while hunting birds, kids that try to imitate stunts on that JackAss show, people that drive around in a blizzard that has been forecast for a week on bald tires, people who live below sea level and hang around when a hurricane strikes, cross country skiers, extreme skiers, skydivers, hang gliders, airplane passengers, airplane crew, steeplechase riders, and every other way people get in trouble for fun.

#22 Slim

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:11 PM

Why does it seem that pan pan calls are so rare? Are they just not reported? If I was in a situation where I was concerned about my and others' safety, but not needing immediate assistance - I think I would just ask SAR to check in every half hour or so. Is that not acceptable? Just for the psychological benefits, it seems like would be a great way to go. (He said from his office chair.)

#23 Trickypig

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

I've got to give props to New Zealand for looking after this stretch of water so well. With a population of only 4.5 mill they regularly co ordinate assistance to cruisers and racers who've come unstuck in this end of the world.

From BBC wales: a picture of the Beneteau 393 `Windigo'

Attached Files



#24 damcoyote

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:28 PM


We all pay the premiums for SAR. Its called taxes. Unless you are just not paying those. These assets exsist whether you use them or not.
You don't think police and firefighters are in danger or have been injured or killed attempting to rescue someone. That is absurd.
I think it is safe to say that everyone here hates to think of some inexperienced sailor going out and hitting an epirb at the first uncomfortable roll of the boat.
If you want to go offshore solo with no epirb or safety equipment, have a nice trip, if you arrive at the other end thats great, if you do or if you don't, I could care less.
We really don't have a lot of info as to what is going on here, the boat maybe servicable, but if they have a critical injury why would they not try and get help for the person.


No, I pay zero taxes to any South Pacific nation. Furthermore, I do not expect the taxpayers of those nations to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to mount an air/sea rescue for me when I fuck up hundreds of miles off their shore. While the assets may exist, it costs a lot to use them!

Ambulance crews responding to the fender bender in the intersection rarely incur much risk. On the other hand, firefighters take risks. They do so to protect people and property from arsonists, risks of fires spreading through neighborhoods and cities, brush and forest fires, etc. Most of their work is to protect people who did nothing to place themselves in peril. Police take risks to protect us from criminals. Can you sense an important distinction coming?

That is completely different from the risks of flying a couple minutes beyond fuel capacity and dropping a swimmer in 50 foot waves to save a couple who placed themselves in peril 200 miles offshore purely for recreation.


Its a Kiwi woman according to the article that the NZ SAR is trying to reach.
I didn't see anything about the pilot flying a couple minutes beyond his fuel capacity to find them or drop a raft. also didn't see the them dropping a rescue swimmer.
I would imagine there is certain risk flying around in a storm of that magnitude, but they seem to do it quite often.
Not to take anything away from SAR techs they are highly trained and do amazing things, but you are giving the impression that every time they move they are at risk of dying. You could say the same thing about any person in any situation.
I did see that the one NZ naval ship was doing exercises in the gulf. I would suspect that it cost NZ tax dollars to do that, now it is on route to the distressed sailboat. How much extra money is being spent if this ship is sent out to do exercises for 2 weeks and in that time makes a trip to rescue somebody in its fuel range. Even out of its fuel range, is the cost that prohibitive.
When I say the assets exsist, what I am saying is that they are in functional role, the people are being trained and the money is being spent. these assets aren't just sitting at a dock with the operators at home off the tab waiting for a call.
If you don't think those assets should exsist, that is another issue, it would save a lot of money and who really cares if a couple of people go missing off shore anyway. There is usually enough death and destruction on shore that they would not be noticed.
The fact is, we as a civilised society have decided that we would like to preserve life as much as possible and therefore have put such measures in place to try and achieve this.

#25 Joli

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

In a free country citizens have rights...the right to free speech, the right to assemble, the right to worship.... Nowhere does our constitution say people have a right to food, housing, medicine or rescue.
But as a just and moral society we provide all that and more. I don't see any difference between providing lunch for a poor kid attending school, medicine for the sick, housing for the indigent or SAR for a soul in distress.
Do people fuck up, act irrationally and compete mightily for a Darwin award? Sure, but who amongst us hasn't?

Hope they are OK and cheers to the yacht standing by.

#26 Trickypig

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

Why does it seem that pan pan calls are so rare? Are they just not reported? If I was in a situation where I was concerned about my and others' safety, but not needing immediate assistance - I think I would just ask SAR to check in every half hour or so. Is that not acceptable? Just for the psychological benefits, it seems like would be a great way to go. (He said from his office chair.)


Quite often the press will turn the pan call into a mayday for the sake of a story.

#27 Whisper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

Listen assholes, read my original comment. I said I would probably request assistance, and would be more likely to do so if I had crew aboard.

The part where we diverged was when coyoteugly made the absurd comparison of an air/sea rescue to a routine auto accident. My point was that those are two very different situations that reside at opposite ends of the spectrum for risk, cost, and assumption of risk by the participants. There is a wide swath of grey area between those extremes. At the farthest extreme, I think it's unreasonable to expect assistance. I have no doubt that the epirb calls we're discussing fall somewhere in the middle zone where I, too, would request assistance.

#28 PNW Matt B

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

When your post starts off with "Listen assholes", that's a good sign it's time to step away from the computer for a moment.

#29 Whisper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

When your post starts off with "Listen assholes", that's a good sign it's time to step away from the computer for a moment.


Feel free to do so. This IS the Anarchy site, isn't it?

I'm just fed up with the reading impaired, and those who see only in black and white.

#30 Whisper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Coyote you have a good grasp of the realities. SAR assets are supplied by all nations capable of executing the rescue mission. Varying degree's of assets are found around the world. These assets would be there regardless if all the recreational boats stayed on the hard. They train to assit and rescue mariners and you would be a mariner if your ass is on a boat


Nobody disputes this.

#31 Trickypig

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

Of course you know you are arguing around a bunch a slim suppositions about this couple based on thin (and often incorrect) press reports.

We know:

The boat was rolled and EPIRB activated
Minor head injuries and a back injury. The extent of which we don't know.
The boat took on water.
there are vessels diverted towards them.

So whether they are crying wolf or not.. we don't know.

#32 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

Of course you know you are arguing around a bunch a slim suppositions about this couple based on thin (and often incorrect) press reports.

We know:

The boat was rolled and EPIRB activated
Minor head injuries and a back injury. The extent of which we don't know.
The boat took on water.
there are vessels diverted towards them.

So whether they are crying wolf or not.. we don't know.


There are two very different themes going on in this thread:
1 - a yacht that has broadcast an EPIRB distress call somewhere between Tonga & NZ- we don't know a lot about the situation, but we are all hoping for the best outcome.
2 - the rights and obligations of a pleasure vessel on a high seas voyage. The vessel's crew certainly has the right to ask for assistance (and to have reasonable expectations of getting help from the state assigned SAR duties in their waters) and they have the obligation to be well prepared, self sufficient, and to avoid putting others in peril.

#33 Trickypig

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:44 PM


Of course you know you are arguing around a bunch a slim suppositions about this couple based on thin (and often incorrect) press reports.

We know:

The boat was rolled and EPIRB activated
Minor head injuries and a back injury. The extent of which we don't know.
The boat took on water.
there are vessels diverted towards them.

So whether they are crying wolf or not.. we don't know.


There are two very different themes going on in this thread:
1 - a yacht that has broadcast an EPIRB distress call somewhere between Tonga & NZ- we don't know a lot about the situation, but we are all hoping for the best outcome.
2 - the rights and obligations of a pleasure vessel on a high seas voyage. The vessel's crew certainly has the right to ask for assistance (and to have reasonable expectations of getting help from the state assigned SAR duties in their waters) and they have the obligation to be well prepared, self sufficient, and to avoid putting others in peril.


Quite right ... as long as everyone's clear on that.

#34 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

UPDATE 1702 UTC:

Two vessels have arrived alongside a damaged yacht south of Tonga.

The two people on board, New Zealander Tania Davies and Australian-based Brit Steve Jones, both have head injuries, and Mr Jones has a back injury.

They called for help Wednesday night after their yacht, the 12 metre Windigo, rolled in 10 metre seas.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says a freighter, which was diverted to the yacht's position, and another yacht (Canadian), Adventure Bound, have arrived and are beside the Windigo. NZ Navy vessel OTAGO has 13 hours and 10 minutes steaming before arrival.

Rescuers are assessing the situation now.

Why does it seem that pan pan calls are so rare? Are they just not reported? If I was in a situation where I was concerned about my and others' safety, but not needing immediate assistance - I think I would just ask SAR to check in every half hour or so. Is that not acceptable? Just for the psychological benefits, it seems like would be a great way to go. (He said from his office chair.)


I have made a pam pam call once. Approaching Bermuda with a broken centerboard (and possible damage to the centerboard trunk) and dead engine. It was nice they were thinking of me every hour, and they were exceptionally professional, but it was a pain in the ass answering the radio calls while I was trying tp nurse the boat in.

#35 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

Estar, thanks for come concrete information. Beau

#36 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

One issue with a PAN call is this:
You call PAN PAN PAN. The RCC finds the nearest boat/ship - and odds are she will be a merchant ship - and sends her over your way.
So now you have a multi-thousand dollars per hour tanker hanging around. They will be happy to take you aboard, but they won't hang around watching for long and they won't tow you home at 6 knots either.
So now the CG - not wanting to do it all again - is going to be wanting you to go ahead and get rescued already.

#37 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:35 PM

One issue with a PAN call is this:
You call PAN PAN PAN. The RCC finds the nearest boat/ship - and odds are she will be a merchant ship - and sends her over your way.
So now you have a multi-thousand dollars per hour tanker hanging around. They will be happy to take you aboard, but they won't hang around watching for long and they won't tow you home at 6 knots either.
So now the CG - not wanting to do it all again - is going to be wanting you to go ahead and get rescued already.


I don't know what the 'standard' response to a Pan Pan is, but Bermuda Harbour radio seemed to understand exactly what we wanted. They did not deploy or divert any assets to us. We just wanted them to ask all their questions now, so they knew who and where we were and what the boat and its problems were, so if we did have to call for help they would not need to take time asking all those questions. And an unspoken request that #1 they take more than the normal care not to all go out to dinner or the head at the same time, and #2 they mention our problems to the customs guys so when we did get in they would understand and appreciate why we were so fried and be gentle with us.

#38 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

Update..WEATHER CONDITIONS AT PRESENT:
WINDS ARE SOUTHERLY 25 KNOTS. SEAS SE SWELLS 5 METRES. VISIBILITY GOOD. THERE IS SOME LIGHT RAIN / SHOWERS CLOUD IN THE AREA 4/8 OCTAS.
WEATHER CONDITIONS IMPROVING

THE GUARDIAN AIRCRAFT HAS RETURNED TO NOUMEA. NO LONGER REQUIRED.
S/V ADVENTURE BOUND REMAINS ON SCENE TO ASSIST WHERE NECESSARY, SHE HAS BEEN MAINTAINING TWO WAY COMMUNICATIONS WITH SV WINDIGO.
P3 HAS BEEN ON SCENE SINCE 20121108 1300 UTC.
THE P3 HAS RECENTLY BEEN DIVERTED TO ASSIST ANOTHER VESSEL IN DISTRESS AND WILL RETURN TO SV WINDIGO SCENE BRIEFLY PRIOR TO DEPARTING THE AREA.
IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE P3 WILL NOT RETURN TO THE SCENE UNLESS REQUIRED.
MV CHENGTU IS ON SCENE AS A COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM. SHE WILL REMAIN THERE UNTIL THE RNZN VESSEL OTAGO ARRIVES.
RNZNS OTAGO DUE ON SCENE AT 20121109 0730 UTC.

PLAN: MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS MAINTAIN COMMUNICATIONS WITH WINDIGO AND AFFECT A TRANSFER TO EITHER THE MV CHENGTU OR THE RNZNS OTAGO AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY.

THE COMMERCIAL GULFSTREAM JET FROM WELLINGTON HAS BEEN STOOD DOWN.

#39 olaf hart

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

Amazing response so soon in the middle of the South Pacific.

#40 Estar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:38 PM



9 November 2012: 09.55am NZ local (2055 UTC)

The two injured people from the damaged yacht Windigo are safely aboard the cargo ship Chengtu after a rescue just before 9am this morning.

Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Keith Allen from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said heaving lines were lowered from the cargo vessel to the damaged yacht and the 52-year-old British man and the 43-year-old Auckland woman pulled aboard.

Both people aboard the Windigo sustained mild to moderate head injuries after their 11.6m yacht rolled after leaving Tonga two days ago 700km southwest of Tonga and 1260km northwest of New Zealand. The man has also suffered a back injury. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

The pair's medical condition will be assessed and the Chengtu will now head south to rendezvous with the Navy vessel HMNZS Otago late this afternoon.

Mr Allen paid tribute to the efforts of the Chengtu, the yacht Adventure Bound, which has also been on-site overnight, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, which provided a P3-Orion that made three trips to the stricken yacht providing the only communications link. A French naval plane also made two trips from Noumea to the scene.

This is the outcome we have been working towards since the emergency beacon was activated on Wednesday afternoon. It is the result of an excellent coordinated effort involving the RNZAF, which provided a link for the two people on the Windigo when there was no other means of contact, and I would also like to express my appreciation to the captain of the Chengtu and the crew of the Adventure Bound for their efforts.

#41 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:03 PM

Thanks for the update. A good ending. I wonder what will happen to Windigo? And another tick on the plus side for kayaking helmets or something similar when passagemaking in rough weather...

#42 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:04 AM

Estar, again, thanks for the updates. It would be extremely interesting to learn what point of sail WINDIGO was on when she was "rolled" and how far she "rolled". Also, if her rig was still up after the roll. BV

#43 Paps

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:17 AM

Oh, a shit fight thread in CA and it just happens to be Friday night here, whoopeeee.

I have only read seriously the first half of the thread so apologies if I repeat anyone .

Jim, Jim, you dont have to lob hand grenades to get people engaged in a conversation. Fellow sailors felt in danger in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and asked for help.

Before sussing the situation you launched into a Crocodile Dundee inspired rant about your concerns that local crack heads were burning up tax dollars calling for help because they got lost on Lake Shitafacie.

Apparently you are an ocean going Rambo who disdains toilet paper and lives "rough". Good for you.

Some others cast off and put themselves in harms way. The people of the southern lands have their back, and always will.

#44 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:19 AM

Oh, a shit fight thread in CA and it just happens to be Friday night here, whoopeeee.

I have only read seriously the first half of the thread so apologies if I repeat anyone .

Jim, Jim, you dont have to lob hand grenades to get people engaged in a conversation. Fellow sailors felt in danger in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and asked for help.

Before sussing the situation you launched into a Crocodile Dundee inspired rant about your concerns that local crack heads were burning up tax dollars calling for help because they got lost on Lake Shitafacie.

Apparently you are an ocean going Rambo who disdains toilet paper and lives "rough". Good for you.

Some others cast off and put themselves in harms way. The people of the southern lands have their back, and always will.


Loved my times in OZ, especially in the NT! Most fun I ever had was when I was evacuated to Exmouth from a drill ship in the path of a cyclone. I knew the "people of the southern lands" had my back...and the beer...and the birds.

#45 Leka

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

Oh, a shit fight thread in CA and it just happens to be Friday night here, whoopeeee.

Ive only read seriously the first half of the thread so apologies if I repeat anyone .


Some others cast off and put themselves in harms way. The people of the southern lands have their back, and always will.


Agree 100% Paps. Very proud that we cover a great stretch of water and long may it remain that way. Happy that some of my tax money goes to support that.
Hopefully I will never need it, but more that happy to spend $$$$ to help anyone that needs it.


#46 ice9a

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

Estar what are the departure rules for yachts leaving New Zealand ? I heard some form of inspection is warranted.


NZ flagged boats must be inspected and meet a NZ version of the ISAF Cat 1 regs.

Foreign flagged boats must meet the rules of their flag country - which in the USA are the relatively minimal USCG requirements. They do not (generally) inspect foreign flagged vessel.

NZ tried for a couple years to enforce their rules on foreign flagged vessels; they were taken to (NZ) court by an American cruiser, and NZ lost.

Back on this thread . . . it's being reported that the rolled vessel had hatches ripped off, and that was the source of the 'taking on water' (some light plywood is useful in the 'spares' kit) I have two different reports about the rig (one says it was still in and the other says the rig was gone), both from what should be reliable sources, so I don't know about that.

#47 ice9a

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

Thank you for that information.Is there an annual component to the inspections. What of the cost? I met a boat builder that made the under V berth access panel the same size as the fore hatch. When I saw that I thought he was making a mistake with the size of the opening. After hearing about the boat loosing a hatch his idea wins.


see here for the direct information from Maritime New Zealand

#48 kdh

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Yuppie 911? Haven't seen a yuppie since I was one. The young are now all living with their parents hoping to get a job.

#49 Guest Anarchist staff-a-car_*

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

OK so the media interviews proved that these boat drivers were a couple of incompetent fuckwits, so most comments from above go to show that this "cruising" forum is full of tossers who know fuck all about bluewater cruising. This includes the OP who stated "well out of helo range". Any idea how many helicopters there are in the whole tropical SP??? Any friggin boat will be out of helo range, even if they had a sea rescue capability. What a pack of girls.

#50 Salazar

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:29 AM

OK so the media interviews proved that these boat drivers were a couple of incompetent fuckwits, so most comments from above go to show that this "cruising" forum is full of tossers who know fuck all about bluewater cruising. This includes the OP who stated "well out of helo range". Any idea how many helicopters there are in the whole tropical SP??? Any friggin boat will be out of helo range, even if they had a sea rescue capability. What a pack of girls.


I was looking at your signature: "Is it just me, or is the rest of the world wrong?" It's just you.

.

#51 floating dutchman

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

OK so the media interviews proved that these boat drivers were a couple of incompetent fuckwits, so most comments from above go to show that this "cruising" forum is full of tossers who know fuck all about bluewater cruising. This includes the OP who stated "well out of helo range". Any idea how many helicopters there are in the whole tropical SP??? Any friggin boat will be out of helo range, even if they had a sea rescue capability. What a pack of girls.


"Knickers in twist"

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

Just sick of wanky American's (and that includes Canadians, you are north american after all) claiming to know fuck all about sailing or the rest of the world. For your population and loudness of voice you actually contribute less to the sailing world than is your due.

#53 floating dutchman

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:44 AM

Just sick of wanky American's (and that includes Canadians, you are north american after all) claiming to know fuck all about sailing or the rest of the world. For your population and loudness of voice you actually contribute less to the sailing world than is your due.


Instead of this "You are all wrong" crap. How about quoting folk who have posted something you disagree with and rebutting it?

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:12 AM


Just sick of wanky American's (and that includes Canadians, you are north american after all) claiming to know fuck all about sailing or the rest of the world. For your population and loudness of voice you actually contribute less to the sailing world than is your due.


Instead of this "You are all wrong" crap. How about quoting folk who have posted something you disagree with and rebutting it?

Just about anything said in this thread that made excuses for these fuckwits was :"all wrong" as proven by the media interviews. The know it all yanks on here who have never sailed past Catalina have to get over the fact that they are not a superpower when it comes to bluewater sailing. I have never come across such a bunch of uninformed, puerile drivel in my life.

#55 floating dutchman

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:18 AM



Just sick of wanky American's (and that includes Canadians, you are north american after all) claiming to know fuck all about sailing or the rest of the world. For your population and loudness of voice you actually contribute less to the sailing world than is your due.


Instead of this "You are all wrong" crap. How about quoting folk who have posted something you disagree with and rebutting it?

Just about anything said in this thread that made excuses for these fuckwits was :"all wrong" as proven by the media interviews. The know it all yanks on here who have never sailed past Catalina have to get over the fact that they are not a superpower when it comes to bluewater sailing. I have never come across such a bunch of uninformed, puerile drivel in my life.


So that's a NO then?

And how much "blue water" sailing do you have? Me personaly I have none, I have been "blue water" in boats other than sailing and a lot of the sea conditions I have seen from the saftey of a fishing or larger boat makes me think that a sailboat talking on water a very very long way from home in some seriously crappy stuff would have me calling for mommy.
Don't know, havent done it, Maybe I'd be happy, But being a long long way from saftey, taking on water and knot knowing if or how to stop it would scare me.

Or were you there? Tell us your storey.

#56 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

Send the tosser back to SA. We should be better than this in CA. "you are a stupid head" type debates seem a little below our level.
staff-a-car, why not go find a "no one from the Americas allowed" forum and play there?
Failing that, educate us dimwits on everything that went wrong and what you would do better?
A little note on relevant experience might help too ;)

#57 Ishmael

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

That's pretty funny, that staph-attack slagged off the OP as a know-nothing.
Staph, you do know that was Evans Starzinger, right? There's a lot of bluewater experience represented by several of these screen names, despite some of them being {gasp} American or Canadian.

What a maroon.

#58 Estar

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

Estar, again, thanks for the updates. It would be extremely interesting to learn what point of sail WINDIGO was on when she was "rolled" and how far she "rolled". Also, if her rig was still up after the roll. BV


Pic below from the rescue . . .so the rig was in fact still in. The resolution is unfortunately not enough to tell much else.

Attached File  boat.jpg   32.95K   84 downloads

Regarding the point of sail . . . . Here's the weather picture from 30 minutes before the epirb when off. . . . Red X in position of epirb . . . they would have had 40kts sustained from the SE (137 degrees), and the course Tonga to NZ is SSW (215 degrees) - so waves just in front of the beam if they were still trying to make course . . . but I have not heard any comment yet about whether they were still trying to make course or do something else (heave-to or run).

Attached File  weather.jpg   154.68K   69 downloads

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

That pic says it all. Getting off a perfectly safe boat in the middle of the ocean at what cost?? They should have checked forecast before sailing (the weather system was well predicted) they should have employed heavy weather tactics when the conditions deteriorated, they should have left the boat in Tonga and caught a plane. Yes the OP is a dickhead for the helo comment as there is no helicopter in Tonga. He obviously doesn't have much SP experience if he believes helo sea rescue is an option.
Yes, I have a few miles under my keel.

#60 Estar

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

That pic says it all. Getting off a perfectly safe boat in the middle of the ocean at what cost?? They should have checked forecast before sailing (the weather system was well predicted) they should have employed heavy weather tactics when the conditions deteriorated, they should have left the boat in Tonga and caught a plane.

You really think you will never ever make a mistake?

How can you tell from that pic that the boat was 'perfectly safe'? The report is that hatches were ripped off - you can't tell that from the pic. How do you know if the rigging was still altogether from that pic? You really think you can judge the condition of that vessel from that pic?

What the hell ever happened to empathy and sympathy for our fellow sailors? When did it start that anyone who got in the shit immediately became an idiot and ignorant? Most people who manage to buy an offshore boat and get off cruising have in fact been pretty successful in life and are not stupid. And these specific folks managed to get half way round the world.

Just reflect, that there except for the grace of the ocean you are. Unless of course you believe you are perfect and will never ever make a mistake . . .in which case you belong locked in a loony bin rather than in command of a vessel.

Yes the OP is a dickhead for the helo comment as there is no helicopter in Tonga. He obviously doesn't have much SP experience if he believes helo sea rescue is an option.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion that he's a dickhead, but #1 factually he has been round the world twice (including cape horn) with four trips thru the SP, three of which were thru Tonga. And #2 he said helo rescue was NOT an option so I don't have any idea what you are going on about, and #3 he did not say anything about Tongan helos. I presume you do know that NZ in fact does have SAR helos and this sail boat was in fact going to NZ so it might in fact have been inside NZ helo range.

Yes, I have a few miles under my keel.

Less than a several others here, like myself for example.

You are just sounding like a fool in this thread.



#61 Beer Fueled Mayhem

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:06 PM


That pic says it all. Getting off a perfectly safe boat in the middle of the ocean at what cost?? They should have checked forecast before sailing (the weather system was well predicted) they should have employed heavy weather tactics when the conditions deteriorated, they should have left the boat in Tonga and caught a plane.

You really think you will never ever make a mistake?

How can you tell from that pic that the boat was 'perfectly safe'? The report is that hatches were ripped off - you can't tell that from the pic. How do you know if the rigging was still altogether from that pic? You really think you can judge the condition of that vessel from that pic?

What the hell ever happened to empathy and sympathy for our fellow sailors? When did it start that anyone who got in the shit immediately became an idiot and ignorant? Most people who manage to buy an offshore boat and get off cruising have in fact been pretty successful in life and are not stupid. And these specific folks managed to get half way round the world.

Just reflect, that there except for the grace of the ocean you are. Unless of course you believe you are perfect and will never ever make a mistake . . .in which case you belong locked in a loony bin rather than in command of a vessel.

Yes the OP is a dickhead for the helo comment as there is no helicopter in Tonga. He obviously doesn't have much SP experience if he believes helo sea rescue is an option.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion that he's a dickhead, but #1 factually he has been round the world twice (including cape horn) with four trips thru the SP, three of which were thru Tonga. And #2 he said helo rescue was NOT an option so I don't have any idea what you are going on about, and #3 he did not say anything about Tongan helos. I presume you do know that NZ in fact does have SAR helos and this sail boat was in fact going to NZ so it might in fact have been inside NZ helo range.

Yes, I have a few miles under my keel.

Less than a several others here, like myself for example.

You are just sounding like a fool in this thread.


Well said. Now put staff-a-car on block and this is all done.

#62 Trickypig

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:08 PM

That pic says it all. Getting off a perfectly safe boat in the middle of the ocean at what cost?? They should have checked forecast before sailing (the weather system was well predicted) they should have employed heavy weather tactics when the conditions deteriorated, they should have left the boat in Tonga and caught a plane. Yes the OP is a dickhead for the helo comment as there is no helicopter in Tonga. He obviously doesn't have much SP experience if he believes helo sea rescue is an option.
Yes, I have a few miles under my keel.


You have missed the mark mate.. step away from the grog.

By the way, there were 2 x Mi 17 Russian Helicopters in Tonga when I was last there, although I doubt they are operational now. :huh:

#63 Guest Anarchist staff-a-car_*

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

Unfortunately a big low (pic below) just crossed the track.

Well fuck me, I thought the boat crossed the tropical low's track not the other way round. Glad I had such a knowledgeable bluewater sailor to set me straight. Obviously the forecasts I was reading were totally inaccurate and the the low was in some other dimension that requires chemicals I don't possess to predict.
So I apologise for implying the boat drivers were a silly pair of cunts that made a completely irresponsible decision that will continue to have an adverse on all cruising sailors as governments seek to legislate against morons costing them their education budget to save from their own stupidity.

#64 TQA

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:13 PM

Well I have been following this story on another forum as well as this one and have watched this video clip of the rescue.


http://www.aol.co.uk....era/517536772/

The boat does not look like a boat that has been rolled to me and there does not look like there is much wrong with it. Clearly not sinking, the mast is up and the sails look OK .

Did they just get frightened?

Watch the video and make up your own mind.

#65 Ishmael

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

The sea state at the time looks pretty gentle, all things considered, and the boat looks OK. I'm not passing judgement on this one since I wasn't there, but...

#66 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:37 PM

I must say this couple looked pretty bloody relieved to be rescued. I won't comment on the necessity of their rescue; others might have done the same thing in their place, although the bit between their boat and the deck of the freighter looked pretty scary.

The trouble with the EPIRP is that once you activate it there is no second chance for the voyage, no reconsidering. As Estar related in a previous post, sometimes the next day puts things in perspective - leaking ports can be boarded over, bilges can be pumped, jury rigs can be raised. The accessibility and technology of recreational sailboats today means that some people will find themselves 'out there' when they should have stayed ashore or maybe taken a passage with a more experienced skipper.

I must say Bendy-toys must be better built than I imagined. For a boat like that to do a 360, keep its spar in, sails on and even the outboard attached to the rail...not bad. :D

#67 CharlieCobra

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

UPDATE 1702 UTC:


I have made a pam pam call once. Approaching Bermuda with a broken centerboard (and possible damage to the centerboard trunk) and dead engine. It was nice they were thinking of me every hour, and they were exceptionally professional, but it was a pain in the ass answering the radio calls while I was trying tp nurse the boat in.



I made one to the CG once when delivering a woody when it was discovered that we were taking on water and both pumps had failed. I informed them we were diverting to a closer port and requested they call the marina and arrange for a pump to be on the dock. The owner managed to get the pumps back up and I cancelled the Pan Pan and told the CG we were heading back to our original destination. Yes there was a lot of radio chatter with the CG but they were very professional.

#68 DDW

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Just sick of wanky American's (and that includes Canadians, you are north american after all) claiming to know fuck all about sailing or the rest of the world. For your population and loudness of voice you actually contribute less to the sailing world than is your due.

Just about anything said in this thread that made excuses for these fuckwits was :"all wrong" as proven by the media interviews. The know it all yanks on here who have never sailed past Catalina have to get over the fact that they are not a superpower when it comes to bluewater sailing. I have never come across such a bunch of uninformed, puerile drivel in my life.

So I apologise for implying the boat drivers were a silly pair of cunts that made a completely irresponsible decision that will continue to have an adverse on all cruising sailors as governments seek to legislate against morons costing them their education budget to save from their own stupidity.

From context, I am guessing that staff-a-car is not North American. From the accents in the video interviews, neither are the rescued sailors. So the sailors, the decisions made, the rescue options, and the rescue itself has little or nothing to do with North America. Not sure what all the obloquy directed this way is about? Couldn't get a visa?

#69 Guest Anarchist staff-a-car_*

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:13 PM

No, I was referring to the numbnuts on here, commentating an event where they obviously have no knowledge of the subject.

#70 Estar

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

I would break the decision making and mistakes down this way:

1. Decision to leave: This passage basically has two parts - get out of the tropics and then get into NZ. Leaving when they did, the weather conditions for the second half (the eta at NZ) were forecast to be very attractive. But there were some serious questions about the first half.

Bob McDavitt is the leading weather guru for that area of the world. He said on the 4th (I think they departed on the 4th or 5th, not sure) that this low would develop and that the departure window for Tonga was closed until after the low passed.

In the prior week, the gfs and ECMWF models had been a bit out of sync, with the gfs making things look better and the ECMWF worse. With 20/20 hindsight, the ECMWF was more accurate. (as a side note: As ECMWF also was much more accurate with Sandy, I think the folks looking after the GFS model need to see what the ECMWF is factoring in that they are not, and that we sailors need to pay a bit more attention to it).

There were a bunch of boats (at least a half dozen) out there at roughly the same time and place as this vessel. Including Adventure Bound who sailed thru the storm winds in order to stand by and help as needed. So, the decision to leave was not entirely 'rogue' (unlike say the Bounty decision).

So, obviously a bad decision with 20/20 hindsight, while a questionable but debatable one at the time.

2. Not having on board weather comms: The NZ media has criticised them about this. On board weather is very useful, and can keep you out of trouble. But often, once you are out there, the systems are big enough and fast moving enough that there is simply nothing you can do and they are going to roll over you. My sense is that was the case here. The low center tracked bit north of them, so at some point turning around would have only made things worse.

With 20/20 hindsight, on board comms would have been helpful if they had turned around the first night. After that they were pretty much stuck with whatever they got.

3. Heave weather tactics: My impression from the interviews is that they just kept on sailing, on course, with pretty big waves on the beam. And were knocked around a lot, until finally knocked down hard (looking at the boat I doubt they actually rolled but we will never really know) when they were both apparently knocked unconscious.

There is a time for every boat when you don't want to keep sailing with breaking waves on the beam. Exactly what this point is depends on the vessel, and I suspect for this beneteau its earlier than for some other cruising designs. What you do at that point again depends on the vessel and what gear you have and is a hotly debated and argued point. I would guess this boat would not heave-to at all well. It would probably forereach better, but I also guess not all that well as it's light and not that highly ballasted. I would guess that the steering would be squirrely running off without a drogue, but pretty decent with a drogue. They could have jury rigged a drogue if they did not carry a proper one. If they had set a para-anchor a bit before they set off the epirb, they would have had the strongest part on the storm go right over them. That would probably have been ugly, but they might have survived if the rode did not chafe thru.

With this boat, and the waves & winds at the time, I would have stopped sailing with the waves near the beam. I think I would first have tried coming up and forereaching as that would be the best direction both for getting to NZ and keeping away from the low center. If that did not feel right, I think I would have tried running with a drogue. That would take you in not the best direction, but also not the worst - from where the epirb went off you would track in behind the low.

As the other half dozen vessels out there showed, including Adventure Bound who were right there with them, this was sailable and survivable conditions with the right tactics.

4. Setting off the epirb: At the time conditions were pretty bad 40 kts and 10m waves - (the weather in that rescue video was much later (2 days?) and the conditions had completely eased, and they were hurt, and their boat was a shambles, and they did not know if the weather was going to get even worse, and this was probably the first 'survival' situation they had been in. I think it's understandable for them to fire off the epirb.

As I said at the time, in a post way up the thread, I had hopped after 24hrs, when the conditions had eased a bit and Adventure Bound was standing by them if they needed help, that they would reconsider and undertake to get back underway. But, while the rescue pics of the boat don't look too bad, the resolution is simply not there to really tell how damaged the boat is. Again, as I said up the thread, in the 'old days' they would simply have had to do it themselves or die, and I suspect under those conditions they would have managed somehow, but they had a long way to go thru some difficult water and there would certainly have been significant risk. Today we have been gifted with the rescue option, which is very seductive in that sort of situation. I think its pretty much impossible for us to know which was the 'right' option.

Credos to Adventure Bound for sailing thru storm conditions to try to help, and for NZ for coordinating a very efficient rescue.

And my sympathy for the crew of Windago. For many of us, the ocean has taught some tough lessons but let us keep our boats (and lives), so that we could learn and sail again. I know that I certainly have made mistakes, that looked back on with 20/20 hindsight, and the cold eye of Internet mob criticism, would have looked like pretty poor decisions. I have been (so far) fortunate enough to survive and learn. In this case the ocean was not quite so forgiving, but at least they survived even if their boat did not.

#71 Trickypig

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

She said "orientation was an issue when we came to" so a knock to one of their heads and they wanted off.

Notice the middle cabin window has something soft stuffed in it.

#72 JBE

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

Thanks Estar, good to see such a rational take on it.
Because I was specifically looking at Noumea for some friends who I thought were leaving around that time( From a desk in Akl), I missed the significance of that deepening low by the minervas myself, and was surprised to see how deep it had become on the wed.
But as was pointed out to me here and you've noted , it was forecast and it was recommended to avoid. So thats actually very good and healthy in a general sense.
I don't think the boat has been rolled but probably a serious knockdown , and they have injuries. One thing I do know from personal experience is that people with head injuries don't necessarily make the best decisions.
I think you're bang on target.

#73 Tucky

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:39 PM

Thanks, Evans, for continuing to share your thoughts.

#74 kdh

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

I've heard anecdotally a few times that the ECMWF model is relatively good compared to the other weather models. Has anyone else heard this? Is there anything statistical available to back this up?

#75 Estar

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

I've heard anecdotally a few times that the ECMWF model is relatively good compared to the other weather models. Has anyone else heard this? Is there anything statistical available to back this up?


yes . . . see graphs below. The first is an assessment of overall forecast accuracy:

Attached File  aczhist.sm.gif   91.23K   61 downloads

It's a bit more clear in this 4-year comparison:

Attached File  aczhist6.gif   65.55K   71 downloads

And the same has been true specifically for hurricane track forecasts:

Attached File  model_skill_2011.png   54.2K   50 downloads

The 'gfs problem' is apparently primarily in the initialization data - and since it's a chaos system, small errors in the initialization create big changes later on.

One positive thing with the first graph is how all the model have significantly improved over time.

#76 kdh

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:59 AM

Way cool, Evans. I'd love to work on those models.

#77 rattus32

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:13 AM

Me too.

Optimization that's way more interesting that yet another fucking microprocessor. A hundred years ago had the amazing experience of working with some folks at NCAR (Nat. Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder) in architecting a fantasy system to process worldwide weather models - kind of a primitive version of the supercomputers you're hearing about today. Interconnect speeds held everything back in the wayback machine, but... still fascinating.

#78 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

Estar,

Am I reading your graphs correctly when I see that forecast accuracy has gone from about 75% right in 1985 to 90% right in 2012? That's an amazing improvement if I'm reading this correctly.

Beau

#79 Estar

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:30 PM


Estar,

Am I reading your graphs correctly when I see that forecast accuracy has gone from about 75% right in 1985 to 90% right in 2012? That's an amazing improvement if I'm reading this correctly.

Beau



To be precise, that's not 'accuracy', it's 'anomaly correlation coefficient' which is a measure of model 'skill'.

'Accuracy' would compare model output to observed weather - usually (in the met business) using Root Mean Square Error.

The anomaly correlation coefficient is constructed by subtracting the climate average from both the forecast and the verification/observation and then constructing a measure of correlation between the residuals. This is viewed as a better measure of the model 'skill'. The constructed correlation coefficient measures pattern similarity and not absolute values. Under 60% in ACC is generally viewed as 'zero model skill', so the 75% in the 1980's was actually not very good.

So, yes, the models have improved from 75% to 90% in 'skill', and the forecasting models have definitely gotten better. Here is a graph that is a bit more intuitive - showing the improvement (reduction) over time in forecast storm track error in miles.
Attached File  ALtkerrtrd_noTD.gif   130.82K   15 downloads

But the accuracy, as a common person would understand it, is not '90%'.There is a paper that suggests their 24 hr wind direction forecasts were accurate to within plus or minus 22.5 deg about 38% of the time. This is a NWS service discussion of their precipitation forecast accuracy - where they suggest they are 'accurate' 40% of the time.

If you want to read some math - there is a classic paper here

#80 Paps

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:30 PM

No, I was referring to the numbnuts on here, commentating an event where they obviously have no knowledge of the subject.


Something you are well versed in.

#81 Dale dug a hole

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:42 PM

I guess this guy didn't set off one


Cocaine and corpse on Australia-bound yacht

#82 kdh

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:40 AM

Estar, curious that the "ACC" adjusts forecast and actual for the climate average. A good model should certainly have the same average as the actual. Also, since correlation involves subtracting means anyway it's invariant to that, and the ACC is the same as the simple correlation between forecast and actual. I must be missing something.

I model all day, and for me I get much more out of a scatter plot than the correlation, which always seems unnecessarily distilled. For example, BV, the questionable validity of a .5 correlation being "50% accurate" is well judged by looking at a typical scatter for a .5 correlation.

In the extreme it's true. 100% correlation is 100% accurate, except for a linear transformation, for anyone anal out there.

Around here the probability of precipitation is 30%. When I see that there is always the interpretation which is, "we have no idea." The "forecast discussion" on the weather.gov pages is always fun to read.

#83 Estar

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:22 AM

Estar, curious that the "ACC" adjusts forecast and actual for the climate average. A good model should certainly have the same average as the actual. Also, since correlation involves subtracting means anyway it's invariant to that, and the ACC is the same as the simple correlation between forecast and actual. I must be missing something.


kdh, yes I was simplifying. There are in fact both (local & global) bias and scale errors in the models.

I am still simplifying, but, overall model skill can be decomposed into anomaly correlation coefficient + the conditional bias in the forecast + unconditional bias in the forecast + the difference between the long-term and sample climatologies.

You can google mathmatical papers on all this if you are interested.

#84 Joli

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:12 AM

Funny, we just sail what we have.

#85 Estar

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:34 AM

Funny, we just sail what we have.


Funny, since you were just recently running optimized weather routing models for BJ! :)

And if you have several quants (like kdh) on board, their combined brain power will generate enough heat that you can change the weather patterns and bend the wind. You just have to make sure they are sitting on the correct side of the boat to generate a favorable shift. :)

More seriously, there has always been a discussion in the cruising community about how much effort to put into getting weather forecasts (while at sea). Many of the bluewater Kiwi's I know take the 'just go for it and sail with whatever you get' approach. I personally have found there is a lot more value to weather analysis on N/S passages than on E/W passages, because on N/S routes you have some leverage on the systems and some options, while on E/W routes basically the weather will just roll over you no matter what you do. But even if its going to roll over you, its still some comfort to know how bad its going to get when the barro starts dropping rapidly.

#86 olaf hart

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:46 AM


Funny, we just sail what we have.



More seriously, there has always been a discussion in the cruising community about how much effort to put into getting weather forecasts (while at sea). Many of the bluewater Kiwi's I know take the 'just go for it and sail with whatever you get' approach. I personally have found there is a lot more value to weather analysis on N/S passages than on E/W passages, because on N/S routes you have some leverage on the systems and some options, while on E/W routes basically the weather will just roll over you no matter what you do. But even if its going to roll over you, its still some comfort to know how bad its going to get when the barro starts dropping rapidly.


That's a really interesting observation about N/S and E/W, obvious when you think about it, makes sense.
Do you use SSB or satphone to keep up with routing on passage?

#87 Estar

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:12 AM

Do you use SSB or satphone to keep up with routing on passage?


We used to use SSB receiver (not transceiver) to get weather faxes (to laptop), but switched (about a decade ago - that makes me feel old) to sat phone and gribs. Both work. It's a bit easier to do clever routing with gribs, but also easier to get seduced my the numbers and 'forget' to look outside at the clouds.

#88 Joli

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

Well, you know. Man purposes......

#89 Roleur

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:22 PM

We had friends that left Tonga about the same time as Windigo. After a few days, they aborted, turned around and went back to Tonga rather than wrestle with the low. I think they left again about 1 week later and are now 1/2 way across fighting a windless hole, but I'm pretty sure they are happy with the decision to abort the first attempt.

#90 Zonker

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

We've got friends in the same hole. Can't motor because their damper plate on engine died. Being towed by another cruising boat. That area is one part of the world I'd happily accept a tow rather than wait for next L to roll over me. Here's their blog:
http://www.svwondertime.com/

#91 Estar

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:37 AM

We've got friends in the same hole.


Yup, Stuck in a ridge:
Attached File  NZ.jpg   98.73K   3 downloads

And probably still a mill pond tomorrow:
Attached File  NZ18.jpg   96.81K   3 downloads

Wind should fill in on the 19th:
Attached File  NZ19.jpg   94.34K   3 downloads

And it gets light again on the 20th as another ridge pushed in from the west.

Playing with that new free routing program . . . here is a route (554nm, 4 days 2hrs) where they are towed at 4kts whenever their sailing speed drops below 4kts (an interesting routing feature cruising passages that is not in most of the more racing oriented programs). The map colors indicated wind strength when they get to that each (blue is basically no wind). So this agrees they have a band of wind on the 19th, and then again as they get close to NZ.

Attached File  routing.jpg   68.96K   3 downloads

Basically nothing bad all the way to the forecast horizon - worst shown is a possible small low with 25kts winds on the 22nd near NZ.

#92 Soņadora

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

I tell you what, SA/CA should be required reading for anyone working toward any kind of offshore captain certifications.

This shit just blows me away.

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

A sustained period of headwinds (S/SE) starting along the NZ coast on the 21st. Not gale force, but 20kts on the nose is a pain in the ocean. I hope they manage to get in before then.

#94 JBE

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

I have friends on the way back from Noumea, about halfway by tonight I expect. Those easterlies turning SE could be a pain for them, depending on when they arrive .

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

The forecast is looking a bit better today for WonderTime - more wind and less calms. ETA Nov 23 - will be faster if they can still get a tow thru the two light patches.

The routing is suggesting staying east, both to stay in the wind as long as possible and to get a better angle on the SE winds at the end. Their last shiptrac suggested they were going (still under tow) 205 degrees while the model thinks they should go 190 degrees. Of course I am using just made up polars (70% of Hawk's) for this, which may be completely wrong.

Attached File  wondertime.jpg   178.17K   1 downloads

#96 Zonker

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:13 PM

Funny - I'm routing for our friends on Wondertime and gave them the exact same advice yesterday and tonight. Stay heading S to keep up speed and get better angle on SE winds. Gotta try the free routing software!

70% of Hawk's polars may be a wee bit generous for a Benford 38' ketch, especially upwind.

#97 Estar

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

Funny - I'm routing for our friends on Wondertime and gave them the exact same advice yesterday and tonight. Stay heading S to keep up speed and get better angle on SE winds. Gotta try the free routing software!

70% of Hawk's polars may be a wee bit generous for a Benford 38' ketch, especially upwind.

Probably true. Its probably more like our prior 37' ketch (Silk) than Hawk, and we just simply did not sail upwind offshore on SIlk - we would either turn the motor on, or would close reach off toward more favorable winds, or just heave-to and wait for something more favorable. Is the Canadian tow service going to stand by for future need? They might be very useful on the 20th.


Routing still says to go South, and given the down wind angles even has them going a bit east of south for a while. That may be an artifact of the polars I am using - depends how much speed they can gain from heating things up from DDW. But at least going due south for a while does make sense.

Attached File  wondertime.png   379.79K   2 downloads

11/20 is probably going to be a tough day, as the trough passes over. First (in the morning UT) they gybe in light (and probably squally) downwind.

Attached File  wondertime1120.jpg   135.7K   3 downloads

Then in the afternoon (UT) the wind has come all the way forward and they tack.

Attached File  wondertime1120p.jpg   104.1K   5 downloads

The finally on 11/21, the wind backs enough to have decent angles with decent wind strength.

Attached File  wondertime1121.jpg   122.73K   3 downloads

#98 Roleur

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

We've got friends in the same hole. Can't motor because their damper plate on engine died. Being towed by another cruising boat. That area is one part of the world I'd happily accept a tow rather than wait for next L to roll over me. Here's their blog:
http://www.svwondertime.com/


Same friends! My wife and Sara went to high school together.

#99 Estar

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:44 AM

Windigo was spotted still afloat on the 17th. They had drifted about 15nm since the 7th. Storm expected to hit that area on the 22nd. Be interesting to see if survives on its own and is spotted afterwards.

Attached File  windago.jpg   152.18K   8 downloads

No public position update from Wondertime. I hope they are managing to make progress thru the light trough today.

#100 stranded

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:36 AM


[ QUOTE ]


Coyote you have a good grasp of the realities. SAR assets are supplied by all nations capable of executing the rescue mission. Varying degree's of assets are found around the world. These assets would be there regardless if all the recreational boats stayed on the hard. They train to assit and rescue mariners and you would be a mariner if your ass is on a boat

[ UNQUOTE ]


a few posters here have no understanding of sar / imo / solas

Head injuries ? I would hit the epirb


Head injuries X 2 = same thing, even if the boat is undamaged


and it would be on the understanding that a perfectly good ( or otherwise , this time ) boat be abandoned.



and the extreme sleeper in the room is that all the training , deployment of assets , joint international co - operation etc

for these U. N. sponsored treaty arrangements are ALSO for commercial aviation.

Practice like this is also an opportunity for checking and debugging


and as for stuffing in a car,

an embarassment to this aussie.... Evans speaks, I listen













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