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#82170 - 08/10/06 08:15 AM Lesson Learned...the hard way  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,185
_flatlander_ Offline
old hand
_flatlander_  Offline
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Posts: 1,185
38.912, -95.37
Last Friday afternoon we participated in our first distance race. I came close to posting last week to ask you all for advice, but us being inland lake sailors thought there we be little to comment on. After all, we had no currents to deal with, no surf to launch through, or no shipping lanes to deal with, no big deal.

After the mornings' Guest Expert Program we shared pizza for lunch and rigged our boats for the 1 p.m. start. The PRO notified us that the winds were 25 gusting to 40 m.p.h. and if we had any doubts "stay on the beach". Testosterone flowing rampantly everyone chuckled. Also was decided a channel to monitor on VHF (1st red flag, we don't have one) and the single chase boat (2nd red flag) would monitor our progress going West on the outbound leg to determine how far down the lake to set the mark in order to return at a reasonable hour (the mark initially was to be at 12.5 and ended up at 15.3 miles). I've sailed off and on for the last 25 years and this being our first season on the H20 had some trepedation (3rd red flag). Initially (based on forecast of 15-20 m.p.h. wind) had thought of double stacking the H16 specifically for this race, but made a decision the day before to leave the 16 behind, "If we're going to learn how to sail the 20...might as well sail the damn thing". A young lady from our fleet was at the event only to crew and her skipper and boat would be there only for the weekends' can race, so I asked her to join us. She had been on a 20 a time or two a quickly accepted our offer. I notified the PRO we were "going to cheat" and put more ballast on board, sailing three up at 450 pounds. He laughed and said we're just having fun.

We're off and under way, of the 18 boats [(1) A-class, (1) N5.7, (1) H17, the remainder H16's and H20's] a few over powered monsters, a.k.a. Miracle 20's have blown over (red flag number 4). About one mile out the Guest Expert (on a H20) turns around to head back to the beach (red flag number ?, I'm losing count). Although coming close to tipping a half dozen times or so, we enjoy a screaming broad reach down the lake, my son Paul and Christina on the wire with huge grins, me on the tramp trying not to ingest lots of water from the waves, shaking my head almost insessantly to clear my ears and vision (smiling too!). We round the mark in 9th, just ahead of the H17, and behind all but one or two H16's. The chase boat is there observing the rounding and all is good. At this end of the lake the bluffs have subsided and the windward side of the lake is not protected. I hadn't noticed the subtle but significant increase in wave size sailing the broad reach. We whip around the mark and adjust for a point of sail just above a broad reach and start beating back to East. And I mean beating. Both Christina and Paul had lost footing on the way out but we had all managed to keep everyone on board, without chicken lines. Now the waves are crashing us and one or the other of them is off the boat once a minute. I'm being smacked in the face so hard by the waves all I can liken it to is the sting of making a wrong turn off the high dive. At this point Chris slids off the boat and back up on to the tramp clutching her foot. I glance down to see an 1 and 1/2 inch long gash starting on the side of her big toe going back under the foot. She apologizes and says she's afraid to relieve pressure for fear of profuse bleeding. She's apologizing because she knows losing a person off the trap doesn't help. I tell her not to worry about that, and my mind races thinking her going into shock or passing out, if that happens we're toast. About that time we fall in to a HUGE trough, the boat leaves Paul suspended in air momentarily then he goes sailing into the lee hull (knee first) and into the dolphin striker (shin first). Now both are grimmacing on the tramp. I look back the mile or so to the chase boat, they need to stay until all boats round. I look down the lake and decide to go towards the windward shore for flatter water and better speed, all the time talking to Chris to make sure she's still with us. Hey, remember we're on an inland lake, its only 1.5 to 2 miles wide, no problem right? It's a Corp of Eng'g lake, no resorts. It's in a semi-rural area and this is Friday afternoon, maybe some vacationers or retiree's. The first boat we happen upon is a fisherman. We try to get close enough to holler/ask over the howling wind if he can take her to the Marina at the dam. The fact I can't stop the boat completely and that he may have had a few beers result in a quick abandonement. Sailing on we find the second boat with Grandma, Grandpa and a grandchild fishing. Again shouting/conversing over the wind they agree to help, we ask if they have a swim ladder, which they don't. We can't come side to side in the waves so shout that Chris has to keep pressure on her foot and slide her overboard. We wait until they wrestle her 125 pounds up and over the bow. By this time Paul has recouped enough and knows our best bet for a return without tipping is with him on the wire. Upon our return to the beach we hear of the EMT in attendance (thank God) running out some 20 yards in the shallow water past the waring buays to caryy Chris to shore. This after somebody recognized her from the beach sitting in this boat circling out there all hollering and waving over the winds.

Seven stitches later Chris spent the rest of the weekend talking about their removal and racing on the 19th and 20th of this month. Paul was sore but able to race (ah to be 23 again). I felt like a fool for putting them both in jeopardy.

NEVER SAIL WITHOUT A VHF RADIO OR CELL PHONE. KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND DON'T GO OUT IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS.


John H16, H14
-- Have You Seen This? --
#82171 - 08/10/06 08:59 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: _flatlander_]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,278
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,278
South Carolina
John,

Good story...there does come a time, however, when it becomes prudent to not put anyone on the wire - chicken lines or no chicken lines. Also if someone doesn't have a sheet (or something) to hang on to, they can really become a more a liability than a speed advantage.

For me personally, it's taken a while to realize when things are getting to this point - the first year we did the Tybee and on the first leg coming in to Hollywood from the Keys when I was crewing, we were getting hit with such square waves just outside Biscayne Bay that they would sweep my feet out from under me and spin me around my trap line (I did have the chicken lines on - so I wasn't getting washed off). It wasn't until I had taken some of the graphics off the hull with my head that David suggested that me being out there was a becoming a liability...when the ringing in my ears quit - I agreed.

This past year, Frank realized we were getting to that point on the last leg coming into Tybee where we were getting really strong wind (15 - 20) for 80% of the time and then some really empty lulls. With a good deal of patience we watched as a couple of teams slowly walked us down while double trapped and then capsize shortly after passing us (except for Space Coast who had a big 'ol slab of beef on the wire!). <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Yes, it's a little slower to come in off the wire but you can't place if you can't finish.


Jake Kohl
#82172 - 08/10/06 12:17 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Jake]  
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dannno Offline
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dannno  Offline
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As we move from those soft breezes of summer to whipping winds of Fall ... it's good to remember our limits.

I was out this past week pushing my P-18 to its limits. Boy, you really can push that boat. Steady 15-20's directly out of the NW (Now, that sure sounds like Fall to me). Almost 500 lbs. on board with continous 3 to 5 footers. It always amazes me how rigging stays up as you are crashing, jumping and submerging those hulls.

Anyway, our horror story occured on landing. We beach on the South shore in a very shallow landing area. Both rudders kick-up just as I'm trying to bring the bows around into the wind with heavy wind filling our sails. As the rudders kick I only partially get the bows around. We're still 50 feet from shore, but only in knee deep water. I jump off and leap to the bows to try to get them into the wind but the wind is pushing the boat back into point of sale.

I'm thinking - this is not going to be pretty. At this point, my crew is off his side also going for the bows. We tried with everything we had as a bigger gust pulls the boat from our grips - and there she goes. Sails uncleated and boat un-manned, full speed into the shore. Let me tell you, without any weight on board in heavy wind, a cat picks up an incredible rate of speed in a very short distance. The boat flys into shore and digs into loads of sea-grass and the sterns start coming up - and now I'm thinking I'm going to witness my first un-manned pitchpole! Luckly the gust passes (but it's still blowing) and the sterns settle back down.

Now the boat is halfway on shore with the wind still filling the sails. We yank the boat back into the water and finally pull the bows around. We very carefully dropped the jib as it was flailing and all was good. Thankfully, no damage to the boat or us, but another lesson learned.

It could have been a very ugly (and expensive lesson) as there were docks and power boats on lifts within 20 feet of where our Cat met the shore.

#82173 - 08/10/06 12:46 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: dannno]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,278
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 12,278
South Carolina
Danno, a safe controlled way to beach downwind is to align the boat so it is straight upwind of where you want to land. Steer it head to wind and sheet in the main (not tight - just slightly sloppy), kick up the rudders, and quickly get both people on the deck in front of the main beam one on each side (the crew should have been heading there as soon as you finished getting head to wind). The boat will easily sail consistantly straight backwards while remaining head to wind. Right when you get to the beach, step off and grab the bow and do your thing - the rudders are already up.

This works VERY well on board boats - I've never tried it on a skeg boat so practice on the water to make sure the skegs don't bite in and try to turn the boat.


Jake Kohl
#82174 - 08/11/06 08:12 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Jake]  
Joined: Jun 2001
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John Williams Offline
Carpal Tunnel
John Williams  Offline
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Posts: 3,276
Long Beach, California
That's a great technique, Jake, but would have been tougher than it sounds in this particular instance. With as far as they had to back up, I'm not sure that the crew could have made the "beep, beep, beep" sound long enough... without cracking up, anyway.

Good story, Danno. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


John Williams

- The harder you practice, the luckier you get -
Gary Player, pro golfer

After watching Lionel Messi play, I realize I need to sail harder.
#82175 - 08/11/06 08:50 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Jake]  
Joined: Sep 2001
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sailwave Offline
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sailwave  Offline
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Gower, Wales, UK
Quote
I've never tried it on a skeg boat so practice on the water to make sure the skegs don't bite in and try to turn the boat.


We used to have to back Dart 18s out of our slipway because of two large concrete walls; it works fine as long as you sit on the noses to get the skegs out and hang on to the bridle wires to stop falling off - it can be fun in chippy choppy sea...

#82176 - 08/11/06 10:26 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: sailwave]  
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sail7seas Offline
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sail7seas  Offline
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FL
>At this point Chris slids off the boat and back up on to the tramp clutching her foot. I glance down to see an 1 and 1/2 inch long gash starting on the side of her big toe going back under the foot.<

Would a pair boat shoes/sneakers have protected her foot?

#82177 - 08/11/06 11:44 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Jake]  
Joined: Dec 2005
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tshan Offline
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tshan  Offline
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Posts: 1,120
Eastern NC, USA
Also a good way to depart a crowded beach when the breeze is blowing offshore (bay or sound side, probably not good in breakers). It would be easy to crush a swimmer. Although, now it seems like you cannot sail off a lot of beaches.


Tom
#82178 - 08/11/06 12:18 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: _flatlander_]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 395
Acat230 Offline
enthusiast
Acat230  Offline
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Posts: 395
LA
If the breeze was truly 25 knots with gusts to 40, the PRO should have cancelled racing (time to pull out the short boards!). It is simply STUPID to go out in those conditions and nearly every class would cancel racing. From your description though, it sounds like it was blowing less than that because 99.9% of the catamaran sailors in this country (including myself) cannot control a beach cat in 40 knot gusts. I really feel that my limit is around 22-25 knot winds (it's not fun after that) and that depends upon the sea state. You were lucky and I hope your experience will give you a different perspective in the future.

Bob Hodges
A-Class USA 230

#82179 - 08/11/06 01:12 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Acat230]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,348
fin. Offline
Carpal Tunnel
fin.  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 3,348
I recall a single incident of trying to sail a H16 in 40 knot gusts. Tacking was impossible, jybing was terrifying! The boom comes across like a scimitar! We came off the water as soon as possible and were genuinely grateful not to have been injured.

#82180 - 08/11/06 01:21 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Acat230]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,920
PTP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
PTP  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 2,920
Michigan
22-25 kn is too much if you ask me. I have learned to depower better these days but still, anything above 16 kn or so is a little much for me and my overpowered monster

Last edited by PTP; 08/11/06 01:21 PM.
#82181 - 08/11/06 01:28 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Acat230]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,185
_flatlander_ Offline
old hand
_flatlander_  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,185
38.912, -95.37
Bob,

It was mph, not knots (sorry). So it was 22 knots, gusting to 35. In our geographic region (the plains states) it is the windier part of the US. Most of us are used to sailing in this heavy air. I've been at races when they were cancelled at these wind speeds, also at ONE when it was blowing harder and not cancelled. Although I would have felt right at home on a H16 under these conditions, the H20 has WAY too much sail and I knew it beforehand. It basically was a 3-hour survival ride. Thank you, I do have a very different perspective now, maybe my sharing this story will keep someone elses pride from clouding their reasoning.


John H16, H14
#82182 - 08/11/06 05:22 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: _flatlander_]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,197
Tornado Offline
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Tornado  Offline
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Posts: 1,197
Vancouver, BC
Drop the main and sail jib only...most boats are very manageable in high winds under just the jib.


Mike Dobbs
Tornado CAN 99 "Full Tilt"
#82183 - 08/12/06 04:45 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Tornado]  
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Posts: 461
Berny Offline
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Berny  Offline
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Sydney Australia
25 Knots = 28.8 MPH
30 Knots = 34.6 MPH
35 Knots = 40.3 MPH

32 - 38miles / hr = Moderate gale whole trees in motion; inconvenience in walking against wind.

One of the problems I have found over the years is that sailors tend to over estimate the wind strength when telling their stories of 'big' days. I often hear people saying they were racing in 20 to 30+knots when in fact if you were to check with a wind gauge, as I frequently do, you'd likely find it's more like 15/20. 30+k is serious wind for an OTB cat and particularly on a lake which is likely to be shallow enough for significant waves to develop. Telling these porkers tends to promote the idea that it's ok to go out in these conditions when realistically, unless you and your crew are very very experienced it's simply not worth it.

I personally think it's foolish to venture out in anything approaching this wind strength particularly if it's only for a social boat race and more particularly if it puts people's lives in danger, which is the reality. I've had this argument with many a 'macho' sailor who thinks it's a sign of weakness to pull out of a boat race for safety reasons. It doesn't bother me to pull the pin, now I'm of a more mature age with nothing to prove and when I see the carnage these conditions often cause, like broken masts and damaged mains etc., I feel totally justified.

My motto now is; IF IN DOUBT, DON'T GO OUT! It's only a bloody boat race!

#82184 - 08/12/06 11:12 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: _flatlander_]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 395
Acat230 Offline
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Acat230  Offline
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Posts: 395
LA
One of the other sports I have really enjoyed is whitewater kayaking. Whitewater rapids are defined from Class 1 water to Class 6 water. Class 1 is just moving water, no white water. Class 2 is gentle rapids, you're seeing some white water and it can flip a kayak. Class 3 is a strong rapid, not dangerous, usually a lot of fun, if you flip, it won't hold you and rarely hurts anyone. Class 4 is for advanced paddlers, it can be a big wave or a sticky hole, like Class 3 it normally cannot kill you but can scare the hell out of you if you are not experienced. Class 5 is for experts only and has the possibility of serious injury and sometimes death if a paddler with not enough experience tries it. This type of rapid requires careful scouting. Class 6 is suicide, period, big water and inescapable hydraulics.

The thing I noted about this sport is no one is put down if they want to portage (not attempt and walk around) a rapid no matter what class it is. If anything, you are more respected because if you require rescue, it puts others at risk. A cardinal rule is you never paddle alone, white water is very unforgiving.

In contrast, I sometimes find a bit of a testosterone pit with catamaran sailors. I agree that many of them way overestimate the wind strength on the "big" days they boast about. I've been sailing 30 years and racing catamarans for over 14 years and once the wind starts getting over 20 knots, I seriously begin considering if I need to be out there. I really don't respect (and many times don't believe) someone who is boasting about sailing in 30-35 knots of wind because you are putting yourself at jeopardy on any current beach cat unless you shorten the sail area. Again, I'll grab the shortboard and go boardsailing. It's way more fun and certainly safer.

And Kansas is one windy place. I've sailed at Lake Cheney twice (P-19 Nationals) and seen 30-35 knots of inland breeze. I also rode a bike west to east across the state. The ever present north or south crosswind makes it a tough ride.

Bob Hodges

#82185 - 08/14/06 12:54 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: dannno]  
Joined: Sep 2004
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Sunvista Offline
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Sunvista  Offline
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Virginia Beach
Quote
The boat flys into shore and digs into loads of sea-grass and the sterns start coming up - and now I'm thinking I'm going to witness my first un-manned pitchpole!
This brings back some horrible memories I have from the late 70's. My Type A personality buddy invited a bunch of binks to the beach on a day after a huge Nor'easter. As he rigged his Prindle (18 or 19...I forget) I looked up and down the beach and didn't see any other boat activity that day. In those days you couldn't walk down the shore without tripping over a beach cat so that should have been a clue. It was clearly too rough to put binks aboard so he enlisted me and another buddy to go out that day in order to project (or protect) his image of manly dominance. I was somewhat fearless (stupid) back then so I eagerly suited up for the adrenaline rush. Now on the Atlantic coast the only way to get wind in your sail in a Nor'easter unfortunately is to turn the boat broadside into the waves. Technically you don't need to turn the boat at all because 6 or 7 foot waves arriving in relentless sets will easily oblige. After struggling mightily through three sets of waves we saw what might as well have been a tidal wave approaching the beach. Ray jumped off the boat and tried to swim the hulls perpendicular into the surf. Marcus tried valiantly to get some forward momentum while I just watched in horror as the ten footer rolled in. Ray shouted "get away from the boat". Marcus and I dived into the surf as King Neptune picked up the Prindle like a styrofoam toy and hurled it ashore from thirty or forty feet out. The boat landed upside down on its mast. The mast flexxed like a leaf spring and shot the boat back up into the air where it landed for a second time squarely on its transoms smashing both rudders and castings into splinters. Both mainsail and jib were ripped to shreds. This was a brand new boat so it was pretty gruesome. Captain and crew survived and lived to sail again another day but with a real healthy respect for mother nature.

#82186 - 08/15/06 07:26 PM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Sunvista]  
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Redtwin Offline
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Happy Birthday Redtwin  Offline
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Panama City, Florida
Last year I went out with my brother-in-law, Warren, and my 6-year-old son in what felt to be around 80 knots of wind (true wind speed was 18 knots/gusting to 23 knots according to SailFlow.com). We were in a pretty well protected area but there were still some serious white caps breaking. Testosterone levels were screaming as we stood on the beach deciding whether or not to go. Neither of us was willing to chicken out and if we got into trouble, we would blow ashore in any direction within 15 minutes. We took off in the onshore breeze and I immediately told Warren to come in off the wire. It was insane! We were getting our butts kicked left and right. When the jib tack blew out, we decided to call it a day. The entire trip lasted about 10 minutes. Once back on shore, it turned out that, luckily, the shackle was not properly secured so my jib was still in one piece. Warren was the one who rigged the jib so I can only guess that was his secret way of making sure it was a short trip (just kidding). Anyone who can sail in 20 knots and higher on a bigger boat is a darn good sailor. We did keep it upright, but it wasn't fun at all. I've stood on the shore in 30-35 knots and it is just unimaginable that anyone could sail in that on a beachcat. No damage, no injuries... we were very lucky. I won't do it again... soon.

-Rob V.
Panama City
Nacra 5.2


Rob V. Nacra 5.2 Panama City
#82187 - 08/16/06 04:54 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: fin.]  
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Berny Offline
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Berny  Offline
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Sydney Australia
Years ago at the annual holiday lake campsite, I was coerced into taking a young lady for a sail on my 'B' Class Quest. I had just dropped the main after a day sailing when she arrived, having driven an hour and a half to visit us. There were some menacing black clouds in the South heralding a storm but I reasoned I had enough time to get a short squirt up the lake and back before it arrived.
I was wrong.
We had only been out for 15 odd minutes from memory when the Southerly hit.

The young lady (18yo) had never been on a sailboat and my wife, who was also along for the ride was only slightly familiar with crewing. The lake was quite shallow in places and not all that wide at the camp end.

The wind built rapidly. The boat responded and in no time we were Port reaching across the lake at good speed. I needed to jibe away from the shallows and had just put the tiller down when the Starboard dagger board caught the sand bottom. This caused the boat to bear away to a full run with the now severe wind right up our tail. Soon both boards were dragging and the transoms started to lift. I tried to raise the boards but predictably they were jammed solid in the boxes and we all needed to be as far aft as possible anyway to prevent the boat from pitch poling. I had no idea what to do at this stage.
I thought of abandoning the boat and letting it destroy itself on the lee shore but before I could organise an orderly retreat she started to skew on the starboard board and eventually she jibed and virtually sailed herself off the bar.
A quick tight work back to the beach had us all sighing with relief as we dropped the sails post haste and secured the boat.

Although we had come close to loosing the boat and possibly sustaining some serious injuries, I believe neither of the women fully understood just how critical the situation had become, and I didn't labor the point.

This was the precursor to my motto; WHEN IN DOUBT, DONíT GO OUT!

#82188 - 08/20/06 09:48 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Berny]  
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Jalani Offline
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Jalani  Offline
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Posts: 1,382
Essex, UK
Just back from a BRILLIANT morning's sailing! Winds 20-26 knots from the west. Club racing cancelled all along the shore (7 clubs). Just a bunch of windsurfers and kitesurfers out playing.

I suggested to Anne that we go anyway.....

Not once did it occur to me that it wasn't sailable. Anne may have had misgivings but she went with it anyway. We'd been out less than 5 minutes and we put the kite up YeeHah! <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

30 seconds later and Anne's trying to say that she wants to go back in - but she can't get the words out because every time she opens her mouth it fills with seawater!!! I shout to her to stick with it, it'll be fine! We 3-sail broad reach from Leigh, out into the shipping channel - boy! the waves get really big out there! About a couple of miles out I think it'd be wise to gybe over back towards the Essex shore and we continue our 3-sail sleigh ride with me on the wire and Anne sitting in by the rear beam. We blast past Southend Pierhead doing some utterly stupid speed (I wish I'd had my GPS with me)and on towards Thorpe Bay and a heavily reefed cruiser on its way out to sea. Just as we scream past the cruiser, I hear the sound of a high speed outboard (or two) - It's the Inshore Lifeboat! I know the coxwain and when he sees who it is I get a thumbs up and a wave. They stay with us for another half mile or so and then I decide it's time to go back uphill. Anne moves in and snuffs the kite - perfectly! It feels so great when things work properly, that kite was away in less than 5 secs. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

We turn and twin wire back upwind, our friends in the RNLI ILB carry on but 10 minutes later they're back and pacing us to leeward. After 20 mins or so of blasting along beside us, the ILB heads off toward Kent with a cheery wave. We carry on upwind and then tack off and out to the shipping channel and some real 'wave action'. By now Anne has really settled into it and seems to be enjoying herself. We're powering upwind with the top 3 battens of the main inside out and the 4th dead flat. The top of the mast is clearly flicking to leeward every time the rig loads up and the boat is settled and fast with the windward hull a foot or so off the water.

Now we're out into the bigger waves and there are some big holes out here, some waves we launch cleanly off, others we just drop heavily into the hole the other side. Anne's starting to get a little concerned again. Time to tack for the Essex coast again. A clean tack and straight out on the wire the other side, Anne takes a little longer to get sorted and join me. I've overstood our club racks so we crack off a few points and the speed goes ballistic! The whole mainsail is pulling now and I drop the traveller about a foot. Anne gives me an 'I'm OK' smile.
Now we're closing on an area where the windsurfers are playing - I'm sorry, but I just can't resist. We bear off onto a screaming reach and chase down the first couple of windsurfers, we go past one as if he was standing still but the second one is every bit as fast as us! As we close rapidly on the shore two other windsurfers duck gybe round to join us - we now have 3 windsurfers and an F16 blasting along in close formation, what a buzz! We draw a lot more than these guys so I'm forced to harden up out of there and tack away. We're now less than half a mile from the club so two quick beats and we're back at the slipway. We're happy, elated and .... exhausted. There's no one around and the club's all locked up. No one to share our excitement with.... <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Anne summed it up - "I wasn't sure at first, not with racing cancelled and so on, but I wouldn't have missed that for anything!" Amen to that. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

#82189 - 08/20/06 10:52 AM Re: Lesson Learned...the hard way [Re: Jalani]  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,528
scooby_simon Offline
Hull Flying, Snow Sliding....
scooby_simon  Offline
Hull Flying, Snow Sliding....
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,528
Looking for a Job, I got credi...
Fantastic....

I've been digging holes and laying foundations for a wall.... <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />


F16 - GBR 553 - SOLD

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