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Old 12-12-2009, 05:17 PM   #29
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I am amazed/impressed/astonished by their going up the mast at sea three times. Peter went up the mast at sea once and I absolutely refused to take him up a second time. Maybe they felt they had no choice, and from all that went wrong, perhaps they didn't. But it is such a dangerous thing to do.

His December 10 blog says that there were lots of breakages on many of the boats in the ARC. How can so much go wrong for so many boats?
I have a theory that these boats had much more provisioning than what is usual for them. This might made their draft, hence the strain on rigging higher.

Also looong tacks might mean long biting on the same parts of the gear. In one of the blogs I have read about the practice setting the sail every few hours to avoid such damage. This was new to me. I am a landlubber, you know.

I have tried to write an email to Nightsong to invite them here to analize their experiences. I have also compiled a list of their breakages which I will post as soon as they answer or not.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:32 PM   #30
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Thank you, magwas. I look forward to learning more about Nightsong's passage.

Brenda, back when Peter went up the mast we had a "tall rig" on our Jeanneau Sun Fizz, and even in moderate seas the motion aloft was significant (we cut 8 feet off the mast several years later, and it was still taller than the average 39-footer's mast). With just the two of us on board, I was terrified that a sudden jolt could hurt Peter and he'd be unconscious and stuck up there tied on with his second harness. So when the problem (a dislodged spreader) happened again, I insisted we were close enough to stop somewhere to anchor and then pull him aloft. After that little problem was solved permanently, we never had reason to go aloft to repair something while underway. The North Atlantic is not my idea of a calm and forgiving place for a middle-aged man to be climbing such a tall mast to solve a halyard problem. Probably the crew on Nightsong didn't think so, and since he came out of okay, he was right to do it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:49 AM   #31
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we had a "tall rig" on our Jeanneau Sun Fizz,
How tall was that rig? Our mainmast is 68 ft plus some stuff on top takes us over 69 ft. That seems TALL to me. My friend has similarly sized mainmast. And yes, the taller the rig the wider the swing with rolling seas.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:28 PM   #32
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The most important point so far raised is "I was not there", so despite all our misgivings about competence of skipper and crew, and about leaving a substantial yacht floating about as a collision risk, I think we should leave criticisms to those professionals who can debrief those involved in detail, and I hope this is done.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:35 PM   #33
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but that's no fun at all...
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:31 AM   #34
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The most important point so far raised is "I was not there", so despite all our misgivings about competence of skipper and crew, and about leaving a substantial yacht floating about as a collision risk, I think we should leave criticisms to those professionals who can debrief those involved in detail, and I hope this is done.
True, but I am sure glad that I am not out there on the Atlantic, knowing that there are two boats adrift for the next months, because the owners/skippers/crews were not able/willing to act after the rules of Good Seamanship. If they know that they will leave the boat for sure they have to make sure, that they are no danger to others. They didn't!!

Sure, we can not talk about the reasons for the failure because we don't have the info. I doubt that later on we get any valuable info from these (obviously not really competent) owners/skippers/crews, because even they might not have realized what went wrong. (There is nothing to learn from someone who cannot distinguish between a mast coming down and the sinking of a ship, but who is proud to be in the glamorous sailing magazines and the news!)

If we discuss these failures in seamanship (no matter what the technical reason was) here on this world wide forum it is connected with my hope that others notice that we do not accept this kind of beaviour.

But now and maybe we find some nice gear for our boats under the christmas tree!

Uwe

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Old 12-19-2009, 11:55 AM   #35
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Just to cheer up things a bit. Just read in Bumfuzzle's blog that (back in 2004 I recall) a boat in ARC had been abandoned due to the mental state of the skipper.

Well, maybe it is not funny.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:09 PM   #36
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but that's no fun at all...
And, unfortunately the reason that many folks discuss and discuss a lot of this stuff on-and-on...and on...is because somehow they're having fun discussing it.

Too many armchair--and real-- sailors out there feeling superior about themselves. I won't point a finger nor "feel superior" as I believe that's just taunting luck and Neptune to show you who's really the boss on the high seas.

PS Magwas, I absolutely loved the way the Bumfuzzle couple were up front and honest about everything they did--good, bad, stupid or smart--they shared it all and they learned as they went along and other folks have been able to learn from their story as well.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #37
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PS Magwas, I absolutely loved the way the Bumfuzzle couple were up front and honest about everything they did--good, bad, stupid or smart--they shared it all and they learned as they went along and other folks have been able to learn from their story as well.
I have certainly learned a lot from their story. I liked their adventures much, even though my tastes are far away from theirs.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #38
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I can see why some would say this topic has been over worked. For me it is insight into how things went and access to a few yachts that the skippers where not afraid of saying what went wrong.

I am not better than any one else. On the other hand I do apply myself. I try to learn not only from my own mistakes (there are enough of them) and those of others. While some of the actions are just plain strange (sorry but if boat is not in immediate danger of sinking it is the safest place). Also not wiring up the lights so that others who are looking (not that the big boys are known for that [there are exceptions]) can see that the boat is uncontrolled (there are warning light patterns if I remember correctly, still learning those parts as being crew most of the time was not "required" to know them).

To those on the board thanks for all the information and support. We move forward and it looks like vacation this year will be seeing how well the wife likes or dislikes sailing. She is willing to try and she doesn't give up easy so we will see. It will be a family trip with training course for CC documents for both of us (mine are way out of date and could use getting the information fresh into the head).

Michael
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