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Old 02-25-2009, 09:16 PM   #15
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Here's a link that provides somewhat different information. http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=51246

Most all cruisers love their freedom but I do object to poorly prepared, inadequately trained people sailing bluewater passages in boats that are not up to standard. These people are responsible for my increased bluewater premiums, have been responsible for me diverting and jeopardising myself and boat to assist them and they give genuine cruisers a bad reputatiuon amongst the armchair critics.

BTW, it might save confusion if you show my last post rather than just quote it.
Sometimes folks--even those with vast experience and well prepared for their endeavors--do get into situations way over their heads and we are all fortunate that many people in many places have the cultural upbringing to act as a good samaritan and provide assistance if possible. In what situations have you, personally, diverted your own boat to provide assistance to a yacht experiencing difficulty during passage making/blue water? Very few people are in the right place and at the right time to be able to assist another vessel at sea. Was the situation resolved for the other yacht with your assistance? I hope so. We would love to hear what you learned from your own experience and if it changed your own on-board preparations in some way.

You are also correct that these sorts of situations where a boat is abandoned do increase bluewater premiums--or even make it impossible for people to obtain bluewater insurance in some cases. From the link you posted and the other story link, it is clear to me that our present maritime industry seems ill-prepared or have been conditioned that no assistance is required to be provided other than picking up crew in the situation of abandoning ship. If there isn't another cruiser in the area willing to assist, it seems that it is almost a foregone conclusion that a yacht such as Sara will be abandoned. There is something deeply wrong with that whole situation.

There are countless situations that might bring about the need for assistance of someone other than the vessel crew. The reality is that as much as we prepare, things can happen which are far beyond those prudent preparations. My husband and I, being extremists of self-sufficiency, have purchased a boat a bit larger than we needed simply to allow ourselves the pure luxury of maintaining our self-sufficient natures by having oodles of tools and supplies aboard in case of need. I don't think that every cruiser needs to be outfitted with all that we feel we must carry--that's silly--but we can all be better prepared for emergency if we share our experiences and thoughts about keeping our boats safe and maintainable at sea.

Here on the Cruiser Log, we warmly invite anyone who has such experience to share their stories with us so that we can all learn better ways to be safe at sea.

I often make reference to the founding of the Cruising Club of America. This is because, when researching the history of the 1931 boat we are presently rebuilding, we learned that she was the flagship of the CCA when she was sailed by Alexander W. Moffat as he was the commodore of the CCA in 1931-1932. In the early 1920's, several yachtsmen got together and formed the club. One of its goals was to educate youngsters in proper seamanship but another key goal was to provide support to each other when exploring the world's oceans. They realized, back then, that a single yacht could not easily explore and cruise safely. But, rather, a couple yachts could explore together--splitting up the requirement for additional kit needed among the boats that traveled together. The goal was that any club member would know that other club members had the experience and knowledge to be on equial footing with each other and thus good matches for cruising together. A bit elitist, perhaps, but a realistic view of what one would want in the way of cruising partner boats. The club went on to be very active in ocean racing, but I always find this first "reason" for the club to exist to be very enligthening--they thought that it was very difficult to impossible for a cruising yacht to be self sufficient. I believe it is.

Yes, armchair sailors can sit around and pontificate about how one should be entirely self-sufficient and real cruisers can TRY very hard to be so...but the bottom line, I believe, is that we need each other and that no matter how prepared we are...completing one's journey can be completely reliant upon the efforts of other folks--not the folks onboard the cruising yacht. I hope that if I should ever require assistance, one of the many generous cruisers I've met in person or here on the Cruiser Log will come to my assistance.

Fair winds,
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:59 PM   #16
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Sometimes folks--even those with vast experience and well prepared for their endeavors--do get into situations way over their heads and we are all fortunate that many people in many places have the cultural upbringing to act as a good samaritan and provide assistance if possible. In what situations have you, personally, diverted your own boat to provide assistance to a yacht experiencing difficulty during passage making/blue water? Very few people are in the right place and at the right time to be able to assist another vessel at sea. Was the situation resolved for the other yacht with your assistance? I hope so. We would love to hear what you learned from your own experience and if it changed your own on-board preparations in some way.
Yes, I have assisted many fellow seafarers and yes, I will continue to do so. (As I work for a company called “Yacht Help” it would be unwise of me to do any different). My biggest concern is not that they got into this predicament but that they couldn’t get themselves out of it after 40 days. Unbelievable to have to abandon a boat that isn’t sinking or burning uncontrollably. OK, so they were running out of water and possibly food, could they not have got some off the ship instead of abandoning?

A brief synopsis of vessels I have assisted through 25 years at sea professionally and recreationally.

1/ Yacht where delivery crew had abandoned into liferaft then helicopter due to seasickness 24 hours from the nearest port. Found vessel still sailing itself, transferred 1 of my crew & returned boat to owner safe & sound

2/ Gave position to trans Tasman cruising yacht pre GPS & satnav days. Crew where unsure what side of New Zealand they were on a sunny day and land in sight!!!

3/ Evacuated injured crew from fishing boat, treated & returned to port

4/ Gave fuel to sailboat who had run out and weren’t confident enough to sail into port

5/ Numerous instances of mechanical advice over the radio

6/ Diving on yacht mid ocean to untangle sea anchor from keel

7/ Boarded yacht & sailed into port after crew had lost engine & didn’t know how to sail to windward

8/ Evacuated passengers after collision between charter boat & barge

There are many others as well. It seems like a lot but I have spent more time at sea than I have on land since I first set sail.

And yes, I have received assistance on a bluewater passage myself. A container ship slowed down to drop us some coffee 2 weeks out from Japan as we hadn't brought enough on board
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:32 AM   #17
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Most all cruisers love their freedom but I do object to poorly prepared, inadequately trained people sailing bluewater passages in boats that are not up to standard. These people are responsible for my increased bluewater premiums, have been responsible for me diverting and jeopardising myself and boat to assist them and they give genuine cruisers a bad reputatiuon amongst the armchair critics.
Am I to infer from your comment that any bluewater cruiser who gets into trouble on the high seas, for WHATEVER reason, is "poorly prepared, inadequately trained?" *NOBODY else sailing the oceans gets into trouble? *And anybody who goes to help another sailor in trouble is jeopardising their own safety and their boat? *Wow.

I suppose that's why Joshua Slocum sailed out of Boston Harbor and was never heard from again? *He was poorly prepared and inadequately trained? *

Or why a friend of ours who has at least two Olympic medals (one gold, one bronze) in sailing, and has sailed in everything, everywhere, for at least 50 years, lost his mast in a Pacific crossing and needed some assistance from other cruisers?

Or another friend, several hundred miles from completing his second solo circumnavigation, who lost five anchors in Hurricane Hugo and needed a bunch of help to get his boat off the bar he grounded on rather than crash into others or something a lot harder?

Are you so perfect you never made a mistake? *Have you gotten into some nasty trouble and successfully got out of it without help? *Have you thought that perhaps luck had as much to do with the favorable outcome as your own skill? *I know we have, and we can sincerely say that we have had some very lucky breaks.

However, I do see your point about the differences in the reporting between The Mail and BYM news. *Don't you think that there is some chance that The Mail might have misquoted or misinterpreted some of the information in its news story? * BYM News is correct in checking the information and giving better information, though I think that The Mail's story ignored facts and information in its zeal to report a sensational story.

Seems clear to me, though, that the fellow, once he learned that he did not have insurance coverage for his yacht, was willing to drift rather than lose his boat. *I would, too. *The reality is, no large ship can tow a small yacht to safety. *What private yacht could tow him to safety? *The boat couldn't be saved, and if he was incapable of fixing his rudder, or wasn't strong enough, or whatever, and nobody was willing to come to his boat to help him, well, 40 days was a valiant effort to get nearer to help. *I'll bet that it was his partner who yelled Uncle and asked to be rescued.

Finally, this story justifies my obsessive provisioning of food to last at least four times longer than a passage would normally take - well, at least to me it does!
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:08 AM   #18
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Am I to infer from your comment that any bluewater cruiser who gets into trouble on the high seas, for WHATEVER reason, is "poorly prepared, inadequately trained?" NOBODY else sailing the oceans gets into trouble? And anybody who goes to help another sailor in trouble is jeopardising their own safety and their boat? Wow.
The simple answer is no. If the moderators would allow my posts straight onto the board rather than waiting to review them, it might save some confusion. I am lucky to an extent that I am a professional seafarer and have had extensive experience & training that have enabled me to get myself out of the various troubles that have occurred.

My contention is that regardless of what caused the rudder jamming in the first place, that fact that they were unable to engineer a solution after 40 days defies the imagination. I assume they had plenty of line, mainsheet blocks, winches, spinnaker pole, tools to dismantle steering connections, snorkel.

Something in this whole saga doesn't ring true.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:29 PM   #19
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Hi, Nightcap,

Reading your post about your work, I had an "ah-ha!" moment. Reading your profile gave me another "ah-ha!" to go along with it.

You're like the SeaTow drivers we have here in San Diego who sit by the jetty and wait for folks to ground--as they will. You know its going to happen, given enough boaters, and you make your money on your customers' error or misfortune and then go to the bars with your buddies to joke about how foolish boaters all are... Well, 25 years of THAT is enough to skew anyone's view of the world! Yep, me thinks it's time for you to move on to some other, less soul-depleting, line of work--or perhaps just skip the sauce in the evenings with other cynics in the maritime industry.

Yes, I think I can safely say that, sadly, you're jaded by your work. I suggest that you take a break, maybe go cruising, restore your faith in your fellow boater . Or, if you must continue to work and can't really take some time off right now, why not get into a different line of work where you won't be confronted with such bad karma day-in and day-out? I couldn't imagine working to rescue, save, and salvage...all the time thinking about how foolish, inexperienced, stupid, etc, these boater folks are. I'd rather be thinking about how good it is that I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone's life--fixing something, saving a boat, providing assistance in some positive way.

Fair winds and best of luck in a change of career away from the dead-zone you seem to have been sucked into.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:35 PM   #20
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this story justifies my obsessive provisioning of food to last at least four times longer than a passage would normally take - well, at least to me it does!
Yes, makes me feel much better about having way too much stuff onboard, too

However, if I ever end up in this situation AND have radio contact with a HAM, I must say, I'd be putting out a call-for-cruisers to assist me rather than relying on any other sources of assistance.



I've just heard too many GOOD things about cruiser's being able to bring parts or provide assistance in very hairy situations.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:19 PM   #21
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Hi, Nightcap,

Reading your post about your work, I had an "ah-ha!" moment. Reading your profile gave me another "ah-ha!" to go along with it.

You're like the SeaTow drivers we have here in San Diego who sit by the jetty and wait for folks to ground--as they will. You know its going to happen, given enough boaters, and you make your money on your customers' error or misfortune and then go to the bars with your buddies to joke about how foolish boaters all are... Well, 25 years of THAT is enough to skew anyone's view of the world! Yep, me thinks it's time for you to move on to some other, less soul-depleting, line of work--or perhaps just skip the sauce in the evenings with other cynics in the maritime industry.

Yes, I think I can safely say that, sadly, you're jaded by your work. I suggest that you take a break, maybe go cruising, restore your faith in your fellow boater . Or, if you must continue to work and can't really take some time off right now, why not get into a different line of work where you won't be confronted with such bad karma day-in and day-out? I couldn't imagine working to rescue, save, and salvage...all the time thinking about how foolish, inexperienced, stupid, etc, these boater folks are. I'd rather be thinking about how good it is that I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone's life--fixing something, saving a boat, providing assistance in some positive way.

Fair winds and best of luck in a change of career away from the dead-zone you seem to have been sucked into.
I find this post offensive, especially when it comes from a moderator. I do not and have never worked in the towing or salvage industry. I have not and will never charge for any assistance rendered in an emergency. A quick google of "yacht help+fiji" would have been advisable before you posted.

I try to cruise at least 6 months of the year and work the remainder, sometimes sailing locally, sometimes bluewater, always with a smile on my face.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:46 PM   #22
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I find this post offensive, especially when it comes from a moderator. I do not and have never worked in the towing or salvage industry. I have not and will never charge for any assistance rendered in an emergency. A quick google of "yacht help+fiji" would have been advisable before you posted.

I try to cruise at least 6 months of the year and work the remainder, sometimes sailing locally, sometimes bluewater, always with a smile on my face.
I apologize for labeling you as a jaded worker of a job that you've never done...After google, I see the company you post does "shore-side services" for super yachts. A far cry from a company specializing in helping small boats/cruising yachts at sea--which is the impression that I got from your post referencing the company and then the list of service you'd provided to small boats over 25 years and within the context of that post. Why bother stating who you work for if it had nothing to do with emergency assistance to cruising yachts such as you later give a list of? Sorry, completely misunderstood your point there.

There's nothing wrong with the towing and salvage industry--its just hardens people--I've a couple friends who did it for awhile.

Well, I dunno why you seem a bit jaded about the matter of cruisers, then. I hope you get past it.

Good luck in your endeavors.
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