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Old June 1st 09, 11:44 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

Making ready to bid Lucaya a fond farewell, I did my usual engine checks.
Hmmm.

That fan belt I'd bragged on - and just tightened - so recently was very
stretched out. Since I'd just tightened it, that was a clear sign that it
was on its last revolutions. As we had a fairly long passage, including a
Gulf Stream Crossing ahead of us, I might find it useful to have the engine
running. Accordingly, I put a hold on the countdown and changed the
alternator belt. As it's behind the raw water belt, one must first remove
that, but as many times as I've had the raw water pump off lately, this was
a walk in the park. Ten minutes later we resumed our countdown. We cast off
our lines from the poles we'd borrowed, and at 7PM, headed for the entrance
to Port Lucaya.

The exit was a bit fussy, as it wasn't full tide, but we saw nothing less
than 9 feet and basically followed our track we'd made on the way in a few
days ago out past all the buoys. Because of the way the island lays, we
weren't able to make a direct run to our destination, but the nature of the
shoreline and sea bottom was such that we hugged the coast pretty closely.

By the time we got to Freeport, it was full dark and the oil platforms and
pilot ships were very brilliantly lit. We made sure to give them a wide
berth, and enjoyed viewing the large ships moving into the area from a
reasonable distance.

As we approached West End, about 9PM, we heard one of our recent
acquaintances hailing us on the VHF. They wondered how we were doing, and I
wondered back about their anticipated departure the following day, as
conditions were supposed to worsen by dawn. We'd later wonder how they made
out, given our experiences.

Once clear of Grand Bahama Island, we set a rhumb line for Saint Simons
Island. The weather was forecast to be good for the Gulf Stream, and I
wanted to ride it as far as we could before getting off. Our acquaintances,
also Chris Parker clients, were very concerned about the western wall of the
Gulf Stream, wanting to stay close to it to jump out in case of a reversal
of the primarily southerly wind. (The Gulf Stream runs roughly north, with
up to 3.5 knots of speed. When that's hit by a north wind, things can get
very uncomfortable quickly due to the wind against the current producing
what's known as "square" waves - very short period [the time between waves]
and very steep angles. *Lots* of north wind makes for not only discomfort
but also potentially dangerous circumstances. Most sailors won't go out in
the Gulf Stream with a wind that has "N" anywhere in it.)

We made about 7 knots pretty consistently for the first several hours. Lydia
thought we must have been in the Stream, but listening to the forecasts
showed that we were still some 18 miles east of the eastern wall, so our
speed was due to our clean bottom and easy wind. Unfortunately, the wind got
even easier, about 10 knots, by 4AM, and the sea state's rock and roll made
for a lively ride, despite our speed of under 5 knots. When the occasional
puffs arrived, we got back up to 7 knots, but they were infrequent.

We estimated arrival in the Gulf Stream somewhere between 7 and 9AM, and,
sure enough, about 7AM our speed picked up to 7.1 knots, no thanks to the
wind. As we moved further into the Gulf Stream, our speed over ground
continued to build, and by 10AM we were making mid-8 to low-9 knot progress,
with the wind at only 8-10 knots.

By 1PM, the wind had shifted to nearly south. Dead downwind is the least
efficient point of sail, but if you have the main out to one side, and the
genoa out to the other, sometimes you can make very good progress. We tried
to use our spinnaker pole, but the pin which releases it from the deck
mount, and from the sheets on the sail in case you have to get it off
quickly, had frozen (well, seized), as it does if it's not used frequently.
I got out the loosen-er-up and gave it a shot, waiting for another day.

In the meantime, we prevented the main, and did the best we could with the
genoa. The rolling made for a pretty floppy sail, though, and a lot of
pressure as it filled each time it rolled back the other way from its
dousing at the hands of the waves. So, unlike the pretty pictures you see of
the sailboat going downwind on a perfectly calm sea, genoa full and main out
to the other side, a wing and wing configuration, I characterized ours as
wing and flop :{))

However, we were still making 7-8 knots speed over ground, and by 4PM, the
spinnaker pole's seizure had abated. Accordingly, we put the genoa out on
the pole, albeit with more effort than usual, a curiosity which didn't
strike me until later. That made for a much quieter, and somewhat faster
ride, of course. No sooner had we stabilized than we caught our Mahi for
dinner. Fortunately, the seas, while rolling a bit, were soft, so I got
myself into my harness and out on the platform to clean the 30-incher. I'm
getting much better at filleting, now, and we had a very substantial portion
to put into the marinade. At least three meals from her.

No sooner had I gotten cleaned up than I saw that our pole needed some
adjustment for better orientation of the clew (the part at the end of the
sail) - it was too low the way I set it first. I tried, but couldn't make it
go any higher. DANG! The pole lift (the part connected to the end of the
pole that controls the height of the sail end) was fouled around the radar.
Fortunately, at 6PM, I was able to clear the foul, and, once again, the end
of the pole went up and down easily. Small victories :{))

Because we'd been in very overcast, mostly calm conditions in Lucaya, our
batteries were a bit low due to the lack of solar and wind assistance, so we
turned on the iron genny to charge up a bit. Checking to see how my exhaust
system kludge was working, I saw water, again! This time it was a fitting in
the cooling water riser. Off comes the engine, and I root around in my
plumbing bin until I find a part that will work, make the repair, and start
again. No leak. Another small victory, but I'll have to lay in some more
spares when I get ashore, as that was the last of the type I had. By 8:30,
we were motor-sailing. I did the calculations and found that we'd made 170
miles in our first 24 hours, very good, indeed, given the circumstances. It
looks as though our Savannah-bound folks were right, and it would be a
fairly quick trip.

That evening had us making high 10 to low 11 knots over ground, in estimated
15-18 knot south wind, which was lovely to experience. By 11PM, we were
making 11-12 knots in an estimated 15-20 knots. Unfortunately, for whatever
reason, after more than 24 hours of never spontaneously going into standby,
at 1AM we had multiple instances of our autopilot taking a vacation. The
boat's response was to instantly turn into the genoa, trying to put us in
irons. I was pretty busy controlling it, and finally gave up and manually
steered for a while, still making 11-12 knots.

At the 2:AM watch change, when Lydia took over, the winds were building, but
all was still well when I went down to sleep. The motion was still rock and
roll, but manageable for my sleep. However, I was awakened at about 3:30 by
the sense that all was not well. In addition to our rock and roll, suddenly
(well, maybe not suddenly, but it's what woke me) we were also slewing
notably from side to side, and the rolls were getting more pronounced. I was
instantly awake and on deck.

As the wind built, so did the seas, and we were no longer roughly in phase
with them. That creates a condition where, if it becomes severe enough, you
can have an induced broach. Dinghy sailors call it the death roll because
each successive roll becomes worse, and each successive yaw increases;
eventually, the keel catches broadside to a wave, and suddenly you're on
your side. In our case, it would mean either the genoa pole or the boom
would be hit with the massive force of the water pushed by our 40,000 pounds
moving at up to, I later learned, 13.3 knots. That was not a circumstance I
was eager to experience. We had to get the genoa furled.

We estimate that the wind had built to 25-30 knots, and the seas to 6-8',
contributing to the yawing we were doing as we slid down one side of a wave,
and up another. The sea state was significant enough that before I even got
started, the life raft came flying off the perch on the deck (in the
cockpit, behind the dodger), along with all the starboard cushions in one of
the port rolls. The rest of the cushions followed suit as it rolled back to
starboard. That had me pretty focused on getting it in, and I knew I'd need
to use the winch on our furling line due to all the pressure on the genoa.

Our spinnaker pole setup is such that the genoa can be furled with it in
place, and, in my urgency to get it in, I overlooked one very crucial point
in rolling up a genoa in high winds (well, always, but especially so in
these conditions). That is, in addition to controlling the sheet which is
pulling on the sail, you have to keep slight tension on the other one, the
"lazy sheet" - which in this case, with the genoa flapping mightily, wasn't
lazy at all. Instead, both sheets were tangling with both the other sheet
and the sail itself as they flailed.

The end result was to have the sheets foul as we wound in the genoa, and we
were presented with an hourglassed genoa. That's where part of it's furled,
but the top and bottom aren't, and those are flapping away. Well, nothing to
do but turn on the spreader and foredeck lights and go out there and try to
get it fixed. Things were, to be charitable, pretty busy out there, so I had
to clip in at the bow to one of the lifeline strong points, which severely
limited my movement. After trying mightily, and failing, to undo the foul, I
had Lydia run downwind to try to blanket the genoa as much as possible with
the main. Of course, we're still in the Gulf Stream, and moving north
inexorably, but now, since the wind has changed to southeast - and
increasing - we have to go offshore, as well, when we do that.

That maneuver didn't materially alter the situation out on the deck. I'm a
pretty strong guy, but there was no way I was going to win against the
howling wind in trying to make the sail unfurl to the point where I could
unfoul the sheets. Eventually, I gave up and tried to lash it with the
spinnaker halyard. That's a process we go through whenever we expect a major
blow; it keeps the edges of the furled sail from getting caught by the wind,
getting wind under it, and eventually causing damage. My thought was that I
might be able to get around the balloon above, similar to dousing the
spinnaker with the sock, and eventually get it controlled enough that it
wouldn't be fully loose.

No such luck. The spinnaker halyard was nearly instantly captured inside a
fold of sail, one I couldn't make come out. After many tries of hurling our
anchor snubber's stainless steel end over a gap in the sail at the clew, in
order to pull it down, flattening the open section a bit, some of which
included being bonked in the head several times when I missed, that part
succeeded, but didn't materially improve matters. Next try, pole lift.
Meanwhile, I'm crawling along the deck, clipped to the jackline on a very
short leash, to get back to it, and then back to the bow. I have some, but
very little, better success with the pole lift. Since I'm tethered right
there, on a violently pitching deck, I can't do what I'd ordinarily do,
which is to get a turn over the sail, and then walk it down the deck, back
over the deck and again forward, all the while keeping tension on it. The
result is a very poor compromise, but it's the best we can do. The
unrestrained remainder of the ballooned portion of the sail flapped and
flailed mightily, leading to visions of forestay failure, but we had nothing
else we could effectively do other than to press on. Of course, the
knowledge that our rig had survived an estimated 3-5000 impacts during our
wreck gave us a little confidence that it would also survive this :{)) Just
after dawn, I'd done all I could do, and we turned back to the West.

As is usually the case, I see I've succumbed to logorrhea, and will leave
you here, pitching, rolling, with the building seas and winds.

Stay tuned!

L8R

Skip and crew


--
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
boats-or *with* boats.
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."




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Old June 2nd 09, 02:50 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

On Mon, 1 Jun 2009 18:44:15 -0400, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

As the wind built, so did the seas, and we were no longer roughly in phase
with them. That creates a condition where, if it becomes severe enough, you
can have an induced broach.


The solution, of course, is to not run dead down wind in a heavy
breeze. The problem goes away if you harden up to a broad reach with
jib and main on the same side. The rolling stops and speed generally
improves. You will need to jibe once in a while but that's a small
price to pay for a safer, more comfortable point of sail.

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Old June 2nd 09, 05:16 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

The solution, of course, is to not run dead down wind in a heavy
breeze. The problem goes away if you harden up to a broad reach with
jib and main on the same side. The rolling stops and speed generally
improves. You will need to jibe once in a while but that's a small
price to pay for a safer, more comfortable point of sail.


Agreed - but the genny was poled to the needed windward side, thus the
rolling it in - only precipitated by the situation; we'd have done that
fairly soon anyway.

And, in our case, with all the rock and roll, a full broad reach (nothing
further than ~130) is needed for the genny not to be blanketed.

As we were due to turn that way anyway, what we were doing would have had us
as you've described. Unfortunately, by the time I got it dealt with (over 2
hours) we'd not only gone a long way north, but also a long way east...

Stay tuned for the finale...

L8R

Skip

--
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
boats-or *with* boats.
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."




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Old June 2nd 09, 05:31 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 12:16:30 -0400, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

Stay tuned for the finale...


But of course!

I've enjoyed reading your account of the Exumas. It sounded like you
hit all of the high spots. With any luck we'll be leaving next week
for a month or so in the Bahamas.

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Old June 2nd 09, 09:43 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

"Wayne.B" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 1 Jun 2009 18:44:15 -0400, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

As the wind built, so did the seas, and we were no longer roughly in phase
with them. That creates a condition where, if it becomes severe enough,
you
can have an induced broach.


The solution, of course, is to not run dead down wind in a heavy
breeze. The problem goes away if you harden up to a broad reach with
jib and main on the same side. The rolling stops and speed generally
improves. You will need to jibe once in a while but that's a small
price to pay for a safer, more comfortable point of sail.




Wrong! So sad that people (notice how I don't use the word, 'sailor')
advocate course changes because of crap equipment.

The REAL solution is to get rid of the wind-up sails. Sad tale of woe after
sad tail of woe is due to malfunctions of wind-ups. One NEVER hears of such
a thing with real, hanked-on headsails.

Going downwind in a sloop requires the use of a spinnaker or cruising chute.
Messing with poled out genoas is stupid and lubberly.

Get a clue Skippy! Stop worshipping that motor and learn how to sail.

Wilbur Hubbard




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Old June 2nd 09, 10:31 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

The REAL solution is to get rid of the wind-up sails. Sad tale of woe
after sad tail of woe is due to malfunctions of wind-ups. One NEVER hears
of such a thing with real, hanked-on headsails.

Going downwind in a sloop requires the use of a spinnaker or cruising
chute. Messing with poled out genoas is stupid and lubberly.

Get a clue Skippy! Stop worshipping that motor and learn how to sail.

Wilbur Hubbard


Nice to see you back :{))

Of course, I'd not have been on the foredeck otherwise, whereas those
fabulous hankers would have required it every time I wanted to do some
adjustment to the headsail. Corralling a large sail in fair seas, required
in such circumstances, isn't high on my list.

And, until we were beating unreasonably, Perky stayed listless (well,
moribund, even).

I admit I'm still learning how to sail. I hope I never get to the point
where I think I know it all, as in complacency lies danger...

L8R

Skip, still trying to get Tropica Marine to stand up and take the heat for
their misinstallation of our radar (wrong cable for the application)

--
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
boats-or *with* boats.
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."



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Old June 3rd 09, 01:25 AM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

"Flying Pig" wrote in message
...
The REAL solution is to get rid of the wind-up sails. Sad tale of woe
after sad tail of woe is due to malfunctions of wind-ups. One NEVER hears
of such a thing with real, hanked-on headsails.

Going downwind in a sloop requires the use of a spinnaker or cruising
chute. Messing with poled out genoas is stupid and lubberly.

Get a clue Skippy! Stop worshipping that motor and learn how to sail.

Wilbur Hubbard


Nice to see you back :{))


I've been lurking but, for the most part, there is little of worth to
respond to lately. That phony at the Bangkok dock, most notably.


Of course, I'd not have been on the foredeck otherwise, whereas those
fabulous hankers would have required it every time I wanted to do some
adjustment to the headsail. Corralling a large sail in fair seas,
required in such circumstances, isn't high on my list.



Sailors who whine and complain about going forward and install one
expensive, complicated and trouble-prone system after another to keep from
going forward are a bunch of wimps and pussies in my opinion. If you don't
wish to go forward then don't sail. Going forward and changing out headsails
to suit the conditions of wind and sea as the need arises is one of the more
enjoyable aspects of sailing. Fear of or being too lazy to go forward is
just plain clownish and lubberly.

Incompetence when working forward is a sign of a lubberly, sailor wannabe.
You should be as comfortable working on the foredeck as in the cockpit. You
can be just as safe as well. Just clip in your harness to the jackline in
heavy weather if you have a weak constitution.

Unless you're a fanatic you need only 4 headsails for most cruises. 150%
genny, working jib, 50% (storm) jib plus a cruising chute or spinnaker if
you wish to make a little better time downwind. This inventory generally
involves not too many trips forward depending upon the time of the year you
sail.

If you insist upon sailing in the summertime you will have to make more
trips forward as there are many wind shifts and many wind speed changes
mostly due to the proximity of thunderstorms, land masses etc. In the trades
and wintertime fewer sail changes are called for. But, the key is to never
dread changing a headsail. Do it soon and do it often. Never wait until
conditions have deterioated so much that it becomes a chore. And, remember,
even a large headsail or spinnaker becomes mostly docile when blanketed by
the mainsail when running. Never forsake working in the lee of the mainsail
when the winds pipe up unexpectedly. But, for this you need a competent
helmsman (probably not Lydia) or a good autopilot that can accomplish the
task while running.


And, until we were beating unreasonably, Perky stayed listless (well,
moribund, even).

I admit I'm still learning how to sail. I hope I never get to the point
where I think I know it all, as in complacency lies danger...


The only real way to learn to sail it to do it without an engine. Oh, you
can have your engine but don't run the damned thing. One of the stupidest
and most disgusting things I see is lubberly sailors who use their motors
like a binky. When the weather gets rowdy, even if they're still sailing and
have the proper sails for the conditions, on comes the motor - just in case.
Freaking stupid! Like Lionel and his security blanket. This is no way to
sail!

The ONLY time to run your engine is when the wind dies and dies completely.
That's how you learn to sail. Many's the time I've sailed back and forth
from the Bahamas with my engine removed from the transom and placed in the
cockpit locker. But, the summertime is not the time to do it unless you
enjoy an exercise in frustration as you'll be lucky to enjoy enough wind to
get you in and out of inlets against the current or even with the current if
you wait until it changes. You still need some little wind to have steerage.
Drifting with the current without steerage way is not seamanlike.


L8R

Skip, still trying to get Tropica Marine to stand up and take the heat for
their misinstallation of our radar (wrong cable for the application)


Lose the radar! Sailboats don't need radar. Real sailors won't abide radar.


Wilbur Hubbard


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Old June 3rd 09, 02:08 AM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 20:25:27 -0400, "Wilbur Hubbard"
wrote:

Going forward and changing out headsails
to suit the conditions of wind and sea as the need arises is one of the more
enjoyable aspects of sailing.


Maybe on a 26 ft boat, on a 46 with the wind and seas kicking up, not
so much.

Skip, what kind of fishing lure are you using? I'm impressed by your
"catch". Any chance of a lure photo?

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Old June 3rd 09, 02:10 AM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 20:25:27 -0400, "Wilbur Hubbard"
wrote:

Real sailors won't abide radar.


Bull

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Old June 3rd 09, 02:16 AM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island to Saint Simons Island GA April 18-19

"Wayne.B" wrote in message
...
On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 20:25:27 -0400, "Wilbur Hubbard"
wrote:

Going forward and changing out headsails
to suit the conditions of wind and sea as the need arises is one of the
more
enjoyable aspects of sailing.


Maybe on a 26 ft boat, on a 46 with the wind and seas kicking up, not
so much.



Then he should get a boat more suitably sized to sailing shorthanded! Only
a fool bites off more than he can chew.


Wilbur Hubbard




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