These two video examples show just how quickly a boat can get into trouble. I would like to think these are rare occurrences but sadly it has happened to too many boats that I have known of.
You know it does me good to dwell on these dangers from time to time. To remind myself that the preparation for a voyage is vital and that I need to be constantly aware of the need to learn more about how to safely continue enjoying my cruising life.
In direct contrast to the beliefs of the likes of "Captain" Heather and her Dad I am not going to put my trust in 'soul' or any other airy fairy nonsense. I am going to make sure my sails are in trim, my seacocks are greased, my charts are adequate and that the weather forecast is good!
I see from this email from "Captain" Heather that some reality is beginning to creep in, at last.
To those of you kind folk who are coming to see me off…I have a bit of unhappy news. The weather forecast for New Year's Day is:
Small Craft Warning
Winds 12-24 knots
Seas: 3' every 4 seconds (15/minute)
That wouldn't stop me from leaving Steinhatchee, Florida since I could sail out under a single or double reefed main and working jib. No Problem.
The next day, January 2, 2008, is the problem. The weather forecast calls for:
Hazardous Conditions—use Extreme Caution
Winds 22 — 29 Knots
Seas: 14' every 8 seconds (7.5/minute)
Since I would have to heave-to or lie to my sea anchor all day January 2nd and I would not have been able to get far enough from land on January 1st, I would still be in the shallow waters of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico with many hazards, there may be a delay in my departure from Florida.
Watch for future updates...
Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:56 pm
Sobering sights aren't they?