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Propwash A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour... good times!

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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-20-2006 08:48 AM
juro As you get up toward the Nauth Showah (North Shore) you start to see some more serious tidal activity especially where constricted, but mostly rips and standing waves. The Portsmouth area around Piscataqua (sp?) is pretty tumultuous (sp?)

Those Bay of Fundy tides are really something! Would want to flats fish up that way.

BTW - those are some pretty serious moments you guys have experienced! I thought mine were hairy...a walk in the park in comparison!
04-20-2006 08:43 AM
OC pescaphile the pleasure is mine. For me it was my grandfather and the Tin fog horn. He was a master with it, not only did he use it to let other boats know where we were but I swear he used it to find his way in when the fog became heavy.

Moonlight, that trip could have been a most watched episode on the Discovery Channel. Nolan never misses an Alaska Crab show. Those guys are very brave or very foolish. Last night I thought about my time many years ago when our cockpit filled and tried to remember how scared I must have been. All I can really remember is that it was very dark, everything was moving fast around us. When we slid down the wave I thought I was going totally under, I had a harness and tether on so I was not going out bound. On the way up that next wave sideways I remember shutting my eyes real tight and holding on to the combing as best I could. Shutting my eyes in that situation is not a good thing but it does tell me I must have been real scared. 21 year olds don't get scared but I must of been.

Juro, other than the Cape Cod Canal do you get those big whirl pools out your way? I can't think of any like we have out here in the NW. Unless you want to head up to the Bay of Fundy where whirl pools at made to perfection.
04-19-2006 06:03 PM
pescaphile Hey OC thanks for jump starting my memory. Your mention of those old tin fog horns with the wooden mouth piece brought back long-forgotten memories for me. I used to love to blow on one of those same horns as a boy with my father when he'd take me out in the boat.

Dad has been gone for going on five years and the whereabout of that fog horn is are unknown, but I guess those memories are still alive.
04-19-2006 05:59 PM
Moonlight Holy socks OC one thing I do know is you never use water for ballast unless it is in a "Full" ballast tank thank the gods or at least the folks who built that boat for big scuppers.
As to how to figure how tall the seas are there are usually other boats out and about in the Gulf to compare notes with on the radio as to how big or how bad things are or are about to get as it is already blowing 70+ a half hour below where you are now . Its like bearings its all relative.
Came out of Simmons bay one time after being on the Hook (at anchor) for several days waiting for a particularly nasty SEer to blow itself out. The last night it had shifted slightly to Sw and really picked up probably made it easier to get our anchors out of the mud with that little direstion change. However the seas were reported by the weather out of Kodiak as being well over 30' now it was 1000 hrs and not a breathe of wind and a forecast of 10 to 15 Westerlie. Sounded like a good time to go out and see if our gear was where we left it. On the way out of the Harbor you could see the size of the swells and when we got to the seaward side of the Island we could see Biorka Reef breaking really large. This was pretty normal but what we saw adjacent to the reef were the 9 Fathom spots breaking on every swell. It was a scary ride and I really felt like it would have been better to have waited a few more hours but turning around in seas that big seemed like a bad idea besides it was now my boat and I wanted to get the gear back with the fish that was on it so the crew could have a payday. I told the boys I was not turning around and that the forecast was great and the farther we got away from the beach the better off we would be. They seemed agreeable and stayed out on the back deck while I was piloting the boat from the wheelhouse after awhile I thought that a bit odd so I peeked out the Galley door to the work deck and there they all were with the raft cannister and the survival suits all set for a man overboard drill just in case. After all these years I still am not sure if that was just saftey first or a vote of no confidence in the young skipper.
The seas did come down and by the time we ran out 20 more miles seaward our gear was right where we left and had a big old cod on everyother hook or there abouts. As I recall no one mentioned the ride out to the gear just talked about what great trip it was and how happy they all were with a boatload of fish to deleiver.
04-19-2006 02:13 PM
OC Jesus Moonlight, literlly. You were a lucky young man that day. You have far more experience on the sea than all of us put together I'm guessing. I was wondering if you could explain how you built your sea state observation skills to a high level I'm sure after many years at sea. What were some of the things you looked for as captian of your vessel?

Once when I was probably the same age you were when you went over the side I was crew on a 32 foot sailboat. As we entered the Timor Strait against a 4 knot current we hit a huge squal that lasted for almost 2 hours. The wind was from the stern and the seas quickly became very large and steep. It was around mid night but you could see the waves breaking higher than the mast all around us. There was one wave that the boat went about 2/3's up and the wave broke right on top of us pushing us down the wave face backwards. The cockpit filled up as the stern dug deep into the trough and the breaking wave came over the bow. The skipper looked at me and said we were done for. We were now side ways and going back up the next wave and I thought we were going to get rolled. But I think we had so much water in the cockpit we stayed up right, I just don't know for sure. We were lucky the scuppers were big and there were four of them and the cockpit emptied out and we got the main sail full again. When daylight broke hours later and the storm was long gone there were Indoneasian dugout type canoes with sails full and what looked like a good time in seas that had dropped to 10 to 15 feet. We on the other hand were still having a miserable time.
04-19-2006 11:03 AM
Man overboard breifly...

Personaly I was most impressed by getting washed overboard by one wave and deposited back aboard by the next one!
We were fishing for Black Cod back in 1978 over 30 miles of Cape Addington in the Gulf of Alaska the "Westerlie' had been building for about a week and the seas were a steady 30' to 35' that far off shore you can't even see the tops of the mountains except for the ones that are beside you and behind you and in front of you.
This particular day I guess the Skipper had his belly full of rolling around inside the wheel house and anouced that were were heading in to Noyes Island to wait for the weather to cool down a bit. Danny was an exciteable boy and always way heavy on the throttle, we were litteraly surfing down the Mountains one minute and riding in the trough the next.
It was my first job on the High Seas and as a deckhand it was my job to wash up the cod after they had been dressed prior to putting them in the Ice Hold this was busy work and you just mindlessly kept your head down and both hands busy until the three or four tons of fish was all put to bed.
It was a beautiful sunny day not a cloud in the sky but that West wind just kept getting stronger it was now being clocked at 48 and we were running full out before it so I guess you would have to add 9 knots or so to that reading. As I recall I had a 10# Cod in my left hand and a srapper spoon in my right when a wall of water sent me sailing across the deck where I was slammed into the Rack holding our Bouy Line Anchors that slowed me down (hurt like hell too) but the water just kept rising and I floated clear of the boat just then another big comber broke and surfed me right on to the top of the Bait shed aft. I was not nearly amazed by all this as my crewmates who all gave a big cheer and then started laughing at me as they were very amused that I still had the cod and the sraper in my hands. The whole incident tokk but a few seconds and I never had time to asses my plight the ocean just let me go maybe I trew the hook whatever it was one of those "moments " that a fellow tends to remember.
04-19-2006 10:56 AM
Smcdermott Last year Slinger, a friend of his and I decided to go back to our primal roots and sling some eels off the South County shore one evening. Again the fog rolled in and we needed to navigate by GPS in the dark on the way home. This was only a few months into my tenure with the new boat and electronics and I was trying to find some visual clues that would help me ratify what the little box on my console was telling me. I kept looking toward the shoreline and focusing on what appeared to be a distinct dark cloud. The funny thing was this clound kept following us and was really starting to fuel some questions in my mind about whether I could trust the instruments to get us home. After a few more minutes I came to realize that I should be named king of the idiots as the cloud I was so intently following was actually the shadow cast by the stern light and Slingers head on the fog.

04-19-2006 10:32 AM
Moonlight I'm gonna guess the ski boat had a world class stereo syetem with speakers loud enough to hear the Valkyrie over the drone of the motor at ski speed and that the magnets in the speakers were giving that Boy Scout compass the ride of its life.
04-19-2006 10:21 AM
juro OC you are ten times the mariner I am but thanks for the vote of conf.

I guess there are no more guesses, so here's the answer...

We had been ripped all the way across Clallam Bay to slip Pt on the other side which is listed as a CG hotspot for rocks, turbulence and whirlpools. Although we could barely see each other on the same boat I could hear the slip pt horn faintly and it seemed to be coming from ten different locations. It dawned on me that we were spinning in a whirlpool.

No one believed me because we could not see any water commotion against the hull. Of course not, it was spinning too.

I went to the bow and formed a scoop with my jacket to hear the horn. I asked to shut down the engine for a minute to hear the horn, got a heading real quick relative to north if possible, and we iterated toward it which in retrospect is not a good idea. Moving away would have been safer but indistinguishable so on we went, me with the jacket over my head waving my arms left and right to keep the boat moving somewhat straight. The horn is situated on the bluff that looms above the most trecherous part of the point, so going toward it was risky - but there was no other reference. Eventually we came to the familiar clang of the bell bouy, so headed west to confirm it - and from there it's due west to the jetty blind as bats by compass.

The whole time the crew was doubtful of every decision, in fact I had to take turns forcing everyone to have faith after we attempted something they suggested that led us nowhere etc. I could have just as easily been wrong but my point is the situation was tenuous at best for all.

There was complete doubt until the rocks and american flag at the end of the jetty appeared thru the dark thick wet soupy fog, except in my mind since I had fished there often and knew the bell bouy well.

In any case, a silva boy scout compass decades old, a dose of luck, and a bit of familiarity with a horn and bouy got us back safely. I got a little more faith from the gang after that. That evening the fishing got red hot in clearing skies and we were none the worse for wear.
04-19-2006 08:20 AM
OC I'll take a shot Juro, Too many rum&cokes . Most true ski boats have inboard engines, were you sitting on the engine box? I have not looked at the chart for that region but I know throughout the straits and the sound there are places that a compass is useless. Luckly the charts will let you know which places that happens in. Sailing on the Hood Canal has brought a large amount of strange experiences like the one Juro had. Not only compass failure but depth soundings. From time to time everyone's depth finders go to 4 dashes on the screen. This can last up to an hour or so then everyones sounder works again. We believe it is the secret workings going on a Bangor Sub Base. One that I have figured out recently is when the depth sounder goes into alarm which I have set at 10 feet. We are in 600 feet of water sometimes when that happens and it happens starting about now through May. Anyone know what is happening on these occassions? I bet Juro knows the answer.
04-19-2006 06:12 AM
juro Reminds me of an outing at Sekiu on the north Olympic Peninsula with a friend in his recreational ski boat. A split pea fog rolled in from the west and we were working the Caves area which in on the west cusp of a large bay about 2.5-3 miles wide.

He had no compass or electronics on board, I had my trusty boy scout pocket compass that my mom bought me in Sears as a young kid and that was all on board for reckoning tools.

In a flash the sight of the rocks left us and we pondered the next move. I dug out the Silva as the others argued about which way was which. Oddly the needle was turning faster than the second hand on my watch.

Mike says "so hotshot which way?". I scratch my head. Did we fall into the Bermuda Triangle?

It occurred to me what was happening...

anyone care to guess?
04-18-2006 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by OC
I think it is JVC that makes a smaller unit and cheaper. Yes you will be able to see blitzes miles off. But you don't need radar to do that if you learn to scan the horizon with the proper mind set. I bet Juro knows how to from all I know about his abilities.
Last year we were out in Narragansett bay when the silversides made their push up into the bay to spawn. Bass were all over them and with the fog continued to feast from about 4 a.m. till we left them at 2:30. We stayed on them by shutting off the motor and following the sound of the terns. Even the four stroke was too loud. We managed to stay with them but there was no one who could have by site alone, I don't care if you had 20/5. If you were a few miles off in the morning you might never have found them. Same deal for some of the tuna this summer. Enough visibility to watch for other boats but those fish were moving and can travel a few miles in a matter of minutes. No way you could have kept up on site alone. Listen for birds, watch the GPS and see if you could figure out a feeding pattern was the key. Radar would have been very helpful in both situations.

04-18-2006 05:07 PM
juro Yeah I wish, if it weren't for the smell of low tide I couldn't find the beach at noon any more.

Out west the deadheads are the killer, not to mention rocks cropping up in 80 ft of water from ancient lava flows etc. I guess other boaters are a problem everywhere in fog and it would be good to 'see' them.
04-18-2006 04:46 PM
OC I think it is JVC that makes a smaller unit and cheaper. Yes you will be able to see blitzes miles off. But you don't need radar to do that if you learn to scan the horizon with the proper mind set. I bet Juro knows how to from all I know about his abilities.
04-18-2006 01:44 PM
Smcdermott OC,

I didn't realize you could get into Radar that cheap. Not sure that unit would work for me due to space concerns which is why I thought you would need to spend the $4K-$6K to get into a networked all in one unit. But certainly worth a look. Not only would it make you safer on the water but finding the blitzes would be a whole lot easier as well .

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