Eye opening experiences in a boat - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
Propwash A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour... good times!

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Old 04-19-2006, 02:13 PM
OC OC is offline
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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.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:59 PM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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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.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:03 PM
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pescaphile pescaphile is offline
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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.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:43 AM
OC OC is offline
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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.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:48 AM
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juro juro is offline
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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!
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