Author Topic: The adventures of Deep Blue  (Read 62970 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
The adventures of Deep Blue
« on: May 29, 2011, 10:35:54 AM »
Hi Everyone;  Deep Blue a Peason Triton departed Solomons Md. May 28 2008 bound for Bantry Bay Island. On June 1st I departed Rebel Marina out into the Atlantic and the great unknown.  The circle was completed when Deep Blue docked back at Rebel on may 29 2010 completing the North Atlantic circle and arrived home At Solomons June 1st.  Those 2 years were a great leaarning experience, encompassing seamanship, human nature, history, cultures, and breathtaking scenery.  Hopefully Capt k will set up a link so we can all share the experience.   Fair winds Phil

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 09:53:09 AM »
      For 10 days Deep Blue had made steady if slow progress, true I was a bit North of the rumb line but Ireland was 51 degrees North so no real harm.  In the afternoon of June 11 classes convened at the University of Hard Knocks.  A N.W. wind started to increase and the seas began to build.  At 19:50 hrs. I hove to under a triple reefed main.  Little did I realize at the time this would last until 15:00 hrs 6-15.  For the better part of day one I cowered in the salon going topside every 20 minutes or so to check for traffic or to pump out the bilge.  On several occasions I was thrown clear across the cabin when the boat fell off a wave.  I soon learned that the handholds are a sailors friend.  Winds were estimated at 40+ knots.  Thats when I turned to the Beaufort wind scale.  Up on deck I studied the waves and compared my obervations with the scale.  Beaufort revealed winds of only F-7 28-35 knots.  From this moment forward I became a convert, and the Beaufort chart was displayed prominently on a bulkhead.  Finally the wind expired and we proceeded on with the journey, but I had been driven to nearly 41 degrees North, this would prove to be significant in the days to come.  I was now on the N side of the continental lows which meant days on end of E. winds.  On the positive I had learned that my vessel was tough and seaworthy, but on the negative I realized that I had sorely neglegted my sailing skills.  more to come  Phil

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 09:28:59 AM »
6-16-08   The inevitable calm followed the storm and Deep Blue was creeping along at 1.5 knots flying all the canvas I owned.  Thats when I heard A Canadian air sea rescue plane calling for a vessel that had lost contact during the storm.  I radioed them and gave them my drift during my time hove to.  The info was relayed to Halifax, and Mr. & Mrs. Russeau who were nearby overflew Deep Blue and snaped a picture which they e-mailed back to my wife in Colorado.  Believe me a P-3 Orion coming over at less than 300' gets your attention.  This sort of consideration and Kindness seems so typical of Canadians, and thats why I love them so.  Unfortunately I sailed out of range before learning the fate of the lost vessel and can only hope all turned out well.   Phil



Offline JWalker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 219
  • kARRR-ma: +19/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 05:49:56 PM »

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 10:36:20 AM »
6-23-08  With a near calm Deep Blue plunged forward at 1.5 kts.  Supper consumed, and dishes washed, I sat down to contemplate my progress.  When I awoke the boat was making 6.7 knots.  Racing top sides the genoa was doused and the main lowered.  The track clips fell into my hands.  The gooseneck track had pulled loose from the mast.  I lashed the main to the boom and the boom to the lifelines, set the storm jib, and went to sleep.  At daybreak repairs were begun and by 1800 all was repaired.  13 1/4-20 screws replaced the 7 #10s from the factory.
      6-27-08  Constant E. winds had made progress slow.  Time for plan B; Deep Blue diverted to the Azores At the time we were at about 42:29.4 N and 043:08.1 W.  The ship European Spirit E-Mailed the news home and thus to my friends.
     6-29-08  Deep Blue entered the twilight zone.  During the 3 minutes it took to make the 11:00 log entry boat speed increased from 1.2 to 5.7 kts.  The wind and seas continued to build to f-7 and at 14:23 we hove to.  by 15:14 the wind was blowing f-8. Out came the sea anchor, and just as I prepared to deploy it, the wind died like someone just threw a switch.  I sat on the foredeck dumbfounded watching a 40' whale swim past.  Life returned to normal.  See you soon Phil

Offline Oldrig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
  • kARRR-ma: +54/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 07:26:29 PM »
Life returned to normal. 

Ah, the normal life!

Keep posting, Phil. This stuff is great reading. Wish I were there!

--Joe
"What a greate matter it is to saile a shyppe or goe to sea"
--Capt. John Smith, 1627

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 08:57:23 AM »
     07-10-08  Slowly night gave way to light; the mist started to lift and there it was Faial Island.  Sparkling white houses with red tile roofs, and medieval fields delineated by rock walls told me I had arrived at a new and exotic place.  The sails were doused and the iron jenny fired up and my ancient autohelm assumed the steering duties.  Down below water was heated for a shave and sponge bath.  Out came my Sunday go to meeting clothes; I would not arrive looking defeated.
     At 13:21 hours I was rafted to a Grand Banks trawler at the customs dock in Horta. I had arrived.  I leaped to the dock took two steps and sank to my knees as the dock and customs house gyrated madly about me.  All dignity was gone.  The friendly staff had me checked into the marina and through immigration and customs in less than 20 minutes.  Horta is one of the best run marinas anywhere.   My shattered nerves precluded moving Deep Blue to the slip, no problem the marina personel handled it for me.  I had joined a small exclusive club of trans Atlantic single handers.  It was all there the wall wiith thousands of murals,  cold beer at Peters Cafe sport.  The sailors welcomed me with open arms.  The 25 day passage had taken me 40 days, a fact I could not hide from that SOB in the mirror.  More to come  Phil   

Offline Captain Smollett

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4252
  • kARRR-ma: +269/-3
    • View Profile
    • Computational Chemistry Products and Services
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 09:16:54 AM »

The 25 day passage had taken me 40 days, a fact I could not hide from that SOB in the mirror.


NOTHING to hide, in my opinion.  You completed the passage (something most of us here have yet to do) and you did it single handed (something even more of us will NEVER do) and your stories tell the tale of a man self-sufficient who accomplished a challenging goal.

Here's the line:

Quote

I had joined a small exclusive club of trans Atlantic single handers.


Grog to you, Phil.  Thanks so much for sharing your stories and experiences with us.  In the throes of my refurbishment, I am relegated to 'armchair' status, even living vicariously through my own daughter these days.   ;)
S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline Oldrig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
  • kARRR-ma: +54/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 11:35:11 AM »
Bravo! You made it, and thanks for sharing the stories.

Good show!

--Joe
"What a greate matter it is to saile a shyppe or goe to sea"
--Capt. John Smith, 1627

Offline CapnK

  • Chief Bottle Washer and Ball Thrower
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3113
  • kARRR-ma: +217/-9
  • ARRH!!!
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 02:14:36 PM »
{snip}

In the afternoon of June 11 classes convened at the University of Hard Knocks.  A N.W. wind started to increase and the seas began to build.  At 19:50 hrs. I hove to under a triple reefed main.  Little did I realize at the time this would last until 15:00 hrs 6-15.  For the better part of day one I cowered in the salon going topside every 20 minutes or so to check for traffic or to pump out the bilge.

{snip} 

 Winds were estimated at 40+ knots.  Thats when I turned to the Beaufort wind scale.  Up on deck I studied the waves and compared my obervations with the scale.  Beaufort revealed winds of only F-7 28-35 knots.  From this moment forward I became a convert, and the Beaufort chart was displayed prominently on a bulkhead.

{snip}

On the positive I had learned that my vessel was tough and seaworthy, but on the negative I realized that I had sorely neglegted my sailing skills.  more to come  Phil

Phil -

3 'snips', 3 questions... ;D

1) You say "for the better part of day one I cowered in the salon". What happened after that? How'd you feel, what did that day teach you that was different for the remaining 3 days of that storm. (& a Grog for weathering a 4 day storm!)

2) By becoming a 'convert' to the Beaufort scale, do you mean that you just think it is a better way to describe conditions truthfully, or if something else, what exactly? I know I tend to discount most tales of a certain windspeed and swell height by about 40-50%. (Tales other than my own, of course... ;D)

3) What do you mean by having 'sorely neglected your sailign skills'? Not enough practice prior to heading out, or had you been slack about things while underway, or...?

Enjoying the story! :)
http://sailfar.net
Onboard "Katie Marie", Pearson Ariel #422

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 08:37:32 AM »
Capt K et al; 
         1.     Quite frankly I was paralized by fear of the unknown; What do I do next?  Realizing that the boat was not going to discintagrate I gathered myself together and decided to take a more active part in my survival.  I prepared the sea anchor for deployment, and began inspecting Deep Blue for any signs of weakness or failure.  When none were found my spirits rose, mostly because I was taking an active part in keeping the boat going.
        2.      My Atlantic Crossing Guide contained a Beaufort Scale Chart,  I went topside and carefully observed the waves and and the spray blowing off the waves.  The answers were suprising.  The winds were not blowing nearly as hard as I had estimated.  From that day forward I relied upon the B.-scale and it never let me down.  After a few months of practice my estimates were usually right on.  Pro sailors have used Beaufort for generations and I feel its prefereable to electronic gizmos.
         3.     I had sailed both ways across the Gulf of Mexico aboard a Nic 32; and done 1,000 miles along the E. coast of the USA, aboard my Northern 25, plus several excursions up and down the ICW.  I thought I was prepared, Quite simply I wasn't.  For instance it took me 1.5 hrs to reef the main because I had not tested the system before leaving.  By the time I arrived in Horta practice and modifications had reduced this time to 8 minutes.  I relate these things so other sailors going off-shore do not repeat my mistakes.   Fair winds Phil

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 09:57:01 AM »
07-11-08   I awoke to bright sunshine and made a pot of coffee.  I sat in the captains seat and starred at Pico for the next four hours.  This volcano arises 7,937 ft staight from the Atlantic.with a symetry exceeded only by Mt. Fuji in Japan.  Clouds formed and disapated, and the colors changed as the sun rose. I was mesmerised.  During my stay in Horta I met several sailors who had settled in Horta just to capture Pico on canvas; such is the power of this mountain.  After calling home and a few friends, it was time to get down to business.  Job one was to get tickets for Ireland to meet my wife.  Sata airlines and Ryan Air solved that problem post haste.  One of my solar panels had failed and I took it to Mid Atlantic Yacht Service for repair.  Clive put in five hrs off the clock and charged only E45. I was starting to like Portugal.  I purchased a Garmin 72 GPS. to replace my Lowrance H2O.  One I needed a spare, and two the Lowrance lacks adequate track smoothing making course setting difficult.  Otherwise Deep Blue had come through unscathed.  A quick tour of the town revealed the unique Portuguese archetecture that borrows heavily from the Romanesque style.  My next discovery was that E1 beer at the marina tasted every bit as good as E2.50 beer at Peter's Cafe Sport, and Portuguese beer is very good indeed.   Fair Winds Phil

Offline Captain Smollett

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4252
  • kARRR-ma: +269/-3
    • View Profile
    • Computational Chemistry Products and Services
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 11:58:53 AM »

2) By becoming a 'convert' to the Beaufort scale, do you mean that you just think it is a better way to describe conditions truthfully, or if something else, what exactly? I know I tend to discount most tales of a certain windspeed and swell height by about 40-50%. (Tales other than my own, of course... ;D)


and

Quote from: phil416

The answers were suprising.  The winds were not blowing nearly as hard as I had estimated.


Without specifically addressing this PARTICULAR case, I did want to point something out about Beaufort scale and windspeed estimation.

The Beaufort Scale is for "fully developed" sea states...what we physical science types would call the steady state.  This takes time to develop.  And fetch.

This is outlined extremely well in Adlard Coles Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce, though I apologize that I don't recall the name of the author of that particular chapter.

The sea states that correlate with specific wind speeds in the Beaufort Scale take time to develop...multiple hours or tens of hours.  *IF* we are examining the sea during the limited portion of development, the seas will look like a smaller Beaufort Number.

The inland lake we used to sail was fetch limited, so that the sea state on the lake was ALWAYS at least one Beaufort Number smaller than the measured windspeed, even after long times.

It's well worth the read in the Heavy Weather Sailing book to learn how to "properly" assess windspeed from sea state.  To do that, one needs to know the fetch (not an issue on the open ocean) and the duration the wind has been blowing a particular speed.

It does seem that most people do overestimate wind speeds without careful training.  We had a blow here in the winter of 2009-2010 that had measured sustains speeds of about 50 knots, and some guys here were swearing, quite adamantly, the winds were over 70.

On another occasion, I was sailing in what I took to be 10-ish knot puffs (and quite a bit less in the lulls), and read the report of another boater on the water that day talking about the "rough weather and high winds."  I could see his boat from the one I was on.

I like the tone the wind makes in the rigging as an indicator, too.

Please don't take this to mean I'm not a "fan" of the Beaufort Scale...I tend to try to use it even when I get blank stares.  

This is just offered as Food For Thought and as general discussion.
S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 08:56:29 AM »
      Smollett;  Your points are well taken; but for me the key became the amount of spray and spume coming off the waves.  Also I never encountered winds higher than f-8 so survival conditions were not met.  I did formulate a strategy; at force-7 I heave to; at f-8 I deploy the sea anchor.  On the rare occasion when the wind is blowing to where i'm heading I deploy the drogue and ride downwind with bare poles.  30 years of mountaineering have prejudiced me toward passive storm tactics.  Storm tactics are a controversial topic with Motisier and Steve Dashew at one extreme and Lin & Larry Pardey at the other extreme.  I was impressed with the fact that those using Sea Anchors seemed to survive better without catastrophy.  In Heavy Weather Sailing and other accounts those running off encountered disaster about 16-20 hrs into the storm when fatigue lead to the fatal mistake.  Very few of us have the stamina to duplicate the feats of the renowned Bernard.  This debate like the dingy discussion goes on forever without resolution, in the end you are the captain and you live or die with your decisions.  Fair Winds Phil

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 09:41:32 AM »
MEET THE SAILORS;  The first fellow I met at the marina bar in Horta was Roy Callum an English sailor aboard a P.S. Crealock 37 named Deliverance.  An engineer Roy looked around his cubicle and decided he was wasting his life.  He went home sold everything and bought his yacht.  He now spends the winters in Grenada and his summers in the Azores.   From the islands he sails to Bermuda or the U.S. east coast as mood strikes him.  Roy was probably the best sailor I met.  An interesting sidelight; Three fellows left Bermuda aboard a brand new Tartan C&C complete with Carbon fiber masts booms etc.  They arrived in Horta 16 days later.  Roy left 2 days later and arrived 18 days later.  Those 2 days cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The C&C needed several repairs and Roy needed none; food for thought. Phil

Offline Oldrig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
  • kARRR-ma: +54/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2011, 09:54:12 AM »
Thanks, guys, for this discussion of the Beaufort scale.

I think Smollett's points about the system are very apropriate.

Since I have very few electronics on my little Cape Dory 25D (certainly no way of accurately judging wind speed), I carried a copy of the Beaufort scale with me for one season, and tried to record readings in my logbook.

At some point I realized that the scale as written was not appropriate for use in my usual sailing grounds: Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, both of which have limited fetch and depth.  Still, watching for whitecaps, spray and "wind lines" on the water was far more effective way of gauging the wind speed than my gut estimates, which were always high.

When I sailed north of the Cape, I found the Beaufort scale to be more accurate. And last season, when I crewed to Bermuda and back, we found that our wind instruments and the Beaufort scale seemed to coincide, especially during the full gale conditions that we sailed through for a day or so.

Beaufort wrote his scale for square-riggers, and it was designed to tell captains when they should begin trimming the numerous sails on their enormous masts. But the principles still apply to sailors of today's fore-and-aft rigged boats.

I would think that Phil, while crossing the Atlantic, would find that the scale applied pretty well.

I have no plans to cross the Atlantic in Creme Brulee, although others have done so. But it would be nice to be able to devise a modified system, based on how the surface of local waters respond to the wind, that would tell me when to reef sails, etc.  Right now I just rely on experience, and that gets better every year.

--Joe
"What a greate matter it is to saile a shyppe or goe to sea"
--Capt. John Smith, 1627

Offline Captain Smollett

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4252
  • kARRR-ma: +269/-3
    • View Profile
    • Computational Chemistry Products and Services
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2011, 12:16:10 PM »

Thanks, guys, for this discussion of the Beaufort scale.


ONE of the things I personally really like about the Beaufort scale, and I think it underpins everything all have said here, is that it is based on CONDITIONS...whatever the number on the windspeed dial really does not matter that much at the end of the day.

I also like the old system in use by the old square riggers, before Beaufort.  Conditions were described as "topsail breeze,"  "close reefed topsail breeze," etc.   That is, it was VERY practical and based on what the ship needed. 

It's nice to look at a weather forecast and think, "oh, 20 knots, if I go out today, I'll need to reef the main," but really, I think this comes by intuition pretty quickly no matter the number.

The best analogy I can think of for what I am trying to say is music...when reading music, it does not really matter if the little dot means an "A" note or a "C" note or whatever...the label makes no difference...so long as the note is played correctly.  "This dot means you push this key," for example. 

The label is good for communicating with others, just like, "Oh, I was out in 20 knots the other day..."  but really, "sailing along with reefed main and working jib" does the same thing and works, for me anyway, at a much more "organic" level.

Beaufort is like this (to me)...it's 'simpler' scale makes a very intuitive picture of the conditions and I can much more easily imagine what *I'd* be doing...F7 brings to mind specific experiences, F5 others, F2 still others.  With the windspeed numbers, I always seem to have to translate a few ways first, THEN get to the "oh yeah, I know what that's like" mode.

Again, not arguing with any other points...just dicussin'.
S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline CharlieJ

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3245
  • kARRR-ma: +189/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 06:49:37 PM »
One important about Beaufort.  The winds are in ranges, which is the way winds blow. Seldom are winds ten. Or twenty. They vary, and the F scale incompasses that. MUCH more realistic than saying it's blowing 16 knots.
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2011, 08:22:21 AM »
08-02-08;   Ireland had been toured, and yes what you,ve heard is true, very green, castles and cathederals everywhere, and friendly natives.  Spectacular scenery on the west coast.  My friend Jerry (ficticious name real person) flew in from Md. to join the voyage.  A retired Navy heliocopter pilot jerry is a great sailor with a real sense for the wind.  In the coming weeks I would absorb a wealth of knowledge.  Meanwhile Nautical Week was in full swing.  Folk dances, concerts and parades.  The Parade climaxed with the arrival of ox-carts ( whose axles had last been greased in 1580) filled with loaves of bread that were distributed to the crowd.  The center of attention was the mini trans At. a fleet of 40 23' racers who sailed down from La Rochelle France, and who would race back to complete the event.  There were 27 French boats, 8 Brits, and a smattering from the rest of Europe.  The lone Portuguese sailor was in first place so the mood was festive.  These boats are impressive, 23' versions of an open 40, The folks who sail them must be insane.  The ones I met had mortaged everything they owned to be there, hoping to join the larger open class boats for the Professional races.  If the number of Frenchmen are any indication we can expect ocean racing to be dominated by the French for the foreseeable future.    Phil ( The mini Trans Ats are single handed)

















« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 08:25:46 AM by phil416 »

Offline phil416

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • kARRR-ma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: The adventures of Deep Blue
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2011, 08:41:02 AM »
An incredible  story;   Capt Magnus Kopsch invited us to a party aboard Toutazimut his 51' Formosa.  As the evening unfolded Magnus ( a genial Swede.) related the following tale.  When Toutazimut left Bermuda they set a rumb line course for the Azores.  Sure enough they sailed straight into the doldrums, and had to motor.  Soon fuel was extremely low, and captain and crew were concerned.  A large ship rose above the horizon, and Magnus hailed them on vhf.  The ships bridge replied that they could not help with diesel fuel but would send over one of his destroyers. Sure enough 30 m9nutes later the ship arrived and gave Magnus 650 Gallons of Diesel (Liters?), and 2 boxes of steaks.  A request for Jack Daniels was curtly refused.  Toutazimut had encountered the USS Harry S. Truman returning to Norfolk.  This story was confirmed on the U.S. Navy web site.   Such is life at sea.   Phil