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Old 04-06-2015, 02:17 PM   #21
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Many years ago.....

We spent the better part of a nasty day hunkered down in the inner harbor of Dunkirk, NY on Lake Erie. We were on my brothers 26' foot wood Chris Craft where 8 of us enjoying libations all day waiting for the weather to settle. At 5 PM we felt it was good enough to run up the lake 20 nm to a popular watering hole. We were buddy boating with another cruiser at the time.

1/2 way up the girls needed a potty break, so off plane and into the water (such was the day). Our friends continued on. Almost immediately after getting back on plane we hear a loud boom and look into the cabin to see a wall of water coming through. I head down and start pulling out life preservers. When I run out of cabin due to the water I turn around and ask for my preserver, we were one short. I decided to grab the cooler, empty the contents and push my arms through the handles, it actually was a good float.

The boat sank within minutes, we had a 3' choppy sea state, the sun was setting and my brother had gone into diabetic shock. Not surprisingly, most of the crew was panicked as we were at least 3 miles off the shore and the water was cold (~64). While some friends took care of my brother, my wife and I started swimming towards a small fishing boat near shore. About half way there we noticed them moving towards us. They came up to us and picked us up but stated they could not fit 6 more on their boat, we insisted.

On the way back to pick up the others, the boater stated that they never saw us, what they did see was all the birds circling the food I dumped out of the cooler, they thought they were heading to fish.

By this time, our buddy boat returned, maybe an hour after we split with them. Since the small boat could not hold us we started a transfer in the choppy seas. Not a good idea and one of the gals decided to jump into the water just as the cruiser put the engines in reverse. She disappeared under the stern and popped back up on the side but had her achilles severed by the prop. Now we had to run back to port quickly.

To heap it on, our friends boat blew an engine running at full throttle back to the port, we limped in and had an ambulance waiting on the pier. All were safe outside of the achilles injury.

The boat was never found and I don't think I've ever moved a boat with more than one drink in me ever since!

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Old 04-06-2015, 05:08 PM   #22
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Great thread, and some pretty frightening stories! I tried hard, but this is the best I can do after a lifetime of boating:

Drifting in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay in mid-summer on our 25' Hunter sailboat, hoping for a breeze. Can't jump in the water to cool off because it is covered by a carpet of sea nettles. Even if we could, the water wouldn't be very refreshing anyways. We're getting sunburnt. The food is gone, the beer (and water) supply in the cooler is dwindling, and the wife is getting cranky. Time to fire up the outboard and putter back home at 4-5 knots. It was one of those days when I decided that sailing wasn't for me. That Hunter was the last sailboat I ever owned...

I've been through a few storms on inland waters -- a little hairy, but kind of fun in retrospect. Nothing close to what you ocean travelers have encountered. Speaking of small destroyer escorts in a hurricane, I'm reading "Halsey's Typhoon" right now. Scary stuff!

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Old 04-06-2015, 08:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Twidget View Post

Been steaming in formation in a DDG with said class carrier. Agree, not the best day underway.
I was probably 50' underneath you, undetected, practicing underhulls.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:07 PM   #24
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Every new captain should have to read these stories... Playing on the lakes makes my sea trials insignificant in comparison.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:08 AM   #25
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In the early 80's, two friends and I bought and rebuilt onld wooden motoryachts, mostly Trumpy's. We bought a 61957 5' Grebe cockpit MY fro a former Miami Dolphins player, named Nauti-Dolphon the boatlives in Canada. We sold it to a guy in Mystic, CN and financed it ourselves. Aver 2 years, we had to repo the boat. I had started law school in NYC by then and agreed to go to Mystic and recover the boat. It was early December. Figured out we had to leave Mystic about 10 PM to get to the west side of Manhattan by early the next afternoon. Took one friend with me. Oevrnight forecast was winds 2-10 and 1-2 ft seas in Long Island Sound. We hit a pretty violent squall about 2 in the morning and had a couple of hours of 5-7' seas and high winds. Went down to the galley in the morning and there was water on the galley floor! We were taking on a lot of water and I could not figure out where from. Called the CG and they sent a 41' cutter with gas pumps. Never thought I would kiss a guy in a bright orange thermal suit, but I just about grabbed the first Coastguardsman over our side! They had to helicopter another pump out so we had three big gas pumps going before we got ahead of the water. The cutter towed us to a marina near Bridgeport and we got lifted. Turned out that the garboard plank on one side had sprung along about 20' of its length.

Funny thing was-one Coast Guard guy got seasick and spent the entire time huddled over the rail alternately puking and apologizing to us for not being able to help.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:09 AM   #26
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Whhops-it was a 1957 65" Grebe!
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:15 AM   #27
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Dew line station off Newfoundland in the winter and the North sea. Maintain station at 5 knots in a 50 mile circle for ONE MONTH on a Gearing class 2250 ton radar picket destroyer, my first ship out of boot camp. Either wallowing in the troughs, plowing thru head seas or following seas over and over again.
Fast forward to the Agean sea off Crete and a USSR Echo 2 submarine ramming us after not being able to evade the Fast Frigate equipped with AN/SQS-26(BX) sonar and other goodies, I guess they don't use flares.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:21 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Northern Spy View Post
I was probably 50' underneath you, undetected, practicing underhulls.
We used to hate it when you guys would pop a green flair when we had no idea you were there.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:29 AM   #29
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We were fishing on a friend's 31' Bertram. The big blues were running near the beach at Cape Lookout. Seas were 8'+. It was my turn at the wheel. If you know the Bertram 31 you know the windshield sloped backwards. The wheel is almost horizontal. We came over a steep wave burying the bow. Having nothing but the wheel to hold when the bow buried my head went forward. At that time the bow gained buoyancy, and the windshield came back to meet me. The result was two broken front teeth and a cut through lower lip. I bled like a stuck pig.

I called the owner of the boat up to the bridge. He took a look at the situation, and shouted, "someone get a mop". All heart he was.

My dentist that fixed my teeth would fish with us. He got a good laugh out of it. He could fix my teeth without any deadening because I didn't need any. His pretty dental assistant would cradle my head in her arms. Worth every penny.

Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
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