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Old 01-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
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Conditions that we might wish to avoid with our toy boats

Although I've done it on one of our mutual Uncle Sam's vessels (which I would prefer not to repeat in this lifetime, thank you very much).

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Although I've done it on one of our mutual Uncle Sam's vessels (which I would prefer not to repeat in this lifetime, thank you very much).
If one knew the outcome would be okay (don't know how you'd know that though. Faith, I guess) and were in good physical shape that stuff looks like it would be a hoot. Not on the sailboats. Too wet. But riding the ships like that would be wonderful, I think. I'd love to have the opportunity to do it sometime.

Wouldn't want to be out there in our GB, though......
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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If one knew the outcome would be okay ... But riding the ships like that would be wonderful, I think. I'd love to have the opportunity to do it sometime.
Having had the "opportunity" to spend a week being blown back toward California while on a 125,000 ton loaded tanker enroute from PWS toward Tsingtao, China, I can assure you that it is not an opportunity one would choose to repeat.

We ran into a typhoon just east of the dateline that turned into constant winds over 80knots with gusts over 100. The seas were between 80 and 100 feet and all we could do was maintain steerage and hope for the best as we were blown back over 120 miles to the southeast. We lost most of the antennae including our sat dome from the force of rolling and the wind. Part of the house was stove in from boarding waves and we lost 6 or 7 liferafts that were blown off their mounts and sailed like kites until the painters broke. Rails and ladders on deck were bent and cargo pipes were broken.

You have no idea of what waves that large look like from the trough even from a wheelhouse almost 100 feet from the waterline. To see the tops of them ripped off by the wind was a unique vision. The silence of the lee in the troughs was unexpected and made the howl at the crests that much more frightening.

You could watch the hull bend and twist like it was made of cheap plastic. At the end of it, we were barely functional from fear, lack of food and lack of sleep due to the motion and the noise of wind, water, and all the debris sliding around the deck above. Just trying to move was exhausting. No one spoke, no one smiled.

Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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Although I've done it on one of our mutual Uncle Sam's vessels (which I would prefer not to repeat in this lifetime, thank you very much).

Kinda makes one want to be on a Boomer.

But I gotta say there were no fenders hanging out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:10 AM   #6
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Kinda makes one want to be on a Boomer.

But I gotta say there were no fenders hanging out.
Hahahahahahahaha yeah I noticed there were no fenders too hahahahahahahaha. Wait let's talk about their anchors instead hahaha

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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I've been in swells where in the bottom you can't see anything but water all around you, and at the top of the next swell it's like "Oh crap, there are other idiots out here!". But that was for a few hours at most, then head back into the protected waters. I'd hate to go through it for days on end.

Those of us who've spent time along the gulf or east coast in a hurricane know that the wind and rain last a few too many days.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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I can assure you that it is not an opportunity one would choose to repeat.
I'll take your word for it, Rick. I've no desire, just fear, in experiencing something like that.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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I'll take your word for it, Rick. I've no desire, just fear, in experiencing something like that.
Yep, once was enough.

It was a steamboat and the sound of the engine alternately racing then loading up and the huge variation in steam flow and boiler load as the ship pitched was a reminder of the forces at work. My greatest fear was to lose the plant in those conditions because it could well have led to the loss of the ship.

After all it was a single engine boat.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #10
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At 0200 the 80000 ton container ship rolled 20 degrees to port and dropped enough to have the berth go south while I stayed north. Rudders were non effective and prop cavitated, all drawers left the safety of their locations and flew across the cabin. Crew assembled with life jackets.
Out come no containers lost, but some stacks badly shaken and lost their tie downs. Most refers off line.
Day break, now moving off course to address sea state. Vessel pitching 15 up and 15 down, speed about 8 kts. Cause of mishap, a rough wave driven by a front which had not been forecast and it lasted for 20 hours. Just another day at the office, what saved us was that the watch officer was the first mate.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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Be careful what you wish for.
Oh, I'm sure it's scary and awesome and all those other words like that at the same time. But I would love to experience it if I felt I could physically deal with it and that the vessel would come through it.

We didn't have to ride the world's fastest roller coaster when we were in Abu Dhabi the other month, and a big part of me didn't want to. But we did figuring it would be stupid to be there and pass up the opportunity. And it was trip and a half, particularly the launch. I will probably never have the opportunity to do it again but I am really glad I had the experience at least once.

I feel the same way about watching those ship in the big seas. What an amazing thing to experience in one's life. Even if I only got to see and experience it once, it would be a major addition to my "experience catalog."

The book I am currently writing takes place on a PT boat during WWII. While I have interviewed dozens of PT vets in the course of learning enough about the boats and being on them to write about it, I will obviously never have the experience of doing it in person. I'm a big believer in experiencing everything one possibly and practically can over the course of one's life. Riding a ship in big seas like that would be one of those amazing moments I would be forever grateful to have experienced in person instead of just watching a video about it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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Marin, great I would like to read your book. As a writer of sea tales let me recommend to you a book The Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowat. It might be hard to find as it written some time ago. It is about a deep sea salvage tug out of Halifax before and during WWII. Bill
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:20 PM   #13
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Marin, great I would like to read your book. As a writer of sea tales let me recommend to you a book The Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowat. It might be hard to find as it written some time ago. It is about a deep sea salvage tug out of Halifax before and during WWII. Bill
Thanks. I read Grey Seas Under many years ago. Very good book, indeed.

I really like Mowat's' writing. The Boat Who Wouldn't Float is another of his classics along with Never Cry Wolf and And No Birds Sang.

But Mowat is a self-admitted embellisher. I saw a long interview with him on the CBC about four years ago or so and he readily admitted to making stuff up in his supposedly "true story" books in order to further reinforce the messages he wants to give to his readers.

Never Cry Wolf is one of the best examples of this. To convince people of the plight of the wolves and make them the sympathetic characters in the book most of the "observations "about wolf behavior in the book are actually incorrect.

Nevertheless, a great writer and storyteller. You just have to take his supposedly true stories with a bit of a grain of salt.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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But I would love to experience it if I felt I could physically deal with it and that the vessel would come through it.
I think if that were the case, (knowing the outcome) doesn't that degrade the experience? I've always thought that a courageous person is one who is aware of the dangers & pitfalls but goes ahead anyway! To quote Clint Eastwood, "a man's gotta know his limitations" and seas like the ones in the video and RickB's account are definitely not on my list of "Things I Want To Experience."
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #15
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I think if that were the case, (knowing the outcome) doesn't that degrade the experience?
Depends on how you define the experience you want to have. I'd love to see the towering swells and wave firsthand and feel the boat heave and pitch firsthand and see those massive amounts of green water and spray surge over the boat firsthand.

I don't want to die doing it. I just want to find out in person what being on a vessel under those conditions looks, feels, and sounds like.

I produce films/videos for a living and I know from direct experience that no video with surround sound and all the rest of it is going to even begin to capture what it's like to stand five feet from the edge of a runway and have a B-52 with a full load of cruise missiles roar down on you and lift off directly in front of you. Your guts literally start to vibrate to the point where you can feel them jiggling and squirming inside you.

Same thing with those ships in those seas. Impressive video but it doesn't even begin to capture what it's like to be on the ships in person as I'm sure people like Rick and others who have experienced it can attest. It's that experience I'd love to have.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:50 PM   #16
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While exploring small pocket beaches (by sea kayak) and hiking the rocky shore around Cape Caution on BC's central coast, we found a barge which had been thrown ashore. All of it was past the high tide line, with the closest corner to the water laying about 20 feet into the shoreline grasses. What was left of the rest of the barge was broken and scattered into the trees above the grasses.

I'd love to be onshore at Cape Caution, or onshore at Cape George on Porcher Island during a wicked winter storm. No real desire to be on the water during such weather.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:22 AM   #17
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We didn't have to ride the world's fastest roller coaster when we were in Abu Dhabi the other month, and a big part of me didn't want to. But we did figuring it would be stupid to be there and pass up the opportunity. And it was trip and a half, particularly the launch. I will probably never have the opportunity to do it again but I am really glad I had the experience at least once.
That about sums up the experience all right - awesome...but once is probably enough, but nice box to tick, eh Marin...? We did that one April 2011. Did you get up to the top of the Burg Khalifa..? It was booked up 4 days ahead so we missed out on that one.
Sorry, now back to rough seas.....
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:37 AM   #18
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But I would love to experience it if I felt I could physically deal with it and that the vessel would come through it.
Humans have an unsettling knack for thinking they can design and build things that Nature cannot destroy.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:26 AM   #19
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I think if that were the case, (knowing the outcome) doesn't that degrade the experience?
I don't know if it would degrade it but I can assure you that not knowing the outcome certainly enhanced the experience.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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I don't know if it would degrade it but I can assure you that not knowing the outcome certainly enhanced the experience.
Thanks, Rick....That's a better way of putting it.
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