Tuesday, October 15, 2013

S/V TRAVERSAY III continues homeward navigation by continuing offshore after more repairs in King Cove Alaska

Blogsite: http://traversayiii.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-last-offshore.html




Sunday, 13 October 2013

The last offshore?

On leaving King Cove, the pleasant sheltered-water sail to the northeast was slightly marred by the need to find shelter from a coming storm. We wanted to be out-of-town so we chose uninhabited Coal Harbor. This small offshoot of Zachary Bay seemed, from our reading of the Coast Pilot book, to have the right combination of shelter and sticky mud bottom to keep us safe from Friday's weather.

Unlike many mountain-rimmed bays, Coal Harbor did not seem to promote gustiness and variability in wind direction [williwaws], but neither did it block out the wind. Friday afternoon, we decided to keep an anchor watch. That is as the night grew blacker we took turns watching chart plotter and radar to allow a rapid response if the anchor dragged and the boat started to move. Of course re-anchoring in a gale is not much fun - particularly with our damaged anchor windlass. It is better if the anchor does not move.

The wind peaked at 60 knots around ten o'clock Friday evening and then dropped to 30 knots or so by one AM. For the non-nautical reader, the wind reached 70 miles per hour or 115 km/hour! ... but the bottom WAS sticky and the anchor did not budge. The last time we saw winds close to this strength in an anchorage was at Caleta Martial near Cape Horn as we awaited favorable weather to cross to Antarctica. By two o'clock in the morning the wind had died away enough for us to feel secure. We canceled the anchor watch and used the rest of the night for sleeping.

Saturday morning, there were still gale warnings [as opposed to the more serious storm warnings] all along the coast. These were however from a favorable direction and, importantly, there seemed to be no storms or contrary winds predicted for the week or so it might take to get across the Gulf.

So we are now on our way toward the other side. As the week unfolds, time along with revised forecasts will reveal exactly where we are going: Sitka, Alaska, Prince Rupert, Canada or perhaps even north to Kodiak Island.

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At 13/10/2013 23:48 (utc) our position was 55°10.00'N 155°24.91'W

- - - BLOGGER COMMENT - - -

A COMMENT LIKE THE ABOVE HIGHLIGHT TELLS ME THE CAPTAIN HAS NOT DONE THE REQUIRED WEATHER BRIEFING TO KNOW WHERE HE IS GOING NOR DOES HE THINK WEATHER IS A BIG FACTOR REGARDING "SAFETY AT SEA" - REMEMBER THE SAILBOAT HAS NOT HAD A PROPER HAULOUT AND MARINE SURVEY, NOR MAINTENANCE SERVICE BEFORE CHALLENGING THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE AND REQUIRED EMERGENCY BROKEN ENGINE MOUNTS REPAIRS IN TUKTOYAKTUK NWT.... THEN AGAIN THE BOAT WAS LIFTED OUT IN KING COVE ALASKA FOR REPAIRS... I SERIOUSLY THINK THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF POOR SEAMANSHIP AND NEGLIGENCE BY THE OWNER-SKIPPER... DO YOU SEE THE CONTINUING TREND OF NEGLECT? WHAT WOULD YOU THINK FAILS NEXT?  LIKELY CRITICAL STRUCTURAL RIGGING? IN THE OPEN NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN IN A GALE? OK, OK, I KNOW SOMEONE IS GOING TO COMMENT... SAYING I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND SAILBOATS... BUT I DARE CHALLENGE YOU TO SHOW WHAT A PRUDENT MARINER WOULD DO KNOWING FOUR ENGINE MOUNTS FAILED NEAR TUKTOYAKTUK - WHY DID THEY FAIL? NO GROUNDING WAS REPORTED. METAL ENGINE MOUNTS ONLY FAIL FROM STRESS OR CORROSION. YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T INSPECT THE MAIN ENGINE WHEN CHANGING THE OIL. YOU DO CHANGE IT RIGHT? IS THIS A CLASSIC CASE OF NEGLIGENCE? "a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances. Conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm."

I SURE WOULDN'T VOYAGE ON THIS SAILBOAT - I REALIZE THE VAST OWNER'S EXPERIENCE AND THE WORLD MILES TRAVELED... BUT THAT IS JUST IT - THIS BOAT IS FALLING APART... NO MAINTENANCE IS A GOOD REASON WHY BOATS FALL APART - I'D RECOMMEND YOU ALWAYS INSPECT AND CONSIDER YOUR BOATING ALTERNATIVES - YOUR SAFETY AND LIFE IS FIRST AND FOREMOST YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY.

NOW LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THE FORECAST WEATHER... 24 HOURS... 48 HOURS... 96 HOURS...





LOOKING FURTHER OUT INTO THE FUTURE....



ABOUT TEN PLUS DAYS FROM UNIMAK PASS TO VANCOUVER CANADA FOR A 6KT BOAT
WILL TRAVERSAY III REACHING VANCOUVER CANADA BY THE 22TH OF OCTOBER?
WILL THE WEATHER HOLD FOR THIS OCEAN TRANSIT?


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with you. This is a very good education on boating which is only learned by example or the school of hard knocks. The need for the mentioned repairs speak volumes. Even if the boat was hauled out before the NWP it once again shows that many items were overlooked. A shave and a haircut are not what a haul out is only about. The proof of trending is in the pudding of needing repairs. I too wish them well to make harbor and get the services and repairs they and the boat require. Bon voyage!

SV TRAVERSAY III said...

Not having internet access while you were writing all this, I was not in a position to comment. I now am:

Your comment about possible rig failure: All standing rigging was replaced just before this trip [as were the sails]. Regarding oil changes: Oil and filter changes were made on Traversay III every 150 hours since the engine was new - as noted repeatedly in the log. On these occasions, the engine was inspected with maintenance performed on pumps, transmission and so on whenever required. Regarding the engine mounts: They were probably weakened in a night altercation with fishing gear in England [described in our blog] They were examined in Reykjavik by a ship's engineer at my request when I replaced an engine foot; he pronounced them sound.

And finally, regarding uncertainty about destination. I intentionally left the Sandy Point area with suitable weather for Kodiak. Gulf of Alaska forecasts change - it would have been a bit silly to proceed to Kodiak and stop when improving weather allowed us to continue across the Gulf. Near Greenland, the Bering Sea and crossing the Gulf of Alaska, my weather decisions gave us much better weather than many other boats. You yourself made a scathing comment in your blog about the timing of my departure out of Nome only to describe the voyage as very cleverly planned to avoid all the really bad weather in a later entry. You may call it luck, but I honed my weather reading skills and safety judgement in many years of flying jets across the North pacific. Even in an airline, we would occasionally set out on spec on a twelve hour flight because things can change.. We generally got where we were going but always had an "out" just as I was keeping Kodiak in my back pocket while heading for Sitka [if the wind turned SE] or Rupert [if it stayed S or SW]. Sensible people always have a plan they feel will work but are ready to change it in the light of new information.

You might discover if you actually voyage the northwest passage that needed repairs are often minimal and temporary because of the need to move on quickly and the inadequacy of facilities. I had thought of replacing the parts in Tuk that I subsequently replaced in King Cove but looking later at the weather those that followed faced, I am glad I opted for the temporary repairs and renewed them later.

On arrival in Victoria, the builder visited and was impressed with how well the boat had been maintained in her 13 years!

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

While I do not always agree - everyone's experiences are different and mine is no exception after 30 years as a master mariner - I commend you and your mate on reaching your destination and in hind sight you did make decisions which served you and your goals well. Congratulations on your circumnavigation and east to west Northwest Passage!

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