It finally had to happen. After over three weeks with nearly perfect weather, was time to get our asses kicked. Today was the day. Had waited an extra day in Ft. Meyers because the weather forecast was not very good, but was excellent for today. So this morning we take off. Should have been a nice easy 24 hour run to the Tortugas. By 11 AM the thunderstorms started building, and they just kept on getting bigger. Winds kicking up, seas building. By 1:30 or so, had rolled up approx. 40% of the big 170, and was getting ready to put a reef in the main. By this time the winds are well over 20 knots, with gusts who knows how high, and the seas approaching 10 feet. I know 10 footers shouldn't be that big a deal, but these were steep, confused and close together. So, just gonna put a reef or two in the main, and keep on going. We are close to 30 miles out, well on our way. An THEN Buried the bow in a wave, and came up missing some stuff. The bow light was totally ripped off the bracket, and the furling line for the foresail was severed, or broken. Now we have a 170 fully out, no way to roll it back up. At this time the light is not even a thought. Karen gets the boat into the wind, and I climb up on the bow. Sitting on the bow, I am submerged up to my waist every time we bury the bow, which is often. Finally managed to dig the broken end out of the drum, and tie the two pieces together. Works pretty good, except soon find out that the knot won't go through the block, which means I still can't roll the sail up. So now I start removing blocks moving bow to stern. Remove a block, furl the jib, move back to remove another block. And then another discovery. There isn't enough furling line on the drum to furl the damn sail. So back to Ft.Meyers with about 25% of the damn sail out, Yanmar working it's but off. After we got back into the marina where we starter from this morning, further inspection shows the anchor in a kind of funny position, and the front of the anchor roller bent all the hell and back. I think what actually happened, is we buried our nose in a wave that had something floating in it, which caused our problems, not just a wave. Anyway, gonna get a new bow light and furler line tomorrow. Then if the weather looks decent, will head out once more for the Tortugas. Hopefully, things will go much better the second try..

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A friend made a trip from the Keys to Marco island about a month ago. Ran into the same weather. Said he world be doing 6 knots then get slammed by a wave, the boat would shutter and slow to 1 knot. First time it happened he thought he hit something. It went on all night. No sleep that night.
was a very exciting day and we are not done yet!!! lol----we will fix all and go back into it for another try-----after so weeks of gooood fortune there was bound to come up time for adventure.....didnt catch a fishie either -----next time----we were having waaayyyy tooo much fun and today we got waaayyy beyond wet lol-----is alll part of sailing adventures and fun.....
What a pain... but happy to hear you're both not too banged up. ... and I guess Bubba too... make sure that new furler line is long enough. Sounds like bigger than normal wave heights for those winds... !
Thanks for letting us know what's happening. Hope tomorrow is more peaceful.
You're right about probably hitting some jetsom that knocked off the light and re-configured your bow roller. In the earlier of the two Force 10 storms Paloma has been through,on the way to Vera Cruz, in the early and heaviest part of the storm, still carrying way too much sail and 60 knots of wind to help us, we came down the face of a 30+ foot wave too fast and buried about 1/3 of the boat - didn't loose anything other than the cup of coffee I was drinking and one loose life jacket that was lying on a cockpit seat.
the front which came across the northern part of fla while we were thinking of other storms was a big event---seems there were many thunderstorms of severe quality forming and running as we attempted to run thru them---we caught ourselves in the middle of a few---at night and at speed---wow---talk about excitement-- bubbadaboatkat seems to think we are trying to kill him----oh well-----we are in apalachacola for a rest phase on our way back to new orleans to regroup and re-repair boats and selves--lol----we sill sail again sooner than y'all think--lol......
Your kat is right to worry - thunder storms and squalls in bays or near shore are far more dangerous than big storms at sea.
This surprises me ? Why ?
action of the water in a shore line is much heavier than in deep water----breaking curling water is much more difficult to negotiate than rollers with white caps and chop......scarier as well...worse boat action---feels sooo uncomfortable, whereas with the offshore deep water action, the lumpoy water just moves the boat up and down and looks scarier but isnt......want to be in deeper water for storms---if there is surge, in shallow water, will encounter steep and curling wave action with the breakers wanting to scoop the boat and turn it over---in depth of significance, the wave action is a lift and roll instead---
Yes, that's the problem when you get caught in storms in the Gulf. The breaking wave action. The water is really shallow. Sixty miles offshore it's only twenty six feet deep. They say there's no fury like that of a scorned woman. Hell, a storm out there has to be a close second :)
nah, I'd say the nothing worse than the storm :-)
Ray, where do you sail in the Gulf? If you sail off the LA or TX coasts, its not a long slog out to the 20 fathom line. I've been in Force 10 storms deep in the Gulf (once halfway between Galveston and Vera Cruz and the most receent, between Puerto Isabella and Freeport) with 30++ foot seas (according to CG New Orleans and Air CG Freeport) and they don't break - they're just huge rollers, with occassional spume off the top.
in our first storm, out of fort myewrs, the water was only 26-30 ft deep and the seas were absolutely wicked---curling trying to take us into the breakers----tooo shallow for storms ---the latest bunch found us in 80+ft waters and the motion was more comfortable-larger rollers --but the lightning was hellascious---striking every second to nanosecond and no thunder in th elast of the series----wow--donot wanna do that again sooon.......


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