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Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: GeorgeC1] #228090
06/16/2020 04:56 PM
06/16/2020 04:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,006
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline OP
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NCSailor  Offline OP
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Posts: 2,006
Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
This is why you always want to use two lines to tie to a mooring on both monohulls and cats. It insures that no sawing action will occur on the pennant loop.
G


The pennant eyes at BEYC are steel and have burrs on them them that will eat through a single line In a few hours if there is any kind of wind.

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Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228130
06/17/2020 10:59 AM
06/17/2020 10:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
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Bvicatter Offline
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After 20 years and maybe 35 charters, and charter boat ownership, 2018 we had a an interesting day.

Left Trellis Bay about 2pm heading to Marina Cay for water (when they were still open for business). Light hazy overcast, otherwise clear, calm day.

Because I was so experienced, and so knowledgeable, and had done the cruise so many times.... I missed the red mark just southwest of Marina Cay and took a 42' cat hard up on the coral at about 6 knots.

It took an actual salvage team with balloons four hours to free the yacht. A round of applause from the enthralled and entertained boats safely moored at Marina Cay. One French fellow dinghied up to the stern in the midst of the salvage (and it was a salvage) and said," Eh bien- how much does it cost to free your boat?"

We slunk into the Pussers and drank heavily.

No damage to the boat. The salvors charged for one level down from full salvage- cost us $3000. My ego? Not a ding or a dent. The only people who don't have stories are those folks who keep their boats tied up at the pier!

Fiberglass and metal can be replaced or rebuilt- as long as no one is killed or hurt, it's a good day!

Fair winds-

JAM
Annapolis, Md

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228148
06/17/2020 05:40 PM
06/17/2020 05:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,446
Ex-Spyglass Villa owners in Le...
Kimmers Offline
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Ex-Spyglass Villa owners in Le...
"...so there we were..." None of my stories are considered disastrous as I have so many from Tonga, to Bora Bora to the Grenadines to St. Martin/Saint Maarten, I don't where to begin... Let's start with one of our early bare boat charters out of, I think, CYS as this was in the early 70's... Aside from visiting Foxy's when there was a monkey in a cage and he was wearing a t-shirt with Paddle wheels of tongs (one I'll never forget), we were off of Tortola when the weather changed radically, i.e., high seas and major gusts. We radioed base and they told us to head to Peter Islands marina. Once inside, the guys jumped off the dock with bow and stern sheets in hand however the wind was so intense that they could not pull the boat to the dock without my getting on the helm and powering back and forth to help. This all took place during piercing rain and metal trash cans flying in the air. It took us a good 45-minutes to get set up. No sooner were we secure when a dock master came down to tell us that the last boat that tied up to the dock during a front like this, ended up ON the dock. So, in the ragging wind and rain, we loosened the bow and stern lines and put the dinghy between us and the dock. The only way off the boat after that was to go from the boat into the dinghy and then crawl onto the dock. Guess we needed those drinks after that as that is exactly what we did.


[Linked Image]

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228183
06/18/2020 12:21 PM
06/18/2020 12:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 80
Virgin Gorda, BVI
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VirginGordaResident Offline
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VirginGordaResident  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 80
Virgin Gorda, BVI
Not quite a disaster, but just last weekend my buddy and I sailed a Hobie Getaway from North Sound, Virgin Gorda to Cow Wreck, Anegada. About 45 minutes into the sail, we lost our starboard rudder....

Video here: https://youtu.be/Lye34hhkfZQ

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: VirginGordaResident] #228185
06/18/2020 12:36 PM
06/18/2020 12:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 46
Hillsborough, NC
OceanSong Offline
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Posts: 46
Hillsborough, NC
Originally Posted by VirginGordaResident
Not quite a disaster, but just last weekend my buddy and I sailed a Hobie Getaway from North Sound, Virgin Gorda to Cow Wreck, Anegada. About 45 minutes into the sail, we lost our starboard rudder....

Video here: https://youtu.be/Lye34hhkfZQ


That was great!

How long did it take you to get to Anegada?

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: VirginGordaResident] #228188
06/18/2020 12:57 PM
06/18/2020 12:57 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,113
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,113
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Love that video..I sailed my old Hobie 16 off Delray Beach Fla for a couple of years and broke a rudder and sailed home with one..replaced with an"unbreakable" one. Did you fix yours for the return? Hobies are a great way to get around..congrats. I did go from Trellis to Cooper and back..only flipped once!

Last edited by Manpot; 06/18/2020 12:57 PM.
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: OceanSong] #228210
06/19/2020 11:11 AM
06/19/2020 11:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 80
Virgin Gorda, BVI
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VirginGordaResident Offline
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Virgin Gorda, BVI
Originally Posted by OceanSong
Originally Posted by VirginGordaResident
Not quite a disaster, but just last weekend my buddy and I sailed a Hobie Getaway from North Sound, Virgin Gorda to Cow Wreck, Anegada. About 45 minutes into the sail, we lost our starboard rudder....

Video here: https://youtu.be/Lye34hhkfZQ


That was great!

How long did it take you to get to Anegada?


It was relatively light wind on the way there, 8-10 knots the whole way. And we had to slow things down for the rudder breakage. All in, the way there took 3 hours and 20 minutes. The way home was much windier, 15-17 knots, and even sailing close hauled we were a lot faster. Made it home in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: Manpot] #228211
06/19/2020 11:17 AM
06/19/2020 11:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 80
Virgin Gorda, BVI
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VirginGordaResident Offline
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VirginGordaResident  Offline
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Posts: 80
Virgin Gorda, BVI
Originally Posted by Manpot
Love that video..I sailed my old Hobie 16 off Delray Beach Fla for a couple of years and broke a rudder and sailed home with one..replaced with an"unbreakable" one. Did you fix yours for the return? Hobies are a great way to get around..congrats. I did go from Trellis to Cooper and back..only flipped once!


Haha awesome! Sailing through Sir Francis Drake must've been an experience. And sailing the Hobie to Anegada definitely beat the cost of the $100 roundtrip ferry ride!

As for fixing it, well it turned into quite the experience. It is an old Hobie my buddy bought off Necker island, and someone over there 5200'd in the bolts that attached the rudder pintle to the hull. We were able to have someone from VG send replacement pintles over on the ferry to Anegada but then we couldn't get the bolts out! So what should've been an easy fix turned into a hunt around Anegada for the perfect bolt and tools.

With some local help and Caribbean ingenuity we were able to get a temporary fix put together.

Attached Files d76f6d55-1c05-4489-b052-99e795a85a65.JPG
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: VirginGordaResident] #228221
06/19/2020 01:20 PM
06/19/2020 01:20 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,113
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,113
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Great video and great tale..hope we get to meet..I own my home in Little Apple Bay..sail over when we are back..cold ones will be ready!

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228238
06/19/2020 07:10 PM
06/19/2020 07:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,530
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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GA/NC
Here is a oldie but a good one from Rick Moore who used to often post here. Does anyone know what he is doing these days? Many here have probably seen it but the few that have not will enjoy it.
G
https://youtu.be/EAyDS1NuK_A

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: GeorgeC1] #228259
06/20/2020 07:52 AM
06/20/2020 07:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 131
West Virgina
jrw Offline
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jrw  Offline
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Posts: 131
West Virgina
You can find Rick on youtube; captain rick moore ssl

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228489
06/23/2020 05:04 PM
06/23/2020 05:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 624
Ft. Worth, TX
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Lcrich Offline
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Posts: 624
Ft. Worth, TX
Love these! More!!!

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: Lcrich] #228497
06/23/2020 07:09 PM
06/23/2020 07:09 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 197
SF Bay Area
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OneEyedJack Offline
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Posts: 197
SF Bay Area
Originally Posted by Lcrich
Love these! More!!!


Come one, Lcrich. We are not here just for your amusement. Get out there and do something irresponsible, stupid and totally against any training that you may have had. You will know it when you do it. It's just a matter of whether or not you get away with it, and report back.

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228503
06/23/2020 09:12 PM
06/23/2020 09:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,530
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 5,530
GA/NC
Yesterday rafted up with my brother on the local lake. Unrated and he left as I got a call about a refinance closing this week. After the call fired up the boat to leave. Strange noises start happening. Really helps when you’re leaving from being anchored to actually pull up the anchor!
G

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 06/23/2020 09:15 PM.
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228506
06/23/2020 09:49 PM
06/23/2020 09:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,006
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline OP
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NCSailor  Offline OP
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Posts: 2,006
Charlotte, NC
If you want to get humbled transit the ICW from Charleston to Savannah.

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228511
06/23/2020 11:01 PM
06/23/2020 11:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,419
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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Posts: 5,419
An island state of mind
Especially on a full moon 😳

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228540
06/24/2020 10:56 AM
06/24/2020 10:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 54
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We had interesting experience about 2 years ago that definitely falls under this category.

I posted this previously on this site and received some good advice including using the Pan Pan call next time something like happens.

We were having a smooth trip on a Marine Max 48' Power Cat. We were on the Bitter End docks and attempted to run both our engines to heat up water for showers and the starboard engine would not turnover. Our charter company spent several hours working on the engine but it was determined that the error code resolved in having to replace the controllers which required parts to be shipped in. The charter company agreed to meet us to swap boats once we were closer to base.

As a result we limped out of the BEYC docks on one engine and headed back towards Tortola with some ominous weather heading our direction. To this day I still remember telling Nick at Bitter End (and now at Oil Nut) that he must see things like this all of the time and having him tell me that he can't remember even one case.

We slowly made our towards the base and eventually came along Beef Island towards the Drake Channel. A power boaters worst nightmare hit us right at the Southeastern tip of Beef Island next to an area called the Bluffs when we lost our Port engine and had no power to the boat. At this point we were about 300 feet from shore and still experiencing heavy seas since that area is not well protected and we were still hitting the rougher weather from the storm system. My wife (also our captain) attempted to re-start the boat but the controllers were not engaging the engine at all. We were able to get an anchor down in about 70' of water but drifted back until we obtained a good scope on the anchor.

We called our base which was relatively close and requested emergency assistance. I am not sure exactly how long it took for cavalry to arrive with a boat to tow us back but it must have been the longest 30 minutes of my life even though our anchor was holding once it reached about 40' of water and we had drifted to within 100 feet of the shore.

The tow back was a little challenging given the need to get lines across in rough seas and the issue of towing a relatively large boat. Our crew and the charter base manager did a great job and aside from a couple minor scrapes from the tow everyone was in good shape.

What we did correctly:

- Once we lost the first engine we stayed as far away from shore as we could unless we did not have another choice. We did get too close when heading around Beef Island and should have stayed off another 300 feet but we still had time to react and were much further off then we have been in the past.

- Our charter company does a very good job during the boat briefing on how to use the anchoring equipment so when we were scrambling to avoid drifting into the shore we were trained well enough to get it down. The scope was not ideal since we started in 70 of water and could not get a good ratio but as we drifter closer to sure we caught once we hit about 40 of water. The key message from this one is always make sure you understand exactly how the anchor works with and without power. We tend to use mooring balls exclusively so we were not well versed in the anchor but remember our training well. If we had not been able to get the anchor down then this likely would have been a story about salvaging a boat instead of one about a tow back to the marina.

- We also had a backup anchor ready to go in the event that the first one failed but we would only use that if we decided to abandon ship.

- We were able to give our non-boating guests clear direction to help with things like pulling out life jackets, getting the portable VHF ready, and detangling the rear anchor as a backup. Looking back on the boat when we got back I can honestly say that there is not one piece of safety equipment that was not ready to go and within arms-reach if we needed it.

Lessons Learned:

- We will use the Pan Pan command over the radio next time to line-up potential help since we were not in a May Day situation but could have end up in one quickly.

- My wife and I were the only experienced boaters on this trip and we should have done a better job training our crew. We had a couple of people step up and really help save the day but several thought this emergency was nothing to really worry about until after the event. Making sure your crew understands what can go wrong and that emergencies can occur is definitely something we learned from this experience.

- Some people on our group did pack-up key documents and other possessions. I should have given them better direction to leave everything and not worry about things that can be replaced. I don t think they realized at the time how close we were to abandoning ship or ending up on the rocks.

- We ran an initial error code from checkout by one of the mechanics before we left the dock and were told it was nothing to worry about. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I am pretty sure the error message was a pre-cursor to the problems we ran into. We have never had a single engine problem in 5 years with this exact boat but something was clearly not right throughout the trip and we should have known better.

- We did cut the last turn a little too close and I wish we had more distance available to the shore. We did not an excellent job keep in a safe distance on the rest of the trip and still probably had at least 20 of drift time until we would have hit. Time to plan is your best friend is situations like this and we could have used more especially given the rough seas and unprotected location.

- Always know where all of your safety gear is at. Given our experience on the vessel we knew where everything was stored but on other boats I may not have paid as good of attention and not known since I never would have thought they would have been needed.

- Understand exactly how your anchor works with power and without power. Also make sure you understand how much chain you have so you know what the shallowest water depth that you should be able to anchor in. This means knowing the amount of chain/rope and the desired scope given the areas you are in. Given that we were quickly drifting towards shore I was most concerned about catching something and should have care a little more about scope but our distance to shore and water depth made that more challenging.

- Make sure you understand how to deploy the dinghy and/or life raft especially in rough seas. We had several older guests on the boat and it would have been challenging to get them into the dinghy in 6 foot seas but we would have figured something out given the alternative.

- We were a little too complacent with the perceived safety of the area. The rough seas definitely compounded our ability to get the boat set but at times I feel like we are boating on our inland lake and not on a body of water that can turn quickly on you. The storm exasperated this situation but that is always how Murphy's Law turns out so I should not be surprised. We will definitely respect our surroundings more on future trips.

- I know it is a challenge for the charter companies to balance boating experience with the need to have boats rented but I am not sure we would have reacted the same if we had not docked in the past with a missing engine or thruster. Most of our boating experience is on freshwater lakes so this was certainly more terrifying but having 40+ years boating experience between the 2 of us helped. We also own 3 personal vessels ranging from a PWC to an 87 houseboat so we are on the water quite a bit. I can t say that one of the so called credit card captains would have been as lucky as we were in this situation but it is another reason to make sure people with less experience think through the worst case scenario at all times.

- If you are down to 1 engine and suspect any problems that could lead to the 2nd engine going out then stay where you are at if you are at a dock or mooring ball. We should have waited for the parts to arrive and worst case left the boat at BEYC if it could not be fixed before we had to fly home. With that said we spoke to a couple of professional captains and we were told that losing both engines is almost unheard of and also almost always caused by a user error such as wrapping a prop with lines. In our case it was simply equipment failure.

- If you need to tie up two boats in rough seas be extremely careful. Given the sea conditions it was very challenging to tie up the boats and someone on either boat could have severely injured a hand. This is especially true for inexperienced boaters that may feel that you can simply push two boats apart which is very difficult in heavy seas and with larger boats.

Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228576
06/24/2020 05:38 PM
06/24/2020 05:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 632
MD, USA
polaris Offline
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MD, USA
While waiting for Mike Beswick to relate the Unchain My Yacht, I will share my most painful experience on a sailboat. So, after trolling during a sail in the Grenadines I stored the rod and it's really big hook on the lifeline and then promptly jammed my arm solidly onto the hook. So, there I was standing there with this damn thing stuck into the inside of my right forearm. I first started to just pull it out and quickly discovered why it had that big barb on the end, pulling it would have torn up the arm - and it was painful enough already. In the back of my mind I knew that hook would need to be shoved so the barb would come out, but didn't really want to seriously consider that. It so happened I had a surgeon and 2 nurses onboard and they took over. The nurses started pouring Hydrogen stuff on the wound and dosing the patient with dark rum. By this time it seemed like everyone on the boat had taken their turn wriggling the hook to see just how well set it really was - with sweat running down my face. Now the surgeon took over and without saying a word not-too-kindly pushed and twisted the hook so the barb was sticking out of the arm - did I mention how painful this all was (more dark rum!)? Now I had the hook shaft sticking out one part of the arm the the barb sticking out next to it. Now the fun started as we quickly learned just how strong those hooks are and we had nothing that would cut off the barb. So someone got on the horn and called around to boats in the harbor explaining the problem and sure enough some kind soul showed up with a proper wire cutter. After jiggling the hook around some more to get it into position for the cutter (did I mention how painful it was every time the hook was moved? - more dark rum) it was snipped off. The surgeon promptly pulled the remaining hook back out. After the nurses finished dressing the wound (and the patient) and I was almost knocked out from exhaustion I asked a nurse why it was all so painful. I will never forget her explanation, "you have to understand that surgeons do not normally operate on people who are wide awake!"

The post script is that as a joke the surgeon had his billing people send me a rather funny invoice for his services. The joke went away when I received a notice when I had not paid the bill in within 30 days. Also, the surgeon and I are still great friends.


Polaris
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228722
06/27/2020 10:12 AM
06/27/2020 10:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 355
East Lansing, MI, USA
2forBVI Offline
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Posts: 355
East Lansing, MI, USA
So many of the best stories emanate from Manchineel Bay! This one took place around 2005, by which time moorings were almost exclusively used because of the grassy bottom. At about 5 am, I was awakened to hear the unmistakable sound of something hard hitting our 50' monohull and rushed to the deck, still half asleep. A similar size vessel was banging against us (I knew immediately that it was anchor drag). Soon, three naked "older" men were on deck scrambling around for bumpers. Moments later, their three mostly naked but beautiful "daughters" appeared on deck, and one of the girls got the engine started and the crisis was averted. We tried to communicate, but no one on the other vessel spoke a word of English. The three wives on our boat were somewhat disgusted by what they saw. The three of us guys had a lot of private laughs about "fantasies" that none of us would publicly admit to ever having!


"If we weren't all crazy we would go insane!"
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228847
06/28/2020 08:22 AM
06/28/2020 08:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,216
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
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Posts: 1,216
Bucks County, Pa.
So, not a sailing story but a driving story on Tortola, some might consider that just as dangerous. My first trip down, 2002, my friend and I and our two young daughters.

We drove down to Brewers Bay and I was petrified of the steepness of the road and too scared to drive out the same way. So we look at the map and try to find another way out , I think we ventured up past Nicole's and wound up wandering along a dirt road. The road got smaller and smaller until we hit a dead end at a cliff...... To this day I have no idea where we wound up at, but in order to turn around I was afraid we would fall off the edge so i made everyone get out......just in case.
It took me about 25 K turns to get turned around and headed back to the dreaded steep hill. Needed a very stiff drink once we got home and I did not drive down to Brewers Bay again for probably 7 or 8 years!!!!

Last time I was down, we turned a corner on the decent down and a safari bus was on fire in the middle of the road right in front of us!!! Not my lucky place, but I do love it down there.


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: NCSailor] #228871
06/28/2020 09:53 AM
06/28/2020 09:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,530
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 5,530
GA/NC
Something to mention about fishing rods on a sailing boat that I also learned the hard way. Never hook the lures to the lower part of the reel or rod where people will reach to grab when they lose their balance. Always either remove the lures and hooks or hook them to the upper part of the rod or rod tip where they can’t be reached when in the rodholders.
G

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 06/28/2020 09:53 AM.
Re: Any good almost disaster stories? [Re: toast] #228896
06/28/2020 12:00 PM
06/28/2020 12:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 281
Perdido Key, Florida
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Perdido Key, Florida
One afternoon in the Fall of 2001, 3 of us decided to drive over to Brewers from Cane Garden Bay where we were staying. I noticed they had just started paving the road. We started down the steep part and I could tell that the pavement ended about 1/2 way down the mountain. Once we got closer I stopped and realized that there was about a 10-12 inch drop-off where the pavement ended, due to rain/erosion I would imagine. There was noting to prevent someone from flying off that drop-off only to lose control and crash into oblivion. No cones...sawhorses....nothing. We turned around and went to have lunch at Rhymer's. I have always wondered if anyone went off that thing at night!

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