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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:01 am 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Just thought that I would share with you one of my less brilliant decisions. Went out yesterday on the spur of the moment without looking at the wind conditions or forcast. I only had a spare 3 hours for a sail and when I got down to the water and set off the wind was about 5-10 knots. I set my sights on an island knowing that it was about a 16km round trip. Once I set off I realised that I left the daggerboard in the car. I think that my classic comment to myself was ' This wind is only light, I won't need it '. And for 1/2 the trip I was right. A nice gentle trip down and around the island, not a problem in the world. But what I didn't know was that while I was daydreaming around the leeward side of the island, the wind was building and eventually when the AI stuck it's nose out past the northern end, I was hit with a 20 Knot NW with waves to match. You didn't have to be an Engineer to work out the physics behind a daggerboard. The next 1km straight into the N/Wester took about an hour with 10 minute tacks which put me back to where I started. The sidways slip was almost as much as the forward movement. The wind was also building and eventually peaked at 28 knots and the waves were the biggest that I have had to tackle to date on the AI. The good thing about all this though was that after rounding the point, the angle was spot on for a quick and fun trip back home. But I did learn a valuable lesson 'always prepare for the unexpected'.

Ever done anything similar ? ( that wave at 1 min 26 sec's had me a bit worried )


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:24 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Great story Slaughter!
I had always carried a bag of spares including an aka brace and never needed it. Of course the day Jason and I collided and his brace sunk to the bottom I had left it behind in the car! :oops:
You've got that camera working well. I'm impressed with the crisp video quality! 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Thanks mate. Yeah it's my first YouTube upload so I'm also pretty happy with it. I now need to get to grips with the editing etc. It was a wild day. Met another AI bloke from Canberra out on the Lake. We were both protecting outselves from the weather on the south western tip of Wangi point. I was in a hurry to get back home and bit the bullet and had a go. It took me at least another 1/2 hour to get ot that place where you me and Chris waited for CGM. It was the first time I've been a little concerned about my situation. I'm sure though that the daggerboard, or lack of it, was the root of my problems.
Went for a paddle up Dora Creek the other day. It was so good I'm going back again tomorrow. Next week I'm off to Dunns Swamp as discussed. Really look'n forward to that. You're certainly welcome if have a spare 3 days !

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:26 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Hmmm, since it's confession time, here goes: The other day, I went for a late afternoon/evening sail out of Gosford Sailing Club. Conditions were great and I found myself going all the way to Ettalong, figuring I'd be back way before dark. Anyway, I noticed it was heavy going against the outgoing tide up the channel at Half-Tide Rocks and I found I had to cross the shallow sandy shoal to make any progress. I breathed a sigh of relief as I rounded the point at Booker Bay and roared up to the Rip Bridge. I've been under this bridge a few times, but I finally discovered first-hand why they call it the Rip. Nothing I did would get me under the bridge, against the tide. I went flat out for an hour and could make no progress - like a hamster on a wheel. In the end, I had to swallow my pride and land. Some kindly (and amused) fishermen helped me and we carried the boat across oyster-encrusted rocks for about 70 yards, under the bridge. When I re-launched upstream from the bridge, I encountered no resistance whatsoever - amazing what a difference a few yards can make. So what was it I had left behind? Respect for the power of the sea. I ended up getting back to Gosford at 9:30PM, after a very pleasant night-time cruise up Brisbane Water. Yes, I did at least remember my navigation lights.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Now Chris, don't you feel that big weight has been lifted from your shoulders by sharing that story. As soon as you mentioned 'oyster encrusted rocks' my face took that shape you get when you hear skidding tyres before a crash. I might start another thread called 'Confessions of a AI Sailer'. I don't know but in your case the daggerboard would probably add to the problem wouldn't it. ie: more surface area for the tidal water to push against ? Dunno, I'll have to think about it. Hope you had a good Christmas mate and we catch up again for a sail soon. Dunn's Swamp next week ?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Location: Sydney - Parramatta
Toilet paper....... :shock:









nah, kidding. But I do have half a roll at the bottom of the dry bag :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Slaughter wrote:
Dunn's Swamp next week ?

I'd love to Mate, but I've still got family staying. I'm definitely up for a sail when you get back though. Have a good time.

Cowsgomoo wrote:
Toilet paper....... :shock:

In case of encounters with Great Whites? :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Toilet paper.............too much information CGM. Are you still down South CGM. Didn't you go down Victoria way for the Christmas break. Did you get any sail'n in ?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:21 am 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
Slaughter wrote:
Toilet paper.............too much information CGM. Are you still down South CGM. Didn't you go down Victoria way for the Christmas break. Did you get any sail'n in ?


Maybe a clip on toilet seat that hangs off the back of an aka could be the next must have gizmo? It would probably work as a shark deterrent as well. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:09 am 
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Slaughter wrote:
Toilet paper.............too much information CGM. Are you still down South CGM. Didn't you go down Victoria way for the Christmas break. Did you get any sail'n in ?


Still down here. Been getting some sailing in. Got a little delayed with having to get a new battery for the Discovery and a few other matters so Haven't got out yesterday or today. Blowing like mad down here at the moment.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:14 am 
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Location: Marseille, France, Europe
Well this might be the good thread to share bad experiences I had in the last two days.
Monday morning I left home on the AI having in mind a stay out for the night not very far, on a huge beach I know, where I was sure I could sleep on solid ground and even hang my hammock without any problem. So I went away without much weight on board : just my hammock, a sleeping bag and pad, a few liters of water, some food, a book and light for the night and that was it I guess.
Without hurrying much, I made good progress under sail. I crossed without much hassle a channel where there usually is a heavy and stressful cargo traffic (entrance of one the biggest oil harbours in Europe).
So apart from the weather all was fine.
Now for the interesting bit : as I was approaching my destination, I noticed the main hull was riding rather low, so I turned back to discover in awe that the tail of the boat was almost submerged ! There was a pool of water in the rear storage space and the round rear hatch was under water !! First time I took water in my hull, but big time ! So I had to land in emergency, and thank God at that time I wasn't far from shore. Landing was a bit tricky in the big surf (I met heavy sea right from the start) but it went okay. I had trouble pulling the AI up the shore as it was sooooooo heavy. I guess I must have taken in some 50 liters at least !
The hatches were void of sand at the departure (I mean not particularly leaky) ; I pedaled only five minutes to get out of the harbour at first. So here are the only three explanations I have :
- 5 minutes after the start, I took my drive off as I wanted to avoid unecessary drag having the wind at my back, but I didn't use the grey plastic plug instead, and I did notice I was taking in more water than usual all along the way ;
- I left my trolley upside down in the holes and I noticed it prevents good drain from the holes
- all that in heavy conditions where I took many waves on the deck all day long (but I've already taken as much or more without taking water in the hull)
So to sum up things, I was on a shore too far from home to get back with all my food and equipment drenched (the so-called dry bags were not very efficient...) And not trees to hang my hammock from...
Still, I decided to spend the night in chilly conditions, as hey, that's what 'adventure' is all about.
In the morning after (that was yesterday), there was little wind but still some good powerful waves. I managed to clear most of them, especially thanks to the Mirage drive power which really helped my paddling. At the point where everything flattened and waves seemed to stop breaking, I decided to pull out the rudder. Unfortunately, while doing so (and that doesn't take much more than a few seconds usually), the AI took a slight angle to the waves, and one wave came unexpectedly bigger than the others and made me capsize. Yes, you can capsize the AI in the blink of an eye, I can tell you ! I'm sure I wasn't more than 30 degrees farther than a straight angle to the waves (that's the only way to pass them securely as we all know). Yet I was wiped out in a second, and my literally jumping on the side of the boat closest to the incoming wave didn't have any effect. Once in the water, I had to swim quickly to get back to the boat which was thus upside down. By the time I reached it, swept by the waves, it had gotten to a point where the mast was in contact with the sandy bottom of the sea. I was really afraid of breaking it or the mast base. I tried really hard to right the boat by retracting one ama, and making leverage between the main hull and the other ama, and despite the sail being still rolled in, it didn't work, not even close. I also tried with the two amas retracted. Didn't work. I tried to lift the mast itself, starting from its far end and progressively making way towards the boat, but it didn"t work (as it would for instance windsurfing with a formula 12.5sqm sail). I also tried to simply take out the mast of its base, but the forces where too great to make that feasible. I was really desperate, most things hanging / floating around from the boat under leash (trolley, GPS, mobile phone, fishing gear, centreboard...) . And then I suddenly had to roll in the sail as the sheeting line hook had found a way to let it go. But with the constant moves of the waves, I was soon shoulder high and with a better standing I could right the boat, away from its increasingly dangerous side-position, with the mast point on the sand. I then redeployed the amas (with difficulty in the surf as it goes without saying) and everything went OK to shore. No damage to the boat, to my relief, but in the process, I had lost my Crocs shoes + head cap + bottle of water + more significantly my paddle. That's when I decided to call my wife to rescue :mrgreen:
Lesson learnt ?
1/ leash your paddle, even on an AI
2/ when the idea of not setting up mast before launching / landing in surf, crosses your mind, just do it ! I really should have strapped it to the akas as I had thought earlier, then I think I could have righted the boat.
Here are some pictures and videos I made with the mobile phone. Not many because I wanted to keep up the battery for safety reasons... http://www.toofiles.com/fr/oip/document ... etour.html
There also is my GPS track in it.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:55 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA and more times than not, Camano Is, WA USA
Arno,
It's good you are still in one piece and got home safely. Good thing you hadn't already removed your mirage drive!
I'm wondering if your AI possibly had filled again with water and was riding low, which may have caused the wave to tip you over, and also make it more difficult to right it again?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Location: Marseille, France, Europe
Actually I was out only for about 5 minutes so water didn't have time to come in this time, and when unloading to car top the AI, I checked, just in case !
You're right, the loss of a paddle is nothing compared to a good blow on the head, without a helmet it doesn't take much to be out (and even with the floatation device that I was wearing, who knows what might happen...)
On the other hand I'm quite happy with my Musto drysuit, which didn't get in the way as one could have thought, allowing me to swim OK.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Tragic tale Arno! :shock:
Glad you made it back OK. :)
That quantity of water inside is unusual even in those conditions. I'd be thoroughly checking for hull cracks around the drivewell or scupper tubes.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Location: Marseille, France, Europe
I gave a look while rinsing the boat on return home and saw nothing wrong but as this was indoor in poor light conditions, I'll give it a second look, yes.


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