Congratulations Conrad Colman for being awarded the Berrimilla Seamanship Trophy for an Outstanding Act of Seamanship.
"Last presented in 2005 to Berrimilla, the Seamanship Trophy is not annually awarded but earned by those who perform outstanding acts of seamanship. This year the winner is one who stood up and faced the situation that nightmares are made of. A Two-Handed entry in the Global Ocean Race, Cessna Citation was leading the fleet in Leg Two when Sam Goodchild went forward to complete a sail change in rapidly deteriorating conditions, unclipped to save time. By the time he saw the wave coming it was too late for him to do anything to save himself and in seconds he was swept into the water. To make the crisis yet more critical Sam was also not wearing a lifejacket and his layers of foul weather gear and boots started to fill with sea water, dragging him down.
It is for moments like this, when the worst happens, that comprehensive training can save lives. Conrad Colman had been at the helm at the time of the accident and saw his co-skipper swept off the bow. Following protocol, Conrad crash tacked, threw the heaving line and then, when Sam missed it, lay a waypoint and pressed the MOB button. The MOB had been mid sail change and before he could successfully sail and tack the boat back to his co-skipper, Conrad had to re-reeve the windward sheet of the headsail. Time was of the essence as Sam had to shed his waterlogged clothing, leaving him vulnerable to the coldness of the water and Conrad had to move quickly and assuredly. In 32 knot gusts and poor visibility he searched the spray, tacking and reaching until he spotted Sam, throwing him the dan-buoy and pulling him back to safety.
Conrad Colman receives the Seamanship Trophy for his calm and clear reactions in crisis, saving the life of Sam Goodchild and illustrating the importance of safety at sea and emergency management."
My favorite new app is Marine Traffic. (Actually it's not that new just new for me). Basically it gives you AIS on your iPhone or iPad. So long as you are within range of a cell tower you can get full details of vessels within range.
It's good on the iPhone and awesome on the iPad. Here are some screen shots. Basically, you use the map to see ships in your area, touch the icon to see detailed information about the vessel. It's availble for iPhone and Droid.
This month's News From The Bow is a good one including reviews of the NY Boat Showand the Sea Joule solar-powered bilge pump, how to "un-document a vessel", an outlook on this season, last but not least an especially thoughtful article by good mate, Stu Hochron, on the Costa Concordia. Here is an excerpt:
Crisis at sea, like most disasters, is the result of not one, but many poor decisions. One or more of these poor decisions in and of themselves, may go unnoticed for years aboard a ship. Unfortunately, once ignored, poor management choices often become standard operating procedures. At the current time, without the benefit of a formal inquiry, we know the following about bridge resource management aboard the Costa Concordia:
Prior successful “fly-by’s” in the same waters provided the Captain with a false sense of security
No passenger safety briefing took place
A proper alert to the Coast Guard was delayed
Initial reports to the Coast Guard were, at best, incomplete
The ship was allowed to list considerably, making lifeboat deployment difficult or impossible, before passengers began abandoning ship
The Captain may not have been on the bridge during a critical maneuver
The crew was inadequately trained and experienced to handle such an emergency
The Captain did not effectively lead abandon-ship maneuvers
If you read Yachting Monthly, the venerable UK yachting mag, you'll know all about Crash Test Boat. Here's a brief intro to CTB. You can read more here. It's so worth it! It's like Top Gear for Sailors Gone Wild.
With Hurricane Irene looking uglier by the minute, our club, Raritan Yacht Club is in a flurry of of storm prep activity. The Fleet Captain and Rear Commodore have issued some helpful information and directives.The club is going to be full-on over the next few days getting ready in case we get slammed. The club is at the West end of Raritan Bay and the mooring field is very exposed.
At the end of the day, no amount of preparation can save your boat if things get really ugly. It's about minimizing risk as best you can.
We feel especially vulnerable as Cadence is moored in the most precarious spot at the Western edge of the mooring field with the rest of the fleet above us and a nasty railroad bridge below us. If the winds and water come in from the East (most likely), all it will take is one boat to break its mooring and we are at big risk of being struck or worse yet pulled off our mooring. This has happened in the past to other boats and it makes me very nervous. If our mooring goes, the risk is Cadence will get hammered against a big iron bridge.
If the wind is out of West, it could push a lot of water out of the Bay and my concern here is grounding.
We decided to haul her. Hauling-out is no guarantee but from everything I have read, it seems like the best way to lower our risk.
There is a yard close by and we have a spot booked. They will charge us around $500, which is well worth it in my view. Better yet, I called Boat US Insurance to check on our policy. They were very helpful and said that per our policy, they will cover 50% of the haul-out cost.
The best outcome is that Irene peters out and we wasted $250. Frankly for $250 we can sleep a little better.
PS: I also just got an email from Boat US that said I could get a discount on my GEICO car insurance. I called GEICO and they were able to reduce my policy by $280. That more than pays for the other 50% of the haul-out.