sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Dismasting crossing the Pacific - a personal account
Dismasting crossing the Pacific - a personal account

'A dreaded sight we never want to see'    .

Probably the worst nightmare for the cruising sailor - apart from hitting a whale or a container and sinking suddenly - is experiencing a dismasting. So the prudent sailor will check and check and check again for rig integrity, but it's still there, the possibility, if you are very very unlucky. Read Marce and Jack Schulz's story, who are in the middle of crossing the Pacific - or were until this week:

It’s been 24 hours since our sudden and shocking dismasting. We are in a daze of six hour watches as we slowly motor back to Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. We’re depressed and disheartened. We had this boat in tiptop condition when we transited the canal and now we look like we’ve been hit by a bomb.

We don’t go very fast under motor, so we don’t expect to get back to Santa Cruz until Thursday, one week since we left. One week, and a year of cruising lost. It’s so sad.

Escape Velocity position -  .. .  


Here is the story as told in Marce's blog:
Today the worst thing that can happen to a sailboat happened. We were dismasted. Despite all of our precautions, despite getting all new rigging the best that money can buy, in preparation for this Pacific crossing, we have lost our rig in the middle of the ocean, four hundred miles from land.

It was Sunday morning, our fourth day out from the Galapagos on our long-anticipated passage to the Marquesas. Jack was in the cockpit, I was below in the saloon. We were reaching in 20-22 kts in somewhat lumpy seas, uncomfortable conditions but safe and manageable. Suddenly I head a loud TWANG and looked out the window to see our starboard shroud fall down in a big coil. I ran outside just as Jack said 'WHAT WAS THAT!?'

By this time I was at the edge of the cockpit climbing onto the starboard sidedeck. 'We lost a shroud!'

Jack immediately started to turn us into the wind and reached over to drop the sails. I ran across the cockpit to get the spare halyard that lives on the port side to support the mast. By the time I got there the mast was tetering dangerously toward me. The spare halyard is cleated to the port side of the mast and there's no way I can get it off without standing in the way of a wobbling mast. I ran back to tighten the starboard running backstay which was in its stored position right where the shroud had been and as I got there TWANG! it broke too. By this time Jack had released the halyards and the sails came tumbling down on deck but it was too late. A wave caught us and the wobbling mast fell overboard head first, in a mess of the sails and lines and rigging. About eight seconds had past since the shroud broke.

The mast, upside down in the water now, was held against the boat by rigging wire and lines. The boom was caught on the lifelines on the side deck, keeping the mast against the hull, working its way back and forth along the hull, pounding in the waves.

It was time for our regular morning radio check in and I told Jack I wanted to report in and get the word out in case we needed help. 'Go!' he said. I briefly told net control what happened, that we had to either secure or release the rig and that I would check in in 45 minutes. Out on deck we briefly considered trying to save the boom but where it attaches to the mast was well below deck level and out of reach, and because we have a roller furler the attachment is more complicated than a simple gooseneck We would have to let the whole rig go. There was no possible way we could secure any part of it from its upside down position and we were afraid the pounding would eventually damage the hull. The problem was the boom, caught on the only lifeline stanchions that hadn't been wiped out by the falling mast. The two of us couldn't lift it over the top because of course we were lifting the entire rig, mast, boom and sails.

Jack grabbed the mainsheet, still attached to the end of the boom and took it forward to a turning block, then had me feed it back to the power winch. The winch did what we could not, drag the boom along the side deck until it was clear of the stanchions and we could ease it over the rail. Now at least the rig was no longer a threat to the hull, but it was still attached by the port shroud and forestay.

While Jack started on those I went below to check the bilges and do the radio check in. There was a boat not too far from us standing by in case we needed help but I assured them that we were safe, uninjured and not in any immediate danger. I also told them we had let the rig go, the worst thing you can do. If we'd been able to save the boom we could have juryrigged something to keep us going. We agreed we'd check in again in two hours.

Jack got the port shroud off and now the rig was attached to the boat by just the headstay, and the whole thing was acting like a sea anchor, holding us into the wind. I thought we should try to save the jib and the camber spar but the upper half of the jib was now wrapped around the part of the headstay that had gone over with the mast. I sawed away at the sail with a knife while Jack tried to get the pin out to release the headstay. We sat on the sail to keep it from billowing up in the wind. Then we realized that if the headstay were released we'd both be swept off the deck with the jib, because the camber spar was still attached to the stay. We stopped what we were doing and worked to detach the camber spar. With that free, I finished cutting the sail off and Jack finally got the headstay free. And with that, the rig went to its watery grave.

Escape Velocity Marce and Jack Schulz - in happier times -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo


We gathered up the tools and went back into the cockpit to take stock. About an hour and a half had passed. We were both covered in sweat, pumped with adrenalin, exhausted. But there was one more thing to do. We went out on the starboard deck to pull in the broken shroud to see what had happened. We pulled and pulled and pulled and the whole thing came back, intact. What broke was the t-ball fitting that attached to the mast. Snapped off. This wasn't metal fatigue or poor tuning. It was a defective part.

So now what? We have about a 1000-mile range on fuel, not enough to continue to the Marquesas. We have only a camber spar and half a jib to effect a juryrig. We are 438 miles from the Galapagos where there are no boat services, and it's another 1000 miles to windward back to Panama. Our hearts sank.

'We have to go back,' Jack said. And I reluctantly agreed. We turned around are now motoring eastward. We don't know what's next but we are safe. We have plenty of food, fuel and water. We'll figure it out.

I'm proud that we didn't panic. We did what we had to do calmly and quickly. There's time enough for reappraisal but for now we're just glad we're ok.

The moral of this story is, of course, that no matter how careful and prudent you are, s--- happens! Sail-World wishes them a safe return to the Galapagos, followed by a speedy resolution of how to effect the repair. It could just be Ecuador next...


by Marce Schulz


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=121862

2:46 AM Tue 6 May 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society have released a 10-point plan to save the Great Barrier Reef, in response to the Queensland Government’s Draft Reef 2050 strategy. ... [more]  

The famous Henri Lloyd Summer Sample Sail is in now at the Henri Lloyd showroom in Crows Nest, Sydney! Huge range of samples and discontinued lines from Henri Lloyd's marine, footwear and lifestyle collections for men and women. Discounts of up to 80% off original RRP! ... [more]  

Researchers from James Cook Univ. have uncovered a fragment of Australia beneath Vanuatu – and it may cause a rethink on how continents are built. Geologists thought the volcanic Vanuatu islands, about 2200km east of Townsville, were isolated from continental influences. But now research by a JCU team suggests the ‘geological basement’ of Vanuatu contains ancient material from northern Australia. ... [more]  

September and October have been very busy months, with our yacht Anna Rose finally reaching the Solomon Islands. In Lata, Santa Cruz, we met with local government, ran a workshop on marine threats such as crown-of-thorns, and weathered a serious thunderstorm. Anna Rose then sailed off from Lata towards the low-lying Reef Islands. ... [more]  

We know we need them on board, but how many do we need and how do they work? The Coast Guard requires boats to have at least one B-1 marine fire extinguisher on board. Depending on the size of your boat you may need more than one. Boats under 26' have to have at least one B-1 fire extinguisher on board. ... [more]  

What one piece of low cost sailing gear could save your boat in a howling gale, or when tied up in a slip or alongside a pier, or in a swell-swept anchorage or mooring? Without it, your yacht might well become just another marine insurance statistic! ... [more]  

This Sunday, 2 November 2014, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will host a Marine Safety Equipment and Demonstration day that will focus on the latest developments in personal safety equipment and devices. ... [more]  

SOS Marine and Mobilarm subsidiary Marine Rescue Technologies ('MRT') announce today that the sMRT Inflatable SOS Dan Buoy is one of the 45 products that have been nominated for final judging by the Design Award METS (DAME) 2014 jury. The products have been selected from a total of 116 entries from 23 nationalities from all over the world. ... [more]  

Coral-Current Connections by Alice Alpert
Remote island lies in a strategic spot for research - I remember the moray eel’s toothy grin as it peeked out from a crevice beneath a lumpy yellow coral colony. Jewel-like, turquoise parrotfish flitted before my eyes. Tiny iridescent fish formed curtains of flashing colors. Sharks peered up from the abyss. ... [more]  

Innovation has been a crucial theme at METS since this leading B2B marine equipment trade show opened its doors in 1988. Surveys of the many thousands of visitors from around the world consistently show that innovation is the number one reason to come to Amsterdam each year for METS. ... [more]  

Maybe it’s because it’s a special year in 2014. Maybe it’s because folks are excited about the large fleet for the Caribbean 1500. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather on the Chesapeake. For whatever reason, a larger-than-usual number of boats have already made their way to Portsmouth and are tied up in Ocean Marine Yacht Center, ready for the week’s festivities. ... [more]  

A Global Voyage to Change Perceptions of Multiple Sclerosis - Oceans of Hope is a Sailing Sclerosis Foundation project that aims to change perceptions of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), inspiring people with the disease to overcome their own personal challenges by telling the stories of those taking part in the first ever circumnavigation by a yacht crewed by people with MS. ... [more]  

Buoy hopping is a very useful skill to employ in a narrow, well lit channel or estuary. There are, however, a few basic pitfalls that you need to be aware of in order to avoid disaster. ... [more]  

A competitive start marked the departure from Mauritius to La Réunion for the World ARC. Now berthed alongside the dock in Le Port on the north east coast of the island, the 130 nautical mile sail was a contrast to the longer ocean passages usually undertaken, allowing them to arrive during the same day. ... [more]  

Sediments associated with dredging and flood plumes could have a significant impact on fish populations by extending the time required for the development of their larvae, according to Australian researchers. 'Sediment concentrations at levels found in plumes from dredging or in floods cause a significant delay in the development of clownfish larvae,' says study lead author, Dr Amelia Wenger. ... [more]  

Safer Boating Week ended Friday, but with the start of Labour weekend here, there’s no better time to check your boat is safe and prepared to get out on the water over summer. Coinciding with Labour Weekend, new Auckland Council Navigation bylaws also come into effect from Saturday. ... [more]  

World ARC fleet explores Mauritius by World Cruising Club
After the arrival of the last boats to Mauritius, the World ARC fleet have been enjoying their time exploring what the island has to offer. The 21 yachts making up the fleet have created a spectacle in the Caudan Basin in Port Louis. The fleet dressed overall with colourful flags has proved to be one of the main attraction for the Caudan Waterfront. ... [more]  

The organisers of METS have revealed that 45 products have been nominated to go forward for final judging by the jury of the prestigious Design Award METS (DAME) 2014 competition. The products have been selected from a total of 116 entries from 23 nationalities all over the world. ... [more]  

Two German sailors who went missing in April, after being abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants and held in a jungle encampment, have been freed. A Philippine official says the pair were released just hours after it had threatened to behead one if no ransom payment was made. ... [more]  

Boating in cold weather can be exhilarating, but it also puts you at risk of falling into dangerously cold waters. Even boating in warm weather can be dangerous if the water is much colder than the air. ... [more]  

PredictWind have made significant improvements to the swell forecasting models and added new locations. Integrating the new 50km global wind forecast with ocean current data has created the most advanced swell modelling available online. By combining PredictWind forecast data with ocean current data, the effect of the wind on swells can be accounted for ... [more]  

Imagine finishing the Coastal Classic and relaxing in your own waterfront home at Opua with your boat tugging gently on a deep-water mooring off the lawn. Built to an architect design in 2000, this north-facing waterfront Opua property is a short walk to the marina and boatyard. It is going to auction on November 22. View this Labour Weekend after the Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Just the thought of falling overboard scares most sailors into a 'stay-aboard-at-all-costs' mindset. And yet this most serious of sailing emergencies does happen now and then. Recovery will be tough no matter what the marine weather conditions. ... [more]  

The Cauden Basin in Port Louis has come alive with rally atmosphere over the last week. Transformed to a vibrant marina with yachts dressed overall, boat parties and welcoming new arrivals has made for a great spectacle and an exciting place to be. ... [more]  

Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day? ... [more]  

Tell me what self-respecting Galley Guy could possibly (while on the beautiful island of Barbados) turn down an opportunity to tour the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery? For sure, not this Galley Guy! Sadly, the other Galley Guys did not get the call. ... [more]  

Discover Boating Week starts tomorrow by Boating Industry Association
Discover Boating Week is a celebration of the recreational boating lifestyle and the joys and fun that come with spending quality time on the water. Whether you're a fisherman, paddler or sailor, there is something for everyone. Over 40 events will be taking place across the state from October 18 - 25 and the best part is, they all absolutely free! ... [more]  

Boaters are reminded to keep clear of a section of Sydney Harbour on Sunday 26 October for the safe staging of The Australian Boat Race. ... [more]  

We are northwest of the southern peninsula of Haiti lying within radar range south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and drifting in the current in the direction of Port-au-Prince at less than a knot. ... [more]  

Ian Broad and Ian Lindsay and their beloved Hood Sails in Sydney have become a sail making institution on the Australian scene. Established in 1971, Hood Sail makers (Aust.) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated by the two Ian’s and it was the first Hood sail loft outside of the USA. This week we interviewed Broadie. ... [more]  

A flotilla of vessels will welcome home a Tauranga man as he sails the final stretch of a massive journey to become the first paraplegic to sail solo across the Pacific Ocean. Jonathan Martins faced his fair share of challenges during the past three years but will soon complete the record-making journey - nearly a year in the making. ... [more]  

As the Coastal Classic and general summer sailing draws closer this short video shows just how quickly someone can fall overboard. The incident happened within minutes of starting the Richmond Yacht Clubs Spring Regatta race around Rangitoto and Waiheke islands with reduced sails in 20 – 30kts of wind. ... [more]  

Boats recovery after Sydney storm by Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell said Roads and Maritime Services boating safety officers (BSO) had been busy since sunrise in Port Hacking helping with the recovery of more than 10 boats which broke their moorings overnight during stormy conditions. ... [more]  

Most boaters start the new boating season safely
70-year-old sailor skippers £100m cocaine yacht + Video
Sidney Spit, A pearl among Gulf Islands parks
Venture in Prince William Sound
Ten personal 'sailing essentials' for cruising on someone else's boat
Eleventh Malacca Straits passage for SV Crystal Blues
Discover Boating Week opens up opportunities to participate
Southern Spars team celebrates 25 years of success and innovation
Inshore reefs of the GBR especially vulnerable to ocean acidification
Estimating the diversity of life
British couple rescued from burning yacht off Almeria coast
Crystal Blues crew on board USS Carl Vinson
Vaughan Bullivant cuts Daydream Island price tag to $30 million
Update: Stunning finds from ancient Greek Shipwreck
First World ARC arrivals touchdown in Port Louis, Mauritius
Exploring sailors attitudes towards risk and safety
Search for victims in challenging marine rescue test
Whale expert to join HMB Endeavour on Eden Voyage
'Largest ever' U.S. Sailboat show cruises into Annapolis
Will your lifelines pass this sailing test?
Counter-Piracy Task Force Commanders meet in Muscat   
Typhoon Vongfong becomes 2014's most powerful storm   
Royal Navy Commander tells of dramatic rescue in storm   
Earth Wind Map - with typhoons   
Unmanned aerial vehicle offers new view of killer whales   
EU Naval Force strengthens ties in fight against piracy   
Life on the Indian Ocean for the World ARC fleet   
Kawau facilities get new lease of life - your chance to join new club   
New equipment boosts NSW marine pollution response   
TV awareness campaign calls on boaties to be safe on the water   
Canadian shipwreck discovery solves 170-year-old mystery   
British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety   
Blue Planet Odyssey yacht completes Northwest Passage transit   
Dredging of Swansea Channel gets underway   
World ARC fleet embarks on leg 11, across the Indian Ocean   
Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners   
Auckland On The Water Boat Show: Images from the final day   
Marine Wind Farms - coming to your cruising waters, what to do?   
How to make a distance scale for faster navigation   
Auckland On the Water Boat Show: World record mark set on Lancer SUP   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT