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Thread: Jacqueline report - long post

  1. #11
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    Bob, with respect, the SSS already legislates a great deal about how we each sail our boats. 80 minimum equipment requirements for the 2015 Longpac, SOLAS training, qualifying sails to get to the next level of competition, survey requirements and the ability of the race committee to reject a boat that it deems unseaworthy would all be good examples of how the SSS currently interjects itself on each boat and skipper in a positive way.

    Your tenure in the group is probably longer than mine (12 years), but you have to admit that we are often heavy on the gear aspects of the sport and relatively light on some of the more extreme psychological demands it places upon the skippers. More training along these lines has no downside. A fuller discussion of what happened to Mike and how it can be avoided next time is responsible and necessary.

    How you sail on your own time is obviously up to you, but how we sail as members of a group reflects on all of us.

  2. #12
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    OK guys, I started a new thread on sleep management

    http://sfbaysss.org/forum/showthread...nd-Experiences

    I have some reference data somewhere, a presentation from a famous sleep doc, and there is actually a lot of info on the internet to be found.

    Let's keep it constructive.

  3. #13
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    No Steve, how we sail during an SSS activity is up to us. It has never been SSS's job to hold anyone's hand. If you think it is, you're in the wrong group.

    You are getting a strong response from me because you have mischaracterized your examples to support your misguided point, to wit:

    1) Bill Merrick was returning from the 2006 SHTP (it was not during the race). BTW, I was a couple days ahead of him and maintaining contact via SSB. As a former Marine he was well-able to self-manage and make decisions.

    2) Wen Lin's issues were not sleep related. From the 2004 Log: "Wen Lin has been taken off his boat and is aboard a Coast Guard Cutter and on his way to Morro Bay. Two coasties are motoring his boat into Morro Bay. At present (13:20 6/28/04) they are about 50 miles out of Morro Bay. Wen was very seasick and he is also a diabetic. He was unable to keep his medication down and requested C.G. assistance."

    3) Jeanne Socrates was about to close the loop on her first solo circumnavigation (not related to an SSS activity). She did two more - her third solo circumnavigation was nonstop. When you've circumnavigated solo once you can criticize her.

    4) The French singlehander was obviously not an SSS activity.

    5) WILDFLOWER's abandonment was not during an SSS event and was a wise, reasoned choice due to Skip's need to insure his return to take care of his parents.

    Please don't play fast and loose with my friends' experiences to try to support a post.
    Last edited by BobJ; 07-19-2015 at 08:14 AM.

  4. #14
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    Bob
    Bill Merrick apparently never told you his side of the story of his rescue by the USCG on the return trip from the 2006 SHTP. The fact that he was returning from an SSS event does not relieve the SSS from being associated with the incident. He was exhausted, sleep deprived and in heavy seas and issued a Mayday call. Ergo (his Ericson 35) was taking on a significant amount of water in the cockpit from following seas and he was having difficulty handling the conditions. When the USCG arrived on station, he was hallucinating so badly that he did not recognize the flashing lights of the cutter. He thought it was a dream. The incident caused a rift in his relationship with his wife Sarah and he never attempted a long solo passage again. You are completely off base characterizing this experience - “As a former Marine he was completely able to self manage and make decisions”. But you do a good job helping me make my point by being so far off the mark.

    Wen Lin apparently never told you his story of how he called his wife and reported to her that there were two other people onboard his boat in the 2004 SHTP. She knew he was hallucinating and contacted the USCG on his behalf. While Wen’s medication was a contributing factor, it was clear that exhaustion, sleep deprivation and his inability to handle the heavy seas off Monterey were central to his situation. Your position that the SSS is not responsible since it’s each skipper’s decision on how and when to sail rings hollow. We all could have done a better job making sure that Wen and his boat were ready for the event.

    While I applaud Jeanne Socrates circumnavigations, it’s not necessary to circumnavigate to have a view on her wrecking her boat while asleep due to autopilot failure. Clearly, there’s lots to learn from other people making mistakes.

    Skip’s decision to scuttle Wildflower is more nuanced. I have great respect of Skip’s accomplishments and his stature in the SSS. In his detailed written account of the incident, his physical and psychological state in a small, light vessel in high winds and heavy seas and the fear of his autopilot not being able to handle the conditions were all central to his decision to abandon ship and call for rescue.

    The point I am making should not be controversial. We can and need to do a better job preparing solo sailors for the challenges they will face offshore. If it isn’t appropriate to have this discussion and express these views in an SSS forum, then you’re right. I am in the wrong group.

  5. #15
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    "The fact that he was returning from an SSS event does not relieve the SSS from being associated with the incident."

    This is my problem with your posts Steve. You sound like a damn prosecuting attorney trying to pin individual skippers' experiences on the SSS as its responsibility. They are not. Can and should we talk about sleep deprivation as a concern? Sure. Mike does a great job of relating his experience and I'm sure it's helpful to the rest of us. But the hang-wringing, "OMG, the SSS needs to DO SOMETHING about this horrible risk" kind of crap is not helpful.

    Your last post twists your original premise that all these incidents were sleep-deprivation and adds several other causes. That makes the whole thing, as you say, ring hollow. You are also publicly posting personal details about a couple of these people, which is really inappropriate.
    Last edited by BobJ; 07-21-2015 at 10:12 AM.

  6. #16
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    I come down strongly on the side of personal responsibility and I do my best to be responsible and conscientious. Sometimes I fail and I bear complete responsibility for these failures.

    You prepare for what you know may happen and you learn from experience and and make improvements. But, regardless, it is MY responsibility.

    I learned a lot during this race. At the top of this list: fatigue/sleep management is essential, think through backups and make sure all aspects of the B/U implementation are addressed.

    It was my personal choice to fit a class B AIS several years ago and leave it on at all times because my Son, who is a merchant mariner, tells me they don't see most sailboats on radar, reflectors or no reflectors. AIS is almost always observed. Interesting note: He also tells me even when they see a sailboat on AIS they find it difficult to spot the vessel visually.

    A couple things SSS could consider:

    1. Fatigue management seminar similar to others which were presented earlier this year with regard to fire management, etc. Although I am not an expert, I will familiarize my self thoroughly and volunteer to present this, I am certainly now an expert on the outcome of poor management. I will lean on SSS experts to assist with tips and techniques.

    2. I do not know the background of the arrangement with OYC regarding use if their facility. Obviously we are guests and must be respectful of their activities and constraints. SSS skippers meetings were, in some cases, right on top of OYC beer cans and it was very difficult to hear or ask questions during SSS presentations scheduled for those dates. Can anything be done to use another room at the club or, perhaps, schedule a different day? I recall prior to Farallons, Brian B, used a conf room on the lower floor to hand out and demo the trackers. Could we possibly use that room for skippers meets?

  7. #17
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    I wonder if Dr. Stampi is ever in the Bay Area.

    Most agree the room noise is a problem. Jim Antrim's great talk about wave formation also got drowned out (no pun intended) a couple years ago. We've used the board room downstairs for smaller meetings but we outgrew it for the regular meetings.

    I wouldn't want to change our great and long-standing association with OYC (plus we share some members) but we can probably afford to rent the room on another night to hold a seminar. If OYC's beer can race is happening we can meet upstairs without cost, but sharing it has been the trade-off.

  8. #18
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    Certainly adding a Seminar on this topic to the SHTP seminar set is a great idea. Consider that done.

    Brian

  9. #19
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    One final suggestion then I am shutting up.

    On the front page of the forum we list a series of key topics:

    Sinlehanded sailing
    Board Business
    The big upcoming races
    Crew list
    etc.

    I had been thinking for awhile that there ought to be a stand alone category called "Safety" or "Safety for Singlehanders" or some such.

    Having now completed the LongPac I feel a little more confident about suggesting this. I think it would help newcomers (and old timers) to find the many excellent lessons learned regarding safety topics which are currently sprinkled around the site.

    I realize it is always a challenge as to what is safety related and what is not but this can be managed by moving threads as necessary.

    I also don't think this violates the concept of personal responsibility or heaps on new rules, it just organizes information in a way that makes it easier to find threads regarding a really really important topic.

  10. #20
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    The first chapter of Andrew Evans' book on Single Handed Sailing is titled "The Mental Challenge" and addresses the topic of sleep deprivation in great detail. Perhaps worth a read.

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