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Thread: LongPac Updates

  1. #41
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    Jan 2013
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    Montara, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Big thanks and congrats Tom, for the many hours, days, weeks of challenging logistics and cat herding in the SSS efforts of getting the LongPac contingent out and back safely. This race would not have happened without your dedicated efforts.

    A question for any who want to respond. What is a good online location for those out of the area and unable to speak with this year's LongPackers, whether finishers or not. I for one will not be able to attend the trophy presentation, yet would love to hear as many "debriefs" as possible. Maybe right here on this thread? Or someplace else?
    Big thanks to Tom as RC and keeping the cats all herding nicely together. Skip, if we think about it ahead of time, we should be able to set up a steaming video or at least a Skype connection for those who'd like to listen in. I'll see what I can do to facilitate this.

  2. #42
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    Sep 2007
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    I plan to post race details but I still can't organize my brain. And I'm still bouncing - the physical effects feel more post-SHTP than post-LongPac. This one was a doozy!
    Returning to RYC after the finish, I literally couldn't dock the boat. Dock mates were stationed at all four corners and on the third or fourth try, I got it lined up enough to get into the slip.

    Yesterday I did a thorough boat clean-up and damage assessment. Damage minor: Jib furling line nearly chafed through, lower shrouds very loose, head area wet due to a leaky hatch, a minor rub from the plastic dock rail (which cleaned right up) and of course, no autopilot. I hope to talk through the AP issues today with Eric Steinberg. After studying the sequence of error codes it appears I may have just worn out the old Robertson drive.

    Thanks to the R/C, dock mates and all my friends in the SSS. More to come.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    San Diego
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    71

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    Great job Bob on first leading the race and then dealing with the autopilot and sleep issues. I hope this means you will be sailing to Hanalei Bay next summer.

  4. #44
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    Jan 2014
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    Arnold, CA
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    Just to show how whacked out I was,
    I'm still flabbergasted!

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  5. #45
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    Sep 2007
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    Greg, I am so sorry. I understand all-too-well how it could happen, but that doesn't take away the sting.

  6. #46
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    Jan 2013
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    Montara, CA
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    Greg, that just sucks. I'm so sorry. It doesn't, however, diminish you doing the race in very 'sporty' conditions.

  7. #47
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    Sep 2007
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    I've tried in vain to organize the race into an ordered commentary, so I'll just post recollections as they come to mind. Here are a few about being forced to hand-steer for long stretches:

    Surprise! is fast. Her speed comes from low wetted surface/prismatic coefficient and a short-chord keel and spade rudder. She lacks the directional stability of say, a Cal 40 with it's much longer keel. She balances well but you simply can't let go of the helm, even briefly.

    Having placed an over-reliance on her supposedly robust hydraulic linear drive, I hadn't set up an alternative sheet-to-steering arrangement or backup cockpit AP. The Pelagic I saved from Ragtime! was on the workbench at home. So I had two options: Hand-steer or heave-to. I hove-to three times on the way back, evident from the track. The first time was to attempt to restore the AP and failing that, to communicate with the R/C and prepare for 14-18 hours of hand steering to get home. I moved everything I thought I'd need into the cockpit, made/ate a sandwich and used the head. Then I got back underway.

    The second heave-to was after seeing and talking with Sea Wisdom. I had to take a break, eat and get some rest. I no longer considered myself to be in the race and was just focused on getting home without assistance. I set my alarm for 90 minutes and got up at 0130, feeling pretty good and thinking I might be able to gut it out the rest of the way. I was wrong.

    I don't remember how long it was, but it was still dark when I hove-to the third time. I was starting to push the tiller the wrong way and accidentally jibed a couple times in the strong wind. I'd had a canned, high-caffeine drink and concentrated as hard as I could on the compass, but I couldn't stay with it. So I called VTS on Ch. 12 to see if they could locate me on AIS. That team is great. They knew right where I was and although they couldn't make any promises, they said I could stop for awhile without being in the path of any ships. In fact, they said the next ship shouldn't be transiting that area until the next day around 1300. When I awoke it was getting light and I was shocked at the amount of wind and the size and steepness of the waves. "I have to start sailing in THIS?"

    On a lighter note:

    I got cold at one point, not quite shivering but needing more layers. Everything was out of reach in the cabin and I didn't want to heave-to again. What could I do? The telescoping boat hook was within reach in the cockpit locker so I extended it and poked around in the pile of clothes below and speared another mid-layer. With one hand always on the tiller it was a chore to get the foulies off, don the mid-layer and put everything back on. Peeing was a total PITA for similar reasons.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Discovery Bay, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I've tried in vain to organize the race into an ordered commentary, so I'll just post recollections as they come to mind. Here are a few about being forced to hand-steer for long stretches:

    Surprise! is fast. Her speed comes from low wetted surface/prismatic coefficient and a short-chord keel and spade rudder. She lacks the directional stability of say, a Cal 40 with it's much longer keel. She balances well but you simply can't let go of the helm, even briefly.

    Having placed an over-reliance on her supposedly robust hydraulic linear drive, I hadn't set up an alternative sheet-to-steering arrangement or backup cockpit AP. The Pelagic I saved from Ragtime! was on the workbench at home. So I had two options: Hand-steer or heave-to. I hove-to three times on the way back, evident from the track. The first time was to attempt to restore the AP and failing that, to communicate with the R/C and prepare for 14-18 hours of hand steering to get home. I moved everything I thought I'd need into the cockpit, made/ate a sandwich and used the head. Then I got back underway.

    The second heave-to was after seeing and talking with Sea Wisdom. I had to take a break, eat and get some rest. I no longer considered myself to be in the race and was just focused on getting home without assistance. I set my alarm for 90 minutes and got up at 0130, feeling pretty good and thinking I might be able to gut it out the rest of the way. I was wrong.

    I don't remember how long it was, but it was still dark when I hove-to the third time. I was starting to push the tiller the wrong way and accidentally jibed a couple times in the strong wind. I'd had a canned, high-caffeine drink and concentrated as hard as I could on the compass, but I couldn't stay with it. So I called VTS on Ch. 12 to see if they could locate me on AIS. That team is great. They knew right where I was and although they couldn't make any promises, they said I could stop for awhile without being in the path of any ships. In fact, they said the next ship shouldn't be transiting that area until the next day around 1300. When I awoke it was getting light and I was shocked at the amount of wind and the size and steepness of the waves. "I have to start sailing in THIS?"

    On a lighter note:

    I got cold at one point, not quite shivering but needing more layers. Everything was out of reach in the cabin and I didn't want to heave-to again. What could I do? The telescoping boat hook was within reach in the cockpit locker so I extended it and poked around in the pile of clothes below and speared another mid-layer. With one hand always on the tiller it was a chore to get the foulies off, don the mid-layer and put everything back on. Peeing was a total PITA for similar reasons.
    Man, does that sound familiar. In 15 the wind wasn't nearly as bad as you all experienced this time but the sleep issue and hand steering sucked. I wish I had done what you did and hove to for awhile to get some sack time.
    Last edited by mike cunningham; 07-10-2019 at 09:12 AM.

  9. #49
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Having placed an over-reliance on her supposedly robust hydraulic linear drive, I hadn't set up an alternative sheet-to-steering arrangement or backup cockpit AP.

    Glad to see you and everyone made it home safe. Congrats to all!

    As to the 'robust' drive fallacy, the exact same thing happened to us on PacCup 2012 -- putting all the eggs into one hydraulic basket which failed at the race mid-point, due to operator error. Very tough hand steering so far.

  10. #50
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    Aug 2013
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    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogen View Post
    Glad to see you and everyone made it home safe. Congrats to all!

    As to the 'robust' drive fallacy, the exact same thing happened to us on PacCup 2012 -- putting all the eggs into one hydraulic basket which failed at the race mid-point, due to operator error. Very tough hand steering so far.
    In the run up to the 2018 SHTP a friend on the dock asked if I had a backup to my hydraulic below-deck AP. No, said I, smug in the knowledge that the Monitor wind vane would be my primary means of self-steering. I explained that I had used the Monitor successfully virtually every time off shore for more than a year, including for all of my qualifier in March.

    Then in the race, of course, I did not set the vane after clearing the Gate, and instead let the AP steer the boat -- until it died during the SSB morning roll call on day 3. And only then did I realize that in all my supposedly vast experience with the Monitor I had always relied on the AP to steer while rigging the vane's steering lines to the the wheel adapter and setting the air paddle to the present course. So stooopid to have not thought of that until that moment. It is not so easy to set up the vane alone at sea with no AP.

    Even after getting the Monitor in operation the first time there were several times over the first half of the race where I sorely missed the AP. The system I had used for connecting the steering lines to the wheel adapter worked quite well in typical So Cal conditions but wasn't up to the rigors of the trade winds and large seas, and had to be re-set a number of times. The worst episode was at 3 AM local time, mid ocean, when both steering lines unwrapped from the wheel adapter in 25+ wind and 10+ seas. Trying to hand steer in those conditions while simultaneously struggling to get the system back together was rather challenging.

    Hats off to Bob J for enduring considerably worse.

    My hydraulic AP has since been restored -- the computer had failed, and the factory was able to repair it for about $300. And my system for the Monitor's steering lines is now as close to bomb-proof as I think it can be. But I will not set off to cross an ocean again without a second AP on board.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

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