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Thread: Sea Wisdom: What happened out there?

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  1. #1
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    Default Sea Wisdom: What happened out there?

    Will Lee will be unable to attend the Debrief/Awards meeting on July 24, so I emailed him to ask if he would be interested in talking about his Long Pac experience aboard Sea Wisdom. He agreed and we met in the KKMI yard on July 10, one week after the start of the race on July3.

    Here's what he had to say:

    https://vimeo.com/347607793

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    Last edited by Philpott; 07-11-2019 at 07:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Will Lee will be unable to attend the Debrief/Awards meeting on July 24, so I emailed him to ask if he would be interested in talking about his Long Pac experience aboard Sea Wisdom. He agreed and we met in the KKMI yard on July 10, one week after the start of the race on July3. Here's what he had to say: https://vimeo.com/347607793
    Thanks Will and Jackie! The interview was highly informative and should be a part of any Safety at Sea lesson plan. Will's modesty, good humor, preparation, and redundancy is front and center throughout the interview.
    Some of Will's comments about failure of equipment are eye opening, i.e. his new handheld VHF radio on Channel 22A. His use of a SART active radar transponder was the only way the CG could locate SEA WISDOM despite the fact he was transmitting AIS, fired 2 SOLAS parachute flares, and gave the CG his precise position.

    Will has other observations worth hearing. For example his Iridium Go was not reliable for voice comms, but his Iridium sat phone was, and that was how he alerted CG SAR with his "Pan, Pan."

    Will's use of the Hydrovane self steering on the outbound leg, and the Hydrovane and Auto-Pilot combined on the beam reach home is notable. Interesting, both were damaged and rendered useless by whatever soft and heavy object he hit.

    SEA WISDOM has a large wheel steering system. The Hydrovane self steering hangs off the stern, and unlike the Monitor, has its own independent rudder. Van de Heede swore by Hydrovane to win the recent Golden Globe ATW Race. https://hydrovane.com/

    Jackie's video runs 51 minutes, and is a goldmine of information.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-12-2019 at 09:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    His use of a SART active radar transponder was the only way the CG could locate SEA WISDOM despite the fact he was transmitting AIS, fired 2 SOLAS parachute flares, and gave the CG his precise position.
    Hi folks, I'm just an occasional lurker here, but I made the crossing solo to Kaua'i on my own in 2016 a few weeks before the race departed that year (LA > Nawiliwili > SF on an Ericson 35-II). One of the takeaways from the SSS workshops I attended that year was the need for redundancy in key areas, especially with comms and finding ways of transmitting my position in the event of emergency.

    As I watch this video, I'm unsure how it's possible Will Lee could not be located through at least these three means of determining/communicating position. I don't know what post-incident reviews are carried out with the CG, but with the multiple failures in a high-traffic area, it seems this would prompt some fact-finding or post-incident review. Anyone know if that happens, and/or if the findings are published so as to inform safety practices?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignacio View Post
    I don't know what post-incident reviews are carried out with the CG, but with the multiple failures in a high-traffic area, it seems this would prompt some fact-finding or post-incident review. Anyone know if that happens, and/or if the findings are published so as to inform safety practices?
    Hi, Ignacio. I remember you from the pre race seminars. Then you kind of wandered off. It is nice to hear from you again. Earlier today I sent a thank you email to the SF Coasties and to Vessel Traffic, along with the video of Will Lee's experience in the LongPac. Robert Blomerth, Director of Vessel Traffic Service, Sector San Francisco, responded with a thank you email. Any additional response from either agency will be posted here.
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-12-2019 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Was the boat's VHF base station DSC, and was that the one used for the first two Pan Pan calls, that went unanswered?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Hi, Ignacio. I remember you from the pre race seminars. Then you kind of wandered off. It is nice to hear from you again. Earlier today I sent a thank you email to the SF Coasties and to Vessel Traffic, along with the video of Will Lee's experience in the LongPac. Robert Blomerth, Director of Vessel Traffic Service, Sector San Francisco, responded with a thank you email. Any additional response from either agency will be posted here.
    Thanks Jackie. Yes that was a tough year. I had the boat in LA (Cabrillo Marina) that I had sailed there from Alameda in 2015. But I live in Petaluma. I spent 2015-2016 driving between Petaluma and LA throughout the year doing prep, fabricating, installing, etc.... before I finally departed on 6/19/2016. I tried to squeeze in those seminars in between all of that.

    Thanks for posting this great interview and info. I’ll be following with interest!

  7. #7
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    Great video and I’m very impressed with Will’s preparation and thought process. And a great testament to have spelled out emergency procedures readily at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Some of Will's comments about failure of equipment is eye opening, i.e. his new handheld VHF radio on Channel 22A...
    I suspect the problem with Will’s “new handheld VHF” may be the fact that it was new. I have an ICOM handheld, but bet the Standard VHF has the same option of choosing “frequency sets” (i.e. USA, International or Canada). On an ICOM the frequency set is indicated by a tiny icon on the rather small screen. In the International set of frequencies there is 22, but it is not the same frequency as 22a in the USA set.

    To verify which frequency set is in use, look in the upper left corner of the screen.

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    Tom P.
    Last edited by Dazzler; 07-13-2019 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Add picture.

  8. #8
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    Just as an aside....Sea Wisdom is one gorgeous boat.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzler View Post
    I suspect the problem with Will’s “new handheld VHF” may be the fact that it was new. I have an ICOM handheld, but bet the Standard VHF has the same option of choosing “frequency sets” (i.e. USA, International or Canada). On an ICOM the frequency set is indicated by a tiny icon on the rather small screen. In the International set of frequencies there is 22, but it is not the same frequency as 22a in the USA set. Tom P.
    Hi Will,
    Is there anyway of telling if your VHF was set to 22A on US frequencies, or possibly to 22 on International frequencies as DAZZLER suggests is a possibility? If it were the latter, then is that a possible reason the CG and you couldn't communicate on VHF?

    Seems unlikely, but did you deploy the heavy drogue the CG passed you for towing?
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-13-2019 at 01:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Is there anyway of telling if your VHF was set to 22A on US frequencies, or possibly to 22 on International frequencies as DAZZLER suggests is a possibility? If it were the latter, then is that a possible reason the CG and you couldn't communicate on VHF?
    I added a picture of the Standard VHF to post #4 above. In the upper left corner of the VHF display it indicates which frequency set is in use.

    Tom P.

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