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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #5291
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    I was privileged yesterday to attend a sobering debrief of Andy Schwenk's mid-Pacific medevac while returning from the 2022 Pacific Cup aboard his Express-37 SPINDRIFT. Andy was suffering from Necrotizing Fasciitis
    (flesh eating bacteria) of his lower leg of which 1/3-1/5 of victims succumb.

    The principles to the rescue all presented including Michael Moradzadeh, Mary Lovely, crew member Peter English, Rowena Carlson, and Andy himself. All gave first hand, factual, and at times shocking and emotional information how close Andy came to dying.

    Some takeaways in no particular order of importance: Andy's leg wound began during the Pacific Cup, days before delivery departure. It was a common cockpit "boat bite" during a squall, possibly a puncture from a cotter pin or sharp corner. The small wound was exacerbated by contact with suspect and likely polluted water in Hawaii, especially at Ala Wai.

    Two days before return delivery departure, Andy's wound was already red and developing into something serious. Andy had had similar injuries before and had always healed over time. In denial, the crew of SPINDRIFT pressed on when, in hindsight, they probably should have turned back. There were no appropriate antibiotics for Necrotizing Fasciitis either aboard SPINDRIFT or any other returning boats. It is a rare infection.

    Despite ship to shore communication difficulties and initial Cost Guard hesitation and misdiagnosis, the role of George Washington University providing 24/7 Maritime Medical Access remote medical consultation for offshore sailors requiring medical advice cannot be overstated in Andy's case. This access, contracted by the Pacific Cup, cost racers $70. For Andy, GW recognized the seriousness of the situation. Once the Coast Guard heard GW's professional analysis that Andy could die within 48 hours, they stepped in with the full force of their assets including two C-130's, two Jayhawk helos, refueling planes, and a mid ocean parachute team. All this saved Andy. But it began with GW.

    Particular emphasis at the presentation was given to the importance of every one in the crew of racers and delivery crews understanding the use of the communication system(s) aboard. As well, emphasis was placed on water ingress degrading cell phone charging cords,and VHF, and AIS masthead signals. Despite PacCup skipper denials, 80% of racers flunked their initial inspection requirement that their AIS signal be seen on Marine Traffic. These VHF failures were primarily due to water degradation and corrosion, often hidden at the masthead or internally, and was a debilitating problem for SPINDRIFT during Andy's emergency. Primarily thanks to MM's expertise and persistence, as well as an emergency VHF antenna onboard SPINDRIFT, they made their compromised coms work. But proactive maintenance and testing would have eased this particular concern, and not just on SPINDRIFT, but throughout the fleet.

    It was wonderful to see Andy walk to the podium yesterday after months or rehab at Stanford. Thanks to all who made his recovery and this meeting possible.

    https://www.cdc.gov/groupastrep/dise...fasciitis.html
    Last edited by sleddog; 11-03-2022 at 07:13 AM.

  2. #5292
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    I'm sorry to have missed this excellent debrief, as I followed Andy's rescue and recovery very closely. I am super glad that Andy is recovered enough to have sailed last weekend in RYC's Great Pumpkin Regatta, and that he was able to be a participant in this informative sounding talk. I am also grateful to hear that corrosion in on board communication equipment and wiring was discussed. Highly critical and vulnerable gear.

  3. #5293
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    Dec 2012
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    I too am sorry to have missed the notification of this.
    Andy's story is sobering, and I share the gratitude of the positive outcome.

    I have been tracking this, as well as the com difficulties noted in the recent report out from CCA of the Newport - Bermuda incident.
    Though the 2 events are unrelated in cause and resolution they do share a commonality of coms difficulties.
    The CCA report does not mention AIS difficulties, but it does go into some detail revolving around sat com failures and the difficulties presented by a lack of 2 way communication with the USCG.
    some of that appears to be down to lack of training and knowledge of available systems by the remaining crew.
    In that case the password for the one and only wifi device set up for the iridium Go!, which was their sole sat com device, died with its owner.
    While this delay in coms probably did not affect the outcome, it is none-the-less concerning
    It is not long stretch to spin that scenario out to a submerged or corroded charging cable, a dropped or damaged device etc. could leave a boat without 2 way communication.
    My point here is not only training, testing and maintenance; more importantly that any system with a single point of failure should immediately be suspect offshore.
    Food for thought as we prepare for the 2023 SHTP.

    DH

  4. #5294
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    What happens at Blossom, stays at Blossom..Maybe. Here is Hank Easom on blue SERENADE rounding Blossom Rock buoy yesterday in a 3 knot ebb during the Golden Gate Midwinters. There were collisions and some conversations in the traffic jam behind SERENADE. Thanks to Cindy Evans aboard ANOTHER GIRL for the short video.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x2w...ew?ts=63683e4a

    Blossom Rock, a notorious hazard to navigation with only 5 feet of depth, was initially blown with dynamite in 1870. Today there is 40 feet of water over Blossom Rock. But for yacht racing in big tides, it is still a major hazard. https://www.sfbaysss.org/forum/print...&pp=10&page=87
    Last edited by sleddog; 11-06-2022 at 08:11 PM.

  5. #5295
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    Boom brakes have been around for years. And come in different makes and sizes. The object, similar to a climber's rappelling device, is to create enough friction to slow the boom crossing during a gybe to a manageable and safe speed.

    I've never used a boom brake until recently experimenting with a Walder on a 30 footer with a 12 foot boom.. Am having difficulty controlling the gybe speed unless a hands on approach is used and the boom brake check line is eased by hand during the gybe. I might as well be using just the mainsheet instead. And yes, I've experimented with the suggested adjustment of check line wraps, tension, and location.

    Would be curious if any readers have consistently used a boom brake in winds > 15 knots and have been able to achieve a hands free, automatic, and safe gybing speed without having to make an extreme turn of the boat in both directions to create and then cushion the gybe, as well as having to adjust the boom brake check line on a winch during the gybe.

    Any positive or negative comments appreciated, and Macapuno at CBC deck to the best explanations.
    Last edited by sleddog; 11-06-2022 at 09:43 PM.

  6. #5296
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    Singlehanders are known for their unique inventions, creative problem solving, and minimalistic and environmental friendly approaches. As well as operating on the fringe of the law. Here's a colorful account from a CBC roving Port Captain while Howard is at Ivanpah dry lake, near Vegas, racing his freshly minted, mini-skeeter.

    "The 89 Toyota pickup has been resurrected enough to make a run to the dump. The truck sat for 14 years, so it is as cranky as Rip Van Winkle. Troubleshooting is diminishing and the rack is ready to bring kayak or canoe to CBC. Issues for smog approval are not resolved. The truck was converted to run on propane back in 1990. There is a nice sticker inside the hood that tells the CARB executive order that approved the conversion. The smog technician was concerned about the specifics of the approval ( equipment specified), but CARB has not digitized the documents from 1990. Since CARB could not find a copy of the order, the assumption is that I created the problem. But, I was lucky enough to find a manager that may be able to find the supporting paperwork. The truck has been driven 206k miles, passed all smog tests along the way, even though CARB can not manage their own record keeping.

    I am the second owner of the propane truck, with my former employer being the initial owner. Since owning the truck, I have driven around 100k miles with propane as the fuel. It has been an interesting experience and the latest smog issue is just another episode. Destinations have included New Jersey and LaPaz. The truck and I should be good for at least another 150k miles."
    Last edited by sleddog; 11-06-2022 at 09:08 PM.

  7. #5297
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    What happens at Blossom, stays at Blossom
    I was at the Richmond YC bar when Cinde Lou, Milly and crew arrived after that race. Milly was her calm, measured self, CL a bit wild eyed in a colorful crocheted hat a la Ruth Suzuki. They were still excited about winning that race even after starting late. I suspect that doesn't happen often in that particular boat crowd.

    This viewer would have appreciated a longer length feature film, and besides, I couldn't really hear all the language. Next time maybe add subtitles?
    Last edited by Philpott; 11-07-2022 at 10:37 AM.

  8. #5298
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Would be curious if any readers have consistently used a boom brake in winds > 15 knots and have been able to achieve a hands free, automatic, and safe gybing speed without having to make an extreme turn of the boat in both directions to create and then cushion the gybe, as well as having to adjust the boom brake check line on a winch during the gybe.
    As posted elsewhere, I installed Wichard's Gyb'Easy boom brake. It worked well during the Pacific Cup, both to reduce the shock loads during shorthanded gybes and as a preventer in lighter wind and swells. When used as a brake, we usually had it tied off to the midship mooring cleats so the winches were available for the spinny sheets. When used as a preventer we usually had it on a winch for quicker release.

    Assuming your testing was done on the Olson 29, I'm pretty certain that is too small a main with insufficient loads for the brake to work as designed. I haven't used the Walder but the Gyb'Easy with one loop might work with those lighter loads. But on that boat I'd probably sleeve the boom at the vang connection and call it good.

    https://www.sfbaysss.org/forum/showt...0026#post30026
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 11-07-2022 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #5299
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    For something completely different on a rainy day, can anyone bring down MUSHY BISCUIT, world's largest foam airplane? Don't bet on it.
    https://youtu.be/nKXQbJU70yw

  10. #5300
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    So much fun Sled !!!!We rounded just ahead of Hank, and got lucky.

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