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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Risks of the sea
Bill
11/17/2010, Oriental NC

As Randy points out in his comment below, one of the boats in our class, Rule 62 diverted to the Bahamas and hit a reef at on Saturday at 11 pm. After launching the life raft with all four crew on board, the raft was overturned in the surf as they tried to reach shore. three of the four crew made it to the beach and the forth is still missing...

On Sunrise, our hearts really go out to them as we had a taste of what they must have gone through. We diverted after only 24 hours, they were out for 5 days in very rough conditions, which is exhausting. We were able to let the Monitor Wind Vane steer, the four on Rule 62 had to hand steer for two days after their Autopilot failed (we heard them trying to trouble shoot it with another boat on the SSB). Hand steering in a big swell and gale conditions is physically exhausting. We had daylight to make our inlet, they were in the dark. We had current, wind and waves with us: Rule 62 had the current against the waves and wind... something that creates what the Bahamians call a "Rage", very intense conditions.

Like many tragic events, it is hard to come to terms with... and everyone is trying to figure out how it happened and why.

Even though we are upset by the condition of our boat, we are thankful that Sunrise was able to take the abuse, and protect us.

"the incident"
11/17/2010 | Tom Sawtell
Best wishes to you guys, I have been following your blog for close to 2 years, can't wait to get back out there. Although this is certainly the "down" side to this lifestyle, I know you will come through stronger and wiser for it.
11/17/2010 | leann Rossi
I amglad that you, your family, and the other sailors are all safe. Thank you for your blog, i have been searching for a better understanding as to what the conditions were out on the open wate. You see, Laura Zekoll is a dear friendof mine, and although it comes with great sorrow that this tragedy has occured, I at least have a sense of acceptance that she transitionedwhile in her element. I wish you all knew her as well as Ibut in essence you already do. She is a sailor....enough said...I will miss her, she gave many people a new outlook on life. If you have a chance, get to know her by helping someone else...you see, that is what her life was all about, giving a hand up...not a hand out. I have just one request, eventhough i dont know you, place some flowers at the finish line for me, in her honor, and say the serenity prayer....she would like that...hugs from leann in Atlant Ga.
11/19/2010 | elizabeth doucette
heartfelt- and no words are acceptable. i am SO glad to see you all on board- thinking of you hard since we left hampton. not enough thanks, not enough hugs. you may just pass us again yet. prayers into the universe for your sailing comrade, laura. may she always rest in the arms of the sea.
Glad we are in Pamlico Sound
Bill, 55 degrees, wind 10 knots N
11/11/2010, Long shoal, NC

Bill and Pete readies the Dingy for a quick deployment should something happen to our boat. the little girl takes the oportunitiy to swing

We departed Wanchese after doing several more checks on the boat, mostly engine: cooling water screen and impeller to see if we had sucked sand during the "incident". Everything seemed normal with the Engine. Glad we have the new BetaMarine as it has been very solid even in the face of danger...

In the Pamlico today it blew 30 knots which gave us 3' seas. We are worried about our friends who are on the open ocean with forecast for 18' to 25' seas and 30 knots of wind with gusts to 40. For us we ran with the engine and a tiny handkerchief of a genoa out so we could put the least stress on the boat. Sunrise seemed to not care that she was damaged and happily scooted along in the following seas. It was good for the crew to be under way also, although everyone was a little on edge. We are hoping that tomorrow might be sunny at least...

35 34.261'n 075 48.016'w

"the incident"
11/12/2010 | Anastasia
Sending good thoughts your way!
11/12/2010 | Estelle Crew
Just read your blog and are so glad to know that you are safe and sound, what an experience. We highly recommend Deatons boatyard in Oriental. Had very good work done there and they are terrific to work with. What are your plans re cruising now??
the short haul
Bill
11/11/2010, Wanchese, NC

Well, it is hard to see in the photo... we obviously banged the rudder at some point in the "incident". Banged hard enough to crack the fiberglass at the top of the skeg and pop the fairing compound around all the hinges. Note the wet spot above the prop. the bottom paint has vertical cracks in it that indicate that the skeg was stressed there. I have more photos, of course...

Other damage is to the base of the mast post, where it is tabbed into the keep and hull. We have not done a rig inspection to see if there was any damage from the shock.

We are now back in the water and plan to motor carefully across the north side of Pamlico sound to where we can get some knowledgeable people to help repair the damage.

For the crew: we discussed PTSD and continue to share our emotions and feelings left from the ordeal. Of course it helps to make jokes about different moments that at the time were not so funny. For me, one of the most bizarre moments was when I called for everyone to put on their Type 1 PFDs, maybe because it was the first time I verbalized that I felt we were in serious danger. We hope to get everyone to post their rendition of the event.

Of course we also discussed what we can learn: Lots... Don't go out when we know the conditions are gnarly, regardless of what others say and others are doing... And we feel we made the correct decisions... aborting the crossing, picking the right crew, sailing the right boat, having new standing rigging, securing everything on board, not having stuff lashed on deck, spending time making sure the little right details were taken care of...

"the incident"
11/11/2010 | George Mora
I got such a feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw your course change dramatically back towards land. What an ordeal. I'm so glad you're all safe, if rather battle-scarred. But so sorry to hear about the boat. Sending healing energy to all, Sunrise herself included.
Had to be there...
Bill
11/09/2010, Wanchese, NC

There is a fine line between a tragety and a really good story. Here we pose with our Type 1 PFDs and have a story to tell!! A really good story.

24 hours since we left Hampton... Wish you were there... and we weren't! Or something like that:

Although leaving the Chesapeake was nice and peaceful... and everyone went to bed allowing the 3 hour watch schedule to start with Bill and Pete taking turns.

As the night went on, the north east swell started crossing the wind chop which came from the NW. The wind built to 25-30 knots. the main was reefed then eliminated completely. The genoa was finally furled to about 30%.

As we approached the outer banks we made the call to end our agony and head in. We picked the notorious Oregon Inlet...

Pete was at the helm and bill was looking for marks. The channel was well marked... and while we were in the middle of it, all of a sudden we started to see breaking waves ahead of us. Before we could react, the boat thudded on the bottom. We looked behind us and waves were cresting, ahead the water was dirty with sand. There didn't seem to be any clear water. The keel crashed on the bottom again. And again, and again... We gave it full throttle and let out the genoa... All of a sudden we saw some clear (no breaking waves) to the north. While Pete struggled to keep us from ending up broadside to the wave, Bill called the Coast Guard on the radio. The girls put on PFDs and continued the discussion with the Coast Guard. Pete drove the boat between crashes toward the clear water... And we were off in deep water...

It felt like eternity but was probably less than 5 minutes... Emotions ran hi as we raced toward the bridge under full genoa and full power the coast guard cutter arrived on the scene. We were happy to see them. As we followed the cutter toward Wanchese harbor, we checked for damage, finding only a small leak at the stern. We will have the the boat hauled out in the morning to inspect the outside for damage.

"the incident"
11/10/2010 | Randy
Holy crap! Man, I am glad you guys made it in. I remember the Oregon Inlet and thinking I would not want to try that. Hope the damage is minimal. Most important: you guys are safe. Let us all know how things work out.

Randy
11/11/2010 | Green
Yikes! I hope the haul out went well. Take care and say hi to the girls for us.

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