Monday, March 05, 2012

Do Not Try to Sail the California Coast in Winter!

I received an email from a fellow Newport owner about a month ago.  Seems he had just purchased a 27' Newport and was heading north to SF from LA.  I replied that that was a dangerous proposition at this time of year and not a good idea.  He replied he had to and that he would be careful.  Read below the email exchange and the almost sinking of his boat in monster waves.

hi Craig  rey in la here and just got my self a Newport 27 i am just hanging by my sheer wiil to stay awake to replace my just ruined lap top I GOT TO LA with a back pack..... 2 wks ago
But new pal bought me a Newport 27 off e bay last week ...I am REY hello to all ..age 59, 30 yrs ago i had a ship go down under me 300 miles off cape cod I alone survived
Ive spent the last 28 yrs in the Arizona desert ,,as I try to type this its 3 am ..and I've been awake working on my new to me 1975 Newport 27 non stop 6 days now .I can barely see the fonts,shes got a yammar diesel,Ive no idea what one , i took her from LA to Catalina island a week ago for 2 days with my pal ,all-most hit the fuel dock when i lost reverse gear
made in to LA break water and all most got run over by a big black freighter bearing down on us outa  the dark at ..blasting his horns ,i went hard a port and to flank under sale,,,scared the hell outa me    
, I've rewired her found we were on fire as the last guy who had her ran a rubber fuel line on the exhaust manifold,ive got no place to live a board her after tuesday here ,so i plan to sail to frisco and anchor there ,untill i get us both squared away ,the pros say it will take me a month if i make it at all ..Ill sail all of it as Ive got not much fuel ,shes lookng good ,but shes has got a way to go in the ugly dept ,till shes like new..
I plan to got with stronger chain plates and wire then move to Thailand ..
Id like to ask for advice ,has any one gone blue water with one? I hate the tiller and am looking for a pedesal helm
and a stove ( beans all week over the oil lamp ), Ive got crappy brown jib and a new huge genoa,want to put a sink and shower in the head and some sort of cabin heater ,,
Shes not my dads 120 ft trumphy,I grew up on but I am thrilled with her, would lve to know every thing i can
about them ,, I forgot the laptop with all my charts was under a cracked hatch,so scratch on tough book ,,Ive been flat out 20 hrs now reading every
thing i can on this yacht and sailing north this time of year ive got a bd on a lap top replacement in 5 hrs .but pls write or call me at my pals till monday or  mail me and ill call you   wish to ASK YOU TO PLS LET ME KNOW WHATS UP  AT THE BAY .IVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO GET A30 DAY LIVE ABOARD SLIP  OR SHOULD I JUST GO TO SAUICLITO many thx rey
ps I've got a vhf flares and a rubber pool raft ..and too many dam beans

My Response:

 Hello Rey,

The 27 is a small boat for a winter cruise up the coast.  Be very prudent with the weather and duck in before a blow.  We lost a Newport 30 off Ocean Beach (in SF) a few years ago as they got to close to the breakers.  Make sure you have charts and talk to folks before coming in the Gate.  It's a bit tricky and hopefully more experienced sailors will chime in with details.  Also watch the tides when coming in.  Slack going to a flood is best.  Ebbs can be impossible sometimes.  Stay away from water depths below 30 feet.  There are anchorages up here and when it's not storming, Richardson Bay is a possibility.  I don't think I would be venturing north on a Newport 27 in the winter.  The weather may seem mild, but I suspect the big waves of winter are still heading our way.   Best of luck and I hope someone talks you out of coming north this time of year.  It's not the best idea and can be very dangerous.

About a month later, email from Rey (forgive the upper case)

BOUGHT A NEWPORT 27 FROM E BAY, THE YAMMAR QUIT ON DAY THREE AND I WENT TO SAIL ONLY....NOW... LA HARBOUR IS NOT SAIL FRIENDLY
NOW I AM BARELY ALIVE ,,I GOT NO BAD WEATHER REPORTS ON A STORM AND IT WAS A NICE SUNNY DAY OFF SANTA BARBARA,CHECKED IT EVER 3 HRS,
AS I SAILED FOR SAN FRAN ,SOME 400 MILES AND 30 DAYS AWAY AFTER 5 HRS .... I RAN SMACK INTO 30 FT WAVES AND 60 KNOT WINDS...IT PICKED MY 27 FT NEWPORT SLOOP CLEAR OUTA THE WATER ,THIS WAS WORSE THAN THE MOVIE A" PERFECT STORM" AS FAR AS THE SEA HITTING ME, I FOUGHT FOR MY LIFE 10 HRS UNTIL ,I HAD TO CRAWL TO THE BOW AND REEL BACK THE GENOA WHEN THE 1/2 INCH NYLON LINE SNAPPED LIKE A 45 GOING OFF ,,CAUSING THE SAIL TO RUN WILD AS I PLUNGED UP AND DOWN 10 TO 15 FT EVEN UNDER THE WAVES IN 60 MPH WINDS AND 30 FT WAVES,THEN CUTTING LOSE MY LIFE LINE WHEN IT BECAME FOULED ON A CLEAT..( A REAL BIG NO NO !) HOLDING ON WITH ONE HAND I SURVIVED IT IT RIPPED OFF A SNEAKER AND SOCK AND 1/2 MY FOUL WEATHER GEAR THE RIGGING AND SAILS GAVE WAY EVEN RIPPED APART A BIG MASTER PAD LOCK I JURY RIGGED TO THE BOOM ,,SAILS GONE, ENGINE DOWN, IT BROKE OFF THE BOOM AND BENT THE STEEL MAST THEN I COULDN'T GET THE COAST GUARD ON THE RADIO SHE DAM NEAR ROLLED MANY TIMES ..SMASHING ME AROUND THE CABIN AS CAN GOODS AND GEAR BROKE LOOSE BELTED ME ... SEA AND WIND WAS SO STRONG ,THEY AT LAST FOUND ME ( OUTA FLARES ) AND TOWED ME INTO MARINA DEL REY WHERE I SOLD HER 9,000$ WORTH OF NICE BOAT FOR 250$ AND WALKED AWAY..... TO A JUG OF RUM
I STILL HAVE FULL USE OF HERE WHEN REPAIRED SOME TIME I WILL GO BACK OUT ON HER JUST ABOUT FU**KIN NEVER TIME ....
I WILL GET ..A 40 TON STEEL HULL AND DO IT AGAIN AFTER I HEAL UP,,,, CAPT REY

Lucky to walk away with his life!

No comments: