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Great lakes ships and the Fitz.

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  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,220 Senior Member
    The Great Lakes are no joke...wave patterns cause Blue Water sailors to get seasick on the lakes...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,729 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    The Great Lakes are no joke...wave patterns cause Blue Water sailors to get seasick on the lakes...
    I've only been out in Lake Ontario once and it was a pleasant beautiful day.  But in talking to the captain of the boat (40' sports fishing charter) he was telling me that Ontario can change on you in a matter of hours with little warning.  He had personally experienced enough close calls that he preferred sticking close to the coast as much as he could so he could run swiftly to sheltered port in a big hurry if needed.  

    My experience I shared above on the Sound is one of many similar ones.  That particular day we went out expecting the forecasted 2-3' seas.  Within hours we were running 8-10' and had a Coast Guard cutter constantly running by us asking us if we were Ok.  My buddy and I were pretty seasoned sailors and with a 500+lb keel under us and steady following seas we were actually doing fine but in one moment we hit a rogue wave that hit us from the side and it sent my 6'3" 235 lb buddy flying across the cabin.  He decided he was staying out with me in the cockpit for the rest of the day.

    BTW a lot of folks don't know that the face of a 8-10' wave can be 20' between the crest and through.  That's a big ass wall of water coming for you and if it breaks on top of you it's literally TONS of water landing on you.  I have seen surfboards snapped like twigs by much smaller waves.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,220 Senior Member
    edited February 2020 #34
    Recently, I was watching a show about one of the newer M/Vs on the Lakes...while they were loading the holds, the loadmaster noted that they had overloaded a center hold and put a 2 foot bend in the keel...so he loaded the holds on either end of the ship to take the bend out...
    Makes me wonder how much flexing of that type a keel can take before something really bad happens.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,729 Senior Member
    Funny how we think about those big ships being “solid”.   :D
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,157 Senior Member
    One of the two survivors of the Bradley watched the ship bend dramatically from inside the bellow deck access tunnel. Shortly after that he saw the other half of the ship disappear when it broke in two. There's a vodeo on youtube that shows the deck flexing with the wave action on an ore carrier in a storm.

    IIRC the Bradley is in 300' feet of water at a known loaction at the north end of the lake.

    The long lakers receive tremendous stress when empty. Wave frequency can really amplify the effect. The storm of 1913 was likely the worst on record. Waves over 35' with short frequency. The story has become legend for very good reason.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,220 Senior Member
    edited February 2020 #37
    This is the Number 2 Lifeboat from the Edmund Fitzgerald. These things are sturdy, well built boats.  The damage inflicted on this boat just hints at the severity of the weather the night the Fitz went down


    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,157 Senior Member
    edited February 2020 #38
    That last stretch to White Fish bay would have seen the wrath of build up across the entire lake.

    One video shows an interview with a Captain of the Canadian Coast Guard. Said his ship rolled 51° during the search.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,729 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    This is the Number 2 Lifeboat from the Edmund Fitzgerald. These things are sturdy, well built boats.  The damage inflicted on this boat just hints at the severity of the weather the night the Fitz went down


    Amazing the force water can exert!!!  Wow... 🤭
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,009 Senior Member
    This is kinda long and has nothing to do with the Great Lakes, but is about ships, so it's tangentially related. Has to do with rough waves.

    In my brief stint teaching aboard The Philippine Sea cruiser, there was a Coast Guard junior officer on board as the mission included drug interdiction and the ship would be briefly turned into a CG vessel for this purpose.  Anyway, his first tour with the CG was in Alaska, and he talked about rough seas a lot.  Said fishing boats would go out with 20 foot waves routinely.  He said on the cutter he was on, they got blue water waves up to the medal board.  I don't know how high that is, but it sounds high.

    A friend of mine and her sig other moved from Raleigh to Alaska, drove up there in in a loaded pickup truck.  He was a bush pilot, she worked in a hospital pretty far up there where in winter, no one could drive a car...sleds and snowmobiles.  They were both adventurous types.  


    Her story about the Pacific is this: they bought a used yacht that needed restoring work, which she said was pretty cheap in winter.  As far as I know, neither had sailing experience, but they planned to sail it to Hawaii in the summer. (Apparently, that's where Alaskans go to get some sun.) I haven't heard from her since, and we used to email fairly regularly.  Hope they weren't lost, but maybe they were.  Didn't know her sig oth, but she was a brave, cheerful, optimistic woman who wasn't afraid to take a chance.  I love big water so long as I'm not in it, but it will kill you in a moment, even if you're experienced.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    edited March 2020 #41
    GunNut said:
    Jayhawker said:
    This is the Number 2 Lifeboat from the Edmund Fitzgerald. These things are sturdy, well built boats.  The damage inflicted on this boat just hints at the severity of the weather the night the Fitz went down


    Amazing the force water can exert!!!  Wow... 🤭
    Torn from the rivets!  Crazy!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,157 Senior Member
    edited March 2020 #42
    Travel back in time if you like. To the thrilling days of yesteryear. Before taconite pellets. When American steel saved the free world and coal kept America warm. To the time immediately after the war when the Great Lakes were the highways of prosperity.

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