lotsa buzz tonight about the boat accident. has folks remembering their own and how to avoid them. i thought i'd share a bit of the chat...
from a friend....
It was not but a few months back that I mentioned the dangers at sea
around and about here -- to watch well the weather -- sudden squalls -- how
engines die and if you don't have sail you can pulled out to sea -- and
just drift away. Sudden squalls capsizing boat -- or drowning the intake of
machine with to much salt water -- meaning engine has to be stripped down
(and soon -- or else corrosion) before it can run again.
Remember it scared the hell out of Karla!!
But Benji and his influence must have been real hard at play to get any
belizean to take tourists out in post hurricane weather!!
That is the ultimate no-no around here.
Unless you have a small sail boat like in that story -- the perfect storm
-- that can survive anything --
And even then -- who needs stuff like that!!
But skiffs are especially deadly to be out in rough weather with.
I have been out during rough seas and have a monster wave come
out of nowhere and and literally a wall of water -- 6 feet -- 10 feet --
God only knows -- sweep one end of the boat to the other.
Drowning the outboard -- dead!! But we always have some sail set!
And can still make some headway --
The boat is with hatch covers tight down tight -- back galley door shut --
only a little water gets in.
If your on deck -- then you can have huge troubles if your not holding on
You get washed right off!
On one charter -- which I was not on boat -- Rosa was at the rudder --
crossing from Turneffes back to the reefs -- cross the blue -- when a
monster wave struck.
With fair wind - -that is the wave came in from the back.
It caught Rosa totally by surprise and washed him off the boat!!
The tourists where locked own in the cabin -- and Venanzio -- who was
crewing -- was standing up gripping the mast.
With out rudder (Rosa gone) the boat started pitching real badly --
Venanzio could not get back to it -- he just held on to the mast for dear
Rosa managed to swim back to the boat -- climbed back on -- and bring it
back under control.
The main sail got carried away -- the motor swamped and dead -- but the jib
was still there -- and they got back!!
How Rosa could ever swim back was the part hard to understand -- but then
-- he had been a conchs and lobster diver all his life -- and knows swim.
I asked Rosa why he attempted that crossing when he knew the weather was bad.
Well -- the tourist's plane was flying out the next morning -- they had to
get back to Belize City.
Even though Rosa kept telling them it was to dangerous -- they stated
freaking over missing their plane -- rosa could not handle that -- so off
they sailed into impossible waters.
I was once in a small skiff -- 18 footer -- with a forty Yam on the back.
We were over loaded --
we hit a big wave coming at us from the bow -- the boat capsized -- end for
end -- the bow went down -- the stern right up and over -- we all got
driven deep into the water as a result -- like from a sling shot.
It was at night -- dark -- black water -- I did not know which way up over
down -- so just stopped freaking -- held my breath -- and slowly floated to
the surface -- almost dead from lack of air!!
The Belizeans with me did much better -- they knew which way was up -- and
had quickly resurfaced.
But I was down so long they figured I was dead -- drowned -- and were real
surprised when I finally surfaced. So was I!!
Again -- the weather had been rough -- but when we started out -- it was
possible -- then we hit a squall ---
The Captain swam to shore while we hung to the capsized hull -- for 12 long
hours -- till a rescue boat found us.
By then the squall had long passed -- the seas quite again.
Mind you -- I have been at sea passing through some wicked storms -- huge
waves -- but long swells -- wet -- cold -- nervous as hell -- but no
problems at all -- except a little sea sickness. (well -- sometimes -- not
We have waves in rough choppy seas inside the reefs that break over boat
steady -- even in a mild rough -- you can drowned in spray.
But that does not stop us either.
It is that sudden wall of water -- with no trough -- that just hits -- from
front of back -- and your boat becomes a submarine!!
response from another friend...
first off, i dont know the details of the boating
accident/incident out of Placencia and i dont
know the diveshop or resort business well enough.
What i do know, having been reminded, is that the
captain has had a multiple incidents in the past
that has been reported in the press and is
recorded at a few private sites on the internet.
But I will say this in response to your attached
1) you couldnt pay me to have gone out in my boat
when there was a high cat hurricane pounding the
riviera maya a couple hundred miles away.
2) i never ever go out without an anchor and rope
3) i check my fuel filters (among other
things)weekly and start the engine every single
4) i never go out without a communication device
( analog phone much better at sea than digicell)
5) i dont need a sail but maybe a small outboard
to hang on the kick down jumper in the back as
Finally, it was just not smart to be out at
sea at that time in a 23', 25', or 28'( or any
size boat) footer for any price.
Had my share of accidents at sea too but when i
was in command and with others.