Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

North To Oriental 6-23/6-28

Prelude to a thunderstorm.
On our way out of Charleston, a storm was brewing......

The wind came up, cold and stiff. The wind against the tide made the seas steep soon after this photo was taken.

My only contribution to this post is:
I was a wee/little/lot bit freaked out by this storm :-) I dealt with my stress by taking as many pictures and videos as I could before we got hammered with rain. After that I laid with Valin and Drake in the aft cabin convincing them (me) that we have lots of thunderstorms in Alaska and that being in the boat is not different than being at sea. I knew in my heart that Free Spirit and her crew were capable of 10 times worse, but it was still a little freaky!

Still no rain, but rest assured it is on its way! Notice the seas are still small, but growing larger by the minute.

You can see the water running off the winch if you look closely here. The winds were only gusting to 35, but it made for a little excitement on our way out.

Thunderstorms usually involve sail changes, and this was no exception. The main was doused, and here Dave contemplates the fate of the jib. The seas built to a steep 6 feet (12 feet top to bottom), and we took a few over the bow for good measure. Free spirit handled the little squall with aplomb as she always does, but the cook got shook up a bit and the pasta went airborne. Too bad, as Laura's pasta dishes are always 5 star.

In due time, the thunderstorm rained the seas flat and melted into a dead calm by morning. This trip took us a total of 56 hours, unfortunately 46 of them were spent motoring to keep us at 4 knots.

Calms on the open ocean are eerie to behold, with such potential for powerful motion held in reserve. It makes this sailor nervous, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Along the way, we saw this box floating and decided to investigate. At the time, it felt to me like the beginning of a bad horror movie... but it turned out to be a live well or some kind of tank, lost off of another boat.

On our offshore trips we frequently hear mayday calls from other vessels, but so far we have been too far away to be of any help. The problems vary from one to another, but seem to have a common thread of recklessness, ill preparation, or other pitfalls of good seamanship. They usually end happily, but serve as a good reminder that the sea does not suffer fools gladly. It does make me wonder how that box was broken loose from its mounting, of what drama might have accompanied its separation, of what mistakes were made.

Blayde, helming Free Spirit on a very challenging downwind run into Beaufort, NC.

On a downwind run, Free Spirit keeps the helmsman busy arriving into Beaufort, NC. Adding to the difficulty was a steep following sea, a strong current, and a complex and narrow channel. Blayde handled the challenge with a great show of skill and strength, a feat any sailor could be proud of.


Blogger Gayle said...

I so would have demanded an exit strategy. As wonderfully exciting your adventures seem, and no matter how I would love to see the sights, there is no way my nerves would have lasted through that one. I'm sure there wasn't enough beer in the fridge! :) Glad you were safe! (I've missed your posting...can't wait to read more).

5:26 AM  

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Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =