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Author Topic:   In Over Your Head-TGIAW
alvispollard posted 07-04-2001 11:22 AM ET (US)   Profile for alvispollard   Send Email to alvispollard  
Worse conditions on water in your whaler? Unusually bad day for May on Lake Erie. Winds were 40-50 mph sustained with gusts up to 70. An empty 18 wheeler was blown over on it's side next to lake. Since the wind was from the west, we decided to give it a try and hug the western shoreline and drift fish for walleye on the reefs. 4'-5' waves where manageable for a while until we drifted out a mile or so and found ourselves in 8 footers. The scary part was starting the motor in those conditions. Thankfully the Mariner 100 fired immediately. When we turned the boat for shore, a wave swamped the rear of the montauk and the entire rear of the boat from the seat to the transom was full of water. The boat was maxed out (1400 lbs) with 3 200+ lb men, 100 hp motor and 8 hp kicker, 150 lbs of fuel, and gear. Fear set in for an instant until the 100 kicked in at full throttle and 90% of water exited above the transom cutout. In a couple of minutes the 1100 gph rule took the remaining 10% out. As my heart resumed beating and I caught my breather, I could only think one thought- TGIAW (Thank God It's A Whaler)! Very forgiving boat for those times when poor judgment is used. TGIAW!
Tsuriki BW posted 07-04-2001 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Sniff.. Sniff..Nah...
Eric posted 07-04-2001 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Gusts to 70 on Lake Erie, and you went out? Hey, these are great boats, but I haven't seen one with handles on the bottom! And Lake Erie is cold enough to kill you pretty fast that time of year.
Dick posted 07-04-2001 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I wouldn't take my Montauk out in anything like that, and have my doubts that a Montauk and it's passengers could survive it.
Tom W Clark posted 07-05-2001 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Father Pollard,

I have been out in conditions like those you describe, in my first Montauk, and I must respectfully call BS on your story. Nobody would actually choose to “go fishing” in such conditions!

The one occasion I have been out in 40 to 50 mph sustained, gusting to 70, was back in November 1981. I had crossed Puget Sound on Saturday to my mother’s house on Bainbridge Island for the weekend. Mid day Sunday the wind came up suddenly from the East. The wind blows from either the North or the South here on Puget Sound so I knew something was up. Our climate out here is generally very mild compared to other parts of the country and I have never before or since seen the wind come up so fast.

I was 19 at the time and just smart (or dumb) enough to figure that if the wind came up this fast I should get my butt in gear and head back to Seattle now if I wanted to get back at all.

The boat was on my mooring about a hundred yards off the beach. My mother was kind enough to offer to row me out to it in the 12’ Lund aluminum skiff we use for such purposes. After I was in the Montauk a gust came up and simply flipped the Lund dumping my, then in her mid 50’s, mother into the drink. Puget Sound is cold year ‘round but especially so in November.

I grabbed Ma and hauled her aboard the Montauk, then I grabbed the gunwale of the Lund and was able to flip it back over. I towed the swamped skiff to shore and off loaded my sodden mother on the beach.

At this point I should have known this was an exceptional storm and aborted my attempt to cross the Sound. But I was young and I felt I needed to get back to Seattle for classes in the morning at the UW. (This “need” to get home is one of the greatest dangers of poor judgment, and is responsible for many deaths, especially in aviation) But off I went with my life vest on. (the first time I had ever worn a PFD in my adult life)

The first couple of miles were relatively protected in the waters of Port Madison, but by the time I cleared Point Monroe I was exposed too the full force of the wind and about ten miles of fetch (which is about the maximum fetch here on Puget Sound)

The waves were the biggest I had ever experienced in my life up until then, about six feet. Because of the short fetch they were steep but I was going across them so pounding was not the worst problem for me.

The real problem was that I came off the crests the wind would grab the boat and “weathervaned” it, spin it 90° until it was going down wind. This happened every time! I was seriously beginning to wonder if I would make it.

The crossing of the Sound between Point Monroe and Shilshole is about four miles so I found myself in the middle before too long. I was scared, Really scared, but I had no choice but to press on.

I eventually made it, rounding the breakwater at the North end of the marina only to witness a 36’ Coast Guard cutter at full speed and on a semi-plane inside the breakwater! They were in a hurry to some rescue.

The few people around the ramp who saw me come in simply did not believe that I had come across from Bainbridge.

The next day the papers reported three boats lost because of the storm. I considered myself lucky and in hind sight I now consider myself incredibly stupid for having attempted such a stunt.

Bigshot posted 07-05-2001 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Helped a friend bring a 21' Eastern from Nj to Oxford MD in February. Nice day and warm(mid 40's) and we were about 10 miles from the bridge when the sky darkened and the waves kicked up. We had to slow down to about 1200rpm's due to the pitchpoling effect from a following sea of 6 footers. We had 3 bilge pumps running and the waves were just breaking over the transom. Could not head to shore due to broadsiding us. I then found out our VHF did not work and my cel phone was out of reach. We were screwed so I just kept chugging along for 5 hours. Never saw another boat all day. I realized that in Feb I had a bout 20 mins until death if we went down, so I was very careful. We made it to tilghman Island and I got out of the boat and kissed the ground. Never will I run that kind of mission without going over the boat myself and having charts and running the shoreline. Was the scariest trip I ever di and to this day I really can't remember much of it. I think my brain erased most of it to save the rest. When weather looks bad,, stay in.
whalernut posted 07-05-2001 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I know all about the fury of Lake Erie, the shallowest Great Lake! I fish out of Conneaut, Ohio and have my Currituck docked their. I have taken on 6-8 footers, but drove them correctly and deffinately not head on. I was just out side the LightHouse playing around, but only for a few minutes! I don`t care to fish Lake Erie over 4-foot wave, and slowly! Regards-Jack Graner.
Tsuriki BW posted 07-05-2001 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Can we spell T R O L L

or participating in too many communions...


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