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    Re: The sinking of the modern day Bounty
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2014 Feb 10, 18:32 -0500


    Every news report was running with the story of a

    H U R R I C A N E

    and a large one at that.

    What prudent mariner sails without checking the sea state?  Many here do regularly sail:  Do you blindly leave port without a glance at the sea state, even on a normal day?  I should think not!  Add a powerful hurricane to the mix.  You still don't check the sea state?  Hmmm.

    Wave celerity is a function of the wave period.  Based upon the periods I saw, waves generated in that hurricane could cross the *entire* Atlantic Ocean in roughly 40 hours.  That's Africa to Long Island.  Except the hurricane wasn't by Africa, it was by the Carolinas.

    If he wasn't aware, he was an idiot.  If he was aware (absent proof of extreme isolation) then, as the NTSB states, he was reckless.

    I certainly did not know of any negligence of ship maintenance.  Rather, I contend the maintenance was contributory, not causative.

    Put an any ship, let alone a 3 masted one, in those sea states and high winds and the danger of broach and capsize is extraordinary.  Those were very large waves with some periods recorded at 33 seconds!  I agree that the condition of the ship was contributory.  That didn't make it any easier for the ship to live.  In the end, it wouldn't have mattered.  She was done the moment that captain "recklessly" chose to leave port

    Here's an analogy.  Do not maintain the brakes on your car.  Enter it into the upcoming Daytona 500, a high speed racing contest.  Drive blindfolded (ignoring the sea state of professional race car drivers intent on winning and you losing).  Did you wreck because your brakes sucked or because of your reckless judgment?


    Here's a link to the complete NTSB report:

    Brad, you wrote:
    "Pretty much what I stated back around the time of the incident, although some here took issue with that."

    The story is somewhat more complex --and interesting-- than your first account, but you were certainly correct that Captain Walbridge deserved all the blame. It was his bad decision to sail. Your immediate analysis that they "knew" how big the storm was before they sailed, and that this was the only issue, was not correct.

    Also, when did you yourself learn that the vessel was un-seaworthy, or barely seaworthy? Though I had heard a rumor (literally in a bar) of that on the night of the storm (and dismissed it as a rumor), the profound extent of decay was not revealed until the hearings in the Spring.

    I haven't read through the complete report yet (linked above --I will later this evening). Does it indicate that this voyage of the Bounty was scheduled to be its absolute last? That it would either be condemned in New England (and probably scrapped or scuttled) or sailed to Florida that week at the latest to become a pier-side attraction? Does it mention that this would probably be Walbridge's very last opportunity to command a tall ship? He took that opportunity, that's for sure, putting his own adventure, his own joy in sailing, ahead of the safety of his crew. And we can reasonably conclude, I believe, that he committed suicide when he saw how utterly his judgement had failed him.


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