partridge69351 karma2017-07-28 15:59:11 UTC
I had to study celestial navigation to get my certification, so I was quite familiar with, however even though we had a sextant on board it was useless due to the ever present thick fog. We never saw the sky until we made it the dock.
This was the scariest part of the ordeal. We had to take our last known position before the GPS died and determine a course to St. John's from there based on a magnetic compass. We had no autopilot so that course had to be steered by hand (the poor deckhands were exhausted from steering 12 hours a day). As the wind was varying between NW and SW, we always had to adjust our course accordingly, but in the end it was mostly guess work if you no instrumentation. When we actually were within range of land, we found out we were about 40 miles south of St. John's, so over all , not too bad for a lot of lucky guessing in the fog.
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partridge69267 karma2017-07-28 15:36:23 UTC
We were on a 110 guard vessel, supporting a seismic ship on the Grand Banks. Yes, we had all modern navigation equipment and charts. However, with no electricity, the emergency batteries could only supply the gps for about 12 hours, after that the charts were useless as we no position to plot.
partridge69148 karma2017-07-28 15:38:50 UTC
It was tempting, especially when we started running out of stale cookies to eat, but thankfully we made it home before anyone lost an arm.
partridge69112 karma2017-07-28 16:06:49 UTC
We were all happy as hell, but scared too. Technically the worst part was over, we'd found land, but we were in a unique situation geographically and mechanically. We had to dock in St. John's NFLD, which has a very very narrow entrance to it's harbour and little to no tugs to assist you. Due to the lack of power, we knew once we got into the harbour and put the engine in neutral to slow down, it was unlikely we would have enough power to re engage the engine again if needed so it was a one shot deal to get it right. A very small tug and the local pilot boat had to help us get into the dock.
Once we were tied up, everyone breathed a big sigh of relief and went down the gangway pretty quickly, There's no way I can describe the feeling of relief when your feet hit solid ground after an ordeal like that.
partridge69107 karma2017-07-28 15:51:09 UTC
It was thick fog pretty well the entire time we were out there. The first day the wind was thankfully quite calm, but the next day it picked up 35 knots from the Northwest, which put it right on our bow and slowed us down even more. The seas were about 4 metres, so just enough to be uncomfortable on a 110 foot ship. The lack of visibility was the worst though. It made a bad situation into a dangerous one.
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