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Old 06-07-2010, 16:27   #331
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I don't think staying with a boat without a means of power (sails or motor) 2000 miles from land is a great idea if other options are available. As to the currents here is an Indian Currents pix. If I remember correctly she was about in the middle between the eastbound and westbound currents - so she just might have ended up off Somalia as off Australia.
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Old 06-07-2010, 19:49   #332
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I don't think staying with a boat without a means of power (sails or motor) 2000 miles from land is a great idea if other options are available. As to the currents here is an Indian Currents pix. If I remember correctly she was about in the middle between the eastbound and westbound currents - so she just might have ended up off Somalia as off Australia.
She was at 40S. the latitude of Bass Strait.

I think Eleebana may have a point. With the rig gone, she's in a survival capsule that can make it to Australia. If they were serious about going for "youngest around, with stops", she should have at least 4 months of food on board. She's ideally placed to get benefit from both the circumpolar and the northern edge of the weather systems.

Possible Bonus.
1, The engine.
2. She still has the cabin top solar, half the orignally installed capacity - does it still work? If so she has more options, may even have electronic navigation.

Possible deal Killer. Water. Without a lot of electical power her watermakers won't work. Did she have manual backup?

Check in once a week using spare Iridium phone she has.
With just enough sail to give steerage way she could make 1-2 kts and edge closer to 32S and be in Fremantle in 2-3 months.
All the time she's getting closer to OzSAR.

Reid Stowe could have made it.
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Old 06-07-2010, 20:20   #333
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She was at 40S. the latitude of Bass Strait.

I think Eleebana may have a point. With the rig gone, she's in a survival capsule that can make it to Australia. If they were serious about going for "youngest around, with stops", she should have at least 4 months of food on board. She's ideally placed to get benefit from both the circumpolar and the northern edge of the weather systems.

Possible Bonus.
1, The engine.
2. She still has the cabin top solar, half the orignally installed capacity - does it still work? If so she has more options, may even have electronic navigation.

Possible deal Killer. Water. Without a lot of electical power her watermakers won't work. Did she have manual backup?

Check in once a week using spare Iridium phone she has.
With just enough sail to give steerage way she could make 1-2 kts and edge closer to 32S and be in Fremantle in 2-3 months.
All the time she's getting closer to OzSAR.
Had she have tried all this without making progress towards Australia or if she did actually start drifting towards Somalia in trying to reach Australia, she would have been applauded for having a "real go" and few would have criticised her for setting off the EPIRB in these circumstacnces.
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Old 06-07-2010, 21:15   #334
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... here is an Indian Currents pix.
osirissail,

Can you pass along a URL for where you found this pic?

Thanks,
Margo
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Old 06-07-2010, 22:17   #335
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Given that so many have harshly criticized Abby for even being where she was in a perfectly whole vessel this time of year, I can't believe anyone would seriously propose that she should have just drifted in a badly compromised vessel like a piece of flotsam through the southern Indian Ocean as winter really set in and conditions deteriorated further. To do so just on the hope that she might finally bump into Australia is insane, especially since her only reason to have tried that would have been to keep her quest for a meaningless, non-existent record intact.

Furthermore, since her means of communication was taken out with all antennas falling with the mast into the water, do you really think her family / shore team would have just said, "Well, we haven't heard from Abby for several days now so let's go do something else . . . maybe she'll turn up somewhere if she survives the winter . . . who's buying lunch?"


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Old 07-07-2010, 02:15   #336
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G'Day all,

Tao has it right, again. As I said in an earlier post there didn't seem to be any viable jury rig stuff left on the boat, so drifting was the best she could have expected.

I reckon that those suggesting the "big drift" have: never been in the southern ocean at any time of year let alone in the early winter, never been in a dismasted yacht at sea, and have never had to contemplate months of sitting idly while the provisions and water dwindled away.

Until you have experienced the incredible motion of a dismasted yacht in even moderate seas you can not even imagine what it might be like in the horrendous seas of a winter storm in the south. Remember, the weather that did her in wasn't even a deep low, let alone one of the ****-kickers that regularly sweep across those waters.

The prospect of a "voyage" with no ETA and no certain port of arrival would daunt a far more experienced sailor that Abby. As before, I think she shouldn't have been where she was, when she was. But opting out was her only rational action given the circumstances. It would have been a cleaner act if she had scuttled Wild Eyes, hard as that would have been.

I think that we all hope to get a more realistic view of the circumstances that lead to the dismasting, but my take is that we will get at best a highly "spun" reconstruction produced by her publicists. Pity... one might have been able to learn something from her activities.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly QldOz
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:07   #337
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Given that so many have harshly criticized Abby for even being where she was in a perfectly whole vessel this time of year, I can't believe anyone would seriously propose that she should have just drifted in a badly compromised vessel like a piece of flotsam through the southern Indian Ocean as winter really set in and conditions deteriorated further. To do so just on the hope that she might finally bump into Australia is insane, especially since her only reason to have tried that would have been to keep her quest for a meaningless, non-existent record intact.

Furthermore, since her means of communication was taken out with all antennas falling with the mast into the water, do you really think her family / shore team would have just said, "Well, we haven't heard from Abby for several days now so let's go do something else . . . maybe she'll turn up somewhere if she survives the winter . . . who's buying lunch?"


TaoJones

I think this might be about the best point yet. If my daughter were out there (not that I would let her but this is hypothetical) and I didn't hear from her at the appointed time, I would have everyone and his brother in on the search. I'd fly to South Africa and set off following her known track in a canoe if I had to.

I am surprised as well by mentions of pulling mast or boom back aboard and trying to jury-rig a system to get to shore. Is it really considered the best idea for her -- and I hate how every media mention of it is "the 16-year-old girl" but for this case, females do generally have less upper-body strength than males -- to get into water that might reach, what, 50degrees?, and it's not a millpond either, alone, and try to muscle back aboard a hunk of metal that probably weighs a significant portion of her own weight? (For that matter, I'd like to see the majority of men try it.) You'd have to have a gun to my head to get me off the boat for any reason except it's sinking under me! I've been moderately hypothermic before, and it's amazing how fast you lose capabilities you thought were solid.
The fact that someone has done it, or something like it, and survived/been successful doesn't necessarily make it a good idea - it might have been a stupid idea for them too, and they just got lucky.

I'm more or less in the "shouldn't have gone in the first place" category, but having gone, and having been in this situation, I don't think she should have made it worse by trying to drift the rest of the way, or by jumping overboard.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:56   #338
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Having been involved in considerable aviation accident investigations it is well known that a major accident is caused by a long series on minor problems that accumulated before the major event. These minor problems result in pushing the situation into a "corner" where the major event is now almost inevitable.
- - I see a series (with perfect 20/20 hindsight, right?) of events starting with selecting the wrong boat for her and continuing to equip it with less than "rock solid, proven" systems. A lot of this is driven by financial resources and of course the big one - a time schedule that was slipping away as her "competitor" was near to her finish line.
- - Add in the need for speed (versus conservatism) and you get her handlers routing her through the edge of a major storm system rather than a routing much further north which again would have cost her "time." Perpetual problems with engine and other systems diverted her from "seeing" the train wreck coming until it was too late.
- - I think the early on decisions set her on the path to failure and left her no room/time to take care of immediate threats. And again, that is all conjectured from perfect 20/20 hindsight. Trying to look into the future is always very "fuzzy" and usually includes very indistinct vision. On the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think she definitely did her best given the circumstances and I don't think anybody else, whatever the age or gender, would have done any better.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:32   #339
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She had about 20 days worth of provisions, although I am not sure of how much water she had, but I suspect, even with strict rationing, drifting along for more than a month and hoping to fetch up on an inhabited coast was probably not a good option.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:40   #340
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She about two weeks provisions and water, so drifting for months hoping to toss up on some lee shore wasn't an option.
I remember reading that in the news accounts and thinking it must be a mistake. How could she be so low on food only a few days out of Cape Town?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:46   #341
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No idea. It may have been part of the non-stop planning, though since she had been forced to stop over in Cape Town that was out, and she would probably have put into Australia or New Zealoand to reprovision eventually. At any rate, if it was a reporting error, I am not aware of it being corrected.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:48   #342
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I remember reading that in the news accounts and thinking it must be a mistake. How could she be so low on food only a few days out of Cape Town?
Really!! This was supposed to be a nonstop circumnavigation and half-way round and after stopping in Capetown she's nearly out of provisions?! Someone was mistaken or felt additional drama was needed for the story.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:22   #343
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Someone was mistaken or felt additional drama was needed for the story.
I agree. The context in which I read it was that she had enough food and water to last "at least two weeks" until rescue arrived. There's no way she off-loaded all of her food in Cape Town and left herself with only two weeks of provisions aboard to cross the Indian ocean.
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Old 07-07-2010, 14:13   #344
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Two weeks provisions was probably what was in the liferaft.


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Old 07-07-2010, 14:43   #345
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G'Day all,

I reckon that those suggesting the "big drift" have: never been in the southern ocean at any time of year let alone in the early winter, never been in a dismasted yacht at sea, and have never had to contemplate months of sitting idly while the provisions and water dwindled away.
Hi Jim

Your right of course and you usually are. Your posts are great because of the experience behind them. However, I don't understand the physics of why the motion of a dismasted yacht is so bad. I accept that it is true but my logic says there's also a lot less weight aloft. I know it wasn't an option for Abby but would the motion be more acceptable under power or just easier to bare because your making progress in the right direction.

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