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Old 07-05-2014, 06:31   #106
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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And personally I do think I owe the maritime world some answers. Whenever I hear a pan pan or distress call otherwise I take it very seriously. I've been a volunteer firefighter, served in the Navy myself, volunteered for terrestrial SAR efforts, and do think that the open flow of information concerning rescues is of value to those who work in response and those who might one day be in a similar situation.

When I studied for my divemaster course I read through a book that was all about diving accidents; it was a catalog of dozens of fatal or near-fatal diving accidents and went through looking at causes. That book, and other rescue training, was a large part of my decision making process. So I genuinely think that our story, in all its gory detail, needs to be out there as well so people can read it, analyze it, poke holes in it, and learn from it.

Taking it a step further, as a guy who reads Foreign Affairs and has just gone through a "media cycle" myself, I really have no interest in providing entertainment content. If someone really wants to know what happened to us, they'll take the time. They'll listen to a long interview, and they'll pay for a book that costs the same as a mediocre craft beer. And of course hit me up directly for a free copy anyway when we finally do write something.


Good post. Welcome back, and thanks for weighing in. Looking forward to your take on events, and your "This American Life" interview.

There's no doubt that there is quite a bit of value to be learned from this experience.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:53   #107
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

Sad to hear of the fate of your boat, glad to see you and your family survived.

I look forward to hearing that broadcast; whatever the factors and no doubt painful choices that led to your decision to seek aid, I have no doubt it will be instructional to others contemplating similar voyages.

Besides, I would like to update my blog post on your situation: The world encompassed: The whirlpool of controversy churns

The Rebel Heart saga has clearly struck a chord with both the ignorant and learned alike.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:57   #108
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

Would also love to hear a "what we learned and what we'll do differently next time if there is a next time" from you guys. Maybe "next time I'll make sure my wife understands basic sailing principles before we sail across the Pacific when we are teh only two responsible adults on board because if she doesn't know how to sail adn I fall off the boat then my family will die".
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:34   #109
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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Would also love to hear a "what we learned and what we'll do differently next time if there is a next time" from you guys. Maybe "next time I'll make sure my wife understands basic sailing principles before we sail across the Pacific when we are teh only two responsible adults on board because if she doesn't know how to sail adn I fall off the boat then my family will die".
Interesting. Do you have some sort of source that says that Charlotte doesn't understand basic sailing principles? That would be pretty hard to believe after the amount of time she's spent living and cruising on a sailboat.

How hard is it to make a sailboat go downwind in roughly the right direction?
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:50   #110
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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Interesting. Do you have some sort of source that says that Charlotte doesn't understand basic sailing principles? That would be pretty hard to believe after the amount of time she's spent living and cruising on a sailboat.

How hard is it to make a sailboat go downwind in roughly the right direction?

Have you ever been on a sailboat?
Have you read her blog account of the voyage? Quote from Day 3: "And Eric gently set Lyra down, placing her against a port-side bulkhead so she wouldn’t go flying, and responded, “You know, I can change the sail configuration a bit.” “What? I had no idea.” I’m such a noob to sailing long distances. “Yeah…just give me a sec.” And I crumpled to floor next to Lyra and tried to convince my stomach that I wasn’t nauseous. A few minutes later, Eric popped into view from the companionway. “Is that better?” And believe it or not, it was. I nodded, disbelieving. “Hold on, one more adjustment.”
Within a minute or two things were so much more bearable. I’m sure Eric can/will write a post explaining what he did to change things around. I know in layperson’s terms he had basically been trying to get us as due west as possible to avoid the coastal eddy effect that had been dragging us southward and he had us on a beat, which is always a pain in the neck to experience. Sailing “on a beat” means sailing into the wind, and there is an expression that explains that “gentlemen don’t sail to windward” and crikey, I can see why. "

Yes they may have lived on the boat for years but that doesn't mean they did any ocean sailing, and ask the wives of many boat owners, just because someone goes sailing doesn't mean they're picking up on anything. I think Eric and Charlotte both need to answer the question "If Eric falls overboard and is lost, can Charlotte take the boat to safety without any outside assistance?" I don't think she could.

It's not hard to make a boat go in the right direction, you just need to know what the right direction is.

Yes I have been on a sailboat, thank you for asking. . I don't particularly feel the need to prove my credentials but if you want me to I'd be happy to oblige.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:14   #111
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pirate Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

He has a point tho'.. if I'd gone over the side on my last trip my crew would not have been able to deal with the Lagoon 440 on her own to get back to me.. all she'd be able to do was keep sailing and hit the EPIRB..
And.. there was the guy in the Pacific whose GF could only stand and watch as he disappeared into the darkness.. there's more examples around than you'd think..
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:27   #112
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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He has a point tho'.. if I'd gone over the side on my last trip my crew would not have been able to deal with the Lagoon 440 on her own to get back to me.. all she'd be able to do was keep sailing and hit the EPIRB..
And.. there was the guy in the Pacific whose GF could only stand and watch as he disappeared into the darkness.. there's more examples around than you'd think..
Yep. Did they do any MOB drills with one of them going over? What do you do with the kiddoes? Yes I get that if they were always clipped in on deck the likelihood of going over is slim, but **** happens...
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:33   #113
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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And.. there was the guy in the Pacific whose GF could only stand and watch as he disappeared into the darkness.. there's more examples around than you'd think..
Yes indeed i know this story.

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Old 07-05-2014, 15:18   #114
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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Have you read her blog account of the voyage? Quote from Day 3: "And Eric gently set Lyra down, placing her against a port-side bulkhead so she wouldn’t go flying, and responded, “You know, I can change the sail configuration a bit.” “What? I had no idea.” I’m such a noob to sailing long distances. “Yeah…just give me a sec.” And I crumpled to floor next to Lyra and tried to convince my stomach that I wasn’t nauseous. A few minutes later, Eric popped into view from the companionway. “Is that better?” And believe it or not, it was. I nodded, disbelieving. “Hold on, one more adjustment.”
Within a minute or two things were so much more bearable. I’m sure Eric can/will write a post explaining what he did to change things around. I know in layperson’s terms he had basically been trying to get us as due west as possible to avoid the coastal eddy effect that had been dragging us southward and he had us on a beat, which is always a pain in the neck to experience. Sailing “on a beat” means sailing into the wind, and there is an expression that explains that “gentlemen don’t sail to windward” and crikey, I can see why. "

Yes they may have lived on the boat for years but that doesn't mean they did any ocean sailing, and ask the wives of many boat owners, just because someone goes sailing doesn't mean they're picking up on anything. I think Eric and Charlotte both need to answer the question "If Eric falls overboard and is lost, can Charlotte take the boat to safety without any outside assistance?" I don't think she could.

It's not hard to make a boat go in the right direction, you just need to know what the right direction is.

Yes I have been on a sailboat, thank you for asking. . I don't particularly feel the need to prove my credentials but if you want me to I'd be happy to oblige.
who_cares: I regret my snarky comment about being on a boat. I deleted minutes after posting it, but I see that you caught it while it was still there.

I think the question of "would the family all die" (which is what you postulated) is quite different from "could she get the boat back to Eric" which requires much more seamanship.

I've read that post and I assume that Eric cracked off a bit to calm the boat down. I don't think that that means she couldn't sail the boat down-wind to a GPS waypoint, though.

I would say that it is probably quite common for one or both people in a cruising couple to be lacking enough skill to go back and pick up their partner single-handed. My wife and I used to practice that all the time in our 26 footer, but I'm embarrassed to say we've never done it in the 35 footer.
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Old 07-05-2014, 22:41   #115
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

Eric that's great you've taken the time to respond, narrative had shifted much to you as a former contributor here, and I think this is a place you belong.

I respect your approach, look forward to the book. If you ever want to talk about it, we'll be here. I hang out here from time to time to get better at voyaging, inasmuch as a forum, book, etc can do. Learning about your slow cascade is a priority for many of us, in an academic and impersonal way.

On a personal level, all of us are very happy for your families safety, whether we know you or not. I was shocked when I heard about it.

Dude. You gotta let us in on the boat shopping. Just the mention of models you're interested in will send our imaginations reeling....

I listened to this last weeks episode of TAL on the way back from the boat....personally I was riveted, but I heard no mention of your episode. We're all big fans in this house, even my 15 yo goes to sleep listening to TAL, The Moth, Radiolab, etc.

Be prepared for a critics thread on the radio show, akin to the one on "All is Lost". Some will love, some hate, and all in between , from an entertainment, or academic perspective.

In the end none of that matters. It is a shared experience with your family, that I'm sure over time will have a lot of meaning.
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Old 07-05-2014, 23:46   #116
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

Welcome back. In the end glad everyone made it back safe. Thanks for still being here Eric and family.

Between Boatie's real life delivery and your trip proves anything can happen. I do hope the best in the path you choose. I know how it feels to lose a lot of memories and possessions those close to you cherish. Keep strong only you know and those there really can know why what decisions wrer made.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:21   #117
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg
Yup, that one if taken literally, precludes the possibility of rendering pretty much any assessment or takeaway from a wide variety of incidents...

The loss of RULE 62 and one of her crew in the Caribbean 1500 a few years ago is one of the better examples that comes to mind. Years later, and we have yet to learn much of anything beyond the initial published reports of that tragedy. Not so much as a peep has ever been heard publicly from the skipper, or other surviving crew, and a settlement was quietly reached with the surviving family of Laura Zekoll. The organizers of the 1500 never issued any sort of debrief or finding, they just wanted it forgotten. The Bahamian authorities, no investigation or official report issued that I'm aware of. Even the sailing rags remained surprisingly silent about that one, and to this day the only public airing of the incident pretty much remains confined to the archives of internet sailing forums... (I've always assumed the owner - an attorney from Atlanta - must have had some powerful influence or clout - even the Atlanta newspapers suddenly went virtually silent on the story, a relatively short time after the incident. Pure speculation on my part, of course)

Despite the absence of ALL of 'the facts', should that prevent one from voicing the opinion that the skipper's decision to attempt enter an unlit Bahamian cut at night, during a rage, was not an act of astonishingly poor seamanship? Or, that there might not be much to be gained, and valuable lessons learned, to an open discussion of such an incident, despite not having a first-hand account, or being in full possession of ALL of the facts?
I think both posters miss the point.
More facts ARE available in this case. They just have not been 'made' available yet.
More facts ARE available in the RULE 62 case, as well... They just have not been 'made' available yet :-)

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Assessment CANNOT be made fully until ALL the particulars are on the table. Speculation and hearsay are a waste of time.
We'll just have to agree to disagree... I'm obviously in the minority here, but I think a discussion of such events - even one involving a fair amount of "speculation" - can be valuable in a community such as this.

We are not a court of law, or an official investigating body, or even a journalistic enterprise charged with determining "the facts" of what actually may or may not have occurred. You've said, rightly so, nothing that is posted here will change what has happened, and "It is not our job to fix this." Seems the best we can do on these forums, is have a civil discussion of such events - and the sort of 'issues' that arise from them - that we can learn from in trying to avoid such mishaps in the future... So, I believe such discussions - even absent some of the facts, and involving a necessary degree of speculation - can often be highly beneficial to the wider community...

Boatman says that "I said it all..." about what happened with RULE 62... Actually, what I said was only the starting point, what would be really valuable for us to takeaway from that tragedy, would be an assessment of the causal chain of events that led the skipper to make such an appallingly bad call...

Now, I have my own ideas on that. I believe that was an incident primarily 'enabled' by modern electronic navigation, and that there was no way that guy would have attempted to enter the North Bar Channel back in the days prior to GPS and chartplotter video gaming at the helm. I also have a hunch this skipper had likely never, ever, had the experience of heaving-to. In addition, my guess is that he also may not have had a large scale paper chart of that area of the Bahamas aboard, that could have been spread out on a table in the saloon or nav station, and where his several options far better than attempting to enter the Abacos would have been apparent at a glance...

Obviously, all that is pure speculation on my part... But, as such events so often serve as springboards for debate on forums such as these, I think such speculation can often lead to a valuable discussion, even if they might stray or range wider beyond the known facts of any particular incident...

Quote:
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Ours is to reflect on the situation and decide for ourselves whether we would have, firstly undertaken the journey, and secondly, what bits we would have done differently. We have the unique perspective of being observers and learning without the pain of experiencing results of choices and circumstances.
So, then, you seem to agree that there is value to all of us in attempting to "reflect" upon, and learn from, such incidents... However, we're supposed to only do so in private, and such "reflections" should not be discussed in public, among a larger community of sailors? Seems to kind of defeat the primary purpose of forums such as these, no? :-)

Finally, the objection to any discussion without being in full possession of "all of the facts" surrounding such incidents begs the following question. Assume the skipper of RULE 62 at some point in time did consent to 'go public' with his own account of that tragedy. Why would you assume that his version of what transpired during that voyage would - by definition - amount to The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth...?

:-)
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:24   #118
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

I don't think anyone wants to squash differing opinions in the matter of the loss of RH, however, the survivors had not even made landfall before the ripping started. It is one thing to have a dispassionate evaluation of the events and an examination of what went wrong and how it could be remedied for future endeavors. It is quite another to start criticizing the survivors judgement or equipment before they even have their feet under them after experiencing a catastrophic loss, and enduring the terror of a sick child far from help. I too would like to know what went wrong, however I am willing to wait for the principles involved to weigh in before performing an after action review. One does not need ALL the facts in order to make a call of what you would have done in the same instance. We seafarers often are called upon to make decisions, sometimes life and death, with out ANY good information, and have to use past experience and gut instinct and hope for the best. And even if there was a decision that I find questionable in the process, I would say "That is not what I would of done" to myself, not call their judgement into question on a public forum that has a wide readership. Like it or not some of the opinions here can carry some real power to affect other peoples lives, and perhaps have unintended consequences.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:43   #119
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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I don't think anyone wants to squash differing opinions in the matter of the loss of RH, however, the survivors had not even made landfall before the ripping started. It is one thing to have a dispassionate evaluation of the events and an examination of what went wrong and how it could be remedied for future endeavors. It is quite another to start criticizing the survivors judgement or equipment before they even have their feet under them after experiencing a catastrophic loss
That is no different than the Blue Pearl thread, where those people were still on the rescue boat while many of the people protesting critical opinions here were criticizing the survivors judgement and equipment there.

I have been confused on the differences between the two events that require such differing forum approaches.

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Old 08-05-2014, 19:34   #120
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Re: Captain's Log, April 30, 2014 from the Rebel Heart Blog

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He has a point tho'.. if I'd gone over the side on my last trip my crew would not have been able to deal with the Lagoon 440 on her own to get back to me.. all she'd be able to do was keep sailing and hit the EPIRB..
And.. there was the guy in the Pacific whose GF could only stand and watch as he disappeared into the darkness.. there's more examples around than you'd think..
This is precisely why my wife and I have done separate deliveries and taken similar or complementary courses (I've taken medical and she's done diesel repair, for instance) and she's often on the helm, or changing sails, etc., because it's critical in our game plan that we have equivalent sailing skills.

After all, when you are on watch at 3 AM, you are effectively a solo sailor. You'd best have a clew, as they say. I don't want to be woken up short of "all hands". I've OK if we shorten sail at dusk and only make 2/3rds of the daylight run. There's a number of things out there I can't see at night that I would rather hit at 4 knots than 6!
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