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Old 17-12-2009, 15:52   #241
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Whoa there - only two words...

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
....I was interested to note that she took a trip up the mast just because......
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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
......
I think it was a good idea to go aloft in good conditions, she may have to under stress. A trial run could weed out problems, not to mention checking the rig out. Having said that, I have gone aloft offshore and cannot imagine doing it while solo... shivers me timbers just thinking about it!
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It definitely wasn't "just because"... She was doing an all-over boat and rigging check before hitting the colder rougher part of the trip. Great photo on her blog from the top looking down at an empty boat - spooky.......
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A “just because” trip up the mast would have been an immature/childish daredevil prank, unworthy of a prudent skipper, and unworthy of our admiration.
Her “overall inspection” demonstrated basic prudent seamanship, which shouldn’t be overly impressive in a solo circumnavigator.
Wow, I never would have thought these two words (just because....) could create so much discussion. I must be more careful what I post .

I used them because I didn't want to speculate about what JW's intentions were in going up the mast. Her blog is not that clear on her actual intentions - at least not to me but I confess I am not fully up to speed with reading between the lines of a 16 year old female - I am sure they have a different manner of communicating than me. I could have added my own interpretation of her reasons but choose not to for reasons not necessary to explain here. So I used "just because....."

Whether it was prudent or otherwise for JW is subject to debate and again I don't hold a firm opinion on this as I think it would depend on too many variables that remain unknown to us at this time.

I speculate that I would not be going aloft for a look-see at my masthead gear after just 53 days (IIRC) of reasonably easy sailing unless I suspected a problem. I prefer to personally fit all my masthead gear before leaving port and then scan the mast head daily with binoculars to be sure all LOOKS OK. I would personally not consider going aloft unless absolutely necessary, especially when singlehanded but others whose opinion I respect don't see a problem if it is done safely. Each to their own.

And if it was just a "immature/childish daredevil prank, unworthy of a prudent skipper, and unworthy of our admiration" - well so be it - it is the nature of teenager to sometimes be so - proves that they are developing as they are designed to.

The worst case scenario resulting form such a prank is that JW dies living her dream. Yes, it would be very sad for her friends and parents and no doubt a problem for her sponsors. For me - I would still get every morning and do what needs doing and be a little sad that she would not be around anymore yet not confronted by the nature of the world and such events. Heartless - perhaps, but she is out there taking risks just like many other sailors and I respect her right to manage her own risks and live or die by the outcome.
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Old 17-12-2009, 16:09   #242
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I didn't want to speculate about what JW's intentions were in going up the mast. Her blog is not that clear on her actual intentions - at least not to me but I confess I am not fully up to speed with reading between the lines of a 16 year old female - I am sure they have a different manner of communicating than me. I could have added my own interpretation of her reasons but choose not to for reasons not necessary to explain here. So I used "just because....."

Whether it was prudent or otherwise for JW is subject to debate and again I don't hold a firm opinion on this as I think it would depend on too many variables that remain unknown to us at this time.

I speculate that I would not be going aloft for a look-see at my masthead gear after just 53 days (IIRC) of reasonably easy sailing unless I suspected a problem. I prefer to personally fit all my masthead gear before leaving port and then scan the mast head daily with binoculars to be sure all LOOKS OK. I would personally not consider going aloft unless absolutely necessary, especially when singlehanded but others whose opinion I respect don't see a problem if it is done safely. Each to their own.
Yes, her blog does not make it clear, but the information about why she went up is in the news section of her website.

Jessica Watson - day 60 update

I'm no expert, but with several weeks of cold, wind and sea coming up I imagine it's better safe than sorry. I believe conditions were suitably benign when she did the inspection so the risks around the inspection itself were minimised. As she said on her blog, and as GordMay reinforces, it's a fairly routine task for a solo circumnavigator.
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Old 17-12-2009, 23:03   #243
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Yes, her blog does not make it clear, but the information about why she went up is in the news section of her website.

Jessica Watson - day 60 update
[/quote]

You have a greater faith in the integrity of news writers than I do. I tend to view news reports less as reportage and more as spin. I do tend to trust her blog as it seems to me to be written by a "real person".
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I'm no expert, but with several weeks of cold, wind and sea coming up I imagine it's better safe than sorry. I believe conditions were suitably benign when she did the inspection so the risks around the inspection itself were minimised. As she said on her blog, and as GordMay reinforces, it's a fairly routine task for a solo circumnavigator.
Let me add that I am also no expert and I am not critical of her actions regardless of the reason why but I would probably not have done it myself.
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Old 17-12-2009, 23:20   #244
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Chafe is a real problem at sea...every account I have read of ocean passages talks about it...I think she did the right thing...she had the weather window..she has the strength..she has her health...no better time then now to get it done with and in enough advance time to repair anything she might have found had she...Good-on-ya Jess!

A risk?....no more then slipping the lines in the first place.
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Old 18-12-2009, 01:46   #245
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A “just because” trip up the mast would have been an immature/childish daredevil prank, unworthy of a prudent skipper, and unworthy of our admiration.
Rubbish. A trip up the mast - even for no specific reason is excellent seamanship. Practising these difficult and dangerous manoeuvres is the very hallmark of seamanship.

Would you rather none of us practice any drills or procedures - until its a critical situation.

Honestly that is a very silly thing to say. We have practiced going up the mast at the dock and then out on the water on mild days so that the processes are in place and we know what we are looking at when we get up there. And when cruising we go up once a month or so - just to keep an eye on things.

Seriously flawed statement
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Old 18-12-2009, 02:55   #246
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Rubbish. A trip up the mast - even for no specific reason is excellent seamanship...
Honestly that is a very silly thing to say. We have practiced going up the mast at the dock and then out on the water on mild days so that the processes are in place and we know...
I wouldn’t recommend practising dangerous activities, alone, far at sea.
As you appear to do them, accompanied, and first at dock, seems much more prudent, to me.
That Jess has to perform the requisite aerial inspection alone is one of the hazards of singlehanding.
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Old 18-12-2009, 02:58   #247
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Quote:
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Rubbish.

Seriously flawed statement
I think thats not a complete quote He goes on to say
Her “overall inspection” demonstrated basic prudent seamanship, which shouldn’t be overly impressive in a solo circumnavigator.

If you take it out of context its rubbish.

Any way Its a pretty standard procedure to do. Its prudent. I dont see where there is any question why she went up. She went up to check the rig.Thats smart. Its a new stick and its about to get a work out. Prudence as Gord stated is to check it. If a sheave was wearing poorly or the sheave pin about to drop out etc... that could be fatal. One of my earlier boats with wire halyards skipped its sheave while the sail was up. I wasn't prudent hadn't checked it. It was an absolute pain getting up the stick solo with a sail jammed in conditions that would be benign compared to 40 deg south. I assume she will do this again and a few more times.
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Old 18-12-2009, 05:45   #248
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......... I assume she will do this again and a few more times.
OK you are on, I reckon she won't go up the mast again UNLESS she has problem that needs fixing.
If she goes up more than once again, you win, if she doesn't go up again, I win and if she only goes up one more time, its a draw. Only applies to inspections, not rectification's of problems observed before going aloft.

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Old 18-12-2009, 05:52   #249
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Its a new stick and its about to get a work out.
Exactly. Don't forget that she was dismasted just before leaving, making this the first and only time her new mast and rig has been looked at. I'd say this inspection was critical before rounding the Horn.
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Old 18-12-2009, 08:59   #250
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I'm glad she included a picture, just because


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Old 18-12-2009, 11:39   #251
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I think the trip up the mast is both a badge of courage and an indicator of responsible actions by a competent sailor.

As she nears the Great Southern Ocean you can see her mindset beginning to switch from enjoying a great sail, to preparing for a great battle. Going up the mast is just one of those preparations. Even the little things like securing her crew are indicators of a professional sailor who is starting to look at every aspect of her boat and making sure that it and herself are up to the challenges ahead.
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Old 18-12-2009, 12:19   #252
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... As she nears the Great Southern Ocean you can see her mindset beginning to switch from enjoying a great sail, to preparing for a great battle. Going up the mast is just one of those preparations ...
Indeed!
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Old 18-12-2009, 13:55   #253
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OK you are on, I reckon she won't go up the mast again UNLESS she has problem that needs fixing.
If she goes up more than once again, you win, if she doesn't go up again, I win and if she only goes up one more time, its a draw. Only applies to inspections, not rectification's of problems observed before going aloft.

Prize is "getting to be right"
Ooo ooo can I play???

If all goes to plan, I expect she will carry out at least one more routine inspection, some time in the Atlantic after heading north for warmth following the rounding of Cape Horn. That would be prudent, especially if she encounters rough conditions down south, and before she heads back down for the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean, another leg which is likely to involve weeks without much weather respite.
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Old 18-12-2009, 15:29   #254
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Ooo ooo can I play???

If all goes to plan, I expect she will carry out at least one more routine inspection, some time in the Atlantic after heading north for warmth following the rounding of Cape Horn. That would be prudent, especially if she encounters rough conditions down south, and before she heads back down for the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean, another leg which is likely to involve weeks without much weather respite.
Hmm.... side bets hey - well maybe -

This idea of going north for warmth is very relative - I not suggesting it is a bad idea - just that it is easy for the onlookers (us) to get the wrong impression. From her website, JW talks of heading towards the Falklands for some respite after rounding the Horn. In this context, she is going from very rough to rough for a break from the very rough.

We must remember the the Falklands are still below 50 S with average daily mean in Jan / Feb of 11 C (51 F) and over 25 days of rain per month. JW is unlikely (in my view) to get much smooth sailing until she heads north from Tasmania. Of course there will be some quite days but not weeks at a time.
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Old 21-12-2009, 15:33   #255
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I agree with the detractors who say going up the mast is a foolhardy thing to do. I don't think I've ever heard of a sailor going up a mast... what stupidity! The other day I heard a rumor that a trucker downshifted on the highway. What an idiot.
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