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Old 27-03-2008, 15:46   #61
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Well--I think you are all being a tough on Heather. She was not setting off to cross an ocean at this point--she was making her way south with intended stops along the way. The only thing I thought she lacked preparation for was the engine and electrics knowledge which old codgers like me have picked up over the years--which allow us to fix things up until we get to the next port. Her diesel let her down once--and that can be disastrous on a lee shore if one can not claw one's way off and the damned thing has air in the pump--

While ashore a course in such things might be useful. Most of her gear was new fromn what I can deduce--so she should not have had too many unforced errors from that quarter. Her vessel was well prepared. I think the vessel would have withstood a good storm with a drogue and/ or sea anchor with plenty of sea room (there is a lot of it mid Pacific) but the physical discomfort of such a storm and the effects it can have mentally are something one can not really train for. Experiencing them early does not help much either--the best thing is to pick a weather window where one does not have a good chance of experiencing them at all.

The small boats do have longer passages--but six to eight weeks should have seen her to the Marquesas--as long as she could handle the solitude. I worked in the forests for months at a time without seeing anyone--and I loved it--but I was very glad to meet people just to use the language now and then.

People can be egged on--but I do not think this made any difference. Making one's intentions public is not a bad thing. I was looking forward to following her adventures myself--but I did advocate some precautions in the light of a possible storm. If one imagines two days to a week of being tossed like a cork in a washing machine and this does not deter you--then the storm when it happens can hardly be anything unexpected. It is hitting things and breaking things which sink small vessels--stove in hatches or portlights are fatal, ventillators which can not be closed from inside the vessel and which fail. Vessels being driven ashore is one of the main causes of loss of life--people drown in the surf or are thrown on to rocks or coral. As long as I have plenty of sea room and a sound vessel, large or small it is just an uncomfortable waiting period until the storm moves on. The larger the vessel the less discomfort--but the stresses are much greater.

I hope she gets some money together and resumes her voyage--maybe not in this Flight of Years---but perhaps in Flight of Years II
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Old 27-03-2008, 16:20   #62
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Well--I think you are all being a tough on Heather.
Naw, she got herself into a tough situation and will work her way out, She obviously has good skills and work ethic and will land her feet.
She was not setting off to cross an ocean at this point
It was the Gulf of Mexico. This is no small body of water. I would treat it as a serious offshore voyage.
.... I think the vessel would have withstood a good storm with a drogue and/ or sea anchor with plenty of sea room
From the website description, I don't think she was in any weather that even approach drogue use.
... Experiencing them early does not help much either--the best thing is to pick a weather window where one does not have a good chance of experiencing them at all.
Here's where we disagree. Experience in heavy air does make it easier to handle the next opportunity. It allows you to much better evaluate what the true conditions are, what the risks are and what the options are. I have never had any experience in anything near survival conditions. I have sailed my boat and others in enough seas and airs to more easily deal with what is thrown at me.

The small boats do have longer passages--but six to eight weeks should have seen her to the Marquesas--as long as she could handle the solitude. I worked in the forests for months at a time without seeing anyone--and I loved it--but I was very glad to meet people just to use the language now and then.
Definitely different strokes for different folks. A long slow solo trip might be just right for some.
...

I hope she gets some money together and resumes her voyage--maybe not in this Flight of Years---but perhaps in Flight of Years II
Yea, me too

Paul L
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Old 27-03-2008, 20:14   #63
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I dont see why so many of you are so blinkered about her sailing ability. She had very little. Its clearly stated on her website the tremendous LACK of sailing time with any boat let alone the one she was taking out.

3 weeks prior to her trip she wites:
Quote:
December 3, 2007 I went out sailing on my own today. Seas were 3-4 feet with chilly winds at 15 knots out of the northwest. I put on my clown-colored safety harness and shackled myself to the jackline for the first time


On her 'own' means without her sailing instructor.
Then a week later her boat is hauled for work and she doesnt sail it again till she goes.

And some her still defend her??????????

Perhaps you havent read her website?

I remember a thread a few months ago where everyone howled down a couple who wanted to do a trans Atlantic after a year sailing. But this woman is lauded for trying a circumnavigation with one weeks experience.


Its all a mystery to me.


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Old 27-03-2008, 23:45   #64
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Seamanship is the thing which comes with knowledge and experience. The sailing, especially on a boat with an eighteen foot waterline, could be learned by trial and error once one had the basics. Most trailer sailers are about that size if not as beamy or solid as a Flicka.

I had not sailed for many years on my own--I was always part of someone else's crew, but I bought my own tub and next day set sail. I pretty much singlehand all of the time it really is no big deal. I am not trying to win races--just to mooch along in comfort.

Some newbies have set sail on an ocean crossing and learned as they went--and succeeded. Others similarly optimistic but without the knowledge of what to do in an emergency set off on the ocean and have never been seen again.

I think Heather had sailed before--just not on this particular vessel. Even without a lot of experience sailing it she probably would have been OK. Sailing a beamy vessel with few vices is comparatively easy. It is the modern need for the understanding and maintenance of electronics, trouble shooting equipment and the engine, and navigation one needs to learn and learn well. For when all else fails one can drop the comparatively tiny sails and motor--as long as the engine is reliable and the gearbox sound.

I have no idea what her heading was--whether she was hugging the coast or crossing the widest part of the gulf--I am not familiar with the waters there, so I can not comment. I believe that at times it can be extremely dangerous there. If she went for the widest part of it and aimed for the shortest passage, I think she got an introduction to moderately rough water and the inevitable newbie seasickness which was a taste of things to come, but not too often one might hope.

I just thought her boat too small--with stores, spares, water and fuel sufficient for an ocean passage there would not have been much room left if it was me. Two months supply of fuel, water and food means a heavily loaded vessel and a slow trip, at least at the beginning. For me a thirty footer is the minimum--and a thirty five or larger is better.

Seasickness is a really big killer of enthusiasm.
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Old 28-03-2008, 13:40   #65
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engine

Her diesel let her down once--and that can be disastrous on a lee shore if one can not claw one's way off and the damned thing has air in the pump--
-----------------------------------------
well, !!!!!! engine what for?????""
the first lesson is if you are on a sailboat, well you must be able to SAIL..
take your boat everywhere under sail ONLY
i never , never trust the engine..
a good sailor should be able to take his or her sailig boat every where under sail only, and this take a different approch about sailing than it it not learn just following the GPS ...and view points ...
so many time , i sail everywhere (even 50 ftsmono in small marina ,even 60 fts cata !!coming into marina in the middle of the night running away from a storm and the mast hardly holding up ) , .and I cross the atlantique whitout an engine on a 40 fts .. even i bloody did miss having one , 3 days off the Acores..at only 25 miles a day under hot sun..
sailing whitout en engine is a total different approche , but mate , i learn that way , for years in France in racing boat we did not have engine at all ..and i do appreciate when there is an engine , but I can safely cruise without one , just more time patience and organisation , and a good anchor or two !!!!! (for a trip around the world even 3 is a good idea).
when i teach sailing , i teach to sail ..and i teach the people to feel confident to take their boat everywhere under sail ONLY
off course it take time to know the boat, the momentum, the turning space ..ect..and if a boat is well design and balanced , then the boat should be able to sail everywhere, under sail ONLY..now ,if you overload the boat..humm, that a bit more tricky..a boat is not a caravan..i mean a sailing baots to sail around "the world ".

i always recomend to people to learn racing on small baots, from the laser up to 40 fts ..
racing teach you to really sail a boat , and then you can used the skill to take you under sails cruising for plaisure ...ect...
but don't take my word for it ..just ask any successfull short handed sailor ,
there a few thing in life , like learning to walk before running..
now you can fly, i supose, i used to fly paraglyding myself , ..but even there you must run proprely at take off and especialy on landing.

I did not know she had little sailing experience, but do not fool yourself and other to just supporting unrealist "dreams "
i like the sentence, even for 'day dreamer like me"

"i did not prepare to fail , i fail to prepare "
it apply to all our endeavour in life ,
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:10   #66
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On board the Good Ship Venus--
My Gawd you shoulda seen us--
When the wind di'nae blaw and the ship di'nae go--
We cranked up the diesel--

Trying to get a small loaded boat to tack away fron a lee shore in a gale is pretty difficult for the best of sailors--

Then the General Grant was lost in a flat calm when the current took her on to rocks--an engine might have helped.
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:25   #67
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engine

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On board the Good Ship Venus--
My Gawd you shoulda seen us--
When the wind di'nae blaw and the ship di'nae go--
We cranked up the diesel--
Mike
i did not say , that engine are not good , but read my message carefully
i say that a sailor should be able to sail , his or her boat under sail first..
of course , i appreciate engine , the point is not there.
the point is that one should sail , always in mind that the engine can goes "puff " at any time !! out of the blue , so learn to limit to rely on it..
and many boats have been lost, damage , even lost of life because , people rely on the engine too much , like going through a bar or marina , or island passage..ect.. all sail neatly furls ..and the engine stop !!..so the boat drift on the rock or beach ,
then they realise they engine stop for so many raisons , simple as a plastic bag blocking the water inlet , or a sheet or allied in the propella..or a broken shartf , and if you have spend lots of time at sea , we must know that this always" bloody" happend in the worth moments ..
Why ? i have no idea, but with my sails always ready to hoist , and keeping always my boat in a condition than i can maneuvre under sail , or the anchor ready to drop in emergency to stop me drifting on rocks or beach on shore , sometime very fast when in 5 or 6 nds currents ,well i feel organised or prepared, now that my way ..
and from reading other people mis adventure , i prefere to be prepared.
and all the above happen to me , nor that i bring bad luck , but spend nearly 30 years at seas and around boats..

sorry for my spelling , by the way , i am dislexsique..
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:32   #68
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Mike


sorry for my spelling , by the way , i am dislexsique..
Your sentence structure and grammar have improved dramatically recently also.
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:33   #69
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On board the Good Ship Venus--
My Gawd you shoulda seen us--
When the wind di'nae blaw and the ship di'nae go--
We cranked up the diesel--

Trying to get a small loaded boat to tack away fron a lee shore in a gale is pretty difficult for the best of sailors--

Then the General Grant was lost in a flat calm when the current took her on to rocks--an engine might have helped.
i do not get the point or help you are trying to make ..
i am just trying to help people , and to give them confidence that they should , and they can take the time to realy know their sailing boats , now
great on you , if you prefere learning engine ..
we all different
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:35   #70
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migraine

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Your sentence structure and grammar have improved dramatically recently also.
thanks , i suffer terribel migraines , so this morning is not too bad,
but i sometime when my migraine kick in , for days ..
i get very bad spelling..
but alas , i do not stop thinking about boats !! i wish i did !!!!!!!
LOL
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:37   #71
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thanks , i suffer terribel migraines , so this morning is not too bad,
but i sometime when my migraine kick in , for days ..
i get very bad spelling..
but alas , i do not stop thinking about boats !! i wish i did !!!!!!!
LOL
Amazing.
Good luck in your hunt and sail with your son.
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:53   #72
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new topic

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Amazing.
Good luck in your hunt and sail with your son.
we should have a new topics :

all the "bloody thing" who goes wrong or break on a boat , when you least need it !!! and put you and the "sailing" boat in a critical situation...
and how can we prepare ourself for it ..

including making sure we have all the spare engine parts on board and well placed of course !!, just in case some well prepared sailor prefered to go down , finding why ???they loved and always so reliable engine stop , just bloody NOW !!,and minding "him" (their engine) ,.. while the boat is drifting on big nasty leeshore rock .....!!!!!
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:59   #73
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I do not disagree with your philosophy that sailing boats should sail and that is the primary purpose of them--I applaud it in fact. In my own tub I hate the sound of an engine--use it only to get an early start and charge the batteries.

However--the way to survive at sea is to keep one's options as open as possible and to plan for the worst situation one can experience. An engine and the knowledge of how to repair or maintain it plus its alternator is important. Even if a vessel is small and ruggedly built--it can still fall off a wave, land awkwardly and be instantly dismasted.

In the case of Flight of Years a lot of options had already been sacrificed but no one had pointed this out. I would not have attempted it in her vessel--but I know my limitations. Travel by mal-de-mer is not for me.

I do not think the voyage as she planned it was too daunting--just that she was trying to get ahead of the weather. I would not have even left port--I would have shipped the vessel to the West Coast and gone from there after a nice little coastal cruise. I am not she though--and she began by beating into a forty plus knot headwind gale. This is pretty futile--especially when injured, so experience in such a situation would tell one to return to port which was what she did.

The sad thing for me was her injury--and even experienced people can get injured. She could have sustained the same sort of injury mid pacific--a month's sail from any medical help--which might have seriously prejudiced her chances of surviving such a voyage. Quitting was the intelligent thing to do--and I think she made the right choice.

What is not a survival situation in a forty footer may well be in a tiny vessel such as a Flicka.

I have been on the front of a wave where my twenty odd feet of beam was about half the way up the slope, and it went up and over it very nicely, where a small vessel might have lost enough wind to stall then surf backwards.

Forty five knots of wind with a good fetch would be extremely daunting rising seas, a tough ask for a twenty footer no matter who was sailing her. She did get her heavy air experience. Her injury was the thing which really ended her trip.
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Old 28-03-2008, 16:12   #74
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--it can still fall off a wave, land awkwardly and be instantly dismasted.

mike
i do know engine off course, but we can not have all the spare parts onboard!!! how many impella do you have for the engine inlet water , on board ??
try 2 braking in a week time ?? and we still wondering why ??.


and by the way , i did dimast too , i did a jury rig ...
took me back 150 miles to land ....
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Old 28-03-2008, 16:25   #75
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philosophy ?

[ with your philosophy that sailing boats should sail and that is the primary purpose of them
----------------------------------------------------

Philosophie ? non , just "commun" sens , plain commun sens ..

once i was walking in Noosa national park , a mate phone me ,all panicking .. !!!
she was off shore going to port Steven NSW , she said
cathy our engine stop working..

well she had with her a suposed veteran of 12 Sydney - hobart Races ..( i knew him , he was racing with my ex husband on "ragamafin'
when i had him on the phone to ask him few question and check few points , i realised, He knew nothing about engine noting at all , ..he has been all these years of racing mainly sitting on the rails of maxy sailing boats
so i laugh , and i say to Olivia , go down , have a cuddle with him and wait for the wind to come back ..
true story
i still laught about it ..

the wind came back , and they did make it to Port Steven ..
she dump him ..he did not make her feel secure ( i wonder why )..
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