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Old 08-03-2011, 11:24   #121
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Please note the topic. While the ecology of the polar regions is a very interesting subject, it isn't sailing. If it has an effect on the sailing, which it does in this case, it should be discussed with that in mind and not as an irrelevant discussion of environmental opinion.

Please return to the topic on hand. As always your co-operation is appreciated.

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Old 08-03-2011, 13:04   #122
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

Well I think the Norwegians have been accused of pollution,but I have yet to hear of any evidence.Their vessel will leak stuff that is biodegradable.The word "pristine" has been used.Obviously McMurdo,and places like it,are not pristine.This thread started with the word "heedless" but I have yet to hear evidence that they harmed anybody or anything.They are not the first expedition to be late in the season and they certainly wont be the last.I admit it might be disastrous if "everyone" behaved as they did but I expect it will be a year or two before the next lot.
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Old 08-03-2011, 14:22   #123
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As far as the early explorers are concerned, both Scott and Shackleton had vigorous scientific aspects to their explorations and drawing comparisons to the Berserk trip make no sense to me.
And Amundsen had a vigorous scientific aspect. To his escapade .........??

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Old 08-03-2011, 23:47   #124
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

I think that the following quote from Wikipedia and the words of Roald Amundsen sum up this thread pretty well...

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Amundsen's Assessment

Amundsen's expedition benefited from better equipment and more appropriate sledge animals, a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs during that southward journey[citation needed]), an understanding of dogs and their handling, and the effective use of skis. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole. As he later wrote:
"I may say that this is the greatest factor -- the way in which the expedition is equipped -- the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order -- luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." --from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen.
Amundsen's South Pole expedition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
At the time, claiming the Pole for one's country was still possible and Amundsen did that using the technology of 100 years ago and learning from previous expeditions. This year, 200 adventurers/tourists successfully made it to the South Pole using a variety of methods from skis to planes to Ford Econoline vans. I assume though I don't know for certain that they were in compliance with the treaty provisions. There was no treaty in 1911. Science took a backseat in his expedition to exploration which gave him an advantage in his competition with Scott.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:42   #125
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

Icedog, Nice post. I agree that's a very crisp summary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nonam View Post
Well I think the Norwegians have been accused of pollution,but I have yet to hear of any evidence.Their vessel will leak stuff that is biodegradable.
Well, everything is 'biodegradable in galactic time, but on a a somewhat shorter times scale I have been told that they have spilled approximately 600lts of diesel and 30lts of motor oil both of which will have an impact on the local wildlife. In addition to that, Human waste, battery acid and rust from the hull and other contaminants will be in low enough concentrations not to effect the wildlife but will effect the water science going on (contaminating the baseline).

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Originally Posted by nonam View Post
The word "pristine" has been used.Obviously McMurdo,and places like it,are not pristine.
Man has affected the whole planet, but this is one of the last best places where that affect is the least. And there are many people going to significant effort trying hard to protect it and minimize further impact, while studying it. A 'heedless' venture such as this just shows no respect for this last best environment or the science or the people trying to preserve and study. I have seen the Galapagos destroyed these past 30 years. It once had a somewhat similar environmental status as the Antarctic but tourism money destroyed it. I believe it is worth fighting to preserve a few such 'last best' spots on the planet. Perhaps you do not. If so, this is not the place for that debate.

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Originally Posted by nonam View Post
This thread started with the word "heedless" but I have yet to hear evidence that they harmed anybody or anything.
Hmmm . . . 3 young crew members dead, led by and trusting their captain. And 2 vessels placed in danger, one damaged, both using resources, to respond to the mayday. And this experience WILL make it more difficult for future cruisers. And as I outline above they HAVE harmed the environment.

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I admit it might be disastrous if "everyone" behaved as they did but I expect it will be a year or two before the next lot.
Well, yes. We can agree on that. There will always be more thoughtless and heedless people. But this one in my mind has topped that score for the recent past years.


To look at this from a slightly more global perspective, there is (and always has been) an ongoing discussion/debate in the cruising community about the line between brave and/or inexperienced vs reckless and/or foolish. We have this debate because we help each other, and we especially like to help brave and inexperienced cruisers. But there comes a point when someone messes up so frequently and makes so many messes that we have to clean up and does such harm to the reputation of the entire cruising community that we start discussing whether we should shun them.

There was a Russian in a very small boat who wanted to go around the world, who was given great help by many in the cruising community. However he got into difficulty after difficulty and one of his 'situations' was the primary cause of the Chileans starting to enforce a requirement for cruising boats to carry Search and Rescue insurance in the Chilean channels - a requirement that has caused real problem for many subsequent cruisers.

This Norwegian Skipper got into trouble in the NWP passage and got into trouble in Spitsbergen and got into trouble in the Antarctic. And in each case left a legacy that will hurt other cruisers who are trying to conduct careful and prudent voyages. So at some point we stand up and say enough is enough.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:33   #126
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by nonam View Post
While we have all these Antarctic experts here could someone please educate me about the benefits of all this scientific research.There must be many benefits, but right now I cant think of one.
You're kidding, right? Never heard of the ozone hole?

Scientists consider antarctica to be earth's window into outer space. Much more can be done there to research stratospheric chemistry and aerosols. But it's not just about the stratosphere; much of what we know about the mesosphere, ionosphere, thermosphere and magnitosphere comes from antarctic research. We learn a great deal about the sun, especially such things as solar wind, from stations in antarctica--there's even a neutrino detector built into antarctic ice. Antarctica is a major center of astrophysical research.

Right now there's a great deal of medical and biological research going on in antarctica, especially concerning marine ecosystem dynamics. It's a great place to study population biology and physiological ecology because of how pristine the environment is at this point.

Antarctica represents 9% of the planet's continental crust. There's a huge amount or research going on there regarding geology and geophysics. It's also an important locus for studies in ocean and climate systems. When it comes to climate, the more we understand about what's happening at the poles, the more we will understand what's going to be happening in downtown Topeka a few decades from now.

The problem is that someone who asks, even rhetorically, "...could someone please educate me about the benefits of all this scientific research," might not have enough scientific literacy to understand the answer. If you don't get what's going on in antarctica, you're just not going to get modern science.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:09   #127
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

You "scientists" are just repeating a standard argument.There has not been one significant benefit to the taxpayer from antarctic research.Its all promises.(The weather forecast in NZ has not improved due to greater understanding of the planet).Those Norwegian sailors had as much right to be there as the scientists.And if you went there today you would find no trace of their yacht.And McMurdo still looks like a festering sore.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:14   #128
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

A funny story about the ozone hole.For years and years the scientists told the people of NZ "watch out for skin cancer because there is a hole in the ozone."Just recently,on another forum,someone pointed out that the ozone hole is always south of NZ and the sun is always north of NZ.......
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:36   #129
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonam View Post
There has not been one significant benefit to the taxpayer from antarctic research.
This cruising forum is probably not the place to discuss that. But can I suggest you read "A History of Antarctic Science" by G E Fogg. If you have an open mind you might change your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonam View Post
. . . Those Norwegian sailors had as much right to be there as the scientists..
No, by Norwegian law they were there illegally. There is absolutely no question on that. They knew of and did not even attempt to get the proper permission. If you are trying to claim they had some sort of 'human right' above the law then again this is probably not the place to discuss it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:04   #130
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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For years and years the scientists told the people of NZ "watch out for skin cancer because there is a hole in the ozone."
Interesting that you should bring up an area that should be of concern to anyone who spends as much time in the sun as boaters.

Skin cancer rates in New Zealand are among the highest in the world. In fact, melanoma in NZ and Australia is about 4 times that of Canada, the USA, and the UK.

Here's a website with current data: NZ skin cancer statistics | Sciencelearn Hub
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:22   #131
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Thats my take on it too, do as we say not as we do. To get self rightious over two guys,"putting AAA on the roof of their house". Then build an AAA complex smacks of hypocrisy.
In a free society, every man has the inherent right to break the rules, and society has the right to punish him for breaking those rules. It's a choice. These blokes had a choice, and now society will provide for consequences in making that choice. It's all fair game, both their expedition AND their impending prosecution.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:28   #132
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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In a free society, every man has the inherent right to break the rules
But not here at Cruisers forum. We don't cost anything but we still have rules.

Please try to stay on topic or start a new thread in an appropriate section and should it not relate to boating find another forum you are free to go any place you like. Political discussions are considered always off topic. we have enough trouble being a boating forum.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:31   #133
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Re: Heedless Venture to Antarctica

Some comments from Skip . . . .
(By Jon Amtrup) Skip Novak, former round the world sailor and with 24 years of experience from sailing in Antarctica, says Ross Sea is not safe at any time of year for small yachts. Berserk skipper Jarle Andhøy contacted him before he sailed in to the area that most likely ended the life of three of Andhøy's crew.

Skip Novak: In fact, this guy actually contacted me some time ago (unfortunately I did not save the correspondence) to ask my opinion about landing on the continent to make a bid for the pole – no ATV’s were mentioned. I get many of these ‘dreamers,’ who are largely ill informed of the basics of the geography and climate. I usually put them in the picture and that’s the last I hear from them. I remember all this because of the name of the boat – Berserk! In this case, I pointed out it would be almost impossible to get a small vessel safely near the coast or the ice shelf to deploy a polar party. The only place you can guarantee a landing is on the Antarctic Peninsula (South American sector), which is ice free to some extent in summer, and with plenty of shelter for small craft. But the problem is it is not a good place to start for the pole in other respects, not to mention you can’t make a landing in the southern part of the peninsula (Marguerite Bay) where you can access the plateau until late January or February – too late in the season for a polar bid. Well, I never heard from the guy again. From reading the accounts of his troubles in Svalbard and NWP, we are dealing with a real ‘wide boy’ here says Skip Novak to Explorersweb.

ExWeb: -Since you are one of the most experienced sailors in these waters it would be great if you could take the time to answer some questions. Have you been caught out in 80 knots of wind and – 10 degrees Celsius before? And how does this affect the boat and crew?

Novak:- On Pelagic we sail habitually in 40 knots and above, but when it gets to 50 things become very dicey very quickly as the sea condition becomes dangerous. We make it a point with good weather forecasting not to get ‘caught out’ in the Southern Ocean if this is at all likely. If the temperature is sub zero, a blow above 25 to 30 knots will create wind driven sea spray that will quickly accumulate on the rigging and deck of a small yacht, which compounds the problem. Coupled with breaking waves and you run a real risk of capsize. This scenario within the pack ice – well . . . . My theory is either they capsized for the reasons stated above, or they were nipped by ice in the storm and the hull was breached. If the boat did not have watertight bulkheads she would sink within minutes – time enough to deploy an EPIRB, and maybe a raft, but no time for little else.

ExWeb: Would you sail in the area where Berserk are at this time of the year? Why or why not?

Novak: I would not take any small vessel or yacht in to the Ross Sea at any time of year. Too much risk from ice and too much exposure, meaning little or no place to shelter the yacht. By shelter I mean accessible shallow anchorages where the draft of the vessel is slightly less than the depth of water, thereby creating a haven where deeper and dangerous ice cannot enter.

ExWeb: When is the sail yacht cruising season in the Antarctic?

Novak: Specifically on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is a very different part of the Antarctic in geography (archipelago) and climate (wind and current driving drift ice offshore) the navigable season is from December to March, principally January and February being the high season. December might be early where navigation is restricted due to last winter’s sea ice still present blocking anchorages, and March is late as the light is going and the weather packing in. Freeze up can occur from mid March onwards.

ExWeb: The Berserk hadn’t applied for the necessary permits through the Norwegian authorities, is this a must for anyone sailing to Antarctica?

Novak:It is now law in all the countries that have ratified the various protocols that regulate visitors to the Antarctic that permission must be obtained from their governments. Every ship, aircraft, expedition and in some country’s cases, even individuals must apply for permission to enter Antarctic Treaty territory, defined by any movement south of 60 degrees. For the skipper of Berserk to be unaware of this is not believable. What has proved to be a maverick’s misadventure causing loss of life is symptomatic of a few “adventurists” who still consider Antarctica an unregulated ‘wilderness’ area. The reality is that Antarctica via the Antarctic Treaty system collaborating with IAATO (International Assoc. of Antarctic Tour Operators) is a highly regulated territory, and it is unacceptable for anyone to claim they had no prior knowledge of the requirements proving due diligence.

ExWeb: Are three people on board enough to fight of a storm/hurricane in below zero conditions with icing on the boat?

Novak: On a 48 footer three would normally be sufficient, but I think these were exceptional circumstances, where it really didn’t matter now many were on board.

ExWeb: Anything else?

Novak: It should be stated that to my knowledge this is the first case of total loss of a small vessel/yacht in Antarctic waters – specifically below 60 south, where national resources where called upon for search and rescue assistance.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:56   #134
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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FYI yacht's (former) homepage BERSERK EXPEDITIONS

Wild Vikings Expedition blog (Norwegian)

The Wild Vikings Expedition homepage
Thanx for that. It wasn't til reading the wildvikings link that I was tipped off to the fact that this was the captains second Antarctic expedition. I'd read the David Mercy story prior, and watched the documentary (hilarious actually), but hadn't matched up the picture of the younger Jarle with the Jarle of today. For those who have not read the tale of the first Beserk expedition in a fiberglass sloop, it's definitely worth a read and a watch. Here is an excerpt:

Quote:
Some may remember the crazy exploits of Norwegian sailor Jarle Andhøy and his American crewmember David Mercy featured in the film Berserk. This self-produced documentary was aired in many adventure film festivals three or four years ago.


Jarle Andhøy is a young Norwegian with a thirst for adventure. At the age of 19 he sailed from his homeland in a beat-up 27’ sailboat with the goal of rounding the infamous Cape Horn at the base of South America. Many told Jarle he was crazy, the reason why he named his boat Berserk. After becoming the youngest to round the stormy waters of Cape Horn, Jarle set sights on an even more ambitious goal – a voyage to Antarctica.




The Southern Ocean is dangerous even for well-equipped large steel boats. Jarle Andhøy would be doing this trip in an ill-equipped, decrepit fiberglass sloop with no means of long-range communication.



Jarle convinced two landlubber backpackers in South America (an Argentinean and David Mercy) to join him in his Berserk voyage. The journey that followed has become a cult-status tale that has been beautifully chronicled in their self-shot documentary. Storm after storm battered the tiny ship before it finally reached the frozen continent. Here the Argentinean crew member threatened to abandon ship, choosing to perish on the ice rather than endure the Southern Ocean a second time. Fortunately a ship materialized and Jarle was able to offload his mutinous crew member.
Jarle and David Mercy continued exploring the Antarctic waters in comedic fashion – bumping into icebergs, getting stuck in the ice, and having the boat lifted skywards as a whale used it as a scratching post. One of the funniest moments in the film is when David, self-proclaimed animal charmer, attempts to snuggle with a group of giant elephant seals and ends up being bitten (albeit gently) in the head by a bull.


When the duo finally attempted to sail back to South America their vessel rolled in another storm and several portholes were smashed. The sailboat quickly filled with freezing water and was on the verge of sinking. With no means to summon outside help, the duo plugged the gaping portholes with sleeping bags and frantically bailed the sinking vessel. Amazingly Jarle continued filming through the worst of it, and all the action has been captured on film.


Eventually Berserk limped to shore, and the Antarctic Voyage was complete. Later, Berserk would sink off the coast of Chile with Jarle barely escaping in the rowboat.


Jarle Andhøy and David Mercy (along with a couple of new Norwegian crew) are now attempting a journey around the world in Jarle’s new steel boat Beserk II.
Jarle Andhøy - Angus Adventures Featured Expeditions
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Old 10-03-2011, 14:05   #135
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Re: Heedless Venture to Antarctica

Aussiesuede..

Just proves him as an irresponsible tearaway..

Here is a map showing the location of the disaster. The centre of the red frame indicates the location when the alarm was received from the EPIRBI and the circle 45 nm North indicates the spot where the life raft was retrieved.

The map also warns of local magnetic anomaly in the area which might have affected their compass. (although not their GPS)
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