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Old 08-04-2019, 10:07   #1
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A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

I had zero experience when I signed up for a week at sea on an ancient wooden vessel. I got enough to last a lifetime.


https://narratively.com/a-gloriously...f-the-century/
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:26   #2
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

John, did YOU write this?

It's fantastic!
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:49   #3
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

What a great story, thanks for posting it!
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:36   #4
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

Fantastic writing. Very engaging, too. Funny the author should write what he did at the end. I was talking to friends this past weekend about life rafts for an upcoming ocean passage and we started discussing someone whose boat when down after it struck a whale. I said that would be a good person to have on our boat because "what are the chances something like that would happen twice?"
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Old 08-04-2019, 14:12   #5
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

Great read! Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-04-2019, 15:03   #6
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

I assume the Anne Kristine was lost?
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Old 08-04-2019, 16:22   #7
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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Originally Posted by wolfgal View Post
John, did YOU write this?

It's fantastic!
Don't think so!

Jim
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Old 08-04-2019, 19:22   #8
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

Yah, no, just crossed my RSS feed
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Old 08-04-2019, 19:40   #9
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

Anne Kristine
Whaling Museum hosts an evening with The Accidental Sailor
Arts & EntertainmentFeaturesTimes of Huntington-Northportby Heidi Sutton - November 15, 2017 0 477

Above, Simon shows the audience a photo of the crew right after being rescued. Photo by Heidi Sutton
Danger on the high seas: Reliving ‘the perfect storm’

A painting by George Schoenberg depicts the rescue on Oct. 29.
By Heidi Sutton

The Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor hosted a presentation of “The Accidental Sailor” with guest speaker and storyteller Nelson Simon last Thursday evening. In front of a captivated audience, Simon recounted how he and his crew members were caught in “the perfect storm” off the coast of North Carolina and how they all miraculously survived. With a slide show and readings from his journal, Simon gave a dramatic day-by-day account up until that fateful hour when the ship starting taking on water and had to be abandoned.

Simon opened the lecture by reading the names of his crewmates: Joey Gelband, Laingdon Schmitt, Jen Irving, Peter Abelman, Damian Sailors, Marty Hanks, Barbara Treyz and John Nuciforo.

“A ship in a storm is like a tiny quadrant of order in a huge universe of chaos and it only works if everyone does their job, and these people did,” said Simon solemnly.


The Anne Kristine
In late Oct. 1991, the Brooklyn resident found himself aboard the Anne Kristine, a 150-year-old Norwegian schooner bound for Bermuda from Mills Basin, Brooklyn. The 95-foot ship, which had been lovingly rebuilt by explorer Norman Baker in 1986, was to be transported to Bermuda and then continue on to Puerto Rico to take part in a scientific expedition to study whale behavior.

Simon had second thoughts from the very beginning, a sort of sixth sense about the whole thing, but signed up nevertheless as the last, and least experienced, ninth crew member. Why did he do it? “Maybe being an immigrant, we are taught to fit in, go along, to accommodate people. I didn’t want to be a bother,” explained Simon, who was born in La Paz, Bolivia. Though he had recently sailed on the Clearwater Sloop for a week down the Hudson River holding educational tours, he couldn’t help but wonder what he had gotten himself into.

What was supposed to be a pleasure cruise, turned out to be a near death and life-changing experience for Simon as the ship found itself caught between a nor’easter and Hurricane Grace, battered relentlessly by enormous waves for days until the captain sent out a Mayday.

Unlike the fishing boat Andrea Gail and its six-member crew who were lost in the storm never to be seen again, the crew of the Anne Kristine were all rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Oct. 29. Simon described how each crew member had to jump into the raging sea one at a time with a life jacket and flashlight and wait to be plucked out by a helicopter rescue crew.

Last seen turning sideways in the waves, the ship was lost at sea.


From left, friends Paul Maggio and Jonny Rosenblatt, storyteller Nelson Simon and Joan Lowenthal, Elizabeth Fusco and Amanda Vengroff of The Whaling Museum. Photo by Heidi Sutton
“Anne Kristine did everything that we asked of her,” stressed Simon. “She held up under the most challenging circumstances. She was completely seaworthy. There was some talk afterward that she had let us down but nothing could be further from the truth.” Instead, Simon blamed human error, citing several key mistakes including “heading east instead of west” and not priming the pumps properly.

For the crew, telling Norman Baker that his beloved ship had sunk was hard. “Anne Kristine wasn’t just a ship, she was a community,” said Simon. Baker held a memorial for the ship shortly after at his home in Massachusetts — 150 people showed up, including the nine-member crew that sailed on her last.

Even after 26 years, Simon still gets emotional speaking about the event. “In preparing this [lecture] I remembered how afraid I was,” said Simon. He described the scene right before he was rescued — “a young man standing on the ship’s deck, looking up at the [midnight sun], wondering how he got here and waiting for his chance to get away.”
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:13   #10
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

Great article. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:49   #11
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Fantastic writing. Very engaging, too. Funny the author should write what he did at the end. I was talking to friends this past weekend about life rafts for an upcoming ocean passage and we started discussing someone whose boat when down after it struck a whale. I said that would be a good person to have on our boat because "what are the chances something like that would happen twice?"



Was that Nick Barron on his way back from the Pacific Cup? I can put you in contact with him ;-)
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:30   #12
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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Was that Nick Barron on his way back from the Pacific Cup? I can put you in contact with him ;-)
Ha, it might be! I didn't get names. Does he still race? I am in the process of lining up crew for the PacCup, but we're going to be an all-women team. Certainly nothing wrong with having guys on my boat () but I know all these fantastic sailors who are females who would love to experience an ocean crossing. So that's the plan.
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Old 09-04-2019, 14:19   #13
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Fantastic writing. Very engaging, too. Funny the author should write what he did at the end. I was talking to friends this past weekend about life rafts for an upcoming ocean passage and we started discussing someone whose boat when down after it struck a whale. I said that would be a good person to have on our boat because "what are the chances something like that would happen twice?"
Totally agree, great writing and great story. Funny thing about luck though - having any event happening to any one person once has absolutely no effect on the chances of it happening again to the same person, as long as you continue the identical behavior over the same amount of time. As I recall, the events are said to be non-correlated.
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Old 09-04-2019, 17:49   #14
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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Totally agree, great writing and great story. Funny thing about luck though - having any event happening to any one person once has absolutely no effect on the chances of it happening again to the same person, as long as you continue the identical behavior over the same amount of time. As I recall, the events are said to be non-correlated.
You said it! Personally, I've never believed in luck, fate, premonition, voodoo dolls, etc. It's fun to joke about. As I tell everyone, the worse that can happen is that you die, which doesn't make saying it any likely for it to happen, but it freaks out some people. I think there is the same potential as getting into a car. Life is just a risk that we either manage or shirk from. That's why I love what the author wrote at the end. We often coast through each day and never square up with any serious challenge that get our hearts racing. I would just as soon not have a near death experience as the author did, but things that make my heart race and doing things that most people consider "scary" makes it all feel more real.

Of course, every time I get on my bike or drive around the Bay area makes my time on the ocean feel like a minuscule risk by comparison!

Oh funny. I just noticed you're in Oakland too! Hi neighbor
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Old 09-04-2019, 22:14   #15
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Re: A Gloriously Inept Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century

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...Of course, every time I get on my bike or drive around the Bay area makes my time on the ocean feel like a minuscule risk by comparison!
My daughter and I both commute in the Bay Area on motorcycles, and I’m convinced that EVERYONE on our roads is either stoned, texting, or stoned and texting. 😂
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