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Old 07-11-2005, 07:14   #1
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Courageaous attempt or Shameless Stunt

I thought this would be an interesting topic as a contrast to the Bumfuzzle discussion.

This guy attempts to cross the North Atlantic in the fall in a 14 foot sailboat pulled along by a kite. www.dommee.co.uk

On one hand, he was experienced and prepared. On the other, a bunch of folks had to put themselves in harm's way to pull his chestnuts out of the fire.

I'm not sure exactly what my opinion is on this...leaning towards the "stunt" designation.

Let 'er rip!
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:28   #2
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there are many who need and meet the extreme challenge. for them it is a lot more than a stunt. this guy put a lot of planning and effort into his adventure.
to my mind, racing sailors who keep sails up when most would reef are not using good judgement. even i have been in this group. where you should draw the line is abstract. is it reasonable for a single person to try to race around the world ? perhaps not, but they show us the possibilities. is it different because of the type of vessel ? IMO as long as you did your prep, understand and accept the risk, take responsibility - i love it. if you put your young family on a floating raft and head out to europe (as we all saw last year) you are IMO a complete whack job, but thats just me.
dom mee is the real deal with plenty of brains and balls. i'd take this guy in my liferaft any day.
as to rescue - he is making a living from the ocean. i do not think he should expect any more or less from rescue services than a commercial fisherman, passenger vessel, pleasure craft or anyone else out there.
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:38   #3
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I agree with your admiration of the guy's courage and professionalism...I don't think those aspects are in question.

My issue regards the other courageous professionals who have to go and get him. If it was my loved one who was in danger because this guy chose to push the envelope, then I'd be angry at his irresponsibility.

Maybe folks that try these things should be responsible for providing their own escort/rescue craft?

The laser sailor that crossed the Bass Straight a few months ago caught hell from a bunch of folks, but at least he had an escort vessel.
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:39   #4
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thats my point. is he irresponsible ? is a commercial fisherman who goes out one more time (perfect storm) late in the season being irresponsible ? they are taking a calculated risk. its the ones that don't calculate that upset me.

i am not sure that the cg and others should always go. i think it should be a decision or policy based on weather - another calculated risk, but whatever standard they set, it must be applied to all. otherwise we start playing god.

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Old 07-11-2005, 11:24   #5
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I don't see a problem with taking on challenges like this, but some seriuose backup plans need to be in place first and I think this is where some of these stunts fall over.
I was a crew member of a close freind that was the first to do a crossing of The Cook Straight on a jetski. We had a support boat and team to follow him. No problems. If something had have gone wrong, he can get himself out of the can with no imediate cost and threat to anybody elses life, bar those that were part of the stunt.
I have also seen ones I would call idiots carry out stupid stunt attempts with no backup plans. Now I call them idiots not because they are at trying the stunt, but because they fell short of having all the backups in place. One famouse one was the guy that tried flying some place, I can't remember the exact details, but had to land on the Ice in Antartica, cause he was low on fuel and then expected the guy's down there to bail him out with fuel. It wasn't that he attempted the "stunt", it was that he hadn't planned ahead and had fuel down there waiting or pre arranged with authorities down there if he could get fuel down there. If he didn't make it to the ice at all, who would have known he was even down there and who could have carried out a rescue?? It's that lack of planning, usually due to shortcuts in financing shuch a feat, that make these guy's idiots in my book.
Now I am not saying the kite guy is one, I am yet to read the account to see what planing he had in place.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:19   #6
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There’s a significant difference between the risks that an adventurer needlessly assumes, and those that the fisherman incurs by way of feeding his family and mine. (though the “late in the season” scenario adds an element of degree)

I have, in my far distant youth, indulged my own adventurous nature. It was only through extraordinary good fortune that others did not have to imperil themselves on my behalf. I now know better than to risk life & limb for recreation.

Dom Mee, however, is no callow youth, lacking the experience to know better.

Follows a few excerpts from Who is Dom Mee? - Marine explorer extraordinare http://www.dommee.co.uk/pgs/whoisdom...s-dom-mee.html

Dom Mee is an ex-Royal Marine with 15 years service to his name ...

In 2001 Dom and fellow Royal Marine Tim Welford set out from the fishing village of Chossi in Japan to row the North Pacific, the most storm frequented ocean in the world, aiming to arrive in San Francisco some five months later ...The entire expedition was featured on the BBC One ‘Extreme Lives’ series broadcast late last year.

In September 2003 Dom returned from a successful solo expedition in the High Arctic kayaking the Northwest Passage in a collapsible Kayak, following in the footsteps of Victorian Explorer Sir John Ross ...The expedition was featured in ‘The Times’ newspaper along with various other publications throughout the voyage along with BBC radio and television coverage.

In March 2004 Dom was selected to be part of the delivery crew for Tracey Edwards’s World Record Breaking yacht ‘Maiden II’. As she sailed to Doha Qatar for a massive new race series. At the end of April 04 he was in Antigua Racing yachts once again.

He returned with the first British Expedition to do so for a hundred and seventy two years ... Once again Dom’s on camera presence has aided him in this project being produced into a documentary for National Geographic, to air February 2005.

2005 has the potential to become another epic chapter in Dom’s storey and will add further to an ever expanding portfolio ...


See any recurring themes here?

FWIW,
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Old 07-11-2005, 13:09   #7
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commercial fisherman don't fish to feed you, they fish to make money. the catch goes to the higher bidder. i worked with many gloucester boys who turned their back on the sea and took up carpentry. its the ones who cannot change that keep going out. i won't get into the condition of some of their vessels.

adventurers don't assume risk needlessly - no risk means its not a real adventure. they recognize the risk and try to anticipate their needs. we are debating over the level of risk and perhaps motive.
i will agree that making your epirb part of the plan does pass off some responsibility, but don't we all do that when we cruise.

our own "sneuman" just survived an adventure. i would mention he was in waters where rescue, if needed, was not a given. the adventure was a lot bigger than he had expected, but he made it. my hat is off to you scott, no only for doing it, but for the way you handled it. while many of us would swallow the anchor, your posts speak to preferred keel configuration going forward. amazing. glad you are here.

so let me ask - was shackleton a grandstander ? was bird crazy ? what about sir hillary?

i still think the question comes back to the amazing adventurers that serve in rescue. this is a group of extraordinary people all over the world with long historys. going out in long boats in a gail to rescue passengers on a schooner could also be fairly described as needless risk. it certainly wasn't for the money. i think it is these guys that should, every once in a while, say no. we put ourselves in harm's way. they owe us nothing.

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Old 07-11-2005, 15:36   #8
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Aww, c'mon. With all due respect, this guy is no Hillary, Shackleton, or Bird. They were explorers that contributed to a scientific body of knowledge. Mee is an adventurer with his eye on record books.

They knew and acknowledged that, once out there, they were on their own. Mee knows that if it really hits the fan that his EPIRB will call in the calvary.

Also, they don't stack the odds against themselves in order to get in the record books. The explorers used every state-of-the-art technical advantage they could. Mee specifically headed out in a tiny vessel at a challenging time of year.
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Old 07-11-2005, 16:55   #9
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all true - but weren't H, S and B all looking for glory - bragging rights of doing it first ? and didn't they have sponsors interested in financial gain and prestigue thru association ?

i do agree with you that nowadays they chase records in balloons, gliders, tongue depressors - anything. i also agree with you that it is staged for marketing, but remember shackleton had a photographer to document the voyage - not the science - the trip. success insured fame and financial security. i certainly don't put this guy in their league, but i think they all have something similar inside them.

i guess to level the playing field, we should take away his gps and epirb. wouldn't we criticize this guy if he did not have the best technology ? shackleton went cheap on the boat because he was in a hurry to get going. she was not made for the ice. is that reasonable risk ? would shackleton have popped the switch on his epirb - bet your butt. he just wouldn't have popped it as quick as we do today.

i think you win that debate if your measure is "would he still do it if he did not have the safety net ?" i think the answer is no. shackleton and the rest did.

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Old 07-11-2005, 17:06   #10
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I understand that ”Commercial fisherman don't fish to feed me [you], they fish to make money ...”; which is why I said “to feed their families and mine”. Making money is their prime motivation, but feeding others is the precipitate result. Commercial Fishing is an inherently useful endeavour.

What Curtis said - except that perhaps Edmund Hillary was more towards a Mee-style adventurer, than explorer-pioneer, and Tenzing Norgay was compensated help.

I’ve often wondered - who was that Time-Life photographer that took their picture, looking down on their ascension?

Although ”... our own "sneuman" just survived an adventure ...”, he would be the first to tell you he did not seek that adventure, nor the celebrity that follows. I too, am glad he’s still with us (pun intended).

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Old 07-11-2005, 17:53   #11
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i should, of course, have had winkie smily guys on my posts, i think it is a fun debate and not one i take seriously.
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Old 08-11-2005, 03:11   #12
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We sailed out of Perth Western Australia for 20 years and the debates on the Ozzie Navy having to dive south to rescue Nortern European circumnavigating racers continue.

The general population and press argue the high cost of these rescues - often measured in $millions - could be applied elsewhere.

But the Oz Navy argue that they need to continually keep their fleet 'up to the mark' anyway, and by undertaking such rescues, they help achieve this.

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Old 08-11-2005, 11:37   #13
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BCMike Apprised me of my spelling error, and when I checked, I found this.
http://www.tenzing-norgay.com/about/tenzing1.html
including these comments
“... Unlike most of his fellow Sherpas of the time for whom, by and large, climbing was just a challenging way of making a living, Tenzing desperately wanted to get to the summit of Mt. Everest and devoted most of his life to this goal. "For in my heart," he once said, "I needed to go . . . the pull of Everest was stronger for me than any force on earth." If there was ever anyone who deserved to get there first, it was Tenzing ...”
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:56   #14
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Tenzing

Tenzing is as well known in NZ as Hillary. I met Hillary about 1956 when he came to our school. And of course the prominent sailors are also well known. Digsby Taylor has written some good stuff about sailing, and sinking.
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