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Old 11-04-2014, 16:00   #16
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

i can't see a massive growth in round the world yacht cruising,untill piracy in the gulf of aden is back to pre 2000 figures.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:01   #17
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

I am agnostic about Rebel Heart. For one thing, we don't have all the data as yet -- or at least I haven't seen it -- on what exactly went wrong above and beyond a sick kid (which, if it's what it appears, is quite enough to justify Eric's actions).

I would disagree with the OP, however. What happened to Rebel Heart -- an SAR of a "milk runner" far from shore, does happen on average a few times a year.

Considering the number of boats out there (I've heard 10,000 at any given time, which I know is just a guess), this is statistically insignificant. Even so, any single event, especially one involving small children, is going to get considerable (and mostly negative) media attention.

So, aside from more crowded anchorages and inured locals, the greater the number of cruisers out there, the greater the chances of such disasters, especially if the added influx is from folks who see the technology as a crutch.

I'd never discourage anyone, but I am not sure how aggressively to encourage, either.

There's a self-selection that goes on when most of the world's landlubbers are telling you that you're nuts for even thinking of crossing an ocean. This frankly (do I dare? ...) is why I was not a fan of the Bumfuzzles. Their attitude was that anyone could flout preparation and "forehandedness" and just go. Some of their attitude was probably self-promotional schtick, but some people no doubt will stare google-eyed and slack-jawed at their success and take an ill-considered leap, thus bringing even more unwanted and mostly uninformed scrutiny down on all of us.

No, choosing this lifestyle should be a little bit hard, I think.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:04   #18
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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i can't see a massive growth in round the world yacht cruising,untill piracy in the gulf of aden is back to pre 2000 figures.

Don't think there ever will be , cornel reckons it's fairly flat , with low growth until recently

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Old 11-04-2014, 16:09   #19
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

Deckofficer:

I don't think it'll make very much difference. Most successful cruising lifestyles are based on years of trying to accumulate capital and a suitable boat. As the "middle class" shrinks, it gets more difficult for middle income to implement such a dream. Some, more wealthy, will pick it up, but I don't see that as a substantial increase in the number of cruisers.

Kenomac:
Your point about not leaving with sick kids on medication for a passage is sort of a no-brainer. It is not what happened aboard Rebel Heart. According to Eric and Charlotte, their baby, Lyra, had completed a round of antibiotics under medical supervision, then she was checked by a pediatrician and received an all clear from the doc. So maybe the lesson is more about carrying effective meds to address medical issues that might arise. That would take care of two of your points. (I think it is important to carry suppositories agains seasickness as well as oral treatment, and a variety of antibiotics, for instance.)

Of course no one unhealthy should undertake a passage till they've recovered, unless there is some really pressing reason to do it anyway. But once, in all our years, we did get sick on a passage. Unknown to us, we were incubating a flu bug. You can't be lucky all the time. It just doesn't happen.

I don't know what kind of pole was on Rebel Heart, but I have heard of using bamboo for the purpose, it is an idea that has been out here for years.. Due to the way it grows, it reinforces itself, so it's a lot stronger than other timber in compression. Are you suggesting that the loss of Rebel Heart was due to having a bamboo whisker pole rather than aluminum?

It seems to me that Rebel Heart was heartbreakingly but courageously scuttled as the result of a medivac situation. While it is a perhaps reasonable hypothesis, do we know that Lyra had a relapse of salmonella? or did she have a different bacterial infection? I do not know whether that was reasonably preventable. I'd like to know what Eric thinks about it.

Someone wrote in here that there was a 20% chance of relapse for Lyra from the salmonella infection for which she was treated, and that he got that info off the net, (source of all truth). [sarcasm mine, not of that poster] I've never heard that figure before, and I do wonder whether that refers to all bacterial infections or only salmonella--that would be interesting to try and find out. I can certainly understand parents trusting what their doctor told them. We so want doctors to be correct, and not make mistakes; but they're only human and fallible like the rest of us. [don't ask]

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Old 11-04-2014, 16:10   #20
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My wife and I cruised the Bahamas from Florida for several years after a life of sailing small boats and cruisers on Florida's west coast. We experienced enough bad weather coastal cruising that we confined ourselves to what we could sail and still be anchored up in time for sundowners. We made a few overnight hauls and I raced enough Clearwater to Key West races to learn where the fun was and wasn't.

Still we admired those hardy souls that crossed oceans or circumnavigated. It just wasn't our thing.

We once met a sailor at a bar (where else) in Great Harbor that had just arrived from the Med on his Hans Christian 42 or something similar. He was absolutely terrified of sailing in proximity to land, hated anchoring and couldn't understand the attraction of island hopping.

I guess there's cruising and CRUISING or something. Still either one beats the general public's sense of adventure which apparently means a weekend at Disney, a viewing of Pirates of the Carribean or shoving elbows on a Royal Carribean cruise ship's chow line.

I for one, am interested in Rebel Heart's story mainly for what I can learn from the folks that actually experienced it. You never know when some tidbit or words of wisdom from their cruise might save your own.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:16   #21
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

I was quite (and pleasantly) surprised by the support of the people around me to the Rebel Heart story.

After watching "all is lost", I was afraid people would give cruising and sailing offshore a bad rap. All is Lost is a very good example of how not to go cruising and one man's poor planning.

The uninformed media articles I saw about Rebel Heart may have reinforced this perception and because of this it might be a good idea for "someone" to get Eric's story and write a book about the experience. If people knew Eric and Charlotte were mostly prepared for the trip, they might lay off them.

Sure Eric and Charlotte made mistakes, who doesn't, but because they WERE prepared, the end of the story was happy.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:18   #22
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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No, choosing this lifestyle should be a little bit hard, I think.
And it still is. HAM radio is dying out because it was kept hard with the code requirements for way too long. The code has been dropped, but too little, too late. I got my license as a kid but never had the attitude of "I had to learn the code, so everyone does". But now with the Internet and Skype, folks can have a real time cultural exchange without the hassle of license requirements and antennas. General Aviation, same thing. We do now have the Sport Pilot license but again too little, too late. The numbers of GA pilots have had a 30 year decline. I don't want the the above 2 examples of a hard earned entry apply to cruising when thanks to technology more folks can avail themselves of this lifestyle. On commercial ships I use all the latest aids for navigation and sadly my hard earned celestial skills are getting rusty along with my code and flashing light skills.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:22   #23
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
I was quite (and pleasantly) surprised by the support of the people around me to the Rebel Heart story.

After watching "all is lost", I was afraid people would give cruising and sailing offshore a bad rap. All is Lost is a very good example of how not to go cruising and one man's poor planning.

The uninformed media articles I saw about Rebel Heart may have reinforced this perception and because of this it might be a good idea for "someone" to get Eric's story and write a book about the experience. If people knew Eric and Charlotte were mostly prepared for the trip, they might lay off them.

Sure Eric and Charlotte made mistakes, who doesn't, but because they WERE prepared, the end of the story was happy.
I, for one, took pains to show balance in the short piece I wrote for NPR.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:30   #24
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I, for one, took pains to show balance in the short piece I wrote for NPR.
I generally don't listen to NPR (or read), could I trouble you for a link?
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:31   #25
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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And it still is. HAM radio is dying out because it was kept hard with the code requirements for way too long. The code has been dropped, but too little, too late. I got my license as a kid but never had the attitude of "I had to learn the code, so everyone does". But now with the Internet and Skype, folks can have a real time cultural exchange without the hassle of license requirements and antennas. .......
Sorry, ham radio is NOT dying out. Quite the contrary. There are far more hams in the U.S. now (over 700,000) than ever before. The number ran at about 300,000 for many years.

It's also very popular on cruising boats. And, this side of the Pond at least, marine SSB is very popular. It is dying in Europe, though, because of the advent of GMDSS and DSC, stringent regulations which drive the cost of equipment sky high --- out of the reach of many -- and the attendant drop in voice communications on the MF/HF marine channels.

IMHO, ham radio is still an important safety device, as well as a means of obtaining navigation information, weather, sending and receiving email, and communicating with other boats and land-based stations over hundreds or thousands of miles. Ditto for marine SSB in the Americas.

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Old 11-04-2014, 16:31   #26
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
I was quite (and pleasantly) surprised by the support of the people around me to the Rebel Heart story.

After watching "all is lost", I was afraid people would give cruising and sailing offshore a bad rap. All is Lost is a very good example of how not to go cruising and one man's poor planning.

The uninformed media articles I saw about Rebel Heart may have reinforced this perception and because of this it might be a good idea for "someone" to get Eric's story and write a book about the experience. If people knew Eric and Charlotte were mostly prepared for the trip, they might lay off them.

Sure Eric and Charlotte made mistakes, who doesn't, but because they WERE prepared, the end of the story was happy.

I think it's important to separate the event specifics from the general issue. All the preparation in the world, would not in all likelihood have changed the outcome of RH recent tradegy. Once the sickness had occurred, the correct decisions were taken and the faith of the boat is completely inconsequential.

What I would question is the seemingly uncontrolled desire to sail with a brand new child across a large body of water, why that journey above less demanding ones. It's like the trouble sailors get into when they enforce schedules.

Again, I see no evidence that while they were physically prepared, they bad particulary Charlotte was not mentality prepared for the type of existence long boat journeys with small and very small kids would bring. In that regard they were " unprepared".

As an aside in relation to "all is lost" why would the general public be concerned about cruisers and why would cruisers care a wit for a bit of bad fiction.

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Old 11-04-2014, 16:36   #27
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Talking Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I generally don't listen to NPR (or read), could I trouble you for a link?
Sure.

Sick 1-Year-Old Rescued From Sailboat 1,000 Miles Off Mexican Coast : The Two-Way : NPR

This was a "first day" story based on the limited information available at the time.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:38   #28
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Sorry, ham radio is NOT dying out. Quite the contrary. There are far more hams in the U.S. now (over 700,000) than ever before. The number ran at about 300,000 for many years.

It's also very popular on cruising boats. And, this side of the Pond at least, marine SSB is very popular. It is dying in Europe, though, because of the advent of GMDSS and DSC, stringent regulations which drive the cost of equipment sky high --- out of the reach of many -- and the attendant drop in voice communications on the MF/HF marine channels.

IMHO, ham radio is still an important safety device, as well as a means of obtaining navigation information, weather, sending and receiving email, and communicating with other boats and land-based stations over hundreds or thousands of miles. Ditto for marine SSB in the Americas.

Bill
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Bill, glad you popped up and corrected me. I have a lot of respect for you and wasn't up to date on the HAM numbers. Do you think this was because of dropping the code?

I would always have HF SSB on a cruising boat.

I am up to date on the GA numbers, and the number of Private Pilots has fallen in the last 30 years.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:45   #29
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

At this point, I don't think we have enough information to really pick apart the decisions made. In my view, everything was actually going pretty well until Lyra got sick. She was cleared to go and they went. I don't see that as an error on RH's part.

There was nothing really wrong with their boat other than the usual minor issues on any crossing. They were in some real slop for a couple days and it was unpleasant, but they would have made it through. Another day or two would have settled the sea conditions and hopefully they would have ended their trip with a nice downwind run in classic tradewind conditions.

Force 5 had nothing to do with the rescue and I don't know why people keep bringing it up. They didn't bail because they didn't like it or couldn't handle it, they bailed so their daughter didn't die. I have no doubt they would have made it just fine otherwise. Sometimes passage suck for a while. Usually we decide to put up with that for the nice things that come on the other side. My bet is that they family would have kept going and made it at least as far as NZ. They've been through a lot over the last couple years and always kept going and enjoying life.

As far as experience goes, I think they had plenty of experience and knowledge and the right boat and gear as well. There was nothing wrong with their decision to set off on this voyage, in my view.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:45   #30
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I think it's important to separate the event specifics from the general issue. All the preparation in the world, would not in all likelihood have changed the outcome of RH recent tradegy. Once the sickness had occurred, the correct decisions were taken and the faith of the boat is completely inconsequential.

What I would question is the seemingly uncontrolled desire to sail with a brand new child across a large body of water, why that journey above less demanding ones. It's like the trouble sailors get into when they enforce schedules.

Again, I see no evidence that while they were physically prepared, they bad particulary Charlotte was not mentality prepared for the type of existence long boat journeys with small and very small kids would bring. In that regard they were " unprepared".

As an aside in relation to "all is lost" why would the general public be concerned about cruisers and why would cruisers care a wit for a bit of bad fiction.

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This is not a full-throated defense, just pointing out for the sake of discussion:

What if the older kid had been the one to get sick? Or, if it had been a 12-year-old? The outcome would have been essentially (if not exactly) the same.

Now, rather than being mid-way through the longest-possible passage on a equatorial circumnavigation (they really did pick the *wrong* one for this!), they could have just as easily been in the wilds of Alaska, accessible only by bush plane. One or two unflyable days and they'd have actually been worse off in that case.

Just sayin'.
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