Glad to see you guys are comming around to my special way of thinking!
I'm gonna stop saying "gale" from now on. Rather, I'll just say 'strong conditions' and let people decide for themselves how fast they think the wind was blowing - but I do have one last question -
WHERE ARE ALL YOUR GALE SAILING VIDEOS, HATERS?
Post-em or STFU about what a wuss Hogan is...
A broad reach is a downwind point of sail, and the faster you sail, the further aft the apparent wind moves when sailing downwind. If I'm running down the street at 10 knots (hey - I have skinny legs, remember?) and the wind is blowing at 10 knots, how much wind does the propeller
on my beanie sense Einstien????
Subtract your velocity from the true wind when going with it, add your velocity when going against it, and its a wash when dead-abeam.
(anyone who's ever done any long distance cycling - like me! - becomes acutely aware of this phenomenon, especially after pedalling all morining into a stiff breeze riding 40 miles up PCH dressed like a cross between Dennis Rodman and Rue Paul in skin-tight dayglo spandex atop a $5000 carbon fiber bike that rides like a jackhammer, and has the wind REVERSE right when I realized "wait a minute - I still have to ride HOME" then bashed to windward for another 4 hours making less than 10mph becuase now my muscle glycogen is GONE and you can no longer feel your penis or testicals due to the fact your seat is ALSO CARBON FIBER since it saved 600milligrams over that plush gel seat you were looking at
....realizes the truth of this.)
My students think I'm nuts too btw, and if anyone thinks I'm crude and innapropriate here....well, lets just say that when I have a LIVE captive audience, I'm much, much, MUCH worse.
God bless teacher's unions tenure, and the the Academic Freedom they protect, at least at the College level in America - yes Haters, I am your worst nightmare: I teach at both public and private colleges, and I teach your children
to question everything, and think for themselves - especially regarding sex, politics, religion, and the wisdom of allowing greedy, freeloading, senile, fame seeking retards to leave port on a round-the-world journey aboard a small boat that's demanding to sail well, even if you are young, shy, fit, and have a strong work ethic.
Look - in all honesty, I feel bad for the guy on some level, his mental and character deficiencies aside, which IMO are his biggest handicaps.
My Good Grandmother, the only member
of my family
who ever gave a damn about me, the one who gave me the tiller in Marblehead Harbor as a child, the one who flew me out to Boston when I was 14 and enrolled me in the childrens sailing Camp on Cat Island for two weeks, the one who raced her (engineless) Corinthian 19 until well into her 80ies, only stopping when she fell and broke her wrist jumping from her boat into the launch....
Was also progressively blinded in her last decades by narrow angle Glaucoma.
- just like O'l One Eyed Willie.
You know what the difference between her and that twit is?
She was a real, life long sailor - a racing
and offshore sailor, who taught several generations of New England children
how to sail in cat rigged dinghies. Who raced "frostbite" for decades. Who had the experince and good sense to hang up her foulies after she broke her wrist jumping from that boat.
And though it broke her heart, she sold her boat, and as her health
declined, she moved inland, away from her beloved Marblehead harbor and the home she'd lived in on its shores, to Sommerville Mass, a landlocked suburb of Boston, with my Aunt and Uncle, where she eventually passed away at age 98.
But she kept on sailing - crewing
as often as she could, and always had ride aboard a someones race boat in the summer if she desired.
Eventually, the light hurt her eyes so much she even gave that up - and spent her last years holed up in her darkened appartment listening to Red Sox games, and badgering me about "Do you have a boat yet, Billy?" every time we spoke - which was often.
She never complained about her handicap, and never sought sympathy. She just got on with things as best she could.
I'm not one to crush the dreams of anyone, no matter how unrealistic I might think they are. Dreams and goals are important, spiritualy essential things, and I dont have a crystal ball:
- I cant say if someone will succeed or fail at a given endeavor.
But I do demand, as proof of character, accepting responsibility for one's actions, and not blaming other people for your own miscalculations, mistakes
, failures, or plain bad luck.
So I have some deep ethical problems with this guy, becuase of his actions, not because of his goal of sailing around the world blind, aboard a small boat.
1) He set off into a forecast
with two powerful early season Pacific cold fronts that were predicted a week ahead of time. I was tracking those storms myself. These fronts originated in the Gulf of Alaska
, and were thus very cold, sweeping 1500 miles across the north pacific
, with (dare I say it?) gale force winds, from the southeast on thier leading edges, and northwest on thier tails (its the northwesterlies after an eastern Pacific front passes that are the most dangerous - resulting in colliding waves and confused seas, especially offshore, where this guy headed.
The most basic West coast cruising guides
ALL WARN OF THIS and not to screw around with Pacific storms - you stay in port if at all possible, and wait for a day or so after it passes, watching out for the Northeasterly Santa Ana gales that often follow the Northwesterly gales.
Therefore, he demonstrated supremely poor judgement by leaving port.
2) He set off solo. This is supremely dangerous for a healthy, able bodied sailor - like 10x the danger
of having just one other person aboard. MOB
, watchkeeping, companionship, and the pysical assistance a second person can render in an emergency
are an invaluble safety
net (not your engine
, lol) ....and for whatever reason, he chose to forgo this. To make matters worse, he was blind.
How exactly does a blind sailor keep watch? - Watchkeeping is required by maritime law at all times - and with good reason.
Therefore, his voyage was "manifestly unsafe" the moment he left the dock
The USCG should have taken him off his ship when he cast off, impounded that pretty little boat, and demanded he at least have two able bodied, sighted crew to stand watch for him.
Does anyone think that if this idiot had climbed into a private plane - in bad weather
no less- and attempted to circumnavigate, solo - anyone would have sympathy for him?
No - he'd be seen as a lunatic and a menace.
The physical demands, skills, and logistics of a small plane circumnavigation
are a walk in the park compared to a small boat circumnavigation
. He would have been arrested on the spot had he attempted such a stupid thing - and there are a lot fewer things to hit up in the sky than out at sea.
3) He made the talk show circuit rounds, sought sponship, and generally promoted his plans seeking a free ride by exploiting on the sympathy and good will of others based on his handicap.
Rather than work hard, save his money
, equip his boat himself, attempt to sail around the world blind and alone like a fool, and THEN write a book about it, (if he survived) and make the talk show rounds, he did it all a-priori.
Therefore, his motivation was corrupt.
4) He declaired an "emergency" while at sea.
This is the same as shouting "MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY" into a radio
or activating an EPIRB
. Do this solo, and you better be prepared to abandon ship, becuase you are stating that your life is in immediate danger
, and that means ALL SHIPS able too render aid without endagering thier vessels, must, by law, go to your aid.
And they will - its the code of the sea, and its a beautiful thing.
There was a turning point for me last summer when I realized this after I was motor
sailing alone off the west end of Catalina Island
, which is exposed to the entire Western Pacific and is steep-to, with few safe refuges, in light air. It was very rolly, and Nomad was doing her usual flopping about thing in a big pacific swell that was bouncing and refracting off the clifs, tossing us around a little. Suddenly my VHF
came to life, and someone, I dont know who, hailed me, and wanted to know if I was OK. It told them yes, and continued on my way - humbled and deeply greatful - with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, both of which return anytime I think about it.
I thought I was all alone, but someone - a perfect stranger - was watching me, was concerned, and was ready to render aid.
This guy is suing his rescuers.
Therefore, he is scum in my book - a bilge
rat, unworthy of the sea, who has refused to accept personal responsibility for his (stupid) actions, demanding someone else pay the for his own foolishness.
If he broadcast a MAYDAY tomorrow, I - and any sailor worth the name - would go to his aid, no questions asked, no matter how stupid he'd been, no matter how corrupt, no matter how niave, because there is a sacred brotherhood out there -
Unlike on land, where the rats will eat your liver the moment you fall.
So this is why I mock him.
His blindness is besides the point.
He is an affront to everything I hold sacred, and its people like him and the values they hold I'm trying to espcape when I put to sea.