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Old 24-10-2008, 10:41   #226
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I think its been grazed over on this thread already but another thing that Ronnie's experiences have helped drive home is the importance of a weather window. Ronnie left on a precise date - the 1st of October. This date was chosen months in advance, was a month before the official end of play in the hurricane season and coincided with two major tropical storms heading north.

By the time his mother was pleading with him to turn around the tail end of one of those hurricanes was combining with a weaker northern pacific storm (as I remember it) to effectively block his return path.

At the point of steering failure the weather was still predicated to deteriorate further at his location for another 36 hours as these systems blew themselves out in his direction.*

It seems to me that cruisers don't leave at "3pm Tuesday the 5th" to cross oceans, they pick a window in the weather.

These concerns are true everywhere in the world and high level weather patterns are well predicted and tracked these days.

*Weather conditions as I remember them.
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Old 24-10-2008, 10:49   #227
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Whatever the "right" reasons are, I wouldn't put fame and notoriety at the top of the list.
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Old 24-10-2008, 20:55   #228
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Good point 'tom, I totally missed that one!
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Old 24-10-2008, 21:00   #229
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I think I have just learnt a new word - refactor - Hmm... not sure but I think its also complement
Sorry, poor english, must not post so late at night, should have read ...not sure but I think it is also a compliment
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Old 24-10-2008, 21:44   #230
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What I'm afraid he has no clue about is that the little blow he encountered on the way to Hawaii was just that a little blow.
actually that "little blow" was, according to NOAA, 40-50 knots of wind and 20-30 foot seas, as a result of hurricane norbert, which was at that time (night off october 8) a category 4 hurricane packing winds of 145 mph. i was about 300-400 NW of the center, and the storm was very large, sending force 8+ winds over 500 miles from the center. norbert was the largest, most unexpected, quickest developing, most expensive and strongest storm of the 2008 north pacific hurricane season.

as far as this just being a publicity stunt and trying to get money and fame out of this, you are absolutely right. this is a business venture for me. i have made this very clear from the beginning, as i hope to create revenue through freelance magazine writing, film work, a book deal and other avenues, as i hope to have my work fund my future journeys and endeavours. As a result of my "publicity stunt", even after losing my boat, I will still be able to continue as it looks like i will be obtaining enough funding to build another boat through advance royalties from a book deal. Thanks so much for your input.

also, the fact that my journeys are in somewhat of a spotlight are not the reason that i feel compelled to try to continue. the reason that i feel compelled to continue is that i am not a quitter. never have been, probably never will be. when i set out to do something, i, to date, always finish.

to the people who offered the constructive, helpful inputs that i asked for, and kept this thread on topic, thank you.

as far as boats go, i haven't made it to aberdeen yet, but plan on going there monday. i did go to hong kong island and ended up ferrying to discovery bay, but there were very very few sailboats at the marina, and i couldnt tell if any of them were for sail. even if they were, they all looked to be very far out of my price range.

to the person talking about 25 footers for USD $5k, I am gonna go check in aberdeen on monday. think i already said that. oh well. anyways, i heard there were a lot of boats there and some in dry dock and all that, so that's my next plan of attack.

cheers

ronnie
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Old 24-10-2008, 22:40   #231
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If I read his account right, he suffered a massive failure. The rudder ceased to be controllable and the self steering vane rudder was ripped off. Indicative of hitting something solid.

The rudder failure is a bit puzzling. Typically, a rudder shaft failure results in loss of the rudder and 1 1/2" plus puka in the boat that will sink it in short order. Doesn't sound like that was the case with this boat as the boat was still floating though out of control. Did the key on the rudder quadrant shear or drop out so it just rotated around rudder shaft. That happedened to me after some rudder work. The rudder suddenly wouldn't turn to stbd surfing under the Gate. Thought we'd be taking that big orange bridge out till the current took us clear of one of the bridge pilings.

A more remote possibility is the shaft broke off within the boat. Hard to figure out how that would be possible. The only scenario I can think of is electrolysis of the shaft in the hull bearing. That could eat away enough of the shaft to cause a failure especally if the their was a collision. Though it is hard to see how that could happen without causing a significant leak.

In any case, Ronnie wasn't prepared for the loss of control. It doesn't sound like he knew about trailing warps to give him some control over heading. In this case, it may have given him the respite from severe rolling. That might have allowed him to get some rest, restore his mental state and not feel the need to bail out so quickly. It still might not have gotten him 1800 miles to the Islands but at least would have given him the time to explore other possibilities.

Rudder failure is always a possiblity but would be willing to bet that 80% of the cruisers have no clear cut procedure, and the tools to implement it, should their rudder fail. The cost of a replacement steering system is something that's way down the line for the budget conscious cruiser. The cost of one I researched exceded a year of our cruising expenses. Still, I wouldn't have left without dropping the rudder

I don't think anyone should make a passage before committing Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing" and Bernard Moitessier's "Cape Horn." to memory.

I still can't fault Ronnie. He had worked through one problem before the rudder failure did him in. Especially if you take into account that another extremely experienced sailor bailed out on a completely intact boat not too long before. Fatigue and extreme boat motion wear down the fortitude of even the most experienced sailor.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 24-10-2008, 22:51   #232
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The engish is correct...

Your use of "refactor" would seem to be in line with Wikipedia...
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Old 25-10-2008, 02:07   #233
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i assumed this website was about sailing, but after reading the various posts about ronniesimpson and his exploits it seems me that some people think its about being sat on a high horse.

he had a go

fu***d up

wants to continue

whats wrong with that? if you learn from your mistakes and no one is hurt then where's the problem?

how many of the negative poster's set out on their first voyage completely prepared for any situation or have you learned from mistakes and bad experiences?
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Old 25-10-2008, 03:58   #234
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i assumed this website was about sailing ...
... how many of the negative poster's set out on their first voyage completely prepared for any situation or have you learned from mistakes and bad experiences?
This thread is an attempt to reflect upon and analyze Ronnie’s experiences, and develop new and useful knowledge from them. I don’t believe that the (so called) “negative” comments are intended to be critical of Ronnie, so much as they are to be an experiential learning excercise.

Experience plus Reflection equals Learning, or as Aldous Huxley said; “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

All of start out (more or less) unprepared, and learn by some combination of “study”, and by “just doing it”.
Unfortunately, life can be a tough teacher, often giving you a pop quiz when you least expect it.
That’s the trouble with “the school of hard knocks” (experiential learning, or praxis):
First you take the test - then you get the lesson.
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Old 25-10-2008, 04:59   #235
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hi gord, i agree with all you say completely,
that's what i'm trying to say, but it seems that some people are happy to sit in their ivory towers, knocking other people for mistakes they maybe made themselves but had the luck not to be be caught in such adverse circumstances the first few times out.
in most peoples honest opinion, if the weather hit the fan(so to speak) on their first offshore voyage would they have been in a suitable position to handle it? or is it only from their experiences that they feel able to sit up there in the tower and frown on people.

from what i've read of some people's replies, they don't seem to be trying to extract any positive learning experiences from a bad experience, they just want to knock the guy for having a go- inexperienced maybe but we all start somewhere,and maybe thats my point- we all start somewhere!!
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Old 25-10-2008, 05:47   #236
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There've been a few posters who seem to want to get their digs in, but I have read the majority of "critical" posts as being in the spirit of learning from Ronnie's experience, as Gord so eloquently pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post
...in most peoples honest opinion, if the weather hit the fan(so to speak) on their first offshore voyage would they have been in a suitable position to handle it?...
To address your point above, I believe that most of us who have sailed a bit offshore chose to develop our skills in increments, exposing ourselves and our boat to conditions that allowed for learning how to deal with weather, sail handling, gear problems, etc. but which would not result in losing our boat or our lives if things went very wrong, and we weren't up to the task of righting the situation.

So, if the "weather hit the fan on their first offshore voyage", the idea is to have had enough experience sailing in heavy weather in a more protected environment, and to have tested the boat in enough trying circumstances, that you will have firsthand knowledge of the options available to pull through the storm, and sail on to your objective. To shove off on a major offshore adventure in an untested boat, with limited sailing skills, is arguably not the best way to maximize your chances for success.

A further point--I see nothing wrong with Robbie's stated objective of making a living by writing about and filming his adventures. Many other cruisers have done that, and continue to do that. Too bad he didn't prepare enough to get off to a good start.

Robbie, I hope you can recover from this, and achieve your goals.
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Old 25-10-2008, 07:51   #237
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Actually Hud the way Ronnie has started does make for good reading. Talk about TENACITY.....Maybe that should be the next boat's name.....LOLOLOLOL
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Old 25-10-2008, 08:45   #238
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To be perfectly honest…..Ronnie bugs me!

Not in a way that makes me hate him or wish him bad luck but more in that obnoxious way of a really bad singer who hogs the karaoke microphone and wants to sell tickets.

Sailing is a passion for most of us, for Ronnie it is a means to an end of self promotion and somewhere along that journey, the spirit of being a good sailor will get damaged.

Sorry can’t help my feelings and I will say no more on the subject.
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Old 25-10-2008, 14:28   #239
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I add this in a hope to be constructive, from the very beginning I wanted to help but there was never enough info on what was broke. It seems like he had 2-way (email,ssb etc.) communications and the ear of the sailing community. Please when asking for help try and give details. I know that could sound very simple sitting "behind my PC". I know it is very hard when in these conditions but is very frustrating to hear stuff like " it's broken , what do I do?" I'm still not sure what happenned, sounds like -worm gear on main stearing jammed to one side- this would certainly make it hard on any self steering. I usually, switch off autopilot regularly just to see how hard it's working and adjust if nessary. Good luck in the future and remember these arm chair sailers have a lot of resourses and experience (and sleep) and want to help when your up to your eyeballs in it.
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Old 26-10-2008, 04:53   #240
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I think its been grazed over on this thread already but another thing that Ronnie's experiences have helped drive home is the importance of a weather window.
quoted for truth. I will never, ever, ever, in my life take off on a long passage (more than few hundred miles) during hurricane season. As far as taking off on the first, i set that date in august, but also checked the weather. Multiple professional weather routers gave me the green light to leave, over email the night before. I began monitoiring weather a week in advance, downloading grib files, weather reports, emailing weather forecasters and routers, etc. You bring up a really good point though, Tom.
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