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Old 08-10-2008, 22:18   #31
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Based on what I could pull out of this thread so far, it does sound like trying to balance the boat is the best course of action. Even if it means adding some sea miles, once the boat is in the groove, she should allow for some sleep without any major course shifts. I am still not sure how the monitor is generating enough force against the wheel to break the j-bolts on the hub. If, in fact, this is what is happening. It seems, as Wheels mentioned, that there is very likely a more serious issue with the steering, that should be a priority to identify, and fix while there is still steering.
As for whether to go for it, or not, I still stand by my advice to go for it. We can live our lives making sure we are fully trained, prepared, and qualified for every undertaking, or, we can take some risks, go into some situations with a belief that we have enough skill to accomplish our goals, and, potentially crash and burn. Most of us, most of the time, do not crash and burn. Most of those who crash and burn will survive to learn a lesson, and either approach the challenge with a better understanding the next time, or give up on that challenge all together.
I completely agree with Wotname. Keep the fear emotions at a reasonable level, and you will get there. You may not arrive on a bristol vessel with flags flying, but you will arrive with a better understanding of your task, and the knowledge that you have the ability to succeed.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:39   #32
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Just spent a few minutes on his blog, watched the news video - this guy wasn't ready emotionally for the trip.

"This sucks. I'm so over this. I don't even want to sail anymore. I'm not going to turn around or anything, but i'm so over this, it's not even funny. At this point, I am beginning to fear for my own safety. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, setting off alone from California to Hawaii. I thought it was going to be an easy, pleasant run in a steady 15 knots of breeze. Look up "sailing to hawaii" on youtube. I haven't had any of that stuff. I am very, very concerned right now. Things keep on going from worse to worse to worse. Very frustrated right now. Do not know what to do.
"

Youtube? You've got to be kidding!

And there's more ...

"As I write this, the ocean is slamming me with huge waves, and winds are at 25-30, even gusting to 35. Nothing I ever read about sailing to Hawaii mentioned winds gusting to 35. This can't be normal. I have put both reefs in the main, furled the jib way in, strapped everything down, etc, and am down below, attempting to ride this out. If it gets any worse, I will probably heave to, and ride it out. I absolutely can not believe the power that the ocean possesses. This is insane. It's not a storm, though. Just really strong wind."


Cannot believe the power of the ocean? Around the islands, we get "slammed" with gusty trades all the time, 20-25 w/gusts to 30 is almost normal.


Above all, would have expected less "drama" given what he's reportedly been through - though from a psychological perspective, the world is a different place when you are not under orders, and having to rely on your own wits to keep you out of trouble.

I wish him good luck, though my advice would be to cut down on the drama, he's only sailed a few hundred miles and already fears for his life, hasn't even seen bad conditions yet.

My advice: Shut up and sail, show some backbone and make every other Marine proud of you.


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Old 09-10-2008, 03:49   #33
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I forgot to mention that October is kind of late for a CA/HI passage. Maybe Ronnie can document that on Youtube for future reference.

Good luck.

BWS
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:15   #34
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Ronnie bit off more than he can chew, and now he has to deal with it. Most people think sailing is a slick magazine cover. Those that have been there know it's simply not! My gut feeling is that he will make it. Whether he ever steps back onto a boat again is another question.

Personally I have my fingers crossed that he will do just what he has set out to do, and will continue on. Like I posted earlier. Right now his learning curve is a steep spike.......BEST WISHES to him........i2f
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:15   #35
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Sounds as if the fail point on the wind vane arm gave way, he'll be hand steering now.

Heartfelt plea from his mother to turn back but hes now a solid 1/4 way through with an uphill return.

Good news right now is that the weather may improve after the next 48 hours. [Edit - bad news is it may get a bit worse first]

Mexico, Pacific Wind Charts

[Looked at a couple of sites that predict something similar to the above link but would interested in other links to predicted weather along this route]
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:19   #36
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So I am a little confused. I thought we were trying to fix a steering issue. Is the steering now fixed??
I know you called for this thread to be moved to the maintenance area but this thread is about so much more than boat maintenance.

It really is a sailing thread.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:52   #37
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Has anyone else been following this? He's three days out from CA and lost his self steering. Maybe someone here could offer some advise.

Welcome to the Open Blue Horizon | Open Blue Horizon | Have,

"Things are deteriorating very very quickly aboard La Cenicienta. I no longer have self steering. I tried jury-rigging the steering hub about 6 seperate times yesterday, but I spend more time doing that while hove to, than under sail. I was going to put on the emergency tiller and rig up the wind vane to it, but I can't figure out how to get one piece off of my steering system, so I can't mount the tiller. I know, I know, I should have done all these things before I left, and familiarized myself with the boat. I didn't. It looks like I will have to hand steer to Hawaii."
Dan,

Actually the subject of the thread and the initial post was pretty tightly focused on the steering problem (see above). I'd suggest starting a new thread if there are additional issues that folks want to discuss, and keep this one focused on solving the issue at hand.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:20   #38
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RULES ARE RULES, but I think this time it should be forgiven. Let it remain where it is so contributions can be made. A fellow sailor, be it newbie, or old salt is between a rock, and a hard spot....just MHO......i2f
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:38   #39
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It sounds like the original fight with the wind vane may be over.

Given the weather brewing on his return path for the next few days would people still recommend heading back to the US?
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:53   #40
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My thought is to hove to, get some rest, and EAT. Things can look hopeless when you are not eating, and sleeping. You can't miss the American coastline that's for sure, but I would think it is better to get to Hawaii. He can always hove to to rest, and handsteer for most of the 24hr day. He has plenty of food, and a water catchment system I believe.

Does anyone have short instructions on bungie cord to sheet steering? I know his boat is a wheel, but I don't know if he has an emergency tiller. Any info sent to his site will help.
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:23   #41
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This is really an amazing human drama playing out in real time. This is "Into the Wild" with a different set. Rich kid sells all his worldly possessions to pursue a dream. Finds out that reality can be a whole lot different than that dream. I don't think he has a choice at this point but to continue on. In his condition there is no way he can turn around and beat into the those conditions to get back to California. Let's hope he get's some good rest heaving to for a while.
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:36   #42
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Am no doubt being a bit thick here But how are all these updates getting onto his website?
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:40   #43
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OK, sorry, I have gone back over the posts and now realise that we are not actually helping anyone. I thought Leesailor was in communication with the guy and we were relaying help.
From the last info Bluewater has posted, I think the big negative to this guy is that he has not had Ocean experience and that will be what gets him before anything else. If you haven't experienced those conditions and realise they are the norm, then the experience will get your nerves and wear you down. That is more dangerous than any other experience as it is relentless and you just want it to stop. And on your own, it is dangerous to be experiencing that unless you can come to a place of realising you and the boat are OK and are doing fine. It's a mind over matter thing and if you experience seasickness during the experience, the entire situation is 100x worse and can become debilitating.
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Old 09-10-2008, 13:32   #44
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I've posted a couple of times on the blog comments and have linked back to this thread. The basic advice of stopping and getting some sleep is repeated on the comments and hopefully he'll be smart enough to stay clipped to the boat.

Would love to see video of what the conditions are actually like. Looking at the weater forcast it looks like hes on the edge of about a force 8+ and will get higher seas yet.

Think hes communicating via a sat phone but unsure, certainly there were blog posts early on, outside VHF range, talking about trying to get the SSB rigged.

From my point of view, backed by zero experience but after a significant amount of armchair sailing for the last few years his best option is to slide down hill towards Hawaii, heaving too to sleep and getting as far from the current weather as possible. By the time any new and significant systems turn up he'll be most of the way there.

Am intrested in hearing more about rigging a bungee to the wheel - presume this is to counteract weatherhelm? As the boat points higher it goes slower and the bungee can have more effect on the helm? Whats the lowest point of sail this might work on?
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Old 09-10-2008, 13:44   #45
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Does anyone have short instructions on bungie cord to sheet steering? I know his boat is a wheel, but I don't know if he has an emergency tiller. Any info sent to his site will help.
He tried to rig the ermergency tiller but was unable to. Don't think details on exactly why.
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