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Old 10-10-2008, 08:58   #76
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I have been looking for this post i found months ago on another site, A man with just 3 months sailing under his belt got a boat some place on the great lakes, 3 months later His wife 2 kids under 10 and him all took of for a trip to parts unknown.

I followed the Blog awhile, He made it down the east coast fine and all the way to the west side of South America i beleive one day from land and he lost his Mast, they made it to land replaced the Mast and off again.

When they got across the Picific they got hit by lighting.

To make a long story short him and his family made it back to the USA safe, at the time I could not beleive some one would put his family in danger like that and trust me someone up above had to be looking after him.

The main thing i learn from this is sailing a boat is alot more than just pulling up some cloth and holding a till/wheel.

With this story it was more of a Blow by Blow and a clear look into the mental state of the sailor.

I have talk with other sailors that have had very bad things go wrong while out some very experienced sailor and some inexperience, the key thing with all of them is that they came home alive and learn from what happen. Even looking at a few boats that i know have made long trips i am shocked they made it at all.

On this site we get a lot of inexperienced sailors that either have a dream to sail or just new to it, but they come here to learn.

I would like to offer this to the new people;

Sailing is more than just pulling some cloth up a mast and your hand on the Till/wheel. A trip like what Rob set of for takes so much time to plan.


I am just happy he is safe

John
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:13   #77
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Good post, Hud.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:24   #78
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Wotname & Hud,

Both statements are true. In his video there is a middle aged man introduced as his mentor. Ronnie says he's been there, and he's done it. This man failed Ronnie! To let him believe what he stated about the trip to Hawaii in the YOU TUBE comment. That was a crime IMHO.

After nearly losing his life in Iraq fighting for his country. I would have never thought he would fold so quick to fear. Fear can either disable you, or encourage you. Unfortunately for Ronnie it disabled him.

I have a neighbor in the marina that is new to sailing. I am constantly telling him it is a struggle. I can see sometimes he thinks it will be easier than it is. It is my job to bring him reality, and I do it with every remark. One of my favorite phrases is that sailing is not a slick magazine cover. Sailing can be blood, sweat & tears.

When I started sailing I read every book of destruction, sinking, survival, and other chaos. These people survived, and I wanted to know how to survive too. I spent several days a week sailing S.F. Bay for 18 months before I left alone. I would practice gybing for hours in 25-35 knot winds. I changed head sails alone in the same weather. I did everything I could to meet adversity before I left. Even though I could handle the Bay. I was not ready for what the sea brought to me. The sea is not evil. She is just indifferent to the fact that you exist.

I stood at my mast with a scrap of sail up on the fore stay. Looking at the bottom half of waves in 50MPH+ windsrounding Point Conception. I was thrown across the salon, and my head split open. I thought I might bleed to death. I was thrown from the boat while trying to furl the main. Only to be yanked back onto the boat as she fell off the wave compressing my spine. I thanked my lucky stars for being placed aboard once again. Later I hand steered for 48 hours beating into 25knt winds along the southern coast of Baja.

The sea is not a place for everybody, and especially not to be alone. My BEST WISHES go to Ronnie. I know he is a much smarter man today. I am sure his mother, and family are relieved. I am hoping he will have the courage to step onto another boat. To face his demons, and beat them down. We all have some kind of fear, and FEAR is an ugly beast. Being on a slow boat to China will give him plenty of time for thought!......i2f
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:43   #79
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There are only two ways to go after an experience like this.

Onwards - and you will be a stronger person for the experience.

Give Up and it will always plague you.

Kipling has some very appropriate verses.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:47   #80
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Courage??? There is understanding your limits or being totally blind to the situation around you. Understanding your limits is about training and preparation. Being blind to the situation is from total ignorance. You can not be scared if you don't know what you can be scared of. Being in the middle of those two points is the scariest place to be in life. You have learned just enough to understand the dangers and yet understand you still don't know enough to be prepared for the possibilities.
The worst thing Ronnie can do right now is not get back on the Horse. He now has an understanding of how big, how lonely it is out there and that things can go wrong. He needs to learn and move on from that and take some lessons in his area's of weekness and then get out there and try again. That's what real courage is.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:53   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I2F
... After nearly losing his life in Iraq fighting for his country, I would have never thought he would fold so quick...
... I am hoping he will have the courage to step onto another boat...
Ronnie was lounging behind a hummer-mounted 50 cal., when some ******* (he never saw) launched an RPG at this attractive target. Getting shot up displays absolutely no military competence, and requires no resolute courage.
It might be considered an atypical case of a teenager’s perceived “bulletproofness” being shattered by reality.

Likewise, his recent tribulations might be another “wake-up call” to reality.

In this case, Ronnie displayed the courage to (publicly) admit defeat, under circumstances that he (came to understand that he) was unprepared to combat.

I hope he has the courage to realize he needs a lot more preparation, before he sets off on his next (continued) adventure.

Wheels posted while I composed. What he said!
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:53   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
...I am hoping he will have the courage to step onto another boat. To face his demons, and beat them down. We all have some kind of fear, and FEAR is an ugly beast. Being on a slow boat to China will give him plenty of time for thought!......i2f
John,

I couldn't agree more. "Get back on the horse that threw you", as the saying goes.

If Ronni has the resources to try again, this experience will be invaluable. Like a lot of things in life, the secret is to make your mistakes in circumstances in which failure is a learning experience, not a disaster.
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Old 10-10-2008, 13:10   #83
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Johnar, I would suggest you try to rent some old classic comedy movies. It might be Laurel & Hardy who have an argument in the front seat of a ModelT (or some similar old open car) about "Let me steer!" and in fact, the one in the driver's seat looses the steering wheel to the one in the passenger seat. Shortly afterwards we find out that having the steering wheel (i.e. tying it off) doesn't make miuch differece--the WHEEL does NOT STEER THE BOAT. Or the car.

The wheel is only the final bit of machinery in a chain of parts, each vulnerable to numerous failure modes. And since the steering mechanism is usually located under the cockpit, almost inaccessible, surrounded by sharp hard objects, it can be vey difficult to make repairs on any part of the mechanism when you are being tossed about by ten-meter seas. It's a lousy job even on the jackstands, on land.

Hud, as for giving credit for trying...If he was my son or my brother, I'd have broken both his legs and locked him in the basement until his meds kicked in and he'd figured out how foolish the trip was for him at that time.

If your son wanted to jump off the roof to prove he could fly, would you let him? Why not? Isn't it a brave thing to do? Or would you have him restrained and put on antipsychotic drugs, even against his will, if he kept on trying to? What, you say, let him jump? Give him freedom?

Bravery is, by definition, knowing and understanding the odds against you and still going up against them. When you've got no idea of what you're doing, and you ignore large volumes of warnings and refuse to look into the facts behind them, you're not brave. Not courageous. You're not just shooting craps with your life, and everybody else's, because a gambler is at least aware there are odds.

He's lucky to be alive, and proof that the gods sometimes care for madmen and fools.

There are many "failed" expeditions to Everest and K2 and other deadly places that make the seas look gentle and warm and kind. Many strong, smart men have said "If we turn back now, maybe we can make it next year" while others have said "Press on regardless!" and lie where they fell. The ones who turned back? Didn't make the choice easily, but often came back, made the summit, AND SURVIVED.

There's a huge difference between giving up, and knowing when to fall back.
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Old 10-10-2008, 13:13   #84
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Hud, I apologize if my comments seemed unduly harsh as they were not directly meant to target Ronnie but to remind others contemplating an adventure out there that…. there is more to becoming a sailor than buying a boat and starting a blog.

For those of us who have had the privilege to sail all our lives there is an unspoken bargain you make with your craft… “You take care of me and I will take care of you”

It is as strong as any wedding vow and really does demonstrate the character of an individual.

Abandoning a wife because she had a bad hair day would seem ludicrous but that, in effect, is what Ronnie did and cutting him slack is not what his military boot camp training would have done.

Alan’s advice is great…get back on the horse…but learn to ride first.
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Old 10-10-2008, 13:20   #85
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I'd suggest that you not post anything here that you wouldn't say about your son or brother, if they attempted the same thing. This is a pretty traumatic thing for Robbie to be going through, and Lord knows he has been through a lot in Iraq, as well.
Point taken so I won't.

Ronnie was foolish, ill prepared, under educated in critical matters of experience plus many other things others have said here.

Don't get me wrong as I am happy he is safe.

About the costs of his rescue etc I agree except about charging his parents.

I must be a bad father because as I began reading the beginnings of Ronnie's blog I stopped because I feared just this sort of ending and if it had been my son I can assure you he would have heard no end of the fact that he was NOT ready and had NO business doing what Ronnie did. I guess I am a bad dad because I would have slapped him silly.

But that is just me.

No drogue, no chute, no steering improvisation, no "balancing" the rig, no heaving to??? - WTF!! The email worked though............
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Old 10-10-2008, 13:49   #86
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There are things that Ronnie can be criticised for, but I do applaud his brutal honesty and willingness to share. Would have been easy to make all the right noises which would have lent a very different impression of his "adventure".

I suspect that when he gets the chance to update his blog (post here?) he will be his own worst critic on many things.

Further adventures? No doubt! - he sounds like a "further adventures" kinda guy Boats? I suspect that ain't gonna happen anytime soon and given it sounds like he is heading for the far east, that is a biggggg place for a man seeking further adventures. and no boat required - after all, their is more to life than boats
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Old 10-10-2008, 14:06   #87
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after all, their is more to life than boats
Wash your mouth out with soap


I cant believe you even thought that
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Old 10-10-2008, 14:08   #88
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Gord,

I am talking about his courage to heal from his wounds, and get on with life. I saw too many times how vets would come home, and turn to drugs, booze, beat women, and bar fights. Lost souls getting even more lost.

Alan those are kind, and thoughtful words.

DOJ, so much MORE, but I still hold boats first
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Old 10-10-2008, 14:24   #89
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Wash your mouth out with soap


I cant believe you even thought that
Yeah, I know
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Old 10-10-2008, 14:27   #90
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Latitude 38 has an article in the latest 'Lectronic Lattitude. An excerpt...

"Single-hander Rescued Mid-Pacific

October 10, 2008 – 700 Miles off San Diego


It's hard not to admire Ronnie Simpson's determination and spunk...
Armchair sailors might judge the young man harshly for daring to even attempt such an endeavor with so little experience, but remember that the only way to get experience is by doing. We have no doubt Ronnie Simpson be on to his next adventure very soon."
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