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Old 08-12-2010, 14:46   #1
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Shrinking Ocean

I was going over some of the adventurers on the lis for the National Geographic prize. Quite a few were water adventures. Not so long ago the oceans were vast, uncharted and inhospitable but in the last hundred years they have been shrunken by technology. The vast depths may still be as inaccesible as the moon but even that will likely give way.

This quote from ocean rower Roz Savage seems very telling:
"Trying to get away from the California coast was challenging, to say the least. My first attempt ended in three capsizes in 24 hours. When I finally did break free, my water maker broke. I ended up meeting Dr. Marcus Eriksen, of Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and filmmaker Joel Paschal on their JUNK raft in the North Pacific Garbage Patch, a few hundred miles east of Hawaii. They were running out of food. We met, exchanged commodities. Joel harpooned a mahi mahi, and we had one of the world’s more unusual dinner parties."

That these two groups met in the middle of the ocean seems quite remarkable but in a year that saw a 16 year girl circumnavigate and a team set a world record for rowing across the atlantic perhaps such meetings are commonplace?
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Old 08-12-2010, 14:59   #2
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It's weird being able to go on youtube and see video footage of boats doing amazing things in amazing places so easily. But at least for me reading about it (and now watching videos) really doesn't get within 1/1000th of the feeling of actually doing it and truthfully it has helped me prepare better.

I think for anyone who's crossed an ocean or done a long offshore passage, the ocean is still pretty damn big. I'm reminded how big it is whenever I see land and then spend the next six hours still seeing the land, not being able to make out the coast, then spending another six hours finally making out the harbor entrance. All while doing hull speed.
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Old 08-12-2010, 15:00   #3
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Yeah its pretty much common.... I was on an 'Impossible Voyage' according to folks in NC, USA... and 600 miles more or less short of Lands End....
I came across four extremely fit Dutch guys attempting to make a record for rowing from NYC to Rotterdam.... actually they looked a damn sight fitter than I felt after a so called 'Lazy Sailing Life' voyage
I headed for them thinking I'd be a hero for rescuing dis-masted sailors desperate for help... 'well he was waving both arms but turned out he was struggling to get into his dry-suit...'
Anyway I sailed of on the haeding for Lands End.... only to have them overtake me 5hrs later... I was becalmed.... so humiliating...
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Old 08-12-2010, 15:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I think for anyone who's crossed an ocean or done a long offshore passage, the ocean is still pretty damn big. I'm reminded how big it is whenever I see land and then spend the next six hours still seeing the land, not being able to make out the coast, then spending another six hours finally making out the harbor entrance. All while doing hull speed.
Rebel... to be honest... making out harbour and making it is a matter a damn sight more important than hull speed.... sat for 5hrs max hull speed going nowhere opposite the Needles in the UK once... bad timing... and to be honest making max hull speed during that time would have been happily sacrificed to get in 5hrs earlier...
Just a statement b4 anyone gets pissy
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Old 08-12-2010, 15:24   #5
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Rebel... to be honest... making out harbour and making it is a matter a damn sight more important than hull speed.... sat for 5hrs max hull speed going nowhere opposite the Needles in the UK once... bad timing... and to be honest making max hull speed during that time would have been happily sacrificed to get in 5hrs earlier...
Just a statement b4 anyone gets pissy
I'm just trying to say that the distances in the ocean are still very big, even when you think they're small. In a world where we can send a text message to a guy in Africa within a few seconds, it still takes all damn day to cross San Diego Harbor under sail.
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Old 08-12-2010, 15:33   #6
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Shoot.. Yeah... tell me about it... but it beats the sh#t out off a 10mile tailback....lol
For you 'Brits'... thats American for a 10mile tailback...
Damn they're serving good beer here....
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Old 08-12-2010, 16:01   #7
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dont forget that chichester spent an entire week making no more headway than he usually did in one day.. but, you ol salts need to keep in mind the first time you made a passage the exhilerating feeling in the vast open waters.. my opportunity comes in april, but for now i still get chills just looking on from the beach..for me, ya someday the neptune will be small, for now, it goes on forever!!
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Old 08-12-2010, 17:19   #8
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I agree with Rebel Heart, the oceans of the world are pretty dang large. Sure a person in California can text someone else in Hawaii in seconds, and a person can fly in a plane in about 4 hours, but it will take at around 14 to 21 days to sail there. I hear this "the world is shrinking" thing all the time, but the reality is the world is just as large as it ever was.
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Old 08-12-2010, 18:28   #9
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Obviously it is in some ways but in other ways not. Certainly our perceptions of the world have changed. Yes a sailboat travelling at 5 knots will still take a long time to get anywhere but cruisers frequently leave their boats in distant places to jump on a plane and fly somewhere else. When you are in the middle of the ocean it is possible to pin point your location with a degree of accuracy unobtainable a few decades ago even though your location might have been unimagined a few centuries ago. Where once were sea monsters are now GRP sailboats.
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Old 08-12-2010, 18:29   #10
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I'm reminded how big it is whenever I see land and then spend the next six hours still seeing the land, not being able to make out the coast, then spending another six hours finally making out the harbor entrance. All while doing hull speed.
perhaps the main reason this is is that you doing about 7 knots, ( twice walking speed) !!

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