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As Promised - Response to some Blogs and Facebook Comments

January 19, 2015

I wish to begin by saying how amazed I am at the number who followed my effort and who gained inspiration from it. Thank you. Here are some comments that I thought would be helpful to respond to. 

“Not carry an extra sail”

“Are you kidding me – no spare main?”

We did have a spare but after team talk we decided that it would be nigh near impossible for one person to launch the sail given its weight etc. Also it is extra weight to carry and all thought that a new sail was a better option. Hindsight - I should have carried the old sail and practiced changing it out.

 

“Get it repaired and sail on from Cape Town – Chichester (first person to solo) had one stop on his solo”

“Restart in Cape Town and finish up there”

Certainly I considered a restart which would have meant heading east again under Australia, New Zealand and South America, then up to and around Bermuda thence back down to finish in Cape Town.  Sounds logical but does not appeal to my emotional heart strings which was to start and finish in St. Augustine where I live and to proceed by way of Bermuda where I lived for some four years and from where Dodge Morgan, a hero of mine, began and thus to challenge his record which I could not have done re-starting from Cape Town.  South Africa is a great place but I have no attachments to it.

 

“This illustrates why sailing such a huge boat is a mistake”

“That he can obviously handle such a large boat is a given”

Yes the boat was large (large is faster) and given my age, any future boat will be smaller. But I was able to manage it albeit with difficulty at times. I did after all finish first in two races, one of which was single handed, and double handed I finished 14th out of 72 boats so the boat was manageable by one person. However a smaller boat may be more manageable. The Owners Brief I am working on is for a 56 – 58 foot vessel. Kiwi Spirit it 64 feet and with the bowsprit out some 70 feet and that is big!

 

“Leading edge innovations gives me the willies”

True. If there is to be a next time I shall opt for second generation tried and true. For instance I would have in-mast furling on the main rather than slab reefing and hydraulics furlers on the head sails. These I have had before and they worked well for me on my Farr 60.

 

“Why bother with going green – surely an unnecessary distraction”

Actually it’s fun to try to go green. It does take some attention such as monitoring the batteries and caring for the equipment but at sea there is most of the time, plenty of time. When matters get busy the green can be ignored until all is under control.  So I would again try to go green. However, I would use less solar as it takes up space and produces the least power. I would still have two wind generators but with them starting to produce power at different wind speeds, and maybe only three instead of four hydro generators.

 

“So what do you want to accomplish really? Win the race or just succeed?”

Succeed is the simple answer. But to be faster than those who have soloed would be good, to be the oldest to have soloed would be better and to be green would be a fringe benefit but significant to me and many who believe that every little bit helps to preserve this planet.

 

“Of course you should try again – there is no alternative.”

“I say third time is a charm”

“Survive to sail another day – accepting the challenge is the real win”

Oh yes there is an alternative to trying again! But if I do try it will be because I want to – not to prove anything or close out on unfinished business. It’s still less than a month since I ended the attempt yet it seems like years and I miss the challenge. I busy myself now between my wife’s honey to do list and working on a draft Owners Brief for the present or the next boat.

 

Three Closing Comments:

Could I have continued? Know that had I been around the tip of South America and heading north I would not have quit with just the sail problem. I had head sails that could have been adapted to replace the main, though not designed to be efficient for that purpose. I might have held the tear together as I did once before on a smaller tear with the sail rolled up a little and then held with vice grips holding the roll together.  But I still had the Southern Ocean to contend with and possibly nine Gales and one Storm it would have been very difficult and slow.

 

Thanks to my Team. I wish to thank all at Farr Yacht Design and at Lyman Morse boat builders for their professionalism and continuing support throughout the voyage. Each did their best in design and build. That I would do it differently is true but that is more due to my age and now the experience I have gained in what works best for me. So a big thanks to all and much appreciation. No one let me down.  I selected the team and was responsible for all decisions made and not made.

Finally, blogs now will be less frequent and maybe less than a month and perhaps only quarterly as events transpire. Notice will be sent via Facebook. Thanks again for you interest.

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