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Thread: Southern Cross

  1. #316
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    I can only agree with your wishes for the success of the voyage, the movie and John's business, but the issue that Mark raised is a valid one. In some situations, people have felt pressured to go in over their head because of a film crew and publicity. From memory, Donald Crowhurst was one and the issue is covered in some depth in the book. I think the tragic transatlantic rowing attempt covered in the excellent (but scary) book "The penance way" may have been another. I'm not going to check the books, because they build up such a picture of pressures pushing people to their death that they are depressing to read. That alone says something about the way some people have felt pressured to put themselves in mortal peril.

    Given that people died on those trips, surely we should not forget the issues they raised? Can't it be said that it was perfectly reasonable for people to raise the issue of media and pressure, and also perfectly reasonable for other people to point out that in this case it was a micro-budget operation with little leverage over a very experienced sailor and therefore there was no pressure?
    Questions are always good ways to deepen the knowledge.
    whatever rocks your boat

  2. #317
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Wi-Tom states it well. Badgers have a lot of common sense.

  3. #318
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    When I see the requests for information now, this minute, and the conclusions made on inadequate knowledge, all the down side of our instant info culture, I am reminded of an old ( 1971) book's title, The Blind Horn's Hate, sitting on my shelf. The Horn doesn't care. It is. Or lets be thankful that boat and sailor are well, slow down and wait for the account.
    Ben, I'm not sure whom you're directing this comment towards, because you don't say. However, my request for directions to a site which might display some basic reliable information about this accident were, as I noted above, to find a reliable description of the date and the location, and of the basic circumstances of the accident (eg close to shore or out at sea). Kevin kindly pointed me to the Small Craft Advisor's updated report, basically from Howard's mouth. I don't find that request extraordinary, nor overly demanding nor at all representative of some instant info culture. But maybe you were referring to something else.

    I only asked because such a description was not available on these pages, nor on John Welsford's blog, nor understandably, on Howard's blog. And that despite the fact that there's plenty of comment in this forum thread on the issues surrounding the whole matter.
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

  4. #319
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Some thoughts on Howard's adventure:

    Some are commenting how crazy it is to attempt to sail here in a 11 ft sailing boat. I don't have any experience of the area Howard is going to, but I have been struck from pictures and Howard's description how similar it seems to areas down here - our Fiordland and Stewart Island.

    Talk of extreme winds is true - I've run out of food waiting for weather to improve and called a helicopter in during a lull. A sea kayak on each skid, we ended up looking at the air speed gauge showing 90 knots forward air speed and seeing the helicopter going backwards at full power.

    Thing is, though, 60 knots plus in this fiord environment is different from same on the open ocean or in a normal harbour. Most of the time you're in enclosed waters, there's a limited fetch. If there's a long arm pointing at the open sea, one side will be better than the other. Water is generally very deep, waves are bouncing off the lee shore rather than curling into huge breakers so although it's an extremely confused and violent sea state, it's only throwing you up and down, not hurling you at the shore. You quickly reach the point where you aren't going to windward, but generally have some reasonable options to run downwind and get in behind a headland or island and tie up to a tree or some kelp for a bit. A Scamp would be comfortable enough running downwind under bare poles in a fiord in such conditions.

    Once you get out to the entrance of the Cockburn Channel, you've got the ability to sneak along the inside of London and Stewart Islands and not spend much time on the real open ocean, you're not trying to make long passages in the open with an impossible lee shore on one side.

    So, yes, it's an extreme adventure, but I don't think a stupid one. There have been three successful sea kayak expeditions to circumnavigate South Georgia for instance, that's more extreme in terms of open ocean with no shelter, either ironbound lee shore or risk of being blown off shore into the open ocean. I think a small sailboat such as Howards Southern Cross can survive where he's going, biggest problem for a boat such as this in comparison to a sea kayak is finding safe places to hole up when the weather is impossible. Kelp and no bottom you can anchor on and the like. Focus and systems have to be built on finding places you can hold yourself with lines ashore rather than an anchor. Lots of polyprop line and the ability to swim or pack raft to shore and fix it to rocks and trees. Maybe the solution to not being blown over is having enough lines out that are attached at the same height as the centre of pressure on the hull so there's not a turning force. Always taking masts down and having a bombproof way to secure them. Usually you'd anchor a boat with lines fore and aft with attachment points low down, lower than the centre of pressure especially if masts are still up, so enough wind from the side will lay you over.

    Wishing Howard all the best with whatever he does from now on on this trip.

  5. #320
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    The latest report is up on Below40South.com, its quite a not the ending to this expedition that we'd hoped for, but its an amazing story nevertheless.
    Rather than go on about it here, I'd suggest that its worth clicking the link and reading, http://below40south.com/


    John Welsford, so glad that my friend is safe.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  6. #321
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    What a read!
    Ragnar B.

  7. #322
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    The story has not ended, we've plans for further adventures, but not quite so cold.
    It will take a little while to get them organised, but the larger vision in terms of making Southern Cross a world spanning virtual classroom, bringing a global vision and adventure into classrooms is alive and well.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  8. #323
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    The Below 40 South website has a new post about the rescue and recovery of Southern Cross. There are some photos as well.

    http://below40south.com/progress-report-10/

  9. #324
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    I've just spoken to Howard, he's still in Puerto Williams, has had a dinner at the captains table on the Sibbald, the patrol boat that picked him up, he said it was an extraordinary evening with some wonderful people. Mentioned that the Sibbald had such high winds around her "that night" that they'd been unable to steer her! Just to remind you all, these are big ships designed for that coast, powerful, fast and very seaworthy. For them to have to seek shelter is extraordinary.

    A couple of calls ago he also mentioned that another yacht in the southern islands had been sunk that night. I have a tee shirt that says "It was a dark and stormy night". You bet.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  10. #325
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Update, from Howard. He's chosen to leave this post on my Facebook page, you might like to check it out here.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/JWDesigns/

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  11. #326
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    I'm not surprised, but am pleased that my impressions of the stoutness and robustness of that boat have proven out. Must be gratifying for you, John, as the designer. Kudos to SC, you, and Howard!!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  12. #327
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'm not surprised, but am pleased that my impressions of the stoutness and robustness of that boat have proven out. Must be gratifying for you, John, as the designer. Kudos to SC, you, and Howard!!
    Thanks David, do note though that SC had a kevlar liner glassed into her hull and glass outside as well, she was very carefully built for strength without adding too much weight.
    Although the hatches leaked during her week long wait for recovery, there was so much in the way of airtight containers inside, plus her innate bouyancy that she was effectively unsinkable.
    I do note though that she had settled about half her beam into the water, a factor which may actually have helped in that it would both reduce her windage and increase her resistance to being moved by the wind.

    Still, remarkable, Howard and I have part of ourselves in that boat, and I'm very glad that she's still with us.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  13. #328
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    I thought this was a great sample of sailing around the same area...

  14. #329
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    "Southern Cross" is back in Punta Arenas at Hostel Willitu, the family there have been incredibly helpful in allowing us to leave SCs shipping crate there while Howard went sailing. She's back in her crate and will be picked up soon by Patricio with his big crane and taken to the shipping depot to be slid into a container and shipped out.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  15. #330
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Shipped to where, John? Does Howard know his plans yet?
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  16. #331
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    I would ship her straight to Port Townsend. R2AK starts on June 8. The event would probably seem like a walk in the park for Howard.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  17. #332
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I would ship her straight to Port Townsend. R2AK starts on June 8. The event would probably seem like a walk in the park for Howard.
    He needs some quiet time to recover, plus there are more adventures in the planning, and the planning takes time.
    But its tempting, anyone got a spare SCAMP?

    ( Nononononono, slaps hand)

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  18. #333
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    A rare bit of light air on the Strait of Magellan. Off Pt Carrera. Minutes after this photo was snapped it was blowing in the 25 to 35 knot range, spent the afternoon and night at anchor in a rather bumpy spot. Next morning I crossed the Strait of Magellan to Isla Dawson.
    G][/IMG]

  19. #334
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Congratulations Howard, great to see you posting !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  20. #335
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Hi Howard, nice shot! Will there be video of your trip?

    Rick

  21. #336
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    There are a few commentators on this thread questioning the motives of Howard and John, in my view, most unjustly. This was a fantastic undertaking by a brave man who seems to be conspicuously lacking in the self-promotion excesses we have seen on some sailing expeditions. John's boat has more than proven itself by this, and I'm delighted Howard survived and is contemplating other expeditions. Can't wait to see more footage.

    David

  22. #337
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Clip.

    Money. It is an expensive business making a professional grade movie, finance has to be found up front, so from me, and I know Howard feels the same way, thank you all of you who donated to the Below40South movie project. Those donations have enabled the video footage to be taken, and now the production team will be working on it. Thats costly, but with the images "in the can" we have something to show, to attract a production studio who will be in the game for profit. Some of the proceeds from the sale of product, thats video and associated products, will come back to help finance the next part of the "virtual classroom project".
    If anyone doesnt agree, then they dont have to buy any of the goods, or the video. We cant please all of the people all of the time but there are many who will be very keen to see the "movie".


    John Welsford[/QUOTE]

    An update on this, the issue of any profit from this venture and how it is to be used. Howard had set up a "virtual classroom" ( my best description) which enables him, "Professor Howard Rice" and the appellation is real, he is a professional educator with many years of teaching experience, to present lessons directly, in real time, into classrooms anywhere there is a computer and a link to the internet, from Southern Cross. I'm involved, and was co presenter/teacher for several lessons presented to classes in North America from Punta Arenas.
    We're planning to do this from a wide variety of locations worldwide and have chosen places with particular unique features that will be of interest to the classes, and the subject matter will be such that it provides practical, real time application for subjects such as history, math, geography, biology, social science, and introductions to more advanced subjects such as physics, navigation, technology, and so on. This is free to schools, no charge, just sign up and be part of the project. Anyone else wanting to follow the project will be able to subscribe, the small fee helping the project, and there will be lots to read about, video to watch, and interactive forums to participate in.

    Currently we're working up the plan for what will be a 2 1/2 year project. Monies raised by Below 40 South the video will assist that project.
    While costs need to be covered, we're not in this to become millionaires. For us, we're both looking forward to the adventures that this project will bring, but really, we're doing it for the kids.
    Why? You'd have to be there, when we see the excitement and interest that our lessons create, and hear from their teachers how we've given their classes an incredible boost, its wonderful.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  23. #338
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    I'll be a dissenter too. I think Howard did well, but I think mother nature just issued a "don't mess with me" warning.

    Howard was lucky with a number of his preparations: His drysuit remained intact, he managed to get ashore and he had some sort of signalling device. He was just lucky that the Armada was there to pluck him out and I suspect they were keeping a loose cover on him. If any of those things had failed, this thread would have a different tone.

    Howard, you did well......now get the hell out of there.
    He got ashore with his "ditch bag" and the Delorme beacon, in that bag was enough gear to create shelter, make fire, signal ( flares etc), some food, and knife etc. While the cold had seriously affected him, he was still in good enough shape to have used that to survive for quite some time.
    Incidentally, the Armada de Chile are very interested in the drysuit that he was wearing, they'd fully expected to find a corpsicle next morning instead of him walking down the beach toward them and they're considering those as equipment for high risk landings.
    I looked Howards one over and was very impressed, I've not seen any others as good as that.
    https://oceanrodeo.com/drywear/

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  24. #339
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    [/IMG]
    That's a spectacular photograph.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  25. #340
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    John and Howard, thanks for the updates! John or Howard, what model of those Ocean Rodeo drysuits was he using? Huge that he was able to survive all that time in the water and a night out on shore before being picked up. An extraordinary story, hope we hear more.

    Thanks,

    Ian

  26. #341
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by IanHowick View Post
    John and Howard, thanks for the updates! John or Howard, what model of those Ocean Rodeo drysuits was he using? Huge that he was able to survive all that time in the water and a night out on shore before being picked up. An extraordinary story, hope we hear more.

    Thanks,

    Ian
    You bet, he wore it for days on end, working the boat, wading in the water, rowing and all. As to which it is, I'm not sure Ian, I did look it over when Howard tried it on ( there is a picture a few posts back on my blog) but it didnt have a "model id" on it. If you were interested, email Ocean Rodeo and ask, its not a big outfit and they'll know exactly what he had. If you're thinking of one for the southern lakes, I'd get the bunting liner as well. Thats like a seriously good thermal undersuit.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  27. #342
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Hello
    A clarification:
    I would like to clarify a point below.
    ***********
    John Welsford[/QUOTE]

    An update on this, the issue of any profit from this venture and how it is to be used. Howard had set up a "virtual classroom" ( my best description) which enables him, "Professor Howard Rice" and the appellation is real, he is a professional educator with many years of teaching experience, to present lessons directly, in real time, into classrooms anywhere there is a computer and a link to the internet, from Southern Cross. I'm involved, and was co presenter/teacher for several lessons presented to classes in North America from Punta Arenas.
    We're planning to do this from a wide variety of locations worldwide and have chosen places with particular unique features that will be of interest to the classes, and the subject matter will be such that it provides practical, real time application for subjects such as history, math, geography, biology, social science, and introductions to more advanced subjects such as physics, navigation, technology, and so on. This is free to schools, no charge, just sign up and be part of the project. Anyone else wanting to follow the project will be able to subscribe, the small fee helping the project, and there will be lots to read about, video to watch, and interactive forums to participate in.

    Currently we're working up the plan for what will be a 2 1/2 year project. Monies raised by Below 40 South the video will assist that project.
    While costs need to be covered, we're not in this to become millionaires. For us, we're both looking forward to the adventures that this project will bring, but really, we're doing it for the kids.
    Why? You'd have to be there, when we see the excitement and interest that our lessons create, and hear from their teachers how we've given their classes an incredible boost, its wonderful.

    John Welsford
    ************************


    As background and to clarify:

    There is a documentary film being produced about my just completed voyage. It will require funding to produce the film from the images shot over the past 3 1/2 years including footage I shot while I was sailing. I have no stake in the ownership or potential of the documentary, I just built a boat and sailed it.

    John Welsford and Dave Nichols are making the film and any funds raised by them for their film Below 40 South go to production costs of the film and nothing else. To my knowledge neither John nor Dave has taken one penny of funds raised to date for themselves. I arrived at the film studio direct from Chile and just last week turned over the SD cards I shot (three of which were damaged in the capsize) and thats that for me.

    It's their choice that if some day the documentary produces any profit to offer some of that to the project I detail below.

    A Wooden Boat Voyage


    The follow on "Voyage of Southern Cross" educational circumnavigation project is my vision and it is not related to the Below 40 South film. It will require financial backing and a development group of talented individuals (John Welsford included) is now working to organize the voyage and to seek financial support. I am but one member of the group

    Funds raised for the film "Below 40 South" will not be used for the "Voyage of Southern Cross" project, they are completely separate.


    I have no idea whether we will be successful in raising funding to support the Voyage of Southern Cross but I will give it my best as I feel it is very worthwhile.
    The project is a very pure non profit oriented act of giving, plain and simple. We are looking at individual supporters, foundations, grants and corporate support possibilities.

    My vision now shared by many is a big idea and a bold vision and a resultant big project. This said I believe it is the big ideas that hold the power to engage people and offer tangible good to many.

    What better than potentially hundreds or even thousands of schools worldwide following an exciting education based small boat voyage with the potential for kids to meet kids from other lands through an on line student forum.

    I am very excited about the project based on my little wooden boat Southern Cross, a hand built 11' 11" sailboat circumnavigating the world in a dedicated container (complete with small repair shop, generator, trailer, small RIB, cameras, etc) to a number of exotic locations in 12 countries including an attempt to sail the highest salt water lake in the world (sacred Lake Nam Tso, Tibet 15,479 feet) high in the Himalayas. The current plan is New Zealand, Japan, Tibet, Idea, Egypt, Greece, Spain, France, Norway, England and the United States. The just completed voyage in Chile was leg one. I believe that this different kind of circumnavigation has the potential to change young lives and may also be a very compelling voyage of interest for sailors everywhere. Part of the initiative is to film all of it and for either broadcast or as a feature film. Each legs adventure and lessons (approx 1 month each) will be filmed, archived and will be available to students and support subscribers at any time through the web site.

    A web site will be going up shortly detailing the project.

    The project is geared for 4th to 6th grade students. My 5th grade teacher ignited my mind to live fully and explore and now I am attempting to give it back.

    The proof of concept is in. As a test I worked with two elementary schools (about 400 students) and one home school group before and during my voyage in Chile. John helped out in Chile by co-instructing some of the classes before I departed to sail. Here is a photo of him teaching the home school group via live streaming.

    I carried a satellite phone aboard for the express purpose of teaching as I voyaged. Kids were able to track my progress via map share advancing my course daily and had lessons and interactive phone calls from my boat. The teachers and schools were wild about this and I have to say doing this was one of the highlights of my voyage if not my life. I experienced a very challenging yet very fulfilling voyage and I want to use the experience not for personal gain but to give more to others.

    I would like to personally thank John Welsford. He is for sure in my mind an unsung hero and a seriously bad punster.

    Thanks for reading. We (the planning/support group) have one motivation for this project based on a realization I had in Chile (strange things can happen to the solo sailor alone for weeks;-).

    To use a small wooden sailboat to touch the hearts and minds of potentially thousands of students around the world linking them together through
    The many adventures of "A little ship and her best friend"
    it's that simple.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by Howard Rice; 04-14-2017 at 12:15 PM.

  28. #343
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    He got ashore with his "ditch bag" and the Delorme beacon, in that bag was enough gear to create shelter, make fire, signal ( flares etc), some food, and knife etc. While the cold had seriously affected him, he was still in good enough shape to have used that to survive for quite some time.
    Incidentally, the Armada de Chile are very interested in the drysuit that he was wearing, they'd fully expected to find a corpsicle next morning instead of him walking down the beach toward them and they're considering those as equipment for high risk landings.
    I looked Howards one over and was very impressed, I've not seen any others as good as that.
    https://oceanrodeo.com/drywear/

    John Welsford
    [IMG][
    I never gave up and went back and recovered my boat. An admittedly almost impossible task. But here she is in Puerto Williams awaiting the cargo ship. Soon she will be on board a ship headed back to the US.
    [IMG]
    This is what 45 knots looks like and good for me I am standing on shore. I experienced 72 knots at Georgiana with cyclones (Trombas) estimated at over 100 knots. The Armada patrol boat recorded sustained winds near my location between 66 to 72 knots.

    I have been writing up a factual report on my experiences before and during the voyage. The write up is for my use at this point, with a coming related article series in Small Craft Advisor. In particular I have been writing and analyzing the incident at both Isla Clementina and Isla Georgiana where I was caught in the Tromba Marina winds as was a Chilean patrol ship that by chance was nearby on a normal scheduled patrol. The Tromba situation was hard to understand, almost mesmerizing as it unfolded.

    The Armada did not have set ships or other equipment out to find me. The Sibbald was a few miles away (unbeknownst to me) in a fight of their own as they could not maintain steerage. I have since then spent much time aboard the Sibbald (we are friends) and have filmed us talking through the incident and the trouble we both had surviving the day.

    The Sibbald instruments recorded sustained winds up to 72 knots and the Captain estimated the Trombas at 100 knots or higher (they were not hit). I was surrounded by Trombas and watched many form, some only feet away due to the topography of Georgiana and was finally hit by one from port. I successfully righted after being caught under the boat as it was instantly blown to turtle and I mean instantly. I had practiced all of these capsize situations including under the boat in full turtle and actually have taught capsize prevention and recovery to many small boat and SCAMP sailors. I was then hit by a Tromba from starboard, righted the boat again and in the moment of re-entering was blown off aft (unable to maintain a hand hold) by a Tromba that hit directly from the front. Trombas are unnerving as they actually emit a very high pitch screaming whistling sound.

    In a sense I feel like a well prepared mountain climber who is hit by an avalanche and then has to self rescue. Not much I could do to prevent it other than just not being there. I went into my voyage eyes wide open and admit I was not aware of the extremely rare Tromba Marina winds. Before the Georgiana incident I had successfully weathered hundreds of direct williwaw wind hits, very uncomfortable and unnerving but handled. I expected same and therefore was mentally ready and had my boat set for them (anchoring/tie off system). I suppose there are those who will call me a fool and I know some people even friends who said they did not support my voyage. I just don't care as i didn't ask for support, to each his own.

    I consider my voyage a fantastic experience, all of it!

    My total time in the water including under the boat at full turtle and up on the boat during the Georgiana incident, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, maybe a little less. The Armada states that in southern Tierra del Fuego "functional time" for a clothed in foul weather gear (not dry suit with layering) person in the water is approximately 5 minutes, with death occurring in about 15 minutes. I was well prepared through my particular layering strategy (which I followed religiously each day in spite of the hassle) and as importantly my choice of dry suit. The dry suit was selected by me and was a bon voyage gift from my friend Josh Colvin. I used it for the first time on the voyage and literally lived in it for weeks. It is an Ocean Rodeo Ignite model.

    My coming write up will detail the facts not just of the incident but of the three days leading to it, which were some of the most difficult days I have experienced. One of the knock ons leading to my situation in the water and on shore was the ditch bag contents. I did not have the full complement of gear in the bag as the day before I had made an attempt to get to shore by swimming dry bags with camping/survival gear including the film.

    I had moved some items out of the ditch bag for good reason. I abandoned the idea as too dangerous. Therefore the ditch bag was not fully set the next morning. I had no shelter in it other than a silver space type blanket, I could also not make fire, I could filter water, I had no food. Any way I lived through the time in the water and then on land in the open and was able to almost stand and move a little by the next day. Finally after much excruciating work and painful pounding on my legs and stretching them I was able to take two steps at a time and stubbornly (not my best personality trait) with arms helping got to the rescue RIB. My hands were the real issue aside from my core temperature.

    No Armada personnel were ever in danger in any manner because of my situation. This is very very important to me.

    On film the officers and Captain of the Sibbald explain their emotional angst of not being able to come in to search for me during the long night as they battled the Trombas circling until a possible next day weather break. The entire crew was awake and on the alert. It was a hard experience for them because they feared I might perish due to the cold and general situation.

    The Captain made a sound choice to not send a RIB in as he would have put five men in extreme danger. Well done!

    In conclusion I am responsible for me and I expect no one else to come to my aid. I am not the type of person to put myself in situations where I am foolishly in need of assistance. I do not call for help, I am the help. This case was different for a variety of reasons.

    Apologies for the next statement for I do not mean to sound full of myself but...............it was me who saved my life in the water and on land through preparation and physical/mental training. It was not the Armada or anyone else. The Armada came in to pick me up off the beach the next day. If I had not contacted them they would have come any way but not for a couple of days as my Delorme battery was at 15% due to a week of virtually no sun. Had I not reported in each day they would have launched a SAR attempt. They require all vessels commercial and private to report in daily, miss a report and they automatically come looking. John Welsford and I met an American big boat sailor (we hosted him for breakfast) who did not follow this requirement and was forced back to Punta Arenas, reprimanded and big time fined. The Armada constantly launches SAR operations for vessels they know are OK but they have to go out any way.

    The Armada waited and sent a small boat in during a weather break (it was calmer for a narrow two hour window the next day) and I with a little assistance made my way into their boat. There was a complex set of factors I weighed before hitting the SOS button and some of my thinking had other people in mind.

    I know I made the right call as not doing so may have created a much bigger situation where expense would have been incurred by the Armada and personnel put in harms way. I will explain this decision in a coming report, magazine article, not sure what I am going to do as far as writing about this or if I should share it.

    My hope is that if I decide to publicly share experiencing the Trombas and the voyage in general that in doing so my fact based recounting and video footage might become a useful piece of information for the public record and perhaps assist some other sailor some day.

    Few Chilean fishermen or foreign yachtsmen have lived through a direct Tromba hit. My friends John and Patricio Cano who with me aboard their fishing boat the El Decano recovered my boat once lived through a single Tromba hit several years ago aboard a well found foreign yacht on the Beagle Channel and were a knife slash away from deploying the life raft. I recorded their harrowing account on film. I was hit three times in the space of about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Happy to be here and very happy to have been made an honorary crew member of the Sibbald!

    To my friends in the Armada and the crew of the Sibbald reading this, see you gents soon.
    Last edited by Howard Rice; 04-14-2017 at 07:19 PM.

  29. #344
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Educational. Learn and keep going. Thanks for sharing.I do not have time for the "told you so" crowd.

  30. #345
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Howard,
    There have been and will be, naysayers who will say you should not have gone, but I'm not one of them. You, and possibly others, may attempt this or a similar trip again, and the lessons you will take way from this will be invaluable to ensure that such attempts do not end in tragedy. Your lessons will also be invaluable to those of us who undertake less extreme adventures but who may be challenged with wind and weather and the need for self-rescue. I, for one, would welcome whatever insights and lessons you care to share.
    I've already decided I should be carrying my InReach on my person, not fastened to the boat, as a result of reading your account. So, you see, you've already made a difference.
    Thanks
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  31. #346
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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
    Posts
    4,013

    Default Re: Southern Cross

    One of the interesting things that I've picked up from Howard is his "lifejacket". It's not just a bouyancy aid, it has pockets with a whole list of survival gear in them, a hat, sunburn cream, vhf radio, means of starting fire, survival blanket, food, mini flares and so on. He was set up differently for this expedition, but thats his normal small boat cruising equipment. I went out and found a Kayak Expedition Leaders PFD, and have it set up the same way, PLUS have a ditch bag on a lanyard with a float on it, the bag is shock corded into the cockpit but the lanyard is free so floats out to give me a better chance of grabbing it.
    Working with Howard is great, we share ideas and experiences, two heads are better than one.

    John Welsford.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  32. #347
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    Mar 2010
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    central cal
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    One of the interesting things that I've picked up from Howard is his "lifejacket". It's not just a bouyancy aid, it has pockets with a whole list of survival gear in them, a hat, sunburn cream, vhf radio, means of starting fire, survival blanket, food, mini flares and so on. He was set up differently for this expedition, but thats his normal small boat cruising equipment. I went out and found a Kayak Expedition Leaders PFD, and have it set up the same way, PLUS have a ditch bag on a lanyard with a float on it, the bag is shock corded into the cockpit but the lanyard is free so floats out to give me a better chance of grabbing it.
    Working with Howard is great, we share ideas and experiences, two heads are better than one.

    John Welsford.
    Hindsight is always 20/20. Foresight is foggier. Keep looking forward.

    Thanks to you both.

    Peace,
    Robert

  33. #348
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    One of the interesting things that I've picked up from Howard is his "lifejacket". It's not just a bouyancy aid, it has pockets with a whole list of survival gear in them, a hat, sunburn cream, vhf radio, means of starting fire, survival blanket, food, mini flares and so on. He was set up differently for this expedition, but thats his normal small boat cruising equipment. I went out and found a Kayak Expedition Leaders PFD, and have it set up the same way, PLUS have a ditch bag on a lanyard with a float on it, the bag is shock corded into the cockpit but the lanyard is free so floats out to give me a better chance of grabbing it.
    Working with Howard is great, we share ideas and experiences, two heads are better than one.

    John Welsford.
    John, I just posted in this thread how I have recently upgraded my PFD, together with my waist pack ditch bag, to accommodate most of those things. I agree that we all have a lot to learn from each other.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  34. #349
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    755

    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    One of the interesting things that I've picked up from Howard is his "lifejacket". It's not just a bouyancy aid, it has pockets with a whole list of survival gear in them, a hat, sunburn cream, vhf radio, means of starting fire, survival blanket, food, mini flares and so on. He was set up differently for this expedition, but thats his normal small boat cruising equipment. I went out and found a Kayak Expedition Leaders PFD, and have it set up the same way, PLUS have a ditch bag on a lanyard with a float on it, the bag is shock corded into the cockpit but the lanyard is free so floats out to give me a better chance of grabbing it.
    Working with Howard is great, we share ideas and experiences, two heads are better than one.

    John Welsford.
    For this voyage I used my usual dual pfd (Extrasport flat jacket and a Northwater Guide Vest over included the following items:
    Small binoculars
    Monocular
    Signal mirror
    Two whistles
    Four rocket flares
    One smoke marker
    Spyderco knife on a lanyard (A second Spyderco was on a lanyard attached to my dry suit)
    One pair of neoprene gloves
    In Reach Delorme in a dry bag, sometimes attached to the jacket and sometimes around my neck. It was blown off my neck when I was blown off the boat.
    Sun screen
    Fire starter (Dryer lint balls, hand sanitizer, a small roll of birch bark, flint and matches in a waterproof container)
    Hand made sling shot and 20 steel ball bearings.
    Survival blanket
    Two energy food bars

    I did not have the Northwater vest plus its load of gear on when I was blown off the boat, only the Extra Sport. I had to remove both when I was caught under the turtled boat and had to discard the Northwater in the process. I donned the ExtraSport after crawling up on to the turtled hull before righting.

  35. #350
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Northern NSW Australia
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    64,412

    Default Re: Southern Cross

    You also had an adequate supply of Luck Howard, a vitally important item, the quantity of which seems directly proportional to prior preparation. No denigration of your efforts implied but Luck isn't always on one's side.

    Well done sir !!
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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