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Thread: Southern Cross

  1. #316
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    Feb 2006
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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
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    100

    Default Re: Southern Cross

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

  3. #318
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    2,642

    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Queenstown, NewZealand
    Posts
    304

    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hamilton New Zealand
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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
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Oslofjorden
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    587

    Default Re: Southern Cross

    What a read!
    Ragnar B.

  7. #322
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hamilton New Zealand
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    3,408

    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    13

    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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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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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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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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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
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    37,585

    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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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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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
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Deer Isle, Maine
    Posts
    936

    Default Re: Southern Cross

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

  14. #329
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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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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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    Apr 1999
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    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
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    22,491

    Default Re: Southern Cross

    Shipped to where, John? Does Howard know his plans yet?
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

  16. #331
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Ballard
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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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    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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    3,408

    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.

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