Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stowe Supporters - Encouraging "Exploration" or Blood Sport?

I read the last post on the 1000 Days blog “On This Planet and Beyond, Live Your Dreams” and was encouraged that there seemed to be a small hint that R&S might consider cutting the voyage short. He allows that they may have already set a record for a man and woman at sea and the “longest non-stop space analogous mission to take place on this earth.” I have no idea what that means, but if he does that – kudos. While I’m encouraged that they may be reconsidering their options, I am very concerned by those on the blog who continue to egg them on.

I understand how a dynamic personality like Reid’s can sway people’s thinking. The words he and his supporters have used are awe inspiring. Words such as “explore”, “expedition”, “voyage”. In fact, Reid’s departure press release describes him as an “extraordinary explorer”. An explorer is one who, according to Mr. Webster, investigates unknown regions. Mr. Stowe has never, ever, ever, been to an unknown region of the sea. Far from being unknown, in less than 200 days he wandered into a missile testing area and was asked to leave, and then he was hit by a tanker. Based on his experience thus far, it actually seems pretty crowded out there.

One of the biggest land-based problems he has right now is not this blog or some of the SA crowd, it is the people who are supporting him and encouraging him to go on, even into the Southern Ocean, one of the most inhospitable and dangerous places on the planet to be in a boat. You can discredit me because I’ve never been there, and I have no desire to go there - ever. But real explorers, military/commercial shipping and highly qualified sailors have experienced the Southern Ocean and shared their stories of the absolute and destructive power of wind and waves as well as the unpredictability of storms. Wikipedia says of the Southern Ocean, in part:

“The ocean area from about latitude 40 south to the Antarctic Circle has the strongest average winds found anywhere on Earth.”

The boat’s old and leaking. The rigging’s old, and the skipper is not quite in his prime of his life. There are only two people on board. Soanya hasn’t got the rudimentary knowledge or experience and Reid is weak from a poor diet. The boat, the sails and the spars are old and all they’ve apparently got in case they need to abandon is an inflatable, open raft. If they enter the roaring 40s and they do survive, I’ll be as relieved as anyone for their safe passage (though certainly more surprised). But I won’t be encouraging them to press on. To do so is terribly irresponsible.

I’ve had a good time poking fun at these two, and will continue to do so, but if this turns into a tragedy, I’ll be able to sleep with a clean conscience. Those SA folks who try to taunt Reid off the ledge are MUCH more responsible than those of you, who in your blind ignorance of what’s at stake here, are imploring him to jump.


Sailflat said...

2 votes for blood sport!

elle said...

Regatta Dog, just want to make sure you know when i told wayne i thought reid should get his ass on down to the southern ocean that i was just being sarcastic.

w42 said...

void ho...

To R&S: turn back. you have done enough damage. There be dragons there. Better to admit defeat than push on foolheartadly because some vanity, ego, or audience you must impress.

-experienced sailor

Anonymous said...

Reid (R-E-I-D) is not going to cut the trip short unless there's a serious problem he can't fix - and that doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon (sorry!)

The boat is NOT leaking, the materials are holding up well and repairing, the systems are working...

He's not going to cut it short because he loves to sail, has always dreamt of sailing without stopping, he loves being on the water, AND he's nearing the finish (60% in) of a lifelong dream to DO something. If you guys could remember the feeling you got when you first went out on a boat alone (if you ever did) of not wanting the experience to end, maybe you would understand.

You folks just don't get that! sorry... maybe it's because you AREN'T really sailors or boats people... (!!!)

Vandalism and Fair Use

It seems that some energetic fans of Mr. Stowe have discovered this site and have a problem with it's content; All posts are welcome here whether you agree with this blog or not; however, nonsensical posts will be deleted.

We suggest you research the following terms: public figure, parody, and fair use.....and lighten up a bit, hey?