Sunday, November 25, 2007

Merits of Reid's Mars Ocean Odyssey

On Reid's web site he has a media brochure that contains a mission statement and a list of goals he said he would achieve during his 1000 days voyage. With the Anne disabled in the southern ocean after 220 days lets see how he is getting along.

1. To obtain valuable information on the physical and mental stress which must be overcome during such an extended voyage. The solitude that will be a major part of this journey will give insight into man's tolerance during an extended isolation from land.

Do they have a baseline physical and mental examination before they left. Are they collecting data. Do they even have a scale? Hardly.
Isolation? What Isolation? They are in constant contact with their "mission control" and begging for intellectual support regarding challenges they encounter. Finally, it seems that they have planned a rendezvous during the journey. Presumably that still meets their goals though as long as it is out of sight of land???

2. To evaluate the effectiveness of various psychological support techniques when applied
under actual field conditions and examine ways to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Following a program are we? Applying a variety of methods? Following scientific methods and principles? I don't think 'being nice' is a program or basis for study.

3. Critical information will be developed not just for survival but for sustainable human existence. This would include food, clothing, boating equipment, communication and a host of other items that while seeming insignificant during normal life on land, may assume critical
importance under the stress experienced by isolation.

This could have been applicable if the boat wasn't 40 years old, based on an outmoded design (particularly inappropriate for short-handing), using archaic materials, leaking into the food stores, and requiring constant supervision and maintenance.

4. We can increase our knowledge of the southern oceans through daily recordings of
water, air temperatures, wind speeds, water and atmospheric pollution and ozone depletion.
Through these records we will gain insight into our ultimate dependence on our environment.

In a post on their blog Soanya admits that they don't have as much as a thermometer to collect water temperatures. They have no instrumentation what so ever to accurately collect ozone, pollution, or wind data.

5. Education components are planned to instruct those who follow the voyage. Subjects to be
studied are: marine and atmospheric sciences, satellite communication, celestial navigation,
computer technology, sail boat repair and maintenance, nutrition, gardening, health,
physical education, geography, oceanography, math, world history, languages, psychology as
well as a host of other topics.

The interactive education components that were scheduled with various groups all seem to have canceled. The regular educational updates have not been happening. Sat com, navigation, computers, health(he has scurvy)??? Is he an expert or authority in any of these disciplines? The boat that Reid is sailing was built using obsolete technology that people don't care to repair... Is it useful to know how to repair a black and white television? Reid can't find the only oceanography text that he has on board. Finally, he has not succeeded to teach his even partner Soanya the most basic sailing skills in 220 days.

6. To inspire others to voyage beyond human expectations.

Personally I hope that he inspires no one to voyage out in such a haphazard, unprepared manner; endangering not only their own lives but those of rescuers as well.

7. To promote a global message of hope, peace, perseverance, achievement and excellence..

Hope? For what? Peace? How? Perseverance? Likely. Achievement? Suspect. Excellence? Not by any standard. Unfortunately for their own safety he should have turned back before entering the southern ocean. He is setting a very poor example for other sailors.

Clearly he has not met any of his goals. Unfortunately this entire farce has been without any merit or value(other than entertainment) to anyone what so ever.

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