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  #31  
Old 02-07-2008
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The forgotten point is the obligation to others. If you are more than 6 miles or so from another yacht in distress then you will not hear a call even assuming your vhf was switched on. Quid pro quo and all that. One can be staunch and self-sufficient - so leave out the epirb. It doesn't matter if a satellite picks it up, and you are out of helicopter range but there is another boat in the vicinity without a radio.
It seems to me that the attitude is while other people may be concerned about me I am alright jack.
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  #32  
Old 02-07-2008
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
I thought they prevented gout. Well, solidarity, brother: I just shovelled 30 cm. of snow off the estate and I decided to add your brandy to mine. Succour is required.

(By way of saying "bucketing down" would've saved me a stiff back in the morning, which is why I'm having a stiff drink tonight.)
Val,
There are "cures" but the pills are really nasty andI'm one of those poor souls who suffers some nasty side effects from heavy duty pain killers. I do have a pill that reduces the severity of an attack but they take a day to have full effect. The best way of controlling gout is to make sure you drink lots of water which I usually do. Gout is caused by a build up of Uric acid in the joints, particularly knees and toes, which the water helps flush away but there are a few foodstuffs that aggravate it, in particular the bright green leafy vegetables such as Spinach, Broccoli and the Chinese vegetables such as bok choy, choy sum, and gai lan. An excess of protein is also to be avoided particularly if an attack can be felt coming on.

In my case I'd had a couple of heavy nights on the booze and followed it up yesterday with a lunch that included a great big serving of Gai Lan.

The theory about Red Wine causing gout is piffle. In fact white wine is worse than red but even that is a minor contributor. However alcohol dehydrates and that's where the problem is exacerbated. Other than lots of water the best natural preventative is celery of all things so I'm upping my intake of Bloody Marys. Seriously I take a celery supplement every day but had run out. You know the story, hadn't had an attack in over six months and complacency got the better of me.

Anyway, thanks for your concern but I'll be fine on the morrow.


Chris - I'd like to think that if I was sinking someone would come to my assistance as I would to theirs. What concerns me is this need to keep in touch with shore at all times. My belief is that it's overkill and in fact causes more worry and stress than simply being very conservative in estimating passage times. I mentioned this in my little cruise report from the other week where my mother worked herself up into quite an agitated state because I failed to phone her for a few days. Years back I'd take off for weeks on end without radio (couldn't afford one) or telephone (they didn't exist back then) and she would be fine, but now she freaks out if I don't call despite the fact that I had warned her we would be in an area with no mobile or indeed radio, reception.
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  #33  
Old 02-07-2008
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Well, you seem to have your sailorly priorities in order.

I think this brings up a fairly interesting debating point. Vega is evidently an experienced sailor, as is his wife, as not to be so doing a Hawa'ii to Vancouver trip in a 27-footer would be the height of folly.

But it does bring to the fore the need to "stay in touch" via satphones, SSBs and other wonders of the 21st century. A well-found small boat can make all sorts of trips with a handheld VHF, a sextant, an almanac and a compass.

Our distant ancestors were doing this sort of thing in the misty past of 1985 or thereabouts. Legend has it that virgins set out so equipped in vessels of possibly stone construction called Kon-Tes-sas or some no doubt native moniker, and said virgins, relying only on ancient scrolls called "almanacs" and the mysterious force called "WWV" and their innate, incorruptible virtue crossed seas and broad oceans, possibly ramming dragons in the process.

But because you can reach out and touch someone from the middle of an ocean passage (assuming, naturally, that your wallet is thicker than your hull lay-up), does this mean you should, or more to the point, that you must?

I am surprised to hear that a 27 footer could carry enough solar panels to run a watermaker off the house batteries, because I'm pretty sure that the fuel carried would be well under 100 hours of engine run time (plus a likely maximum alt output of 55 amps). Throw in a 150 watt SSB so you can say "still here!" to lubbers? You might be able to report dying of thirst!

There are many reasons to go to sea, and one of them is to "get away". The hazards are known, and the consequences of poor decision-making, indifferent attention to maintenance or sheer dumb luck (a bow ornament on a container ship, or the dinner of a rogue wave) are largely final and not fixable by any amount of SAR heroics, worthy though they might be.

The wife had it right: She provisioned for 90 days in anticipation of 30 days, and insisted on throwing in a little watermaker. 55 days was a longer passage, not a *bad* passage nor one that would elicit much comment before our modern world insisted on shrinking the globe to a set of time zones and due dates. The sea, magnificent in its indifference, has the last word.
I could't have said it better myself Valiente. I wouldn't say that we are Master Mariners but we have made Pacific crossings before, together and independently.

The solar panels worked fine until we reached lat 35 or so. After that we had to run the engine a few hours every four or five days. bear in mind that we do not have a lot of electronics on board. Our three GPS units are all handheld. We did not run any electric lights while more than 200 miles from land or unless we sighted a ship (We didn't see another vessel for over a month). The radio was kept off unless a ship was in view until we checked in with Tofino Traffic at the entrance to the strait of Juan de Fuca. In short, just about the only thing electrical that we did use was the watermaker.

As for our families; We told them that the trip would probably be about thirty days but that it might take forty five or more. It wasn't the family that reported us overdue - It was the American Vega Association Rendezvous organizers when we didn't show up for the party. No doubt, knowing us, they figured it had to be serious if we missed a party.

(By the way, click here for information about the 2008 Pacific Northwest Vega Rendezvous)

We were just overdue, not missing. There was no search although we were warmly welcomed by the US Coast Guard at Neah Bay. Two Coasties took our lines as we docked and one of them handed Laura his cell phone and said "Call your mother"

At the risk of provoking the handwringers: When did it become such a necessity to be able to call someone from anywhere on the planet? Where did this idea come from that you must have the ability to call and tell everyone you're alright, or if not call for the helicopter to come zooming in over the horizon to rescue you if the weather gets too bad or the ice maker goes on the fritz. More to the point, why undertake a sea voyage if you can't bear to be off the leash?

If you have the money and don't mind spending a lot of time fixing or worrying about electronic gadgets, by all means, knock youself out. Pore over catalogs and debate the relative merits of this or that satelite phone or personal gps locator beacon but you would do well to bear in mind that you cannot buy safety at any price. If you want to be safe, remain securely tied to the dock at all times. Because a thousand miles from land, chances are if you really need it, help will not get there in time even if you can call. Furthermore, if you think you have a right to expect a taxpayer funded government agency to come bail you out of a situation you are not prepared to deal with you shouldn't be out there in the first place.

That's my opinion. I'm sure you have yours. Everyone does.

I shall speak of this no more.

Malie ke kai
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  #34  
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Well said, Vega.
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  #35  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
At the risk of provoking the handwringers: When did it become such a necessity to be able to call someone from anywhere on the planet? Where did this idea come from that you must have the ability to call and tell everyone you're alright, or if not call for the helicopter to come zooming in over the horizon to rescue you if the weather gets too bad or the ice maker goes on the fritz. More to the point, why undertake a sea voyage if you can't bear to be off the leash?

If you have the money and don't mind spending a lot of time fixing or worrying about electronic gadgets, by all means, knock youself out. Pore over catalogs and debate the relative merits of this or that satelite phone or personal gps locator beacon but you would do well to bear in mind that you cannot buy safety at any price. If you want to be safe, remain securely tied to the dock at all times. Because a thousand miles from land, chances are if you really need it, help will not get there in time even if you can call. Furthermore, if you think you have a right to expect a taxpayer funded government agency to come bail you out of a situation you are not prepared to deal with you shouldn't be out there in the first place. i
Well said. I didn't mean to single you out, nor your families, who are probably used to this sort of thing. I get it a lot in terms of wanting to take our son out of school between Grades Three and Nine..."aren't you concerned he'll miss something?" Yes, the chance to be a useless, Nintendo-addicted mall rat. "Isn't it dangerous to take a child to sea?" Well, you're the ones driving on the highway...I don't own a car!" "Aren't you worried he'll get lonely?" Well, not really. I think between cruiser nets, hooking up with other cruising families, and spending time hanging out with kids from a zillion other countries, he'll probably be better socialized than travelling in a local cohort of TV addicted, Ritalin-bound white kids of privilege. (Note: the biggest privilege is foregoing the chance to buy a bigger house/SUV/bank account and to go sailing with your parents for five years, who will be broke when you get back!).

Anyway, the "call home" thing comes from the same source: the idea that the normative mode of developed Western societies (even when relatively new) is not only the best way to live, but the only way to live, all others being somehow deficient. I hope that my wife and I, in the purely selfish pursuit of wanting to chuck careers and prosperity in mid-life in order to mess about in boats, are able to give our son the life skills that will serve him well in what I suspect will be a messy, less secure and more challenging future than our own youth: the qualities of self-reliance, stoicism, the derivation of pleasure from small things, a greater than average ability to fend for oneself, and a cosmopolitan outlook based on going to where wildly different people live, and hanging out with them.

Some would call this a hippy ethos, 30 years too late, but I can assure any readers that it comes from a pretty conservative place. There is much to admire about today's society...I'm no Luddite...but much that cannot pass uncriticized...and in some ways the driving force for us wanting the cruising life is to get our kid the hell out of North America during his formative years.
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  #36  
Old 02-08-2008
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Wombat,
I also have gout & have found a treatment with no side affects. Uricinex is what I take.
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  #37  
Old 02-08-2008
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Cool At the risk of

getting jumped all over again..

I was not suggesting a means or a desire of checking in every day with mommy...or averting disaster with there use.

Sans the SSB... A sat phone ( which can be rented ) requires zero on board current draw and zero extra cost if not used. But if you are overdue by an extended time, as in this case, One simple call...ONE.. to aleart The coasties as to whats up as in this situation the need to sail slow ( I would carry extra wire before a sat phone ) there would have been no multiple PAn PAN day in and day out.

I dont like that much publicity but whatever blows your skirt up.

Last edited by Stillraining; 02-08-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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  #38  
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I don't mind being singled out. After all, "Everyone has value even if only to serve as a bad example"

We don't have any kids, and aren't likely to given our age, but I think you're onto something there Valiente. During the time I lived in Hawaii, 30 years, I got to know a few adults who had been raised by cruising parents and several children who were in the process of growing into fine adults. Without exception they were far better adjusted and had a better handle on reality than their contemporaries who had been raised according to the conventional wisdom.

Maybe it's a generational thing. During my formative years North America was a very different place. The Dodgers were still in Brooklyn

But small town, rural America is still a pretty good place to raise a family in my opinion.

My philosophy can be boiled down to this:

Quality of life is inversly proportional to population density.

Cruising in a small boat is one way of managing that truth and the more self sufficient, self reliant we can be, the better. In my opinion.

Perhaps it is time for a new thread on self reliance and minimalist cruising.

Last edited by vega1860; 02-08-2008 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Added "In my opinion"
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Wombat

I just finished chemo. They had me taking "Allopurinol" so I would not get gout.

Is this something that would help you? It is dirt cheap compared to most prescription drugs. I think I had to pay like 5.00 for 30 day supply and my ins. is not that great so I pay 80% of prescriptions.

Hope this helps.

I never got it but was told it's painful...so I can't say I feel your pain...
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  #40  
Old 02-08-2008
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Wombat,
I also have gout & have found a treatment with no side affects. Uricinex is what I take.
Thanks I'll check it out.

You too SR, thanks, I'll look into that as well.

I'm sure that whatever you had that required Chemo is going to make gout look like a minor irritation but yes it does hurt. The first time I got it I of course had no meds available and that was sheer misery. Shoes and socks most definitely out, indeed I couldn't even sleep with a sheet over my foot.

BTW , some drugs have different names down here and also some are not available in Oz. I'll speak with my GP.

If I keep to a regime of celery supplement twice a day and a tablet called Mobic if I feel a twinge it is quite contained.

Again thanks for suggestions and SR whatever it was that required Chemo I do hope it all worked out.
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