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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 05-27-2009
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t4li3sin is on a distinguished road
Seul sur les Oceans

Thats a book, by Pierre Auboiroux. Has anyone read it? I was able to find a sample on google and read the first bit. Maybe Ill get my hands on the book someday.
But I kinda got the picture of it. He set sail in the mid 60s I believe (From the cover where it reads 1964-1966).
The man was an inlander. He wasn't very familiar with the sea, let alone sailing. Then he read the classic tales of the sea; "Alain Gerbault, Sloculm, Le capitaine Bernicot, Bardiaux, Moitessier" (p.19).
Then he decided that he would sail around the world. Remember there was no GPS back then. And he did it, despite the fact that he didnt really know what he was doing. I guess he was bound to be ridiculed, until he proved successful.
He did not receive much help. That was probably because nobody but himself had enough conviction and faith to believe he could do it.
Today there are plenty more resources readily available to the neophyte. But then, why is it that we dont hear more of such voyages? Even more so for it has been proven possible ... ? The world population has doubled since and its achievements, it seems to me, are not twice as impressive, but rather the contrary. Is it the hormones they put in our food that shrink our men's balls so small they are not men anymore? Or is it the high-tech brainwashing? When a wild lion stops shacking his cage, you know he has been broken.
Was Auboiroux being sensible? If he set the bar high, should we sit down and look at it, or try to move it up again? Is death to be feared with such zeal? Are we worthy of the name Man?
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Old 05-27-2009
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Whenever someone starts a conversation on Sailnet about a solo circumnavigation it seems like a lot of people dog pile on with lots of criticism, etc, and one of the things I remember from those threads is that there is always someone who is going to say that solo circumnavigation is now considered unremarkable and that the reason we don't hear about them is that nobody would bother to write about it. Yet we do seem to hear about solo circumnavigations when they happen, maybe not every attempt but I believe every success. I can't remember any this past year, the last one I remember was Donna Lange on "Inspired Insanity", and at about the same time there was a lot of conversation about Ken Barnes and his trials, but before that I don't remember any other recent attempts.

The Slocum society keeps this list and there are other lists like it of people who have completed a solo circumnavigation, and I am with you, for as many people as there are on the earth and the increase in safety gear such as GPS, you'd think more would have done it, but they haven't. It seems to still be a very exclusive club, very few dare. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has sailed solo around the earth and the naysayers don't influence me one bit.

I think there are many more couples who circumnavigate.
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Old 05-27-2009
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t4li3sin is on a distinguished road
You are probably right. Im sure a lot of couple and or group of people do it. Same with crazy summit climbing and skiing and surfing and all sorts of "to the limit" stuff.
With all the advance in technology and safety, more people climb the Everest, and more surfers "ride the tube", but few do it by themselves, very few do it alone. Does it take anything away from the ones who dont? I would say so, but that's probably not the reason they go for it. I dont think that they do it for anyone else but themselves. Why else would they be alone? Maybe because it doesnt concern the others.
The Tao te Ching gives an insight into wisdom. It talks of people so content and without desires that even though they could hear the people of the next village at times, not one of them would have gone in his lifetime to see them.
Then Freud talks of the compulsion to repeat pain, the best example being the masochistic character. The theory drawn from there, not by everyone but the one that makes sense to me, is that to relive the trauma from which the neurotic trait derived its energy, and in hope of ridding the organism of its tension, the individual recreates a similar situation in which he might finally break the chronic repression of the originally repressed impulse by forcing it out and finally breaking free from it. That might explain the masochistic-looking actions of those remarkable men, the likes of Auboiroux. That might also explain our continual discontentment and our always so plentiful desires.
And so Lao-tzu, even thou wise as he was, did not point out to the reason the rest of us do not follow the way of the Tao. And doesnt the legend say that, as he finished his 81 verses of the Tao te Ching, he left off to the mountains, by himself, and was never seen again?
I believe Auboiroux, and the others, reached a point where they really had no more choice. They simply had to go. I cannot think of another explanation.
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Old 05-27-2009
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There have been a lot of people going off and attempting solo circumnavigations.

Recent ones still in progress include Zac Sunderland , Mike Perham, and Jessica Watson, all contending for the youngest circumnavigation title.

Recent successes include Maude Fontenoy and Donna Lange.

Recent failures include Ronnie Simpson, Heather Neill, David Vann and Ken Barnes.

I'd point out that Maude completed her circumnavigation after a dismasting and managed to do so under jury rig. Donna Lange was a grandmother at the time of her circumnavigation. Contrast these two women with the three men and one woman I mention after them.

Ronnie Simpson couldn't be bothered to get a 47 year old boat surveyed, but timed his departure to make the local news and had HD camera equipment aboard to document his voyage. If he had an emergency tiller aboard his boat and known how to use it, what became a reason to abandon ship might have been just a royal PITA.

Heather Neill spent a lot of money prepping her boat s/v Flight of Years, a Flicka, and forgot to prep herself. A shakedown cruise or two would have gone a long way to revealing the problems with her preparation of her Flicka... and resulted in her having to hack a hole in the boat's cabintop to get back in after being locked out less than a day after leaving.

David Vann was an idiot and built a trimaran that was destined to fail due to a faulty design. The fact that one of his heroes is Ken Barnes is not a big surprise.

Ken Barnes was caught in a bad storm and wasn't too familiar with the gear on his boat. He didn't prep himself or the boat properly, but had every electronic device known to man aboard the boat. IIRC, he had 14 8D batteries or so aboard, but failed to secure them properly. When the boat got rolled, the batteries bounced around the cabin and did some major damage. Donna Lange was one of the boats that responded to Ken's MayDay calls.

If you want to go and sail around the world. Work your way up to it. Get the skills and the experience that will allow you to succeed.

Yes, modern equipment and technology has made it safer...but circumnavigating the globe still takes a lot of seamanship and a fair bit of luck. There have been those who started out short on the seamanship and heavy on the luck and made it in spite of themselves. Preparing yourself increases the chances you'll succeed though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Whenever someone starts a conversation on Sailnet about a solo circumnavigation it seems like a lot of people dog pile on with lots of criticism, etc, and one of the things I remember from those threads is that there is always someone who is going to say that solo circumnavigation is now considered unremarkable and that the reason we don't hear about them is that nobody would bother to write about it. Yet we do seem to hear about solo circumnavigations when they happen, maybe not every attempt but I believe every success. I can't remember any this past year, the last one I remember was Donna Lange on "Inspired Insanity", and at about the same time there was a lot of conversation about Ken Barnes and his trials, but before that I don't remember any other recent attempts.

The Slocum society keeps this list and there are other lists like it of people who have completed a solo circumnavigation, and I am with you, for as many people as there are on the earth and the increase in safety gear such as GPS, you'd think more would have done it, but they haven't. It seems to still be a very exclusive club, very few dare. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has sailed solo around the earth and the naysayers don't influence me one bit.

I think there are many more couples who circumnavigate.
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Old 05-31-2009
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t4li3sin,

I think it can be hard for people who are accustomed to being around family and friends all the time to understand that there are people in the world who are naturally loners, and that those people usually decide early on that they are going to live rich lives regardless of the fact that they spend most of their time alone. Some of us actually decide what we want to do in our lives without any input from other people - we decide what to eat, what we want to do, we have our own goals and dreams, then we just go right on out and make it all happen all by ourselves. I know it might surprise more social people to find out that loners don't sit by the phone waiting to be invited to dinner parties, but surprise, it is true, we live happy, productive lives!

I think that if someone who is normally alone decides to circumnavigate it is only natural that they would decide to go it alone. Why would someone who normally single hands decide to take on crew just because the journey is longer than usual ? Single handed day sailors may in time become single handed bay sailors, and ocean sailors, why wouldn't they naturally graduate to single handed circumnavigation ?

I don't think that circumnavigating single handed is driven by masochism, but rather that people who decide to sail such great distances alone make sacrifices in the name of efficiency, sacrifices they would probably rather not make, but that they do make in order to see their dreams through. In that way I don't think it is any different than a crew of people making the journey, nobody makes a journey like that without making sacrifices. We all make sacrifices everyday even if it is just getting up from a comfortable chair to take the trash out, because those sacrifices help us to reach our goals, we don't always put our comfort first. I think it is the same for people who circumnavigate except that their dream is very big and it requires more than the typical amount of self-discipline to see it through, they are just doing what they have to do to make it happen.
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