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post #101 of 145 Old 01-13-2010
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Well - it looks like Jess is rockin':

JESSICA CONQUERS CAPE HORN!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 (10.00pm AEDT)

We are incredibly proud to announce that Jessica Watson has conquered the Mount Everest of the maritime world by rounding Cape Horn this evening at 8.40pm (AEDT), doing so in 40 knot winds, mist, drizzle and a bumpy 4 metre sea.

However, the miserable conditions have not dampened the spirits of this inspirational 16 year old who is having the time of her life out there!

The predicted gales hit as scheduled today and Jessica has been sailing in 30-40 knot winds for the past 24 hours, but they are expected to abate soon as she heads north east towards the Falklands.

Jessica has now sailed 9,800nm on day 88 of her solo circumnavigation as she approaches the half way mark of her journey. Whilst there is much work still to do for Jessica, this day is one she will never forget.

Fnally, a huge thank you to all the loyal bloggers for your wonderful contributions to Jessica’s journey to date. The image below is a tribute to Jessica and her team on behalf of all the bloggers, from blogger Samurai (Sam).

More detailed updates on Jessica’s rounding will be posted tomorrow (AEDT).
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post #102 of 145 Old 01-25-2010
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65knots, four knockdowns, one of them to 180 degreees. And she didn't even lose the rig.

Tough boat - tough chick. Wow.


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post #103 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Knocked down four times ? Okay I get to be the bad person and ask, was she hove to ? Flying storm sails ? Running before the storm ? Did she deploy a sea anchor, drogue ? Did the drogue fail ? ....

Or was she just sailing along eating her oatmeal under reefed sails letting the boat get knocked down repeatedly while hoping for the best ?

If my boat got knocked down four times in a row I might start wondering if I was doing something wrong ...

Being knocked down multiple times and not losing your rig, I don't call that being prepared, or being skilled, I call that plain old being lucky.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #104 of 145 Old 01-27-2010 Thread Starter
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My understanding is that she was prepared for the weather they believed was going to hit her, as it turns out it was a lot more than expected. I would say for her safety she road it out instead of going on deck and chancing being in further grave danger. She has done very well up to now and hope she continues the same.

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post #105 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Originally Posted by theartfuldodger View Post
My understanding is that she was prepared for the weather they believed was going to hit her, as it turns out it was a lot more than expected. I would say for her safety she road it out instead of going on deck and chancing being in further grave danger. She has done very well up to now and hope she continues the same.
Don't get me wrong, I totally have respect for her, and I am very impressed she isn't running for safe harbor after being knocked down a few times. I'm not there, I don't have any idea what is happening. I brought it up above (being the bad person) for the sake of discussion.

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post #106 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Being knocked down multiple times and not losing your rig, I don't call that being prepared, or being skilled, I call that plain old being lucky.
Sometimes lucky works just fine. Look, at some point, skill and preparedness no longer factor into the equation. Seriously. Look at the Fastnet and Sydney/Hobart disasters. The guys that went through that freely admitted that they became helpless at some point.

I don't know exactly what she did or didn't do in terms of techniques. But one thing she did brilliantly was shut the boat up and stay inside when things went bonkers. That's one of the main lessons from Fastnet.


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post #107 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Sometimes lucky works just fine. Look, at some point, skill and preparedness no longer factor into the equation. Seriously. Look at the Fastnet and Sydney/Hobart disasters. The guys that went through that freely admitted that they became helpless at some point.

I don't know exactly what she did or didn't do in terms of techniques. But one thing she did brilliantly was shut the boat up and stay inside when things went bonkers. That's one of the main lessons from Fastnet.
Which is great as long as you have open waters ahead of you... She did and did it right for that size vessel. Plus the fact that she isn't screaming "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" Shows her toughness...
I believe that she will suceed in life after she completes this voyage. When there are tough decisions to be made and will not be scrambling for cover or the easy way out...

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post #108 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Yes, I agree, mostly.

Like I said, I'm not there, this is arm chair sailing at its finest. Let me kick back and swirl the ice around in my glass for a minute.

We don't know how bad the conditions were, maybe another sailor with more or less experience would have been knocked down 10 times instead of 4, or maybe another sailor would have had storm sails up, ran off, and not been knocked down at all. Who can say. I guess my only point, if I even had one, is that if it were regular Joe or Jane sailor and you heard they had been knocked down, you would expect that they had exhausted all normal means and methods of heavy weather sailing before that happened. And I'm not suggesting that Jessica Watson didn't do that, I'm just saying that a capable sailor would have. There are heavy weather sailing methods that experienced sailors use to avoid being knocked down.

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post #109 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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Which is great as long as you have open waters ahead of you... She did and did it right for that size vessel. Plus the fact that she isn't screaming "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" Shows her toughness...
I believe that she will suceed in life after she completes this voyage. When there are tough decisions to be made and will not be scrambling for cover or the easy way out...
Thank you for writing that Boasun, see, that is what my question was, I just wanted to know if it was the right tactic for that boat, but I can't find a way of asking that without making it sound like I'm dumping on the kid, and I'm not. I'm just trying to learn something from it, because some day it might be me.

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post #110 of 145 Old 01-27-2010
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From what I could discern, she was under storm jib alone and caught 4 rogue waves (these seem to be frequent in higher latitudes) which rolled her. Could be that breaking seas on her stern rounded the boat up and knocked it down as well. She made the call, as being a solo sailor in a 70 knot storm, to stay in the cabin rather than risking being swept off with no possibility of recovery. Considering she got rolled 180*, I'd say it was a good call because she likely would not have been around to report the next day had she been topside. Isn't "Stay with the boat" the biggest lesson learned over the years of storms, survival and lost sailors?

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