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  #11  
Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

I'm putting on my flak jacket, as the type of comments I'm about to make aren't generally well-received here: After initially reacting favorably to his courage and fortitude, I can't help but think what the hell is this guy doing sailing a 14 foot boat with a "kite sail" across the Atlantic? No doubt a Coast Guard mission of some kind was involved in plucking him from that little boat. And putting the cost of rescue issues aside (as we must when lives are in danger), is it right to take these types of undue risks that inevitably require others to venture into those types of conditions to rescue an adventurer like him? His people say they are trying to sell the movie rights to his story, so that may answer part of why he would risk such an odd venture. I am glad he is okay and all but I am reluctant to hail him as a hero.
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Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

I have no issue with him taking risks, its his life & his decision. But I don't find anything he did to be heroic, just an adventurer doing what he enjoys. Nothing more.

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  #13  
Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

Quote:
I'm putting on my flak jacket, as the type of comments I'm about to make aren't generally well-received here: After initially reacting favorably to his courage and fortitude, I can't help but think what the hell is this guy doing sailing a 14 foot boat with a "kite sail" across the Atlantic? No doubt a Coast Guard mission of some kind was involved in plucking him from that little boat. And putting the cost of rescue issues aside (as we must when lives are in danger), is it right to take these types of undue risks that inevitably require others to venture into those types of conditions to rescue an adventurer like him? His people say they are trying to sell the movie rights to his story, so that may answer part of why he would risk such an odd venture. I am glad he is okay and all but I am reluctant to hail him as a hero.
Maybe he should have had a chase boat along, so he wouldn't have to call the CG. I was thinking some big massive sailboat, like a Flicka.
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Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

Well, I wasn't compelled, and I wasn't moved in the least. The whole thing has a "reality show" feel about it. Had he succeeded, what great feat would it have been? So he tried to blow across the ocean in a mayonnaise jar tied to a kite - big deal. It sure had a feel of "look at me, I'm doing something so stupid that nobody else would have the nerve to try it."

As CBinRI said, he also endangered the safety of his rescuers thanks to this frivolous, self-indulgent act.

I tell you one thing - if I am ever in a situation where I have to record my last minutes on this earth on a video camera to be recovered later, I won't be dropping the f-bomb every 10 seconds, and I'll say some things a lot more sincere and less self-centered than "I'm thinking about the (unnamed) ones I love ... things will be different if I get back."

So let me ask - ARE things actually different? Is there anything less self-absorbed about his behavior? Or is he, as I suspect, shopping around for a reality show to pick up his silly escapades?
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Last edited by TakeFive; 06-05-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

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Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
Well, I wasn't compelled, and I wasn't moved in the least. The whole thing has a "reality show" feel about it. Had he succeeded, what great feat would it have been? So he tried to blow across the ocean in a mayonnaise jar tied to a kite - big deal. It sure had a feel of "look at me, I'm doing something so stupid that nobody else would have the nerve to try it."

As CBinRI said, he also endangered the safety of his rescuers thanks to this frivolous, self-indulgent act.

I tell you one thing - if I am ever in a situation where I have to record my last minutes on this earth on a video camera to be recovered later, I won't be dropping the f-bomb every 10 seconds, and I'll say some things a lot more sincere and less self-centered than "I'm thinking about the (unnamed) ones I love ... things will be different if I get back."

So let me ask - ARE things actually different? Is there anything less self-absorbed about his behavior? Or is he, as I suspect, shopping around for a reality show to pick up his silly escapades?
You're a tough guy to impress!! Truthfully, I feel the same about his attempt at record breaking or whatever it turned out to be (again it wasn't until after I posted the video that a little more research revealed what he was doing out there). It IS nothing more than a display of nautical pole-sitting (incidentally, when did pole sitting stop being impressive?? I digress) , and he loses a great deal of the empathy I would have had for him had he been your run of the mill sailor (sort of like expecting me to feel for that 'rocket guy' who launches himself over the grand canyon if he were to ball it up, or a base jumper who's chute doesn't open, etc) it all comes with the territory.

Playing a little devil's advocate though, I would suggest, that anyone who puts to sea on a boat for pleasure is putting the lives of rescuers at risk for their own self indugence- I'm lumping myself in here as well. Let's call a spade a spade, we go to sea for fun and adventure, not because we need to; there really isn't any noble or altruistic motivation behind what we're doing here; and though I hate to say it, I think "Yachtsman Rescued from sailboat in Storm" fails to pull the emotional heart strings of the non-sailing set. That all changes when we are talking about lives lost, but in this case I'm speaking strictly to successful rescue situations like the one in the first post. It's the bravery of the SAR personnel who pluck us from the sea when things go wrong that makes them exceptional people. THE SAILNET DISCLAIMER: Obviously, it is incumbant upon us to ensure we operate our boats safely, with necessary safety equipment, and an eye to weather windows,etc, but at the end of the day we are out there for fun, not like commercial mariners who do it keep a roof over their heads or food on their family's table.


I don't disagree with your point that he probably doesn't warrant much in the way of sympathy by getting himself in that storm, but I posted it more to showcase it as an interesting, and (I feel) honest look into the mind of a person who knows he's staring his own mortality in the face. Certainly not where I'd ever like to find myself!!
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Last edited by creedence623; 06-06-2012 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

There is a difference between sympathy and empathy. I definitely feel empathy for this guy and find the videos compelling. The nature of our sport comes with some risk and while this guy was pushing the limit, we are all one gear failure away from being in the same situation if we where in similar circumstances.

My only thought was that this guy was really scared and I was wondering how this was clouding his judgment. His boat survived. I wonder could he have hung on for a bit longer and weathered the storm and continued on?
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

Quick note:

The Coast Guard does not sit around and do nothing until a rescue call is made. Their boats and aircraft are in constant operations for training, law enforcement, fisheries and a variety of other missions. Like the military, we constantly train.

In most cases we would divert for a rescue from our present mission. Be clear, there is nothing we liked doing more than a rescue - that's why we joined.

It was the drug interdiction that was the tremendous waste of tax payer dollars - absolutely nothing to show for it.

IMHO, this guy got in WAY over his head and failed to have an appreciation of the power of the sea. At least he had the good sense to have the safety gear with him. Can't tell you how often we went looking for 20ft center consoles with no radio, flares, epirb ... Never found one of those cases.
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

I never understood the mindset of stunt sailors. To me, crossing an ocean on a proper yacht is plenty of risk, accomplishment, something to be proud of - all those good things. Doing it in a dinghy or a barrel or one of the other ridiculous contraptions these stunters use is just brain damaged to me. Even Webb Chiles in Chidiock Tichborne had some large size screws backed WAY off IMHO.

Why not just ride a barrel over Niagara?
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I never understood the mindset of stunt sailors. To me, crossing an ocean on a proper yacht is plenty of risk, accomplishment, something to be proud of - all those good things. Doing it in a dinghy or a barrel or one of the other ridiculous contraptions these stunters use is just brain damaged to me. Even Webb Chiles in Chidiock Tichborne had some large size screws backed WAY off IMHO.

Why not just ride a barrel over Niagara?
I share SloopJonB's sentiments for the most part yet there is something to small boat adventuring. I still recall Robert Manry's Atlantic transit in the 13.5' "Tinkerbelle" in 1965. His thoughts on the subject after the fact can be viewed at (click on): Comments for Sailors in TINKERBELLE by Robert Manry

We had some pretty remarkable, albeit ill-advised, adventures in small boats early on--from crossing Bodega Bay in a borrowed El Toro for a "camp-out" (absent a compass and getting becalmed in a cotton-ball fog mid-way) to deciding it was a good idea to try sailing a Lido 14 to Catalina (and damn near freezing to death in the process until collected by a good samaratin in a power boat that stopped to ask us "what the he_l are you kids doing out here!?!). Despite the foregoing, with proper preparation, small boat cruising can be quite an adventure--and Learning Experience!!!

FWIW...
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Video Recovered from Abandoned Boat

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Originally Posted by svHornblower View Post
My only thought was that this guy was really scared and I was wondering how this was clouding his judgment. His boat survived. I wonder could he have hung on for a bit longer and weathered the storm and continued on?
To me this is the real question at hand. I really don't care about the rescue aspect (i.e. - "wasting taxpayer dollars" - blah, blah).

The boat, the primary means of survival, survived the storm (without further human input). So, IMUSO, what happened was that Mee counted the secondary gear (electronics, drogues, etc.) as the primary means of survival...not the boat. When he lost that stuff, he lost hope. That mentality immediately sucks the "adventurer" juice out of the whole thing. A true, hardcore adventurer would have made do and rode it out.

That said, I consider Mee a pretty hardcore dude. And I fully appreciate that what I'm saying above would have meant he would have had to withstand many, many more rolls of that boat. It was, as he put it, a nightmare.

But the fact that the boat showed up in Ireland proves that his priorities for survival and adventure were in the wrong place...a place that even a casual cruiser puts them. His faith in his boat was virtually nil. It was about the external safety net. And for a sailor, especially an "extreme" sailor, that's embarrassing.

If there's ever a documentary or reality series, it should be about "Little Murka" - not Dom Mee. That little boat had the real adventure - and deserves all the acclaim.

(PS - Another thing that amazed me was how quiet and calm it seemed inside the cabin.)
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