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Old 12-04-2007, 06:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by BlueStocking View Post
I decided the fairly dark post has served its purpose and I have lightened it up, mainly by shortening it. Don't want to scare potentially helpful people away, after all!

Thanks to all.
Thanks a lot Paul , but keep us up to date on your sailing activities.

Regards

Richard
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:37 PM   #22
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HI Paul,

Just dropping by to say hello. I was wondering if you have formulated any kind of a plan to get sailing again? Possibly you are tossing ideas around? Let us know what your up to, and take care...............
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:34 AM   #23
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HI Paul,

Just dropping by to say hello. I was wondering if you have formulated any kind of a plan to get sailing again? Possibly you are tossing ideas around? Let us know what your up to, and take care...............
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:29 AM   #24
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I was struck by the earlier post where someone said you are either one or the other: the well-budgeted, prudent middle class cruiser (which is what we were, although at the leaner end) or a resourceful, low-budget crew with the skills and attitudes acquired through life to live cheaply, operate a cruising boat on a shoestring, and find ways to earn wherever one finds oneself. I've been smashed out of the first category and I don't (yet, anyway) have the skills, attitudes or experience to succeed in the second.

It now seems to me of course that I did it all wrong, but it seemed to make sense much of the time as I was working toward the actual voyage.

My greatest fear is that something will happen to the boat (requiring money I don't have) or to my own health so that I am unable to get the boat out of NZ. It will then inevitably be seized for taxes or sold for a pittance. If you've had a biggish boat on a smallish budget you may know what I am talking about. In that event, my bluewater career (at least as an owner) will be finished.

So I'm considering, and preparing for, an option many might view as outlandish (outwaterish?) . I think I will head out of here in about 3 weeks, go north around the tip of NZ (less than 100 miles) and head across the Tasman Sea for the Bass Strait. I'll sail around Australia on her southern shore and angle north into the Southern Indian Ocean tradewinds, hoping to reach Durban by March. No stops in australia if I have any choice, because I have neither the time or the money. March is not too late to get around the Cape of Good Hope and to Capetown. If I pull that off I'll head for New England where I have a mooring, can get work, and have children to re-connect with and a divorce to negotiate. If all goes well, it will be 15000 miles in 5 to 6 months-a very conservative 80 to 100 miles a day. But not a hell of a lot of land time. And a really long time to be underway, especially alone. Still, not at all unprecedented. I honestly don't know if I have the inner resources to succeed at this, but I want to find out. I'm pretty sure BS is up to it.

People generally associate the south edge of Australia with the Roaring Forties (intense, continuous westerlies.) But actually, in the summer, easterlies prevail due to the highs that tend to form several hundred miles offshore. (You remember they go counterclockwise down here) Their southern edges are part of the Roaring Forties, but the northern edges are milder, at least in the summer. Fronts come through, with strong headwinds, and there is a head current, but I think I can make it with patience and determination.

I have bought and am installing a Sailomat self-steerer, the type that actually turns the steering wheel the power from a pendulum oar (like one of the original production self-steerers, the Aries). If this works on BS, my chances are much improved. No doubt it is possible that I will be knocked back to NZ, or have to give up in Australia, but, as I say, maybe I'll make it too. Many here say that what I am planning is more difficult than I think, but I think some of this is conventional wisdom and the result of the freak Boxing Day Storm debacle which decimated the racing fleet in the Sydney-Hobart race some years ago. Well anyone who headed out into that forecast and weather map, pretty much got what they deserved, I think. The reason this race is scheduled at this time is that the weather at that time is generally benign (comparatively) in late December. I've been watching the Gribs (on Ugrib) for several weeks now, and what I am seeing is fairly gentle weather and only rarely strong headwinds, which one could wait out by heaving to.

If I'm headed for disaster anyway, which seems likely, I'd rather be sailing than sitting at anchor worrying about it!

I had pretty much been hoping to take this route before things broke down in my personal life. The differences, that make this a bigger adventure than planned, are that I intend to do it alone (unless a truly capable crew turns up--not too damn likely within 3 weeks) and without stopping, at least until South Africa. I am completely consumed with the determination to carry out this circumnavigation and I will not let go of the boat voluntarily (like by selling it or abandoning it here by flying home) as long as I have the sheer physical strength to continue and BS is reasonably seaworthy, which she still is, with a few repairs and mods to be accomplished over the next few weeks.

By the way, if you are wondering why not go north around Australia--this is both the cyclone season in that region and across the northern Indian Ocean and also the northwest monsoon season--headwinds all the way. Not feasible. The risk of cyclone exposure is unacceptable in my opinion. At this season I could also go east--stay in the forties and ride the westerlies to Cape Horn. This is somewhat shorter, but the chance of really awesome winds and seas for much of the route, not to mention ice, and cold weather, daunts me. Maybe someday, in a smaller, tougher boat, although at this point it's hard to imagine how that will develop.

Until I leave NZ, I will be open to possibilities that make staying sensible--like a real job. But I really doubt that is in the cards for me.

So wish me luck and follow the blog. I'l try to keep it up as I go. I can't post here while I am at sea. The wifi just doesn't reach that far!
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:45 AM   #25
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May I suggest that you have a serious look at the Indian Ocean page on the WIKI - with particular regard to weather (cyclones) for your planned timing.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck and please let us know here how you're gettin on.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:34 AM   #26
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Hi Paul,

I would like to wish you luck with this venture.

Also, you have probably already been there but if not take a look at the pilot charts of the Indian Ocean, downloadable here free of charge

All the best // Stephen
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #27
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Thank you very much Stephen, that is a great site. A lot there than just charts.

John
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:55 PM   #28
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....and as Lighthouse said, stay in touch. We are routing for you
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:23 PM   #29
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If you haven't already, check out the crewfinder ... under crew positions there are TONS of people and couples looking for shared expense passages from and to all over the world.... there are always more than few from NZ or australia.... if you could pick up a first mate enroute who is willing to share expenses it would be a huge boon for your trip.... hell, if i had the time I'd fly down to join you just for the experience and to help out a fellow dreamer... best of luck.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:26 PM   #30
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Well, it's an idea anyway. The frequency of cyclones in the SW Indian Ocean in summer is a huge worry and as I said in the earlier post is a deal-killer by itself for the north of Australia route in the summer. Maybe I just have to accept that there may be no way home for me and BS. I guess I can re-define "home." We're already there!

Anyway, one day at a time. I have productive activities for the next few days.

Thanks to all for your input. Helpful to have a sounding board under the circumstances.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #31
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Which ever direction you go. I think to go is the right idea. Idle hands are the Devil's workshop. It is close enough in time to go the Horn. I personally would go that direction if I thought my boat was sound enough. The good news is you're working on a fix, and that is great stuff. My fingers are crossed for you. A great feeling is to get one's self out of the hole you have fallen into...........
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