Saturday, March 07, 2009

1000 days at sea

I came to learn about this rather fascinating story late -- 683 days late as a matter of fact. But it is still better late than never.

It started when I come across this Youtube video called "Dangers at Sea"

in which I was duly impressed by the vast knowledge and enthusiasm shown by the gentleman, Reid Stowe, especially when I heard him saying that "giant rogue waves somewhere in the world . . ." I am naturally interested! I was also intrigued by the young lady stands attentatively next to Stowe did not say a word in this video. My curiosity led me to their well organized site: 1000 days at sea. Their 70 ft gaff-rigged schooner Anne was launched on Saturday, April 21st, 2007 at 3 pm for a 1000 day, non-stop sea voyage.
Schooner Anne, named after Reid Stowe's Mom

So today is actually the 684th day of their voyage. They have a well maintained blog, anyone interested will be able to followed their voyage with day to day details. For me may be there are two events are particularly of interest: the young lady, Soanya, had to leave the boat after 305 days (she gives birth to a son on Day 452), and Reid encountered a freaque wave recently at Day 658, on February 8, 2009.

Here's the detail of the freaque wave encounter according to Reid's blog entry:
Yesterday was also marked by an unforgettable experience. We rode out a terrifying storm with some difficulty: We were smashed hard and knocked down by a rogue wave. I was in the galley cooking and thrown against the wall as we went over. A deluge of cold water poured over me. There was a huge unforgettable noise of the crash of the wave and everything falling. I was stunned but the cold water woke me up. I remained wet the rest of the day while I worked to secure the boat.

I heard a huge noise outside above the noise of jet planes revving their engines and trains with runaway horns. When the mast went down into the water, the staysail filled up with water and when it came up, the boom broke and the staysail burst noisily into shreds. I was hurt, but not broken or cut and I knew I had to shake it off and get to work to make sure that the schooner would stay afloat and to get her moving so she would not wallow broadside to the waves.

As darkness fell we were secure on a good course sailing off the wind under our smallest storm jib at up to 5 knots. I could hardly finish my dinner I was so tired. When I laid down, my adrenalin stopped and the pain came on and kept me awake as I was tossed around in bed. We made it through the night, but I was up often tending to things. Today the storm has lightened up and our future is ahead of us. I will thrive and send back messages of love.
One thing just occurred to me. Every time whenever I heard about a freaque wave, the first thing I always would like to know is how high the wave might be? But in this case, a freaque wave was unmistakably happened. Luckily Reid was o.k., does the height of the wave really that important? Of course not. I guess the important thing is that a freaque wave had happened. How high or how strong is really of no consequences at all!

There are still over 300 days left in this voyage. We sincerely wish Capt. Stowe smooth sailing the rest of the way and God's speed!

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