Saturday, February 04, 2012

Dashed Atlantic Odyssey

I find it is refreshing to read the following words:

“I believe there is some kind of adventurer is all of us.  My dream is to share expeditions that push the boundaries of physical and mental capability with the world.  Questioning what is possible is the key to success in every walk of life.”

After read these words my only immediately reaction is to say “Amen”!  Isn't doing scientific research a kind of adventure for the scientists? The person who said these words is a 28-year old young man, Mark Beaumont.  Mr. Beaumont’s latest adventure is to start the New Year in early January 2012 with a team of six to break the mid-Atlantic ocean rowing record – to row from Morocco to Barbados in less than 30 days. They call their adventure the “Atlantic Odyssey”.

Well, their Odyssey had just been dashed by a freaque wave.  Here’s one of the news:

PERTHSHIRE adventurer Mark Beaumont is homeward bound after a dramatic and near-tragic end to his ocean-crossing bid.
On Monday afternoon the 29-year-old was plucked to safety along with his five crew mates after their boat capsized in a freak wave 520 miles from their destination.
Serial extreme challenge seeker Mark and the crew were on board the Sara G, attempting to row across the Atlantic when they were battered by the elements, leaving them clinging on in a life raft with just the minimum of clothes and kit.
They were picked up after 14 hours by a passing tanker, the Nord Taipai, which is ferrying them to land, as part of an international rescue effort which was partly co-ordinated by coastguards in Cornwall.
Speaking en-route to Gibraltar, where he is expected to arrive on Thursday, Beaumont said: “We have been through an incredible ordeal.
“We are physically very battered – but we are alive and now in recovery.
“Emotionally, when this kind of thing happens, you just have to deal with it.”
Still the admirable positive attitude!  I guess it's just happened out of nowhere and hit their boat.  Here are some details from their website:
On 30 January 2012 at 11.00 am the crew of Sara G who were taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey challenge to row from Morocco in North Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean capsized.
Its crew included Captain Matthew Craughwell, Ian Rowe, Aodhan Kelly, Simon Brown, Yaacov Mutnikas and Mark Beaumont – all six members were safely evacuated.
The crew were 27 days into their journey when the 36ft (11.1m) vessel overturned just 520 miles from the destination port of St Charles.
Sara G was hit by a large wave 1.5 minutes before the rowers completed their shift change which was performed on a two hours on – two hours off basis. The wave rotated the vessel 180 degrees causing it to immediately take on water causing it to capsize within ten seconds.
In the next fifteen minutes the crew secured the life raft and attached it to the boat. They set-off their alerting alarms which initiated a response from Falmouth Coast Guard.
The crew did try to recover the vessel but due to the speed of the water retention, this proved unsuccessful.
The crew spent approximately three hours recovering on the raft before Matthew Craughwell and Mark Beaumont returned to the vessel to recover equipment to aid the rescue attempt.
At 1.10am, the crew were rescued by the Nord Taipei, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship and are proceeding to Gibraltar where they are due to arrive on February 9.
So they did not call the wave that hit them "freaque" -- that's reporter's interpretation for media sensationalism.  Of course the wave must be something they did not expected or just something a little large than they expected.  At any rate it's a larger than usual wave that was enough to dash their dream of record breaking Atlantic Odyssey.


Now a question from me:  when making statistics by compiling records of freaque wave happenings in the ocean, is this, or is this not, a case of freaque wave occurrence in the Atlantic? 

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