On Thursday, February 21st, Bonnie from the great frogma blog left a comment on 300 behind, 700 ahead – The 1000 Days at Sea Project with breaking news about Reid Stowe’s 1000 Days At Sea: The Mars Ocean Odyssey. Reid’s sole shipmate Soanya Ahmad longed terra firma after an extended debilitating period of seasickness in the Southern Ocean.
This adventure never ceases to amaze me. The schooner Anne was able to rendezvous with a vessel from the Royal Perth Yacht Club with Jon Sanders, the Australian sailor who became famous in 1988 for his nonstop triple circumnavigation being the person to welcome her aboard. Sanders also currently holds the longest solo at sea record of 657 days. In an ironic twist of fate, now that Soanya’s off the schooner Anne, if Reid is successful in his quest of 1000 days at sea, he will have have spent 693 days alone and will unseat Sanders as the record holder. This story has more twists than a counterclockwise coiled mainsail halyard.
An Australian sailing website Freodoctor.com.au has been closely following the events over the past few days and placed on YouTube a video interview with Soanya and a short one with Jon Sanders too.
To me it’s interesting that after more than 300 continuous days at sea, Soanya still seems remarkably naive and unweathered by the experience (with the exception of the seasickness that caused her to disembark.) Here is a video interview of Reid and Soanya from before launching the Mars Ocean Odyssey (warning, I found this YouTube video to load very slowly)
One chapter of this story ends and another one begins.
Using Web2.0 tools could be interesting but from my perspective the first 300+ days have been pretty humdrum. While the daily chores and routines have been regularly reported, we got few glimpses of the social interactions of their life together at sea. I’m not talking about any of a purient nature but rather the normal ups and downs that build and cause stress in all relationships. Maybe Soanya is saving all of that for the book that she plans to write according to her Freodoctor interview.
Now our window into schooner Anne’s adventures will be from a single perspective, Reid’s. A year ago yesterday I wrote a post about the stresses that are felt by solo ocean racers. (NY Times – Study of Solo Sailor Stress and How Humans Cope). Granted Reid is master of his own route and schedule and therefore isn’t under the same pressures as solo ocean racers; however, if he keeps up the daily schedule of posts on 1000Days.net, he could give us a real valuable look at solo life at sea over an extended period of time. It could be fascinating. Stay tuned…
Photo credit: 1000 Days blog
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