Tall Ship Frederyk Chopin limps back to port after losing both masts in storm (video)

It might not be as dramatic as the footage that would have been shot during the casualty but this RNLI video of the tall ship Frederyk Chopin is a stark reminder that it’s an ocean out there!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Earlier this year we devoted alot of coverage to the amazing story of the sinking of the tall ship Concordia which coincidently was also a Polish built ship that in the past has sailed for Class Afloat.

Very happy that this too is a story with a happy ending.

Ice Boating Championships: Always On Thin Ice

You thought that organizing the America’s Cup is challenging. From this article in the Wall Street Journal, it seems that ice boat racing has many more obstacles but none of the lawsuits. These guys travel a whole lot faster, up to 100 MPH, and, man, they are accepting and adaptable to changing conditions. Interesting read and cool slideshow.

Mars Ocean Odd@Sea Coming Back to Earth Soon!

Remember 1,000 days ago? Probably not. That’s a looooong time.

Well, this Saturday, January 16, 2010 will mark 1,000 days at sea without touching land for Reid Stowe and his Mars Ocean “Odd-@-Sea.” (I’ve written a few times before about this adventure.)

Actually, it just seemed like a few months ago that he left New York Harbor with his greenhorn shipmate, Soanya, on this record setting voyage. Well, she had to get off (I don’t think we need much more explaining about that) which allowed Stowe to shoot for another record, the longest solo sea voyage in history.  There seems to be some question about if and how these records will be “officially” recognized but in the end, you have to give credit that the guy perseveres!

What type of man is capable of this type of extreme adventuring? Here’s an interview he did at 800 days that may or may not help answer that question.

If you’re in NYC, there’s a ceremony at South Street Seaport followed by a party at Ryan Maguire’s Ale House this Satuday, January 16, 2010. Unfortunately, Stowe won’t be there because, not surprisingly, he’s somewhere out at sea waiting for better weather before he returns to his homeport of  New York.

Fair winds, following seas and a safe passage home!

Moby Monday — “And all of us escaped together to tell thee”

Whar she blows?
Last week, a cruiser relived the fateful last bit of Moby-Dick—but with a happy ending. The J/World had just checked into the Baja Ha-Ha, a two-week rally down Mexico’s Pacific coast, when it encountered a pod of whales, at least one of which attacked the boat’s rudder and opened a hole in the hull.

The J/World sank within five minutes, but all five crew members survived, thanks to two hand-held VHFs they managed to salvage in the scramble for the lifeboat. Just think, if the Pequod had had VHFs … nah, the same thing would have happened.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Day One: Youngest Around Alone Collides with a Chinese Bulk Carrier

jessica watson dismasted

To add fuel to the fiery argument of how young is too young to sail around the world alone, Jessica Watson’s Pink Lady had a challenging start to her quest when she collided on her first night with the Silver Yang, a Chinese bulk carrier.


Here’s a video from a press conference after the incident which gives you the opportunity to see the teen’s take first hand.

Initial reports of this incident indicate that the Chinese vessel was at fault. However, from all that I can tell this is purely speculation at this point. There will be an investigation which will determine what happened on the first fateful night of Jessica’s adventure.

Here’s a link to an interview with Jessica’s parents. It’s great that they are proud of Jessica.  They should be; she’s a very impressive young woman. However, what she encountered on her first day at sea alone is only the tip of the iceberg of experiences she will encounter if she continues. In this case,  she was lucky she was within ten miles of port. How will she (and her parents and the general public) hold up if she dismasts in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from the nearest port and maybe even from other ships?

In any case, Jessica’s incident underscores the perils of going to sea. Being alone in a small boat adds a whole other dimension of risk.

So, Jessica, her parents and all of us, need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This is real risk that is dangerous at any age. Godspeed.