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Voyage to the Mystic Jungles of Guyana Reid, Soayna, Darshen return from Guyana jungle coast to Georgetown North Carolina to support his father -- contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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Reid Stowe returned to Terra Firma on Thur June 17 2010 - 1152 days at sea

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Day 20 First Fish
Friday, 11 May 2007

May 11, 2007

Wind SSW 5 knots, Speed 1.6 knots, Position 35°.50, 53°.23, Temp. 71° F

Two days ago, we caught our first fish. We're not sure exactly what kind of fish it is, but we know it was a baby because it didn't bite the line. It accidentally got hooked as it was playing near the fishing lines. We decided that we would use it as bait to catch a really big fish, but our new bait was another fish's dinner.

We're still just drifting and the weather has been extremely kind to us with four days of very calm wind and waves. It has allowed the repairs on the bow to progress nicely, though we are still a week away from getting the boat in sailing order again. The bowsprit has to be reattached, the four headstays readjusted, then the staysail put back into place, and the main gaff (long wood that pulls the back of the sail up) that was moved to act as a pulley reinstalled to its original function.



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The Longnose Lancetfish (Alepisaurus borealis) was identified by Mike Guerin Longnose Lancetfish pictures he is The Louisiana Sportsman Field Reporter. More information on the fish.and even more information on the fish.

 
Day 17 Working on it
Thursday, 10 May 2007

May 8, 2007 - Day 17
Wind ENE 15 Knots, Course SSE, 35.52, 52.43, Speed 2 Knots

Today the wind has lightened up and the sun has come out. The seas are settling and it's a beautiful day. There is still a lingering feeling of "What is it that's making me feel uncomfortable?" Oh. The collision. The fact that the ocean seems limitless and yet two captains can look the other way and collide is disturbing. Yet we sail on anyway and love keeps surfacing. 

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Bernard Moitessier, the first man to sail around the world without stopping and my life long hero of enlightened long distance sailing had a collision with a freighter that bent his bowsprit back just like ours. In his book, "The Long Way," he has a drawing that resembles out photo of the damaged bowsprit. He managed to use levers, blocks, and tackles to bend it back into place, but his had much smaller steel. He readjusted the cable lengths with cable clamps. That was how I got the idea to use cable clamps to fix the length of my rigging. My other hero, Jon Sanders, who is still alive and holds the records for the two longest sea voyages, also had a collision at sea. Both of them were closer to land when it happened.

I have often said other ships at sea make me uncomfortable and are more dangerous than anything else. I've tried to stay away from land and shipping lanes to avoid other ships as much as possible. From the beginning of my sailing experiences I have heard sailors around the world say that these ships on the high sea are on autopilot and don't always keep a forward looking watch. Then again these ships have probably made more rescues than collisions. If I'm ever on a near collision course, I always change direction. Sometimes in storm conditions, it is difficult to change course because of the way the sails are set. In a storm, we are blown like a bottle across the water.

Now, we sail slowly where we want to go with our bowsprit bent erect in the air. Our two headstays (cables that support the masts) are secure but not tightened yet. I'm gathering the tools and planning the job of getting the bowsprit back on deck, sawing it off and using the longest piece for a new short bowsprit. I think I can do it and I really don't mind the hard work. I've done plenty of that already so I'm toughened up and in practice.
I really want to get the schooner back into proper sailing order so we can again feel comfortable about sailing anywhere and riding out any storm that comes. I know we can do it.

 
Day 16 Collision at Sea Repairs
Sunday, 06 May 2007

Reid and Soanya are taking steady action to repair and minimize the impact on the Anne's performance.

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Day 15 Collision at Sea
Sunday, 06 May 2007
Last night we had a collision with a freighter vessel. No one was hurt and the boat is fine except the bowsprit is bent and now useless and we don't have a roller-furling unit or jib sheet. We are engaged in emergency repairs and more will follow soon. Image
 
Day 12 Patching the Sails
Thursday, 03 May 2007

May 2, 2007 - Day 12
Wind WSW 20-40 knots, Course 120, 37°.11, 59°.05, Speed 4-9.5 knots, Temp. 73°F

The day began calm with a nice sunny breeze. Reid decided to work on patching the sail that he accidentally tore while putting a reef (tying the sail shorter) in during one of the previous storms.

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Day 10 May day :-)
Tuesday, 01 May 2007
May 1, 2007 May Day
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Enjoying the View
Here I am leaning out of the main hatch, the slowly calming morning after a lightening storm. I'm still not confident enough to walk with ease on a rolling deck, so I enjoy the big sparkling waves and fresh ocean breeze from the safety of the hatch. Last night was a partly clear night sky with a stiff invisible wind and lightening flashing everywhere, but not really near the boat. It seems these storms are never-ending, but we can't complain. We are still headed in the general direction of where we want to go for the next few weeks, which is east or south east, and the high winds have not damaged any part of the boat or required us to go into the weather while it's blowing. The wind is the noisiest part of the ocean and when it dies down as it did early last evening, the ensuing quiet touched by the soft gurgle of water on water is a balm to the spirit. Even in the quietest times in the city, I would still be tuning sounds out. Here, there is no need to tune anything out. All the sounds are part of one big song.

Soanya
 
Day 8,9 3rd storm confirmed
Tuesday, 01 May 2007

April 30, 2007 - Day 8,9

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Stormy Weather
As most people have heard, photos of waves don't really show how large, steep, or fast they are moving or what happens when they crash on the boat, toss her about, find their way through new places, and keep coming for days on end.

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Day 7 Storm?
Tuesday, 01 May 2007

[Mission Control] We think a storm is delaying communiations from R+S too during the weekend.  The Metocean position reports show SchooneAnne moving at high speed east.

 

 
Day 6 Porpoises bound around the schooner
Friday, 27 April 2007

Wind S 10-15 knots, Course 90°, Speed 5-6 knots 10:30 am, 38°25, 68°59.

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This morning after a good nights sleep, I woke up at dawn, noticed that the wind had changed and we were heaved-to in a thick pea soup fog. That didn't inspire me to set the sails so I went back to sleep. By 8:00 am, I was eager to get the schooner going in the right direction, so after a coffee and apples with yogurt, I went about the process of setting the sails.

Thank goodness we have a self-tailing power winch, but don't imagine it's a cinch. There are a lot of lines and monkey work and even times when I have to use all my force. Inevitably, lines snag and I have yet to go through a maneuver without making mistakes and extra work for myself. I am still extremely confident about the schooner and my ability to handle her. From the beginning, the difference of being at sea is apparent and I am already customizing and changing some details. At the moment, I'm not asking Soanya to do much, just so she can adapt to her new life at sea. She has been plotting our position and mainly keeping up with all of our communications, which is really important.

By the time I finished setting the sails and balancing the schooner on an easterly course, Soanya popped her smiling face up out of the hatch and I said, “Look at this.” I waved my hand across the open sea and the fog lifted letting the sun shine through. We're on our way! Nothing stopping us now. Porpoises bound around the schooner as we glide gently at 5 ½ knots.

Soanya's View:

It was a beautiful morning. The temperature was near 70 and the sun burned away the fog making the water a sparkling turquoise color. Then we saw porpoises, at least five or six. They were swimming around the schooner and happily jumping and gliding through the water. I guess they were enjoying the weather too. I'm feeling a lot better. The boat is sailing smoothly without much rolling going on, so I haven't gotten seasick all day today.

 
Day 5 Reties strings on figurehead mask
Friday, 27 April 2007

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Wind 20-30 knots, Heaved-to 1knot side drift - April 26,2007 - Day 5

Yesterday evening, we slowly sailed back the 25 miles that we were ordered to go on. Then I dropped the jib and staysail because the wind was very light. We hove-to (stalled the boat using a specific combo of sails, wind, and rudder direction) under tight sheeted foresail and double-reefed mainsail (the biggest sail was shortened a certain amount).

It was a beautiful, still, but cloudy evening and Soanya and I did yoga together for the first time on the voyage. Afterwards, we had a gourmet dinner with a sip of wine. I decided that since we were heaved-to in calm wind, that I would sleep downstairs and get some well needed rest. When I sleep in the pilothouse bunk, I sleep lightly with awareness. Before going to bed, I decided to drop the main and looked at the clock to see how fast I could do it. Lowering the main went really easy and I tied it off with a couple of twists of rope. Then I looked around the deck, put everything in order, studied, and appreciated the night before I went to bed.
Several hours later, I was awakened by a hum and knew that there was wind. I didn't worry because I knew the schooner was heaved-to and from this position should ride a light hurricane. As I stepped up to look, the wind increased until we were humming and vibrating all over. The wind from the NE was blowing a storm and we were drifting backwards at up to 2 knots. I prayed that the foresail wouldn't blow out, but she cut the wind like a saber. The waves pushed us back on the rudder that I repaired with welded steel last year. I slept lightly, checked the bilge and stood in the pilothouse taken aback by the ferocity of the storm, yet the schooner rode well and Soanya was comfortable in a soft bed protected by a canvas(lee cloth) so she couldn't fall out .
By dawn, the wind blew right out of the east and lightened up a little. I plan to heave-to today since the seas were temporarily closed in the direction we wanted to go. In any case, the wind dictates the course. It was blowing stiff and cold out of the east and the seas are small but steep sided. Therefore, we are going to go ahead and see what happens tomorrow.

Soanya's View:
It was my first storm at sea and it was not as bad as the stories I have heard told. Granted this was not a ferocious storm by most standards so I probably can't compare. It began with the wind picking up and then the boat rolling a lot. I could hear all the pots and pans in the galley crashing one way then the other in the cupboard. Some books that were on the shelf over the bed fell down. Since I was already in bed, the motion was easier to handle than standing up or trying to walk with it. Reid came and tied the lee cloth. It turns out it was a good thing he did since the boat did roll enough that I would have rolled out of those warm covers. He had warned me of this many times before, so there was no surprise on my part. At least we didn't have to go outside into the weather to mess with the sails. As it continued on, I woke up intermittently through the wee hours and then it died down towards dawn. I still got out of bed in the morning feeling rested.

 
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