Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tracking and Comments

After a week of wrestling with the Metocean tracking unit the problem as been corrected. The fault was in the antenna. The broadcast part of the unit includes a 60 foot cable that goes up the mast to an antenna at the the top. A backup cable and antenna was connected and that worked. The folks at Metocean pitched in as usual and were very helpful. This morning we got an email from them after they had spoken with the Anne confirming a good transmission. A little while later updates appeared on the Metocean website. I'm glad that's sorted because it's disturbing not having a good fix on their location.

Some time ago our sister blog 1000daysatsea.blogspot.com ceased updates. One of the nice parts of the blog was the comment section. I was sorry to see the blog's demise because it takes away from the communal part of the voyage on the internet. One of my mission control cohorts suggested that we reenable comment posting on the blog site. That sounds like a good idea. There won't be any posts on the blog. It will be a space for people to post comments and participate. Comments will be moderated so you'll have to bear with us about timing since most of us have day jobs and sometimes comments might take awhile to appear. This will be a way for people following the voyage to discuss things and maybe in the future we will make posts on the blog on topics of concern.

Above is a repost from 1000days.net. It gives some background on why we've turned on comments. Also some readers have asked about an RSS feed. The 1000days.net site has an RSS feed. So try that out.

The Editor


Morgan Grayson said...

If you are like me and had never heard of the "white rainbow" Reid mentioned in his recent post, check out this website to see a great example:


I Googled "white rainbow" and then searched w/in theresults for fog--found this site and one or two others w/photos, plus a neat video on YouTube that shows one on the ocean appearing in fog--probably similar to what Reid saw. Worth a look if, like me, you've never seen one.

bonnie said...

Thanks, Morgan! Great picture, I'd never heard of that before either.

I'm glad the comments are back on, for just this kind of thing.

k in oh said...

to regatta dog...
well said! for a blog that was pretty fascinating, this has evolved into something that actually has very little information about their journey. don't know if it is the fault of the editor, support staff or R & S. either way, it feels as if everyone has become very complacent if not just outright boring. very sad!! hopefully in the future the energy will resurface!

Thinker said...

I am really pleased to see the blogger is back.

I am interested to know what happened to the bowsprit on the Anne. How was it damaged?

I have also wondered about sailing through fog as they do with limited visibility. What is the risk to Reid and Soanya of hitting another boat in conditions like these? DB

Yepper said...

From FoodInfo.net
E220: Sulphur dioxide
Sulphur is a common element. Sulphur dioxide is produced by burning sulphur. Its use as a preservative is associated with ancient history; it had been widely used in ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire.

Function & characteristics:
It is a colourless gas, used as preservative. It prevents enzymatic and bacterial spoilage of products. Sulphur dioxide dissolves in the aqueous phase of the product; the acid resulting from this reaction is the active agent. It is thus most effective in acid and slightly acid foods. It is ineffective at neutral pH.

Finally, it stabilises vitamin C.

Acceptable Daily Intake:
Up to 0.7 mg/kg body weight.

Side effects:
Due to its oxidising effect, it may reduce the vitamin content in products. It is reduced in the liver to harmless sulphate and excreted in the urine. It can, however, cause breathing problems in asthmatic patients. In high concentrations (above those normally used in foods) it can cause gastrointestinal disturbances in some people.

Regatta Dog said...

Hello Thinker,

Since Squawk, the editor of this blog and an inanimate piece of wood on the schooner Anne, has not been forthcoming answering questions or getting answers from Reid or the shore team, let me take a stab at answering your questions.

The bow sprit was damaged a number of months ago. While Reid claims they were hit by a ship, others who are more knowledgeable in marine rigging have suggested that the sprit was not able to withstand the forces of heavy seas while there was stress on the rigging. The pictures of the sprit showed what appeared to be a piece of steel piping designed for the construction industry and not for marine use. It has also been suggested that any contact with a freighter would have led to catastrophic damage, which did not occur. No one here on shore can say for certain, but no one but Reid himself claims a collision with a freighter. Reid and his shore team have been unable to provide any supporting documentation from Maersk, the operator of the freighter Reid claims hit them. I would agree that a collision at sea makes for much better drama than admitting that a major error in design/building resulted in the sprit incident.

Besides the ship they claim hit them they've only reported seeing one other ship in their entire trip so far, even after crossing some pretty busy shipping lanes. The odds of them encountering another vessel where they are now is highly unlikely, as it is off the major routes of ships. If one accepts Reid's assertion about the collision at sea, they are indeed in great danger if another vessel comes near, as their 70' boat is apparently invisible to radar. Also, the stealth Anne has no radar of her own and must rely on Reid & Sonaya to keep vigilant watches to avoid collision, in which they have proven themselves slightly inept.

Hope that helps.

boondoggle said...

Can R&S or someone associated with them, please tell us what the plan is - continue the circumnavigation by heading for Cape Horn or take a break to do a loop in the Pacific. Thanks!

francois said...

RE one of their latest posts:

"SO2 can be counted as safe because the human body converts any surplus into harmless sulfate. This process of detoxification can easily cope with any SO2 that we consume. The only exception are for those who are sensitive or allergic to SO2. Asthmatics, for example, are particularly sensitive to the smell of freshly opened wine, which contains a moderate amount of residual SO2."


Ingestion of sulfur dioxide is unlikely because it is a gas at room temperature. Sulfur dioxide is used in small amounts as a food and wine preservative. Highly sensitive asthmatic individuals can develop bronchospasm after eating foods or drinking wine preserved with sulfur dioxide or other sulfur preservatives.


AprilB said...

I don't understand. Why would they undertake such an extensive journey without a radar system?

Regatta Dog said...


I don't know the actual answer to that, but don't think you'll get it from the shore team or R&S, as they seem to have just created this blog and ignored it.

Based on their posts on the main site, I would imagine the reason they have no radar is because nobody "stepped up" and donated one.

For a short handed cruise, where in bad weather Soanya appears not to be able to handle watches, a radar is a big safety issue. I hope their luck holds out with other vessels around them and they can avoid disaster. That said, not having radar is simply irresponsible.

Squawk said...

Thinker, please check out the US coast guard report documenting collision with MAERSK DUNEDIN vessel. That shows how the bowsprit was damaged. (recent post on www.1000days.net).

Capt. John said...

After reading the Coast Guard report it is clear the schooner Anne was the give way vessel, it is also clear there was no proper watch being kept.The fact that they hit the ships port quarter leads me to believe that they were not even aware of the ship until they hit it. As they said in their own words "they were lucky" got to pay attention out there.

Regatta Dog said...

I just read the CG report on 1000 Days at Sea and immediately posted a retraction on 1000 Days of Hell.

The collision did happen, but it is important to note that the CG report says that the Anne hit the ship - not that the Anne was hit by a ship.

The Freedom of Information Act is a double edged sword. Through it we learned that the Anne hit a ship. Through the FIA we'll learn more about the guy that ran his yacht into a freighter.

Stay tuned....

Morgan Grayson said...

I hope the Coast Guard report will make people think twice before calling their assumptions "truth."

John said...

I have emailed the following comments to 1000 Days Of Hell.

Excuse me, but from May 2007 until yesterday, you all have said that the Maersk Dunedin Collision never happened. You even had your unnamed “Danish sailing friend” (sounds just as “gay” now as when you first said it) “who also has a close working business relationship with Maersk” verify that no such collision could have occurred. You have repeatedly said/published, in the harshest terms that Stowe was lying about the collision to cover for shoddy construction of his boat and/or poor seamanship. Now there is an official US Coast Guard report proving that there was indeed an accident and that Stowe was not lying about how his boat/bowsprit was damaged. Yes, you have posted what you are calling a “retraction” admitting that an accident did in fact occur - admitting the truth after you had been proven wrong must have taken exceptional courage and humility. Your gracious retraction aside, IMHO you owe Stowe a public apology for calling him a liar (in this instance); although I seriously doubt you have the moral character or intellectual honesty to admit your guilt and sincerely ask for forgiveness for your deliberate and malicious intent to defame this man.

Parody is one thing (it’s also SUPPOSED to be funny), but deliberately impugning a man’s character is just plain wrong. It would appear that you have been stripped of the moral superiority in which you clothed yourselves while you engaged in your self-righteous judgmentalism of Stowe and his checkered past. Seemingly, your hearts are just as black as you claim Stowe’s is. Your first mistake was forgetting that it is only those who have not sinned who get to cast the stones. I'm sure that producing a prestigious, world-class blog must require a tremendous amount of time (why the fact checking alone must take nanoseconds each and every day), but if and when you have a spare moment to lay down your poisoned pen you might want to google "The Golden Rule."

In my first email to you I ask this question:
“I understand that I’m running the risk of being labeled a “Reid-Hovian” in asking my question, but I’m trying to figure out if you guys are just mean-spirited assholes tearing down someone because you have nothing better to do, or if this Stowe character actually did something to one of you (stole money, screwed your wife, etc…) and now is pay back time?”

Apparently the answer is that you guys are just mean-spirited assholes!
B&C In Tenn.

Be advised that you cannot become annoyed, irritated or angry with me for pointing out your “variations on the truth” and moral failures, I’m engaging in “PARODY!”
You know, you guys just might actually be on to something here, this pointing out character flaws in flaky people and calling them names is FUN AS HELL!!

j. said...

Does Mission Control have the audio of their Good News broadcast for this past Thursday (2/7) or their scheduled talk with Carter on 2/5? I had wanted to go in person but was not feeling well. Hope MC has both of these.

Morgan Grayson said...

I was just reviewing the CG report and listening to Reid's audio of the collision. Also re-read some of the daily reports. Reid says he called the ship; the report says "2nd Mate TRIED" to contact the Anne; then it says they “made contact.” Does this mean THEY called Reid or perhaps Reid got through to them? Is someone lying? The report was not written by either the Mate or by Reid. Who is telling the truth? Why is it always assumed NOT to be Reid? Reid says he was "looking around" and missed the ship (from the photos it appears that there are 180 degrees of windows in the pilot house, as well as a wheel), so it is clear that he wasn't actually "ASLEEP at the wheel," as some have stated (again, as "truth"). Faulty watch, to be sure, but not NO watch. And, if Reid had been “asleep,” how is it that the Anne changed direction? A sudden wind capable of turning a 60 ton, heavy-laden schooner on a dime? Once while sailing on the open ocean, we hailed a freighter that was to the north of our starboard side and gaining on us. We called the ship several times w/out receiving a response. Only when it came close enough for us to see its name w/binoculars and we hailed it by name did we get a rather annoyed response from them. Based on this limited sample, I'd say that the freighter may well have been on auto pilot. Also, Reid notes in one daily report "We're always up and about scanning the horizon as a matter of habit. We haven't seen a lot of ships and often go days without seeing one. The radar alarm always sounds off when a ship is in our part of the ocean, but many times we see the ship even before it sounds the alarm. We hope they see us on their radar, since we are a big steel sailboat with a radar reflector on top of the mast." So, since they appear to have had their CARD system in place, comments about the lack of radar seem to be off base (why it didn't detect the freighter or the freighter detect the Anne far in advance of 3 minutes is another question--given that GPS/radar will detect vessels that are MILES away, it would again seem that the freighter folk weren't paying that much attention ). A lot of people seem to spend an amazing amount of time coming up with convoluted theories for this and that. Even though it has been admitted that Reid wasn’t lying about the collision, people continue to assume, among other things, that there were false representations made to sponsors. Has anyone actually contacted these sponsors to see if this was indeed the case? If so, what did they say? What happened to “innocent until PROVEN”….etc. It would be good if this dialogue were based more on fact than speculation.

Regatta Dog said...

Fun is fun, but the weather is going to become absolutely horrible with Nicholas expecting to be in Anne's vicinity Tues/Wed. I strongly urge Mission Control to call Reid and tell him to pump up his inflatable, lash it to the deck, provision it with water, EPIRB, radio, etc.

He might actually encounter the 110 mph winds he spoke of years ago and the Anne might not be able to handle it.

bonnie said...

If anyone's interested in following Nicholas's progress for themselves, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre Perth has a page.

bonnie said...

Oh, and a quick note to r-pup & friends - Don't be too bummed out if Nicholas doesn't get 'em. There's just shy of 700 days left in this adventure. They're on a boat (and not a shiny new expensive one) & I think most people here understand that things sometimes happen to boats (even shiny new expensive ones.

My point being, that if you keep predicting various disasters every day, there is a reasonable chance that eventually something will go really wrong & you'll be able to back through your archives & say "There, see, I said that was going to happen". Then your lives can be full and happy.

In the meantime, though, seems to me they've shown a pretty impressive level of determination & resilience.

Yes, sometimes things get a little on the woo-woo side - but underneath the new-age stuff, there's a couple who is making what looks to me like a very serious effort to achieve their 1000-day goal.

bonnie said...

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot -

Congrats to Reid & Soanya on 300 days!

Next milestone - one year.

Good luck, hope that spare main does the job you need it to do.

Never Anonymous said...

The Dog Should Go Back to Pooping Where He and His Rabid Hounds Sleep

Cyclone Nicholas downgraded

Tropical cyclone Nicholas has crossed the West Australian coast without causing any damage and quickly ran out off puff as it weakened to a tropical low.

Nicholas crossed the coast near Carnarvon and was downgraded below tropical cyclone intensity at 4pm (WDT) on Wednesday as it continued to track south over land past the town of Gascoyne.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority announced the all clear and advised damaging winds were no longer expected although residents should still be cautious.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said heavy rainfall in excess of 100mm was likely overnight and into Thursday ahead of the low.

"There are large areas of the West Australian interior that are getting rain," BOM duty forecaster Scott Carpentier said.

"It's also bringing overcast conditions which is probably a nice change after the 40C days they have been having."

The town of Exmouth in the mid-north of WA was battered on Tuesday by the then category two cyclone, but emerged largely unscathed, before it veered away from the tourist centre.

The Ningaloo reef town had been placed on red alert ahead of potentially destructive winds, and communities between Onslow and Coral Bay had also prepared for a mauling.

Communities in WA's Gascoyne and Pilbara regions had been bracing themselves for the storm since last week as cyclone Nicholas skirted erratically around the North West Cape.

But the then category three storm stayed out at sea, tracking parallel with the coast and dumping rain on drought stricken pastoral properties.

bonnie said...

Weather update - just went to check on Nicholas & it seems there are now no current cyclones, according to the Current Cyclone page. The Nicholas page is gone. The 3-day outlook page reads "Ex-Tropical Cyclone Nicholas was located inland of Carnarvon at 4pm and is not
expected to redevelop."

The new link is a "Current Tropical Cyclones" page.

Morgan Grayson said...

Bonnie -- AMEN! One only needs to look at various racing sites on the web to see the extreme damage suffered by newer, high-tech/high-performance oriented boats. Here, with the Schooner Anne, we have the sea turtle (i.e. "tortoise" of fable): the Anne is a 30+-yr. old schooner built in a backyard and its skipper has taken her all over the world (and yes, Virginia, the Anne has been to Europe). Regardless of the circumstances that led to the collision at sea (about which my thoughts have previously been posted), Reid has had the wherewithal to single-handedly complete a major repair and re-rigging at sea; he has managed to guide her--with these make-do adjustments--safely through the Southern Ocean; and although the condition of the sails is quite problematic, they are continuing to go for the goal of 1000 days. Soanya has handled many important aspects of the voyage; however--whether or not any of the "critics" want to admit it--it is Reid's know-how and muscle that has gotten them this far. As Bonnie has noted, their determination has not been compromised and they have logged 300+ days--a pretty good indication of their skill and perseverance. If and when any of these nay-sayers wishes to (basically) singlehand a 70-ft. schooner through the Southern Ocean, I'll start a web site for him/her. (Caveat Emptor!)

svgreatwhite said...

Word has come thru another site (www.freodoctor.com.au) that Sonya is getting off the boat at Perth and that the decision to do so was made at Christmas as she is not capable of the 1000 days at sea. I have watched the Anne for several weeks make a course straight to Australia.
What is the scoop on this?

mark lorson said...

The split has left me feeling sad.
Mark Lorson

bonnie said...

Don't know if Soanya will see this or not but I saw the news today, and Soanya, I wanted to say congratulations anyways. I was just saying on Frogma -

"Maybe that's why I admire these people who have crazy dreams & go out & try to make them actually HAPPEN so much. Because they always face that risk of failure - but they don't let it freeze them in their safe & secure tracks."

You had some incredible guts to even try - and I was impressed at how long it was that you were still seeing beauty where I personally can only imagine being sick of only seeing the same boat and the same person day after day after day.

I think following how you were doing was my favorite thing.

You did great. And what a story you'll have to tell for the rest of your life!

boondoggle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...


You are my hero! I've loved following you on this journey but lately have really worried about you because of the seasickness. I too suffer from seasickness. One particularely bad spell was off the coast of Barre de Navidad in Mexico. I really wanted to die. I've rarely gone on a boat since. In other words...I so understand your decision. You've been wonderfully brave and have added such a great element to this adventure! I'm glad you are taking care of YOU now. Be well and healthy. K in AK

russell las vegas said...

you two are the toughest!!!!!

sonya , you really did great.

sorry you got so seasick. i know

how bad it can get. ( holy shit )

you made the best choice.

reid , you are a real man's man

you can do it all the way.

please be extra cautious alone.

and have a real good ride dude !

god bless you both.

russell las vegas

Jumping Jahosafat said...


As you go it alone, it is imperative that you trail out 100 feet of line behind you so that if you should go over, you will have a short swim to a rescue line, and plenty of time for multiple attempts to get hold of it.


Old Coast Guardsman

Ashley said...


Is it possible to get a comment system set-up for Reid's blog posts?

I think would be useful for direct comment on Reid's posts and "communication" with him.

I am sure he would welcome a chance to read more good wishes (and questions) from us all.

Of course, he may not have much spare time now, but at least the comments would be there.

All the best Reid!


mark lorson said...

I have to say I admire this man, his freedom & his willingness to follow his dreams.
Mark T Lorson

Arnold said...

Why don`t we get more comments about 1000 days at sea

sailor said...


Kudos and heartiest congratulations on making it through Year 1 on the Oceans! I realize the 'official' day is still a few from now. I ask that you recognize the official milestone onboard with some sort of celebration and ritual if the circumstance of the sea state around you allows. You must have some special wine or other libation to toast to the sea, she who has been so kind to have allowed you to live this unique and wonderful life of continually sailing on her oceans. You might even consider a special photo to send out from Anne, commemorating the event.

After this, there is only one more year celebration that remains. Each milestone passed should bring you joy. So many thought you would never make it this far or this long. Even your worst doubters will have to eat crow when you show up at the dock at the end of one thousand days at sea.

I look forward to that future; seeing you in good health on your well founded schooner upon your safe return. Smooth sailing, fast sewing, easy times and surmounting all obstacles that cross your ever moving home on the oceans of our blue planet.



Fair winds and following seas,

Carmen said...

WoooooHOOOO! You are almost at ONE YEAR! Congratulations to Reid for his vision, patience, perserverance...and to Soanya and the Mission Control Team for a job well done!

I would encourage all of you to email all your friends to join in for years Two and Three so they, too, can enjoy this exciting personal journey at sea. It would be ESPECIALLY nice if we could involve more of the school children...talk to your teachers so the kids can enjoy this Ocean Odyssey as well!

I would imagine there are many expenses associated with the upkeep of the websites, Reid's electronics aboard, etc. I hope everyone is donating so we can continue to enjoy the luxury of our daily updates. I'm a bit concerned that as time goes on, the donations might fall off and that would only jeopardize Reid's safety at sea. If all of us that are following this Odyssey gave a small amount every month, I'm sure it would help Reid to maintain his communications equipment. We can't let him down now, can we?

Thank you all, at Mission Control, for the many hours you volunteer to help make this a success. And a HUGE thank you for getting the Blog up and running again!

Carmen in California ;-)

Lori said...

Congratulations on making the 1 year mark! You left the day after I turned 30, and it's been interesting reading your experiences. I'm so glad I randomly found out about your journey on msn last year. I check for updates just about every day.

Stay safe out there!

Carmen said...

It was fascinating to read Soanya's posting about how people develop a coping mechanism for being alone on the high seas. I, too, have read Reid's postings which are almost never written as if he were alone out there. It's nearly always "we" and I wondered about that so it was very interesting to read the pshychology behind that. Thank you, Soanya, for enlightening those of us who have been enjoying the Odyssey.

Carmen xoxo

Jerry said...

I too have been following the Odyssey since its second week at sea. Now that it's a solo effort, I find myself looking for clues into any shifts in Reid's mindset as the impact of a second year alone at sea unfolds. His last entry used a curious phrase that I don't understand: "the migration of yearning is longer than we have experienced".

It reminds me of a scene in "Jerimiah Johnson" when Robert Redford and Will Gere meet again high in the Rockies in late winter. Both are loners but old friends, trying to guess what month it was. When Gere says "Spring's slow in coming this high", it evokes the same melancholy mood that I think Reid was in when he wrote his curious phrase. Does anyone know exactly what he meant by it?

Reid, I just wish your sails were as strong as your spirit. Good luck.

Carmen said...

Just read your posting today...you're wondering if we think you talk to yourself. Goodness, I would thing you talk to everything out there and I'm amazed that you don't cuss like the sailor you just happen to BE!

You are an inspiration to all of us....we talk to YOU all the time...you hear us in the wind, the waves and in your spirit.

We are all with you, Reid, each day, each hour, and sometimes each moment. You are so NOT alone. Heart has no distance and spirit has no bounds. Your ship is crowded with love and friendship!


judyg2u said...

I have been tracking you since you left. You are doing something I,ve dreamed of doing.I will keep watching & praying for your safe return. judyg2u@AOL.com

fishface said...

Congratulations on the baby boy!! What a surprise to read your latest post. I have been following your voyage from day one - I first read about it in our San Antonio Newspaper. How exciting!! Sad though that it will be almost 2 years before you see your son in person. Hope Soanya posts soon with pictures.