Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"REPLIES TO BLOG COMMENTS"

Hi All...been a bit of fun catching up on a few of the comments that Stu our Blog master has forwarded to Restoration Island...looks like some will have to get a copy of the book one day when it finally comes out..it will tell many things but we will try to cover everything here but as you can expect it is challenging when at sea...anyway just to cover a couple of points...

I ring Margie twice a day..once in the morning and once at night..she is our Expedition headquarters.it is all about safety and expedition logistics...not just to check up on what is going on in the world...so yes it is very appropriate to stop the rest of the crew from using the phone for anything else other than logistics..which is what I have done..what happened with Dave he twisted that to be following his business and family interests which was unfortunately for him as it stops him from enjoying the experience out here and he knew the rules...so I have no problem with that..in fact I have bent all my own standards to try to accommodate him and let him satisfy his own mind...

Margie has now gone to Europe for 6 weeks on business and pleasure so I will not be ringing her each day any longer as Marketa is our new expedition manager and she will get my check in calls..all part of our sophisticated crisis management planning and we have a large team of qualified people handling that...

Seems to be some confusion from a member of the 1983 Child of Bounty trip as to why should the Govt. pay for the helicopter to Restoration Island and that we have it easy with sat coms etc...well firstly we are the fifth expedition now..one in 1975.Child of Bounty was the second in 1983..another in 1990..another in 1995 and now us..our is different than all the others..no big deal..not better or worse..just different...Customs have been great helping with a helicopter and correct me if I am wrong but in 1983 I thought the Govt. did the same thing and paid for a customs ship to be waiting at Restoration Island to clear them??..so a helicopter today is a lot cheaper than that and isnt it good that the Aust. Govt. is so forward thinking that they support this type of endeavor for the good of all..we were impressed yesterday with how efficient and friendly Customs and AQIS really were..NO we did not use their helicopter for Arial for our Documentary!..we will charter one from Horn Island later for that at our expense..yes we have GPS for safety reasons just as in 1983 I believe the Child of Bounty used an Argo satellite tracing system and the best Charts , Sextants etc of the time for navigation..that is all that they had in those days, but I do not believe Child of Bounty went off blind into the ocean like we have in many parts...that is why we were nearly wrecked on a reef twice on the way to Fiji..and stumbled across some banks in the Pacific!

Reine seems a bit confused about our approach to a few things so let me use the torch issue as an example...we set out not to use torches as Bligh had non...we we still have torches for safety reasons..what are the rules of engagement for torches..only to avert a high risk situation or official business...so if we are writing a blog at night we have to use the head torch..if we have been struggling at night in big seas trying to control the boat and it is getting dangerous and we may capsize the boat...then we will use our head torch to look at the compass...don't worry we have had plenty of very frustrating black nights and plenty of times using torches too when it hits the fan so it is a juggling act...

With the GPS..as an example...we set off from our unexpected Fiji stop ( not scheduled!) knowing our departure point...like Bligh we have a voyage plan..he had been planning his for three months before the mutiny to get the Bounty home..all the best publications at the time and previous voyage journals of many ship before him were studded hard to make that plan..we are using our one planning chart that cover half the world...we set off and immediately get into what is called "Plain Sailing"..all the westing is simply an addition of the hourly speeds listed in the ships log...that is it...then occasionally I take a noon sight to check the Latitude..north south position..which is no big deal as there is nothing to hit for a long time..so unlike Bligh I only do that occasionally...we are just Dead Reckoning our position to the west....the current adds a new dimension...I do not calculate my Latitude and longitude each day by tables as it is Plain sailing a very simple and very basic....so when the bottom appeared last week we were surprised and I was needing to get a noon sight to work out our latitude...north south position asap..to work out which bank it was...as it turns out we quickly found the sand cay and then saw on the one chart we have we were about the latitude of Diane Bank..so that had to be it..Bingo!..we have a fixed point...the funny part about all that was that our DR positions in the next few days went way out again with currents from everywhere...so I am not navigating like Bligh but I am doing it the same way...every day noon sights..this all become irrelevant when we then have to get to Boat pass and restoration Island...I have to use the GPS just to get there as I do not have an almanac or Tables to compute longitude..neither did Bligh..but he never needed to get anywhere specific...so it is different for us...

The other way we use the GPS is for safety..when we were pressed hard on a lee shore on a very Dark windy 2am morning with surf only minutes away we struggled to get off..once that was in progress I jumped below and immediately turned the GPS on the find out where the reef was going..it showed us on the reef!! and about half a mile from the end..that info was critical to our survival....When we got to Bligh water between the Fiji islands we planned to go through in daylight but in the end we were caught in very bad weather,..far too dangerous to slow down in or we would have capsized so we were trapped heading up into a blind alley and we were going to be there at night..no option but to use the GPS or we would have been wrecked...not a good idea...

It is hard for us to truly do things exactly as Bligh..he had to..we are volunteers..it starts from there...but we are forcing deprivations and hardships on ourselves but we are no being foolhardy or reckless....we know when the boundaries have been met...we have been doing it tough often...we are having it much better off than Bligh so I will not standing up at the end and saying we did it exactly like Bligh..I will be saying we have experienced some moments very similar to Bligh in a little boat ....I will watch the sixth re-enactment of Bligh's voyage with great delight as it is truly one of the greate3st open boat journeys of all time...I am loving it and am very happy to share so much of it with so many...makes for some interesting conversations but wait till you see the Book!!!!

Please keep the comments coming..good and bad...better to have an opinion that say nothing all your life...we are out of here tomorrow something I am really looking forward too....Half of Bligh's men were right and half were wrong when the crew were split on leaving or staying!!!...you work it out....Don

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi to all--I've been following your "adventure" from the beginning. I found you from Jessica's blog when you and Mike had the eating race with her one day. Have enjoyed following along. I do not fault you at all to use modern equipment as Bligh would have done the same thing if he'd have had them. His was an emergency with the mutiny--yours was planned and it would have been foolish to not have the safety precautions. I'm glad Dave is continuing on with you, as I think he would have felt disappointed with himself when he'd have returned home. We wish you Godspeed and are sending up prayers for you!
Kathy,USA

viviane said...

to you brave men, we wish fair wind and courage, our hearts are with you from WA.try to rest before the next leg of the journey, king neptune will behave you far to great sailors for him not too.Fair winds and sails. Viv

Anonymous said...

I absolutely can not wait for your book!!!!! Wow... what an extraordinary adventure you are having. You have all inspired me to loose 30kgs and take that research trip to the Antarctic that I have always dreamed of.
PS I am particularly enjoying Dave W’s honest and painful descriptions about how futile the difficult times seem. (I can imagine thinking, what the hell am I doing this for when I have a comfortable life back home) Don I find your common sense approach to accept what is, very calming and reassuring. As already pointed out, you have experienced the rewards of following through until the end. Dear Dave P and Chris… are getting on with the adventure of a life time. Well done to you all.

Fair winds and Godspeed.
Sandra

William Watson said...

All good Don! Can the crew get to read their post comments whilst on the voyage at least. It's a bit one sided, that's all.

Well done to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I actually found Jessica's blog from your website, when you had the eating race, and started following her adventure from then on also.

You are all an inspiration!!

Hal (UK)

Queenslander said...

If nothing else, you have proved that while Bligh was a brilliant seaman, he was also VERY, VERY, VERY LUCKY...

Great seamanship does help to create some of that luck and I believe you have demonstrated that also.

John

Reine said...

I am not putting anyone down for being safe...I just believe there are major contradictions...the website does not say...we will do it just like Bligh, except when we are within 100 miles, then we'll use GPS and it does not say we'll use no torches unless the weather gets bad, etc...by all means be safe, but my problem is how it is all publicized and treated like more close to the original than the others...I mean read the website, read the news releases...

No doubt it is a grand, man made adventure...but so were the others and Don (on his own website) professes how his will be so different. That is all I am pointing out...still very interesting...and a special thanks to the humanity of Dave W and Chris...

Reine