Eco Sailors Rescued by “Big Oil” Tanker:

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).

All three are reportedly exhausted but safe on board the Overseas Yellowstone.

Mr Surcouf, 40, from Jersey, Mr Spink, 31, and Mr Stoddart, 43, from Bristol, are due to arrive in the USA on 8 May.

Fleur crew rescued

The Fleur crew were rescued by the Overseas Yellowstone in strong winds

‘Heartfelt thanks’

The team, which left Mount Batten Marina in Plymouth on 19 April in a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933km/h) journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap.

But atrocious weather dogged their journey after 27 April, culminating with the rescue on 1 May after the boat was temporarily capsized three times by the wind.

Water was also getting into the boat from waves breaking over it and the crew took refuge in the forward cabin.

The crew were 400 miles (644km) off the west coast of Ireland when they sent a mayday to Falmouth coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue with Irish coastguards.

The transfer from the Fleur to Overseas Yellowstone was achieved in 42mph (67km/h) winds.

see the complete story from BBC NEWS here

(h/t to Philip Bratby – I suppose the boat becomes eco-pollution on the high sea now  – Anthony)

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84 Responses to Eco Sailors Rescued by “Big Oil” Tanker:

  1. David Gladstone says:

    What delicious irony! I love it.

  2. ziusudrablog says:

    Bad luck, keep up the spirit, give it another try.

  3. Symon says:

    You couldn’t make it up! I wonder how much fuel it takes to manoeuvre an oil tanker to rescue sailors?

  4. Les Francis says:

    We must invent a new word for Ecotists.
    The word lunatics has already been used up by Moon lovers

  5. urederra says:

    oh, the irony!

  6. Gee, not much grit. principles or determination here with these Econauts is there? Saved by one of the carriers of the death of Gaia, which itself consumes massive amounts of distillates to operate.

    Just begs the question surrounding wind power and why we stopped using sailing ships to transport our people and goods across the world’s ocean. Why do people keep trying to sabotage their own messaging? Are they really this deluded as to the reality of the power of natural forces of the planet?

    Kayaking to the North Pole
    Trying for the Northwest Passage
    Cruise Ships Trapped in the Ice
    Caitlin Expedition
    Carbon Free Sailing – well except for the composite hull and man-made materials in the ship itself, electronics, solar panels,etc…

    All this does is highlight that these people are fanatical in beliefs and have no respect for the planet they claim to want to save.

  7. With the Catlins just out of their hunger, how long before the first eco-martyr

  8. Geo says:

    Maybe, next time, they’ll have a back up plan! Their carbon footprint had to have just exploded, enough so that if “cap and trade” were in effect, they’d be doin’ some serious “trading”….(lol!)

  9. WestHoustonGeo says:

    I emailed the BBC to point out that the yachtsmen failed to thank the crew.

    Lo and behold, the quote magically changed. I guess we can have an effect on news events, even ax-post-facto;-)

  10. Gerald Machnee says:

    Saved by Big Oil!!

  11. Pamela Gray says:

    During the negative phase of the PDO, the jet stream is pushed northward and may become more turbulent due to its extreme global position. This northern jet stream stays that way through much of its circuitous route until it starts to fade a bit south again on the other side of us, only to be pused north when it encounters the Pacific coning round the bend. Ocean travel would then be peppered with strong storms both in the Pacific and the Atlantic. Environmentalists don”t appear to be very good a reading sailing advisories, instead believing that calm warm waters are out and about. If you can’t convince these people who attempt travel to the Arctic or across open water duing cold oscillations, it is understandable why folks we encounter here are completely closed to our studied but nonetheless armchair observations.

  12. Gordon Ford says:

    Never underestimate the power of Nature. She doesn’t like to be trifled with! Happy to hear no one was seriously injured or killed.

  13. a jones says:

    But what were they trying to show?

    Sailors in wooden ships have made such voyages for over a thousand years and at first didn’t even have compasses: let alone windmill generators or solar panels. They didn’t have chronometers and sextants until 250 years ago and the use of windmills, to drive the bilge pumps not for electric generation, was I believe, developed by Norwegian owners and masters towards the end of the 19th century.

    Kindest Regards

  14. Frank K. says:

    Team spokeswoman Jess Tombs said: “They are all overwhelmingly relieved to be safe.”

    I nominate this for the “self-evident statement of the year” award…

  15. Ared says:

    “…a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933[b]km/h[/b]) journey…”

    that is some speed for a boat powered by sail, solar and man power alone.

  16. Nylo says:

    Wow. What can I say.

    Now, for this story to be as ridiculous as the advertising of “Timberland Earthkeepers” shoes (see link below), the sailors should be grateful, not to the big oil tanker, but to good’ol Nature, for sending them those winds that eventually took them to the big oil tanker. It was obviously Nature which saved their lives.

    Video of the advertisement here:

  17. hareynolds says:

    Delicious indeed.

    Ok, now let’s send a Hummer (the real, military one) to extract the Caitlin folks. Better, a ski-equipped Hercules DEPOSITS a Hummer onto the ice (while still moving, like in the pickup truck commercial) and the Hummer races off to the rescue.

    As I boy, I looked-up to the legendary British explorers; Shakleton, Hillary, etc. What has happened that three Brits can’t sail a boat in a gale?

    Hullo, Idjuts! Sea anchor? Ya know, a full spare sail bag would have probably worked in case you were dim enough not to stow the real thing. Better than taking it on the beam, being knocked down three times, “bonking heads”, and getting rescued by some massive M/V.

    Heck, Shetland Islanders used-to take out there sixereens out in weather like this. Heck some more, I have seen 60 knots (plus downbursts) in the Houston NOOD in my old Tartan Ten. Pretty dicey, lots of shredded mains all around us, but with two reefs in we still made headway. Point up, point up!

    Better still, perhaps waiting a couple of months would have been good.
    It is indeed nasty out there in the North Atlantic.

  18. deadwood says:

    One would think that this expedition had some planning. If so, wouldn’t those planning have made some attempt to time the voyage for a period when the weather was a little less dramatic?

    Perhaps the weather was unusual, or maybe the voyage was timed to coincide with some political occasion rather than weather reality. I suspect the latter, but don’t know enough about North Atlantic weather to be sure.

  19. J. Peden says:

    The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.

    So now they’re going to blame this failure on AGW instead of a case of possession obsession* and stupidity, the real “causes” of AGW?

    * for money, love, and power – Hall and Oates, Possession Obsession

  20. masonmart says:

    As sensible sailors we wouldn’t do that journey just now and if forced to we’d have good weather forecasts available to make sure we didn’t end up in danger. They idiotically ended up in danger.

    Is being silly a precondition for eco ventures?

  21. View from the Solent says:

    “journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap.” How were they going to get their boat to the tip of Gunnbjørn Fjeld (12,139 ft above sealevel) ?

  22. UK Sceptic says:

    Oil tanker rescues Greenies. You couldn’t make it up, could you.

    I’m sure there’s a damn good analogy to be found in all of this…

  23. tarpon says:

    What is most amazing, is they keep trying these stunts …

  24. Robinson says:

    An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

    Please, this headline is just too funny……

  25. Douglas DC says:

    This adventure reads like a story in Sail magazine.Some years ago I had the *pleasure*
    of crossing the the Columbia River Bar in a 72 footer-Schooner rig,good aux power,
    and had the daylights scared of of me.This was in Mid Summer with the Northwesterlies
    blowing.” Idjits “indeed…

  26. Johnnyb says:

    I get it, and I totally understand it too. You know if I wer clever enough to write a grant request and market myself, and did not really mind being cold as much as I do. I might be tempted to be a greenie too. As a kid, I used to dream of adventure on the high seas, blazing the Oregon trail, re-tracing the step of Jack London or Shackleton. Nothing like a heroic ordeal for a man to prove his meddal.

    Damned thing is the world is just so domesticated now, all of the great adventures have already been done, and the ones that are left such as being a Pirate off the coast of Somalia are just too dangerous for a solo white man to consider.

    Yeah, I sympathize. I was born in the wrong century myself, but there has to be a better cure for the boredom that civilization brings. Maybe they should give video games a try.

  27. tallbloke says:

    Les Francis (06:17:45) :

    We must invent a new word for Ecotists.
    The word lunatics has already been used up by Moon lovers

    There already is one. EnvironMentalists.

  28. superDBA says:

    “The wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.”
    Rather targeted, don’t you think? Perhaps there is a message there.

    Fear not for these intrepid explorers, the will spend years on the climate speaking circus… oops, I mean circuit, declaring that they successfully made their point.

  29. Juraj V. says:

    [The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.]
    So, the outcome will be..?

  30. James P says:

    Deep joy.

  31. Power Grab says:

    @masonmart: being silly a precondition for eco ventures?

    IMHO, they’re doing silly things like this because they generally live in such sheltered conditions that they have lost touch with the reality of the unbridled power of nature.

    When you live your life on the near side of a glass screen (e.g., TV or computer), you’re going to be missing out on some aspect of reality. When you live in a climate-controlled dwelling and drive in a climate-controlled vehicle to a climate-controlled school, store, or workplace, you may find it difficult to remember how it drains your productivity to have to do without heat in the winter or A/C in the summer.

    For example, you might conclude that turning off your lights for 1 minute is going to help “save the planet”. I’m referring to the promotion on Nickelodeon. Oh, did anyone else notice that their promotion to turn off all your electrical devices for 1 hour happened to coincide with the broadcast of their annual Kids Choice Awards program? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

    I’m sorry. I just don’t get it. If we were able to indeed reduce everyone’s so-called “carbon footprint” to the level of 150 years ago, what in the world makes the elitist, sheltered proponents of AGW think they will continue being able to make the megabucks they have become accustomed to?

    I guess when your goal is to be king of the world, you don’t really give a flip what happens to the country and people who nurtured you and made it possible for you to have the riches and influence that you enjoy.

  32. A D Osborne says:

    Thank God for Big Oil!

  33. MartinGAtkins says:

    It just keeps getting better.

  34. Alan Chappell says:

    Carbon footprint, as in stupid.

    The MT Overseas Yellowstone is 113,000 tons 280 meters long and 40 meters wide, it uses diesel fuel for maneuvers and runs on heavy fuel, its average speed is 13 knots
    To stop maneuver and start as described, would use tons of fuel, enough energy to power a fleet Hummers over the same distance,

  35. John Levett says:

    ‘The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.’

    Given that this crew were using ‘eco-approved’ power, it is clear that the climate change awareness amounted to the AGW argument. As a legal judgement insisted that Gore’s Inconvenient Truth could only be shown in English schools as part of a balanced debate that involved both sides of the argument, it would be interesting to know if the spirit of that judgement was being applied here or whether our children are being subjected to more government-sponsored brainwashing.

  36. gary gulrud says:

    “Bad luck, keep up the spirit, give it another try.”

    Darwin will not be denied.

  37. I don’t think so many people is really convinced of this carbon issue. Many make a good living thanks to the funding of NGOs and all they have to do, at least, is to proclaim they are followers of the “truth”. So why not to be rescued by anyone?

  38. PaulHClark says:

    That just has to hurt.

    Do you think they debated whether they should accept the offer of the rescue given that it was ‘one of those ships’?

    No me neither.

  39. morganovich says:

    this is a southpark episode in the making…

  40. Leon Brozyna says:

    Once these eco-loonies venture forth from the comfortable confines of their living rooms where fantasies abound of that loving couple – Father Earth and Mother Gaia – they face the cold reality that that couple can be quite heartless. In this case, Mother Gaia turned out to be quite an unforgiving … witch.

  41. BarryW says:

    Climate Heretic (06:24:29) :

    These naive souls believe that their ideological purity exempts them from nature and physics. There is a major loss of life and limb coming with high risk that the rescuers will also pay a price for these idiots foolishness. Would that they could be left to their just deserts.

  42. John Silver says:

    Here is some real sailors:
    http://www.volvooceanrace.tv/page/FeatureDetail/0,,12573~1603923,00.html
    More weather than you can shake a carbon fiber boom at.

    Ericssons have made landfall in North America once again, it’s been a while.

  43. George E. Smith says:

    Let me guess; they got in trouble because their Egyptian cotton sails tore in the wind, and some of the hemp ropes and lines broke.

    Well one good thing when that happens, is you can always light a match to the rope and smoke it; well maybe not that would take a Butane lighter wouldn’t it ?

    Gosh! some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

  44. hareynolds says:

    Power Grab (08:12:42) said:
    IMHO, they’re doing silly things like this because they generally live in such sheltered conditions that they have lost touch with the reality of the unbridled power of nature. For example, you might conclude that turning off your lights for 1 minute is going to help “save the planet”.

    We had one of those “events” recently in Houston.
    As far as I can tell, NOBODY actually turned off the lights.
    I myself gathered up 3 dusty old 500W halogen outside lights (from before our renovation) stuck some plugs on them and pointed them straight up into the live oaks in the front yard. Ta-da! Daytime, for the same cost as running a hairdryer.

    For any true-believer luddites who want to put their lives where their rhetoric is, there’s a very easy solution at hand: move quickly and directly to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. [Robert McNamara IIRC is credited with the phrase "voting with your feet", which applies] There, everybody economizes on electricity at night.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/dprk-dark.htm

    Or, if you are “fed-up” (pardon) with modern agribusiness making you fat, there’s always the Bangladesh Diet Plan. Guaranteed to work in a few short weeks; pity about the Shigella.

  45. jack mosevich says:

    Speaking of humorous : In the “latest from the ice” the Catliners reported:

    ” Food, fuel and other crucial supplies were given to the Ice Team. In return, the Ice Team gave the pilots the vital data cards to be brought back the UK. ”

    Wow, vital data cards. Vital to whom? Without them I guess the UK will perish.

  46. hareynolds says:

    Climate Heretic (06:24:29) said:
    Carbon Free Sailing – well except for the composite hull and man-made materials in the ship itself, electronics, solar panels,etc…

    Quite right!
    Considering that UK is the Motherland of Sailing, and still boasts some of the best naval architects and designers going (google Nigel Irens, my favorite), shouldn’t this vessel have been, say:

    12-14M Bristol or Channel gaff rigged cutter (smaller, easier to trim sails, low center of drive) [NB two of the three stooges WERE from Bristol, oh the shame]
    double planked live oak, oakum and pine pitch caulked
    deep keel with a nice full forefoot, full rudder
    selveged spruce or tamarack mast, boom, gaff and sprit (I’m sure there’s a Prince of Wales property with an appropriate specimen)
    hot glavanized stays (please do not stand downwind of the process, thank you)
    Siamese teak deck, Bengali hemp lines (hail britannia)
    Real brass sextant & bronze portlights, blocks and cleats
    Real cotton canvas sails, say tanbark

    Heavy, seaworthy, rugged and slow. Wasn’t that the lesson of the Fastnet?
    Besides, the Not-So-Bonny Prince Charlie would have gotten behind such an endeavor in a heartbeat. It would have had the further advantage of delaying departure for a couple of years while this climate thing gets sorted-out.

    Thermoset resins and glass fibers are just so poisonous! And EXTRUDED Alu-min-ium mast and boom!!! Think of the wasted electricity to smelt them puppies.

    Curious that environmentalists aren’t all over these folks for sailing such an “unnatural” unbiodegradable craft.

    AND further to Anthony’s “ecopollution”: since the tanker likely doesn’t have a crane or proper davit to handle the sailboat, or means to store it safely aboard, it was likely left adrift to eventually sink (a hazard to navigation in the meantime) OR, more properly, SCUTTLED. I will bet 5 pounds sterling that these idiots didn’t open the seacock on abandining ship (or even know where it was).

    Finally, wonder where the tanker was headed? Regardless, these woebegotten sailors are headed THERE. Perhaps there should be a welcoming party; we could give them a copy of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, or Bowditch, or maybe one of Bill Buckley’s sailing books.

    With apologies to any Trekkies among us, the REAL Prime Directive:
    Don’t Be A Twit.

  47. Mike86 says:

    What happened to the sailboat? I didn’t see anybody mention that. It’s hard to imagine that they’d put the boat in tow and the story is talking like the boat was sinking just before the rescue. Wonder what the carbon footprint is on a toy like that?

  48. Oh, Bother says:

    Add me to the list of sailors who are gobsmacked that anyone would venture into the North Atlantic at this time of year in such a cute little boat. I’m sure they have no idea how skilled the captain and crew of the Overseas Yellowstone are to have accomplished the rescue in such conditions.

    Gaia worship is a sort of gnostic animism — the problem is, what the gnostics think they know, ain’t so.

  49. Oh, Bother says:

    Mike86, the boat and her contents become the property of anyone who can salvage her. In answer to your other question: She should have been named the Carbon Footprint…it would have been more honest.

  50. M White says:

    For those who have not found the website

    http://carbonneutralexpeditions.com/the-expedition/

    “It has four main objectives:

    •To make the first carbon neutral, double crossing of Greenland by sailing across the North Atlantic and then completing a return ski traverse of the ice cap. (over 550 miles)
    •To inspire young people to work towards their goals and develop their full potential.
    •To raise awareness of climate change to over 25,000 pupils in partner schools around the UK and Jersey.
    •To raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.”

  51. BarryW says:

    How about the term Greeniacs for these fools?

    What next a green Children’s Crusade?

  52. Jeff Alberts says:

    Maurizio Morabito (06:25:34) :

    With the Catlins just out of their hunger, how long before the first eco-martyr

    Wouldn’t the guy who gave up everything and went to live in the wilds of Alaska with no modern amenities, and was consequently killed by bears be one of those?

    That’s basically what they all want the rest of us to do.

  53. Richard Heg says:

    The vikings had no oil tankers to rescue them and they made it to greenland, no solar power either.
    I have come across in discussing the arguement that the name greenland is not the correct translation of the name the vikings gave it.
    “In the Icelandic sagas, it is said that Norwegian-born Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for murder. He, along with his extended family and thralls, set out in ships to find the land that was rumoured to be to the northwest. After settling there, he named the land Grænland (“Greenland”).[31] Greenland was also called Gruntland (“Ground-land”) and Engronelant (or Engroneland) on early maps. Whether green is an erroneous transcription of grunt (“ground”), which refers to shallow bays, or vice versa, is not known.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland
    There are two written sources on the origin of the name, in The Book of Icelanders (Íslendingabók), an historical work dealing with early Icelandic history from the 12th century, and in the medieval Icelandic saga, The Saga of Eric the Red (Eiríks saga rauða), which is about the Norse settlement in Greenland and the story of Erik the Red in particular. Both sources write: “He named the land Greenland, saying that people would be eager to go there if it had a good name.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Greenland
    Since the name greenland is often cited in discussions about past climate then i think the orign of the name is worth considering. Also shows how wiki can have two articles with different stories.

  54. jack mosevich says:

    There is a legend of Saint Brendan who sailed from Ireland to Iceland and beyond in a currag made of ox-skin, in the early 500′s AD. Now there is an eco-friendly sailor!

    From Wiki: In 1976, Irish explorer Tim Severin built an ox-leather curragh and over two summers sailed her from Ireland via the Hebrides, Faroe Islands and Iceland to Newfoundland in an attempt to demonstrate that it was feasible for Brendan to have reached America. No oil tanker needed.

  55. David Q. says:

    Thanks M. White for the website.
    These people have lost it. A landscaper, physiostherapist and a guy who sailed family boats across the Channel. They can’t be serious….
    It seems that they were thinking that sailing would be the easy part. In their blog they were constantly disappointed that the wind was blowing in the wrong direction.
    I once crossed the North Atlantic in 10,000 ton cargo ship, in summer! Very violent place. We encountered bad weather twice. The second storm was massive and the swells would almost stop the ship when it hit the bow.

    They complained about rolling the boat several times. Of course. When the waves are higher than the length of the boat, that will happen. They should be glad to be alive.

  56. Earle Williams says:

    Jeff Alberts,

    You may be merging Christopher McCandless and Timothy Treadwell.

    MCandless died of starvation whereas Treadwell was killed by a bear. Both were, IMHO, monumentally ignorant of the power and capriciousness of nature.

  57. Bill P says:

    In one incident Mr Stoddart hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.

    ……………. Hmm. Yes, I can sort of see how this might have happened. See, here, for example.

    http://www.mcphee.com/pixlarge/10806.jpg

  58. chillybean says:

    But at least we were spared the later parts of the expedition.

    ” Spink and Surcouf will spend four days on arrival in Greenland carrying their supplies up on to the glacier. They will then set off on a 560-mile round trip, each dragging 100kg of supplies on sledges across the ice cap, following a route pioneered by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen in 1888. This part of the expedition is expected to take 40 days, during which they could encounter temperatures of -25C (-13F) and winds of up to 80 mph.”

    What is it with these eco loons? See their route here: http://blog.mailasail.com/fleur

    To be fair it was a full keel sailboat so is essentially seaworthy but at only 38′, is far too small to handle the sort of weather they were sailing into. They just don’t make boats like they used to! (or sailors for that matter)

  59. Craigo says:

    Surely this can only be the result of three men in a (eco) pub shortly before closing time.

  60. David Leigh says:

    ‘The team, which left Mount Batten Marina in Plymouth on 19 April in a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933km/h) journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap.’

    Err 580 mile round trip to Greenland from Plymouth? I don’t think so – according to Google maps the distance TO the southernmost point of Greenland (as the crow flies) is 2918.95 km, about 1,800 miles, making a round trip of more that 4,000 miles. I have done the Fastnet race (Cowes- Fastnet Rock-Plymouth) and can promise you that this is about 600 miles and Greenland is a lot further than the south of Ireland!!!

  61. Bill P says:

    To be fair it was a full keel sailboat so is essentially seaworthy but at only 38′, is far too small to handle the sort of weather they were sailing into. They just don’t make boats like they used to! (or sailors for that matter)

    You may be right about the quality of the sailors.

    Vikings plied the same waters in boats with only a few feet of freeboard. I have only a Reader’s Digest version of the story in mind, but it seemed to me “climate change” got the better of them, too. I don’t know how they would have handled 70 mph winds, but those big chunks of ice (“bergs” as they called them), ultimately blocked the access to their colonies on the west side of Greenland. The expedition apparently wasn’t curious about any of this, but I might like to know if Nuuk had some Norse history.

    By the way, if anyone has more on the end of the Greenland Viking colonies / climate connection… I’d like to read more.

  62. Bill P says:

    @jack mosevich (12:43:17) :

    From Wiki: In 1976, Irish explorer Tim Severin built an ox-leather curragh and over two summers sailed her from Ireland via the Hebrides, Faroe Islands and Iceland to Newfoundland in an attempt to demonstrate that it was feasible for Brendan to have reached America. No oil tanker needed.

    I have a picture of Severin in his hide boat, “Brendan”, sailing in open water, in Conway’s The Earliest Ships. It looks like two men handling both square-rigged sails and the tiller. It also looks scary as hell with about a foot of freeboard.

  63. KBK says:

    “The wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.”

    Attached with dry wall screws, no doubt.

  64. Darren says:

    I suspect that just before the storm began to get truly dangerous, somewhere in the world Al Gore turned to someone at whatever gathering he was attending and mentioned the expedition by name. Then the skies truly darkened and the seas began to roil. There is no other explanation other than the touch of the Gore for this level of Natural ire at a publicity stunt intended to show how man endangers Nature.

    He is the Marvin the Paranoid Android of AGW. One Al Gore on their side is worth a legion on ours.

  65. E.M.Smith says:

    deadwood (06:52:37) : One would think that this expedition had some planning. [...] Perhaps the weather was unusual,

    tarpon (07:19:05) : What is most amazing, is they keep trying these stunts …

    Don’t you know? AGW was going to make it a nice calm Caribbean type climate with mother Gaia watching over them with nice fuzzy soft breezes and tropical warmth…

    A supreme example of the triumph of self delusion over observed reality. That they “keep trying these stunts” is the best possible proof that these folks suffer from a reality defying delusional psychosis of some sort.

    BTW, lived aboard a dumpy 27 footer for a couple of years with a 2 cylinder Volvo Penta marine Diesel auxiliary, roller reefer jib, single mast mainsail. Single handed around the S.F. bay. Most exciting moment? 4 knot current after a tide shift in Raccoon Straits headed for the rocks 10 minutes away on Angel Island with a 3 knot hull speed and winds toward the island. Diesel wouldn’t start. Did a half hour throttle cable rework in 5 minutes… It’s amazing what adrenaline will do for you…

    Second most exciting? Taking in a reef in increasing winds and seas of “a few feet more than I like” and seeing a Giant Something Ship coming out of the foggy mists headed right for me… You know, you can steer a ship on Diesel power while holding the (dropped) boom and mainsail in a bundle with the other arm …

    I love my Diesel. Diesel brings life. Diesel good.

    All of 10 hp in a several hundred pound package that would run for a year or two on a single tank of fuel (40 gallons? never did need to fill from empty…) and had an emergency hand crank lever for when the batteries were shot. Marvelous piece of machinery. And yes, Point Up Ye Landlubbers! Point up!

    The True Believers would deride my Diesel and insisted on the purity of a sailboat without an auxiliary (and docking under sail despite the increased risk to others). They also loved their fin keels with 8 foot draft. Every so often I’d see one, fin stuck in the 4 foot mud outside the edge of the dredged channel… And they would frantically wave at me as I pointed my tack outside them and outside the channel then look Oh So Peeved when I’d make a beautiful turn outside the channel and keep on sailing to port… I had 27 INCHES of draft. Thing was a pig and scudded sideways with more leeway than you can imagine, but it was ideal for S.F. Bay where much of the place is a few feet of water over mud. More like a river with a wide flood plain than a bay…

    Sigh. I wish I hadn’t sold it now… 8 foot beam with lots of liveaboard room.

    So yeah, the sea is very unforgiving. You must select the right equipment for the job and what THE SEA wants is what you base your decision on. What you want is of no importance…

    Then again, my Irish and Viking ancestor covered the same seas with skin boats and wooden hulls, so maybe it’s more about the sailor than the boat…

    Chance favors the prepared mind, and the prepared sailor…

  66. Mike Bryant says:

    Rub a dub dub,
    Three men in a tub,
    And who do you think they be?
    The planter, the sailor,
    The brave chiropractor.
    Turn them out, knaves all three.

  67. E.M.Smith says:

    In thinking about this, I’m ever more wondering:

    What in the world did they need electricity aboard for?

    A sextant and compass are non-powered. An emergency radio has long life batteries (carry two sets, at least). You don’t need TV or a computer…

    You don’t need lights to function (navigate by stars and prevailing waves by night, as the polynesians did).

    Running lights? Navigation hazard beacon? For a short crossing a battery powered set of LED lights ought to last a very long time…

    I’m thinking that they wanted to bring the whole modern electric world with them (microwaved frozen pizza anyone?)…

    I’ve seen sail boats with the solar panel moulded into the deck. No way to lose it. No need for a wind turbine. (Better choice would be a small hydro turbine lowered into the water when under sail if needed to charge batteries, stowed when not).

    Now for a liveaboard where you want some electricity while in port or at anchor, a wind turbine is a nice bit of gear… But stowable when underway…

    Media Stunt is the only reason I can see for glue on solar and wind…

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    They expected this solar panel installation to survive an ocean wave?

    http://carbonneutralexpeditions.com/gallery/?album=2&gallery=8&nggpage=2

    These folks had no clue what they were getting into…

  69. Pamela Gray says:

    I don’t get it. Late night comedians should be ON this! George Carlin, where are you when we need you most!?!?!?!?

  70. RoyfOMR says:

    Not thanking rescuers of the ‘wrong sort’ does appear to be a, not-uncommon, trait amongst Zealots of many colours.

    Witness a similar response to the Special Forces personnel who rescued hostages in Iraq in 2006. It was widely reported that the freed hostages were less than vocal in saying ‘Thank you’ to the gallant soldiers who freed them.

    “British officials in Baghdad said those freed were Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and Briton Norman Kember, 74. The men – members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams – were kidnapped Nov. 26 (2005) along with their American colleague, Tom Fox”

    http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2006/03/23/3-christian-activists-rescued-in-iraq/

  71. KimW says:

    Having seen the pictures of the “yacht”and solar power panel – wow !. Once out of a harbour, you can expect anything. Obviously, they did not speak to any open ocean sailor, who would have mentioned waves breaking over the whole length of the boat etc. A group of frightened activists who did do one thing right – they got out when they could.

  72. Bill P says:

    The Brian Fagan description of a typical day out “yachting” in this area can be found online at:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=LwvkmXt5fQUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Fagan,+little+ice+age&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA3,M1

    See chapter, “Medieval Warming” from The Little Ice Age

  73. Don E says:

    The Greenland Vikings sailed their cargo ships to and from North America during a 300 year period by traveling along the coast and crossing over at a northern point where it was calm. They knew better than sailing direct in via the treacherous open northern sea. Of course today that coastal route would be difficult due to the ice.

  74. Steve Moore says:

    Douglas DC (07:57:56) :

    This adventure reads like a story in Sail magazine.
    Some years ago I had the *pleasure* of crossing the the Columbia River Bar in a 72 footer-Schooner rig, good aux power, and had the daylights scared of of me. This was in Mid Summer with the Northwesterlies.

    My Dad used to go out salmon fishing with a buddy of his across the bar in a 17-foot runabout (Fall and Spring runs). And they weren’t the only ones out there in boats that small.
    One of my uncles was a Coastie stationed there. Had tales that really put the fear of God in you. There is good reason the Columbia Bar is considered the worst section of water on Earth.

  75. Corky Boyd says:

    Anyone who would sail the north Atlantic in a small boat this time of year deserves a Darwin Award (you only get one by permanently removing yourself from the gene pool). Gales are normal now. And they normally blow out of the northwest as do the prevailing winds in latitudes above 50N. They’re not called the “roaring fifties” for nothing.

    To get to Greenland from the UK, you go south to the trades, ride them to the across the Atlantic and then go NE to Greenland. Columbus knew this, that’s while he felt confident he could get home.

    He became rich and famous the right way, by being smart. These clowns lost their boat through stupidity and they will be happy to lose their fame.

  76. David Q. says:

    One more thought. Once they arrive in Portsmouth, USA. How will the poor guys get back to the U.K.? Sail? I think they tried that. Fly? Another carbon guzzling ship? Someone should go down to the harbor and ask them.

  77. Ted D. says:

    A minor correction, it’s not the roaring fifties, but the roaring forties and the furious fifties.

    I’m they thought that the boat they we’re suing would be fine for the expected balmy breezes and mirror pond surface of the rapidly warming North Atlantic…..

    I wonder if they planned on planting coconuts on the shore when they got there…..

  78. Ted D. says:

    A minor correction, it’s not the roaring fifties, but the roaring forties and the furious fifties.

    I’m sure that they thought that the boat they’re using would be fine for the expected balmy breezes and mirror pond surface of the rapidly warming North Atlantic.

    I wonder if they planned on planting coconuts on the shore when they got there…..

  79. tallbloke says:

    jack mosevich (12:43:17) :

    There is a legend of Saint Brendan who sailed from Ireland to Iceland and beyond in a currag made of ox-skin, in the early 500’s AD. Now there is an eco-friendly sailor!

    From Wiki: In 1976, Irish explorer Tim Severin built an ox-leather curragh and over two summers sailed her from Ireland via the Hebrides, Faroe Islands and Iceland to Newfoundland

    Then there is Pytheas the Greek, who in 280BC sailed with a tin trading ship to Britain, then hitched rides to the Orkney’s, Shetlands, Iceland, and a place he called ‘Ultima Thule’ conjectured to be Greenland. In an early piece of climatic observation, he described the place he reached where the sun never set, and the environment was like ‘the inside of a lung’, where ice, water and atmosphere coalesced into a continuum of freezing fog.

    Early transatlantic explorers in skin covered boats hauled them out onto the ice to escape storms and to hunt seal. These self reliant skills have been all but lost.

  80. h.oldeboom says:

    On the BBC film I could see the engine was running to sail away in the harbour. Was means their principle carbon-emission free in this case?

  81. Alan Wilkinson says:

    That solar panel is the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen on a boat.

    You couldn’t leave a harbour and expect to come back with it.

    The Polynesians could have taught that lot heaps, both about ocean sailing, self-reliance and conservation. Say, about a thousand years ago and without electricity or metal.

  82. jack says:

    THEY COULD HAVE AT LEAST LET THEM SWIM ALONG SIDE FOR A FEW DAYS”AND THESE IDIOTS WANT US TO FOLLOW THEM ,GIVE ME A BREAK ,YOU CAN HAVE THAT SH.T.GIVE ME THE CARBON LIFE THANKS.

  83. SteveSadlov says:

    What, they thought they could sail right onto the land, then up 7 or 8K feet to the “top of the ice cap?”

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