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Norse Horse

Webb Chiles-Opua to Capetown 2016

211 posts in this topic

Here is some video that he posted today from the Indian Ocean passsage.

 

Gannet sailing only

 

A tour of the "Great Room"

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I believe a small hatch only spray hood is currently being made for him. ( I might not have waited so long....)

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Levis are apparently his favorite. We all have our vices.

 

I like to save Webb's journal entries for reading during boring times at work just to enjoy things vicariously thru him. I do not have any plans to be crossing oceans and such, but if he wants to do it in a 24' boat, I'll follow in his blog!!

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Same here! In his past books he's talked about wearing out a pair of 'passage Levis' and chucking them overboard.

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100% cotton going overboard is totally environmentally friendly.

 

Go the Webb! He is a bad-ass!

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He added a few more videos yesterday, looking forward to more.

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Thanks for pointing out the YouTube videos. Bungees seem to be filling in the gap. I sent him a below decks spec for an auto pilot on a Moore before he left SD. But he felt the tiller pilots would hold up. I wonder if he'll change his mind next stop? Also wonder how much he's used the Sprit this leg?

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Thanks for pointing out the YouTube videos. Bungees seem to be filling in the gap. I sent him a below decks spec for an auto pilot on a Moore before he left SD. But he felt the tiller pilots would hold up. I wonder if he'll change his mind next stop? Also wonder how much he's used the Sprit this leg?

SC, Do you know anything about his Pelagic tiller pilot? I am not familiar with how that works, but I know he's struggled with it too.

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Thanks for pointing out the YouTube videos. Bungees seem to be filling in the gap. I sent him a below decks spec for an auto pilot on a Moore before he left SD. But he felt the tiller pilots would hold up. I wonder if he'll change his mind next stop? Also wonder how much he's used the Sprit this leg?

SC, Do you know anything about his Pelagic tiller pilot? I am not familiar with how that works, but I know he's struggled with it too.

 

 

Doesn't Kim Bottles have a Pelagic? I may misremember.

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Hike, You asked for pics of my autopilot install...better late than never. As mentioned this is a Raymarine X5 with the controller mounted on the cabin bulkhead. I've attached a photo of the ram with the shock-absorber boot installed. There is a rubber bushing on the ram end and clamps and waterproof tape on both ends. I put a velcro loop over the cylinder in case the pin decides to dislodge but it is basically insurance...ran for a year without it. One upgrade is the plug and socket. I originally used a cheap 3 pin unit which would intermittently cut out (and make me crazy). I changed to a Marinco trolling motor unit and problem solved. 4 years and still going strong.

post-30397-0-03917900-1479184333_thumb.jpg

post-30397-0-74509200-1479184346_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for pointing out the YouTube videos. Bungees seem to be filling in the gap. I sent him a below decks spec for an auto pilot on a Moore before he left SD. But he felt the tiller pilots would hold up. I wonder if he'll change his mind next stop? Also wonder how much he's used the Sprit this leg?

SC, Do you know anything about his Pelagic tiller pilot? I am not familiar with how that works, but I know he's struggled with it too.

Apologies. I didn't see this post. I don't know about the Pelagic pilot. I sent him a set up seen on a Moore 24 that used an Autohelm ST4000 which was installed below deck with an aluminum control arm attached to the rudder post. The control arm is a scaled down Alpha 3000.

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Thanks for the pics. I have an ST2000 on my C-30. It works great for boring motoring across a windless summer on the Chesapeake, and actually will sail the boat pretty well to a compass course (it is not a plus so it doesn't connect to anything.)

 

I am just trying to understand how more robust systems perform for extended single handed cruising (which I never plan to do.) :D

 

I like the marinco plug..o-ring and everything. I have mounted my plugs inside the coaming nook so it is out of the weather 99.8% unless I take a wave into the cockpit that makes things awash above the seats..

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Mr Chiles sure reads an impressive amount of ebooks, but leaves his e-reader at home, not even carrying it as backup. That could kill a much lesser bookworm like me.

 

"So I’m not sure what I am learning, but I do know that I continue to study how to sail ever more simply and efficiently. I take a profound pleasure whenever I can remove something from Gannet. There is curiosity about sailing an uncertain voyage."

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After the interview was done I spent most of my days trying to figure out what I can remove tom my boat... So far not much has happened yet...

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At the moment all the stuff is off the boat as she is ashore for the winter. Problem is that we Carry all the crap back to the boat in the spring

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One of the things I like about Webb is how understated he is, whether simply describing bailing 7 tons of water every 24 hours en route around Cape Horn, or whatever. He doesn't exaggerate or embellish - just states the facts -- so you know exactly what he means.

 

A quote from the interview made me realize that:

 

"Perhaps the average man sits around and drinks beer and watches television when he's not on the job, but it seems to me that there is more to life than that.

 

He's certainly shown through numerous epic voyages (and authoring numerous books) that he thinks there is indeed a whole lot more to life than that!! :-).

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Started reading his books quite a few years ago, an inspiration. Not the life I would choose but its a real life, not the fake one sold to the masses.

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He is off, just left Durban harbor, hoping for non-stop to St. Helena, but getting down that coast will be a struggle.

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He's the OG of non commercial sailing!

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Looks like Sunday will be rough as the wind turns SW and on the nose, but assuming he can get through that day, the forecast after that looks really good with several days of NEaster.

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Looks like he's through the headwinds and has a sleigh ride down the coast. It gets a bit sporty Wednesday - Thursday. I wanna be Webb Chiles when I grow up.

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Safe journey Webb.

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He's doing really well, just short of Cape Agulhas, however I'm not sure he can make it around the Cape of Good Hope before his current easterly abandons him and he faces a headwind for a day. But he's clearly capable of handling that. Then it goes light, but once around he will be into the SE trades and on his way to St. Helena.

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Webb has made it to the longitude of Cape Agulhas, but is going to take a bit of a beating tonight with a headwind opposing the Agulhas current around 25-30 knots. By Friday he should be able to resume westward progress and round the Cape of Good Hope. Here's the nearest Windguru site to Cape Agulhas - https://www.windguru.cz/208301

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Going backwards at 1-2 knots, presumably hove to. A Moore 24 must be pretty rough going for these conditions, but if anyone can make it work he can. It will be interesting to read his log, but I imagine he's glad to have that extra reef in his main, and his hoodie. He should be out of the worst of it by now and can head back around the tip of Africa.

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Strange... has favourable winds again but still drifting, albeit in the right direction now. Winds - if windytv to be believed - about 12-13 knots.

Rig trouble?

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Looks like he's moving again. 4.7 knots in the right direction

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Around and on his way to St. Helena with a wonderful tailwind all the way. Amazing to me that he is content to skip Cape Town, where I love to spend the summer, but he's a different breed with a different objective.

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What's the time span between the blue dots on the tracker?

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What's the time span between the blue dots on the tracker?

Six hours.

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Even so, it looks like he's hauling ass.

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Slowed way down again, 1.6 knots in the last 6 hours with a change of heading to from NW to ENE. Wx looks like hes got 15-20 knots behind him, hope all is well.

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...and he's rolling again. I wish someone had sent him Rimas' Delorme InReach. We wouldn't get the same dadaist haiku as we do from Rimas because Webb can actually write. Webb's pithy commentary would be quite entertaining.

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Around and on his way to St. Helena with a wonderful tailwind all the way. Amazing to me that he is content to skip Cape Town, where I love to spend the summer, but he's a different breed with a different objective.

 

He is a different breed for sure. I do recall reading previously that he enjoyed Cape Town..maybe he is eager to make the Caribbean in Spring?

 

 

Go the Webb (again)!!

 

https://my.yb.tl/gannet

 

Bump

 

:thumbsup:

 

Go the Webb!

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Yup, no side trips for Webb. Beeline for St. Helena, maybe with a couple of gybes thrown in. He complained about how he never had steady winds on his Indian Ocean passage, either too much or too little or unable to maintain his desired course, but after surviving the SE coast of South Africa, he will probably not be able to complain about this passage of the S. Atlantic. Tailwinds all the way and steady 5 knot average progress.

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He's about 360 nm out as of 12 AM UTC today. Looks like he'll nail his passage estimate of three weeks pretty much on the day, depending on how long it takes him to get in on the lee of the island. He'll often heave to in order to make landfall in daylight.

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"Two waves caught us and knocked us down, at least one of which put the masthead in the water because the Windex up there is broken."

 

And 2 tillerpilots....self-portrait in the present sea journal

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I have never understood why Webb relies on electric tiller pilots rather than a good wind vane self-steering rig. Seems like a no-brainer on something like a Moore 24?

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He has discussed wind vanes and his reasoning in a previous posts, a quick search on "wind vane" turned up these:

 

July 21, 2016 - I so regret not having a usable tiller pilot in such conditions. I even find myself again considering a self-steering vane, but it would block fitting the Torqeedo which I don't need to do often but need to do sometimes, require strengthening the transom, moving the new solar panels, and prevent using the emergency rudder.

 

August 4, 2016 - Great sailing earlier, but GANNET was going too fast for sheet to tiller steering. I believe GANNET is capable of a 200 mile day, which is an 8.33 knot average, but she is not likely to do it with me unless someday I want to hand steer for hours. The limitation is the speed which can be controlled by self steering. This was true on my other boats as well. When they started going too fast for the wind vanes I had to reduce sail. The only 200 mile days I’ve had were on RESURGAM.

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Just read his passage log today. Great stuff!

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x2 what a guy!

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Agreed, he is a remarkable character. Does the end of his most recent post sound a little melancholy? Could be me.

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Agreed, he is a remarkable character. Does the end of his most recent post sound a little melancholy? Could be me.

 

I picked up on the same. It started with his review of Jude the Obscure and discussion of Thomas Hardy, and then this paragraph the night before landfall:

 

I pop up and down from sitting on the pipe berth to standing in the companionway. Our days are numbered. I’ve always known that. And my numbers must be short. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched the sun sink below the western horizon. Thousands. I’ve spent nine or ten years out here. I don't now how many more I will know. I cherish these remaining ocean days and nights.

 

There seems a finality to this voyage.

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Definitely his last Circumnavigation. Doesn't seem to be a guy who would rent a laser for the fun of it. Could hang up the sea boots permanently??

 

Anyways this is the best quote from the passage:

 

"When you have been in Force 12 eight or nine times, you really dont seek thrills. At least I dont. More than enough thrills seek me."

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And he is off again. No slouch. Making his regular 5 knots, although he considered that to be a bit lazy on the last leg. A month till we hear from him again in St Lucia.

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And he is off again. No slouch. Making his regular 5 knots, although he considered that to be a bit lazy on the last leg. A month till we hear from him again in St Lucia.

Webb has turned left and picked up a bit of speed...last four dots show him at or above six knots! Champagne sailing for sure, although he's drinking ambient-temp Laphroaig if he has any left.

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And he is off again. No slouch. Making his regular 5 knots, although he considered that to be a bit lazy on the last leg. A month till we hear from him again in St Lucia.

Webb has turned left and picked up a bit of speed...last four dots show him at or above six knots! Champagne sailing for sure, although he's drinking ambient-temp Laphroaig if he has any left.

 

 

Looks from the GRIBS that he is in 15-20 from about 095 with a period of L&V (ITCZ?) not too far ahead and then the NE Trades kick in. Getting a bit of westerly probably not a bad idea for today.

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In his last post he wrote that he was going west off Brazil to get up

through the Doldrums...

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Until today in Latitude 38 I had no clue that Jon Sanders was just a few hundred miles ahead, and three years older, than Webb. Both probably on their last circumnavigations.

 

Sanders also had a rough patch off the SE coast of South Africa, between East London and Port Elizabeth, at least according to his tracker - http://www.jonsanders.com.au/clientsat-predictwind-tracker/

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+1

 

First to circumnav Antarctica, first triple solo circumnav

 

http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2017-04-03#Story2

Ya mean, first to complete a singlehanded circumnavigation of Antarctica.

 

And I had always thought that David Lewis was the first to do so...so I just now googled "David Lewis Ice Bird" (I read his book 'Ice Bird, years and years ago). So, there I found out he abandoned the voyage in South Africa, which I'd forgotten.

 

[warning: thread drift]

 

But have a look at the pic of "Ice Bird" propped up on the bare ice and snow in Antarctica, being painted!!! Unfuckingbelievable. He may not have been the first to solo circumnavigate Antarctica, as I'd thought, but what a seriously tough motherfucker.

 

Hell of a story for anyone who doesn't know it. (There's a summary of the voyage in the link below.) And it seems s/v Ice Bird now resides in a museum in Sydney, Oz, which is cool, and fitting. Even though Lewis was a proud Kiwi...

 

Check out the pic of painting the boat yellow in Antarctica...wow: https://maas.museum/inside-the-collection/2014/10/27/ice-bird-the-unsinkable-boat/

 

[/thread drift over]

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+1

 

First to circumnav Antarctica, first triple solo circumnav

 

http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2017-04-03#Story2

Ya mean, first to complete a singlehanded circumnavigation of Antarctica.

OOPS

And I had always thought that David Lewis was the first to do so...so I just now googled "David Lewis Ice Bird" (I read his book 'Ice Bird, years and years ago). So, there I found out he abandoned the voyage in South Africa, which I'd forgotten.

 

[warning: thread drift]

 

But have a look at the pic of "Ice Bird" propped up on the bare ice and snow in Antarctica, being painted!!! Unfuckingbelievable. He may not have been the first to solo circumnavigate Antarctica, as I'd thought, but what a seriously tough motherfucker.

 

Hell of a story for anyone who doesn't know it. (There's a summary of the voyage in the link below.) And it seems s/v Ice Bird now resides in a museum in Sydney, Oz, which is cool, and fitting. Even though Lewis was a proud Kiwi...

 

Check out the pic of painting the boat yellow in Antarctica...wow: https://maas.museum/inside-the-collection/2014/10/27/ice-bird-the-unsinkable-boat/

 

[/thread drift over]

 

 

Thats funny. I remember that boat when I was young and reading sailing. I remember being shocked Tristan Jones was fiction.

I just "painted" my centreboard yellow, but I did it with coloured epoxy with the West cold hardener.

Maybe he used Benjamin Moore exterior latex, good to apply down to 5c in Canuckistan. :D

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... and impressive to be disciplined enough to space out those water rations at 31 centigrade on such a small craft. Seems bittersweet to watch the tracker. I'm a long time fan of his books and (mis)adventures.

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I'm guessing he's more concerned about his Laphroaig rations.

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Not to mix metaphors, but this armchair sailor/quarterbacking of his sailing strategies cracks me up.

 

He has 10X the experience and skill of any of us, let's just observe the master at work. May he maintain his Laphroaig reserves until the next port.

 

Go the Webb!

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Looks like landfall in St. Lucia at sunrise tomorrow...

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Looks like his next YB update will show his arrival...

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He parked at some gros inlet with a pigeon sanctuary nearby and just out of earshot of the Splash Island Water Park. ^_^

He's gonna get run over by a Bayliner there...

 

https://my.yb.tl/gannet/

 

I tried to cut and paste this attachment and got a "your post is too short" message. That's a first.

 

http://self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.ca/

post-105471-0-68673100-1492536491_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for posting the link. There was no update when I checked this morning

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Glad to see that Webb is safely in port, if not without a round of minor equipment failures and a mishap, as they happen. Solar panel and Torqueedo battery failures sound annoying, but the Laphroaig ration schedule seems to have worked :) Looking forward to a couple of those videos and trouble-free passages on the next couple legs.

Spi Ouest is a big regatta here in Brittany (over 400 boats - one of, if not the, biggest in Europe) and was taking place here just last weekend. Just around the corner west of Lorient, I was trying to communicate with my mother-in-law in Franglish as we do, with dozens of boats criss-crossing the coast behind us in the background. She's 84 now, and quite proud of her Breton sailors and the regatta on the front-page news. I asked if she'd ever heard of Webb Chiles, a 75 year old crossing the Atlantic right now in a 7.3 meter boat, making his 6th tour du monde. Nobody had, in fact. Compared to Frank Camas and other big names on fast boats, describing Webb's present journey and past accomplishments felt oddly and uniquely American. Bringing up the tracker on my mobile to point out that it was happening again, right now, was real icing on the cake. Guys like Robin Knox Johnston and Eric Tabarley might be house hold names around these parts, but I like the fact that a solo American sailor has made those 15 equator crossings with nothing much more than his own wits, his own stubborn way of doing things, and a love for the sea. Webb's persistence in the face of staggering adversities, legendary recalcitrance, and determined resourcefulness to keep surfing 'round our big blue dot are as much of an accomplishment to me as any other of the best sailors that can be named.

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.... I like the fact that a solo American sailor has made those 15 equator crossings with nothing much more than his own wits, his own stubborn way of doing things, and a love for the sea. Webb's persistence in the face of staggering adversities, legendary recalcitrance, and determined resourcefulness to keep surfing 'round our big blue dot are as much of an accomplishment to me as any other of the best sailors that can be named.

Well said. He is not unlike that great Canadian-American sailor who started the whole solo sailing craze: Joshua Slocum. I think Slocum would have appreciated Webb's accomplishments.

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I'd like someone to open my skull & give a couple of turns on the same screw God left loose on Webb.

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There's a lot more than one. :D

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I've been reading his Journal from the beginning. I'm up to buying the MOORE 24 & shipping it to SD. I have absorbed some of his mantra regarding possessions, clutter & debt & one day I hope to be 10% the sailor he is.

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Nice, go the Webb. B)

Ed, thanks for putting some info on the front page.

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Looks like Webb intends to be off again on Wednesday. I thought I read he was going to stop in the Virgin Islands, but apparently is going straight to Key West.

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Looks like he's having a great sail.  Could be in KW as soon as Monday at the rate he's going.  Any South Florida folks preparing the Welcome Committee?

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2 hours ago, jewingiv said:

Looks like he's having a great sail.  Could be in KW as soon as Monday at the rate he's going.  Any South Florida folks preparing the Welcome Committee?

Gonna need pics too....shot glasses....

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Turning east.  Heading to Miami or Ft Lauderdale, or just crossing the Stream before resuming his westbound voyage?

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Heading East right there doesn't make a lot of sense to me but he has done a lot more of this than I have. Hard to tell.  GS runs almost along the shoal water in the middle Keys.  He's just off the core of the flow now. GS is running E at about 2 knots (about his speed) and winds in the less than 10 knots there ATM so it almost looks like drifting.  Wing goes NE to E in about 36 hours. 

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I think he's getting 'flushed' by the GS due to light airs.

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Well, that'll work.

Across the GS and in the shallow water south of Marathon. Short reach to KW once the wind shifts to the E tomorrow. 

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1 hour ago, Son of a Sailor said:

Looks to be anchored off Marathon.

Or was anchored off Marathon, at midnight UTC.

It seems that his tracker (https://my.yb.tl/gannet/) updates only every 24 hours, so he may be underway again

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I've been to Key West, via both plane and vehicle quite a few times (never arrived by boat except attached to the tow vehicle, but I've sailed there a lot). Things get exponentially more difficult the farther you get away from the mainland..I would have done the same thing if I was drifting away from Key West in the Gulf Stream.

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That "prominent poster" is absolutely correct IMO - Chiles is a truly remarkable sailor - BUT - he is also a nut job.

An 18' open boat around the world?

A Moore 24 around the world?

Can anyone say that is anything other than nuts? :D

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42 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

That "prominent poster" is absolutely correct IMO - Chiles is a truly remarkable sailor - BUT - he is also a nut job.

An 18' open boat around the world?

A Moore 24 around the world?

Can anyone say that is anything other than nuts? :D

Have to disagree with you on this one Sloop (except maybe the open 18').

Risks and calculated risks.  To most this would be foolish but I reckon Webb has experienced and survived almost every known predicament known to crossing oceans.  Not the riskiest route either IMHO.

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