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where is webb chiles?

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One of the most intrepid, genuine and brilliant sailors ever is Webb Chiles. Long a hero of ours, we have heard that he stopped communicating while off Angola. We are hoping for the best, but would like to know if anyone has any update? Jump in here.


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thank fuck. i was having trouble accessing his site. stoked and thank you!!

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That man is a sailing machine. I gave very few "commands" to any of the staff at the club during my year as Commodore, but I DID say: "We are NOT charging that guy mooring. If the board objects, send me the bill."

 

Of course he was here and gone in about 2 weeks, max. You know, just stopping through on a quick jaunt from CA to NZ by way of Samoa...

 

He's sailed farther while taking a piss than most of us wankers will log in our lives - and who's fault is that ? Yep - that guy you see while you're shaving.

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Is anyone going to hear Webb speak at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum . . . i think it is this coming Saturday? I can't make it, but would be great to see a video of the speech if anyone is going to be there.

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So,  in the fall I like to go for a little motorcycle ride.  Since  know where all the roads go here on Oahu, that means casting the kickstand a bit further afield.  Couple years back I shipped a Yamaha up to San Diego and it's been wandering about the mainland ever since.

Last week (on Wednesday) I was visiting a pal that has moved to Annapolis and was headed back to the barn (in Eastern PA) when I figured I could fit a quick jaunt in to see the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD.   After touring the (excellent) facility I was checking out the boats on the bulkehead,  when....

 

Wait a minute.  That's a Moore 24.  I'd recognize that anywhere.  A gray one... with roller furling...CAN'T BE.   

Yep.

Walked over and called out "Hey Webb",     "just a minute"  was the reply and out popped our old salty dog himself.    He gave me that "I know this guy from SOMEWHERE" look and I explained myself:  "Last time you saw me was at the Waikiki Yacht Club"  

He had come up for the Small Boat festival and had spoken to a gathering the night previous - he had just sailed up,  of course ("Had to wait a bit for that hurricane to clear out")  -  we caught up and went for lunch.  I can recommend the bacon and lump crab sandwich  at Crab-N-Que.  Webb had the pulled pork and we shot the breeze for a bit until I had to suit, boot and scoot on my land missile.

Damn good to see him again.  He says Hello to all you sailors and says he really likes the place they got down in South Carolina - I asked how the local sailing was there and he said "It's alright,  but I really don't day sail much."  - - which got me thinking a bit.  Compared to him,  all I've ever DONE is day sail,  really.

Anyway,  he was the same as ever.   We had exited the museum grounds and walked up to Talbot Street (the Main Drag in St. Mikes) and I wasn't sure if the recommended restaurant was left or right,  as I pulled up a map on my phone he ducked into a small shop and was back out before I had found what I wanted: "It's down this way,  boy,  she sure was cute..."   - spoken like a true sailor.  Never use a gizmo when you can chat up a real-live person.

 

     

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On 10/4/2018 at 2:30 PM, Son of a Sailor said:

Is anyone going to hear Webb speak at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum . . . i think it is this coming Saturday? I can't make it, but would be great to see a video of the speech if anyone is going to be there.

I attended his talk. CBMM doesn't let you record it. 

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I was surprised to see the event was the same weekend as the Big Show in Nappy, but then realized just how different the target market really is.

Even with the wait, and one stop on the way up to avoid entering the mouth of the bay in the the dark, Webb was more dumbfounded that there wasn't a good laundry solution because it was a wet ride up - "You know sailors, we arrive and things are wet..."  

"How WAS it, Webb?"  

"Oh, outside... It was rough at times,  sure...but it was also a beautiful, wild sail..."    - and when that guy says it was bumpy....

It's always a delight to see a friend unexpectedly.   I was completely unaware of the event.  The weather up in the PA mountains chased me into MD.

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 By a fluke,  @Illegal Smile and I had lunch with him today. Fascinating fellow,  I need to read more of his works. I did my best not to pester him with questions and just let him enjoy his beer. 

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He's back in his slip at Hilton Head after a fairly quick return trip. It will be interesting

to read how that went when/if he posts his notes.

GannetTrack.jpeg

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He hasn't file a sail record but did say he doesn't consider a passage less than 1000 miles.

" I don’t know what this was, but it was difficult and a learning experience for me.  I am glad to have sailed it.  "

self-portrait in the present sea journal

 

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30 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

Webb has posted videos of his return trip from St. Michaels back to Hilton Head on Youtube.

- Stumbling

He's busy.  Now up to 6 videos posted.

- Stumbling

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I did finally have the pleasure of meeting him and his wife Carol. Both very pleasant. I'm pulling for him on this final leg of his possibly final circumnavigation. He has a yellowbrick tracker you can follow from his website above.

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1 hour ago, Norse Horse said:

How do you get a Moore 24 thru the Panama Canal?

IMG_5048.jpg

I asked Stan Honey this question a few days ago.  They had recently completed a centerlock W to E Canal transit on their Cal-40 ILLUSION.

Said Stan:  "Either by side-tying to a much larger and substantially powered yacht.  Or by truck.  No sailing allowed in the Panama Canal."

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Webb put out a call in his journal for anyone transiting who might be willing to let him tie alongside.

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Could he do the First Torqueedo crossing of the Panama Canal and stop for on the sly charging?:ph34r:

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13 minutes ago, chester said:

hang an outboard on it?

Unlikely.  requirements for center lock passage include substantial bow and stern cleats, plus hawser size mooring lines, 4 line handlers plus helmsman and pilot, and possibly a minimum speed into headwind.... Going East to West, the authorities aren't gonna let a Moore 24 tie up a lock given usual commercial and recreational traffic backlog.

.Side tie a better deal

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5 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I love Webb’s sense of decisiveness and finality:

I will sail from Hilton Head Island with the prospect that I may never return.” (http://self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.com/2019/01/skull-creek-transformed.html?m=1 )

Few can write a line like that and actually mean it.

I couldn't decide if that line sprang from fatalism or complete despair that the Hilton Head condo would ever be habitable. You're right though, he certainly has the CV to throw that line with some heft.

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23 hours ago, sleddog said:

requirements for center lock passage include substantial bow and stern cleats, plus hawser size mooring lines

Substantial = appropriate for size of boat. So normal mooring cleats usually suffice. Maybe the Moore 24 doesn't have any?

On our 30' boat (first canal transit 1997) we used our own 300' x 1/2" lines and they were cool with that. We tied a knot in the middle and said "the right side is my 125' stbd rope and left side pile is my 125' port rope"

For our second canal transit (40' cat - 2017) they only "recommend" 7/8" for small craft. We and most people use rented really crappy 5/8" ropes supplied by a few local guys. 

If Webb has an outboard bracket he might borrow a 9.9 or 15 HP from a local cruiser. That boat is so light it will probably make the minimum speed.

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2 hours ago, 140fulton said:

I couldn't decide if that line sprang from fatalism or complete despair that the Hilton Head condo would ever be habitable. You're right though, he certainly has the CV to throw that line with some heft.

The other one in that same vein is, “I was born for this moment and all the days ahead” — the first line of Storm Passage.  With an opening line like that, how can you not want to read on...

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3 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

The other one in that same vein is, “I was born for this moment and all the days ahead” — the first line of Storm Passage.  With an opening line like that, how can you not want to read on...

I need to remember this for the next sporty offshore passage.

- Stumbling

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On 1/15/2019 at 12:25 PM, Zonker said:

Substantial = appropriate for size of boat. So normal mooring cleats usually suffice. Maybe the Moore 24 doesn't have any?

On our 30' boat (first canal transit 1997) we used our own 300' x 1/2" lines and they were cool with that. We tied a knot in the middle and said "the right side is my 125' stbd rope and left side pile is my 125' port rope"

For our second canal transit (40' cat - 2017) they only "recommend" 7/8" for small craft. We and most people use rented really crappy 5/8" ropes supplied by a few local guys. 

If Webb has an outboard bracket he might borrow a 9.9 or 15 HP from a local cruiser. That boat is so light it will probably make the minimum speed.

Won’t need that big of a moter. We have a 2.5 hp 2 stroke on our Moore and we can make 5 knots with it. A 15 hp moter might get the boat on steep. 

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True enough. Just that the typical long term cruiser outboard is about 80%  9.9 or 15 HP.

Massive respect to the guy. He's 77 and heading out to finish his SIXTH circumnavigation.

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One of my fav's

"The terrible thing about the sea is that it is not alive.  All our pathetic adjectives are false.  The sea is not cruel or angry or kind.  The sea is insensate, a blind fragment of the universe, and kills us not in rage, but with indifference, as casual byproducts of its own unknowable harmony.  Rage would be easier to understand and to accept." Webb Chiles

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19 minutes ago, rustylaru said:

One of my fav's

"The terrible thing about the sea is that it is not alive.  All our pathetic adjectives are false.  The sea is not cruel or angry or kind.  The sea is insensate, a blind fragment of the universe, and kills us not in rage, but with indifference, as casual byproducts of its own unknowable harmony.  Rage would be easier to understand and to accept." Webb Chiles

Webb has a philosophy. I have a survival instinct. We are direct opposites right here and now. I haven't given up all my lives yet.

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2 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Webb has a philosophy. I have a survival instinct. We are direct opposites right here and now. I haven't given up all my lives yet.

He also has a command of the Engrish rangrish. So opposite in that regard also?

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3 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Webb has a philosophy. I have a survival instinct. We are direct opposites right here and now. I haven't given up all my lives yet.

I agree, but.  I ride bicycles in London and NYC.  I ride a motorcycle in Atlanta.  I ...  am not going to tell that.

I read in Outside magazine about a climber who lost his friend.  A lot of people are out there working out things, he said.

Obviously, we die.  Living pays dividends.  Leaving people behind unnecessarily reflects selfishness.

We all make our own choices.  And they effect everyone around us.  

 

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30 minutes ago, rustylaru said:

He also has a command of the Engrish rangrish. So opposite in that regard also?

I speak Engrish. You? Would you like to point me to some egregious error in my contribution?

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7 hours ago, hasher said:

I agree, but.  I ride bicycles in London and NYC.  I ride a motorcycle in Atlanta.  I ...  am not going to tell that.

I read in Outside magazine about a climber who lost his friend.  A lot of people are out there working out things, he said.

Obviously, we die.  Living pays dividends.  Leaving people behind unnecessarily reflects selfishness.

We all make our own choices.  And they effect everyone around us.  

 

Webb has little use for people or society. His personal ties are kept to a very bare minimum. It's not like he's an inexperienced young man, the primary bread-winner with a family full of kids, pulling some kind of reckless, social media stunt.  Yes, I understand that he's married and she would suffer if he were lost.

I think he'll successfully complete his circumnavigation and not leave anyone behind.

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21 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I speak Engrish. You? Would you like to point me to some egregious error in my contribution?

I didn't understand understand how your reply related to the quote and I was trying to think of something funny to say. Apparently I failed, sorry.

I also didn't see how hashers next comment related either, but Ajax seems to understand you guy's and said succinctly  all there is to say about it.

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He gybed back towards shore, perhaps avoiding the stronger winds associated with the front coming through. Should ease up soon and he can head back south.

Chiles.jpeg

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Latest ping shows he’s continuing West at just a couple knots.  Doesn’t seem right, wind is strong from the N, why head W into the stream?

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I suspect he's broken something...  

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Latest position shows his course to again be SE at 4.6 kts.  Maybe there was a localized wind and/or sea condition that necessitated the jog west.  

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Yup, I think he is fine, just being cautious. Remember it is a Moore 24 and he has already put the mast in the water a few times.

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Webb is running out of the northerly component to his breeze and will face straight easterlies for the forseable future, which will be quite a long beat to windward.

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and then it would appear to go awfully light for a while, which is equally unpleasant.

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There be rum south of him...:ph34r:

Screenshot_2019-02-03 gannet - YBlog - YB Tracking.png

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One light day coming up and then he's got perfect NE winds all the way through the gap, past Jamaica, and on to Panama.

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This us crazy, he never stopped for rum.

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2 hours ago, 4ktsb said:

This us crazy, he never stopped for rum.

Webb is a strictly malt whisky man!

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So he's 450 m approx to Colon - and in for a nice downhill but building ride all the way if you trust the Windy algos. Could see high 20s low 30s steady, for sure that or higher in the gusts. There is a stationary low that is centering on Cartagena all the way into next week . Is that some kind of quasi permanent feature like the Azores high,  and if so why? 

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I'd imagine he won't be able to get a lot of sleep while approaching the canal due to traffic.  

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I took a look at this end of the canal from his tracker link. gannet - YBlog - YB Tracking

One marina for pleasure craft just inside the breakwater to starboard. There is a huge bone yard there of small boats if you zoom in.

 

Screenshot_2019-02-07 gannet - YBlog - YB Tracking.png

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Go Webb!

If you're on a budget you should skip Shelter Bay. They're the only marina near the canal and charge accordingly.

Both passages through (1997/2017) we anchored on "The Flats" - the designated yacht anchorage. Moved the boat around to the local Yacht club (just to the right of the "Colon" on the map) to go ashore and pay our canal fees. Didn't do any grocery shopping until we got to the other side which is way safer.

image.png.53ce8eab27d4c9ac16f9129e808f57d6.png

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For me,  the most unattractive aspect of a canal transit is having to spend time on the Colon side awaiting your turn.  It is NOT a fun place to be from a personal security standpoint and going ashore (or leaving the boat unattended) is not something that I’d even wish to contemplate.  It’s done often enough apparently, but still remains as a disincentive to making the trip (for me).  The good news is that it’s not currently something on any near term bucket list.  (I went through 5-10 times commercially so sorta ‘been there, done that’)

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2 hours ago, Veeger said:

For me,  the most unattractive aspect of a canal transit is having to spend time on the Colon side awaiting your turn.  It is NOT a fun place to be from a personal security standpoint and going ashore (or leaving the boat unattended) is not something that I’d even wish to contemplate.  It’s done often enough apparently, but still remains as a disincentive to making the trip (for me).  The good news is that it’s not currently something on any near term bucket list.  (I went through 5-10 times commercially so sorta ‘been there, done that’)

I dislike anything resembling a Colonoscopy.

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Colon has been described that way as long as I can remember.

Why can't the Panamanians clean it up? It sounds like the police don't like to go in there.

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It will be interesting to see how Webb handles this situation of the canal. He's seldom if ever been dependent on other people. I wonder if he has had any offers of a tieup for the passage from a larger yacht. Looks to be 36-48 hours away, with the only hiccup being avoiding strong winds on day 4.

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10 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

 Looks to be 36-48 hours away, with the only hiccup being avoiding strong winds on day 4.

Is he using a 12 hour clock?

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If you are referring to his Yellowbrick, I thought it posted every 6 hours. A little strange that he is not heading directly for Colon?

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No, I was referring him being 36 to 48 hours away but needing to worry about the weather 4 days (96 hours) out.

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Looking at Windy, I think he gybed from port to starboard 12 hours ago when his track changed course towards Colon. Wind is forecast to lessen as he approaches, but always from aft, so no doubt he will sail most of the way in. I don't think he ever indicated where in Colon he would head, but we will see soon enough.

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Based on his 0700 (L) position and SOA, he should be through the breakwater by now and possibly anchored.  

How typical and boring.  Time a long passage to enter the breakwater at about 0900 local and have plenty of daylight to sort out his anchorage and report in during daylight.  

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He's in - last ping from Shelter Bay at 1632 UTC.

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so what was that, 16 days at sea?  Except for that brief jog westward off the coast of Fla looks to have been a direct line.  Looking forward to his write-up, as always. 

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Where is the drama? Where are the tears? The urgent radio calls, the dismasting???

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The drama is on the way to the market and the tragedy may be no single malt till the other side.

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He is in the bottom of the marina. Not sure where customs are but there is a military base beside it and it is on the cleaner side of the colon, so his ass might be safer there. https://my.yb.tl/gannet/

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Legend is as legend does:
 
"On the Yellowbrick track the sail from Hilton Head appears methodical and easy.  It wasn’t.  The first Sunday we were blown back west 50 miles lying ahull in a serious gale.  I don’t know exactly how strong the winds were because my wind instruments had already died, but I believe we had wind into the 40s.  Then a few days later the Bahamas for a few hours became a dangerous lee shore that I could keep off of only by bashing our way north, when we wanted to go south.  And I had to fight strong shifting headwinds one night to get past San Salvador.  Plus a rather exhilarating line squall that caught me in the cockpit playing the mainsheet for exactly sixteen minutes--I timed it--the next afternoon.In addition to the wind instruments, 3 of the 4 tiller pilots have died, along with other things, and the fourth sounds quite ill...."
 
 

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I have never understood why Webb Chiles relies on tillerpilots rather than a good windvane self-steering rig. Perhaps, for him, it is a performance issue...

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2 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

I have never understood why Webb Chiles relies on tillerpilots rather than a good windvane self-steering rig. Perhaps, for him, it is a performance issue...

He talked about that in an interview back in 2012

Quote

Will you use an electric autopilot or windvane?

I have used windvanes on my larger boats with great success. I almost never hand steer out of sight of land. However I am not, at least initially, going to put one on GANNET, preferring to avoid that weight on the stern and the complication of devising an alternate outboard mount.

I have two tiller pilots. I may buy more.

One of the most important things I have yet to learn is if jib-to-sheet self-steering will work on GANNET. I had expected to experiment last September.

Every boat I’ve owned could be balanced to sail to windward with the tiller tied down. Jib-to-sheet self-steering works from a close reach to a broad reach. I used it on the 37’ EGREGIOUS for the last 10,000 miles of my first circumnavigation after the Monitor windvane broke south of Australia; and I used it for the roughly 25,000 miles I sailed the Drascombe Lugger.

 

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His trip log is posted. Not his fav passage. This is worth a quote

" I feel constrained.  Land.  Ships.  This is part of one of my jobs.  I accept that.  I like to believe I am good at my crafts.  But this is grind it out work with a rotting ass, not joy.  I don’t mean to be indelicate by my ass is indeed rotting.  No matter how careful I am, new pants have wet seats within hours. "

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

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The portage option sounds like a good solution.  Glad he’s got something worked out. I vote “Aye” as well. 

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