A “famous” day in cruising boat history

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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A great “art for art’s sake” undertaking...and the rest was history... :)


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SloopJonB

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I have never understood the adulation for Moitessier.

Sure he was an extremely accomplished seaman but beyond that he wasn't much of a man.

An emotional child. Utterly selfish and irresponsible, deserting his family to sail away alone. The only person who mattered to him was Bernard.

There are any number of more worthy recipients of admiration.
 

Fah Kiew Tu

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I have never understood the adulation for Moitessier.

Sure he was an extremely accomplished seaman but beyond that he wasn't much of a man.

An emotional child. Utterly selfish and irresponsible, deserting his family to sail away alone. The only person who mattered to him was Bernard.

There are any number of more worthy recipients of admiration.
Yeah pretty much. I admired his sailing exploits - mostly - but he was the sort of guy who, were we sharing an anchorage, I'd make sure there were no loose tools or gear anywhere in sight.

FKT
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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I have never understood the adulation for Moitessier.

Sure he was an extremely accomplished seaman but beyond that he wasn't much of a man.

An emotional child. Utterly selfish and irresponsible, deserting his family to sail away alone. The only person who mattered to him was Bernard.

There are any number of more worthy recipients of admiration.
Tough crowd here. :)

It just popped up in my FB feed from the Don McIntyre Golden Globe Race, who was recognizing him as a pioneer small boat sailor, so I thought I’d share it. On that, I think we can all agree. Kooky and whatever else - sure - but an incredible seaman, which is the point. (And not adulation for me...just sharing the post marking his bowing tempestuous relationship with officialdom and society in general and resultant famous thumbing his nose at everything by bowing out of the original GGR —paving the way for sea gypsies not in the mold of the very British starched collar stiff upper lip Hiscock model... :) )
 

Fah Kiew Tu

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Yeah I liked his writing and admired his seamanship - mostly. Just there's an undertone there caused me to think he wasn't someone I'd trust if ever what I wanted/owned conflicted with what he thought was necessary for him. IIRC he used the phrase 'necessity knows no law' and as he defined what was necessary - interesting.

There's another nowhere near as famous circumnavigator I used to swap emails with had a similar mindset. Also a person I'd not trust in certain circumstances. 99% of the time, yes, but I'd ensure that certain situations never arose.

Shrug.

I had a pretty good look at a sister ship to Moitessier's many years back in Hobart when Deb Shapiro and her partner were there. Impressive hulls, interesting construction.

FKT
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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IMO French sailor Marcel Bardiaux was a more interesting and balanced world sailor in the French tradition. I have never seen any of his writing translated into English, so he is not as well known.
Yeah, Moitessier was a shiftless hippy. No doubt about that. Good call - Bardiaux was a tough old rooster. “Les Quatres Vents de l’Aventure” (Four Winds of Adventure) was one of his books, I think. Winter rounding of Cape Horn, I think? Moitessier would’ve been crying for the tropics at that point :)
 

estarzinger

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Yeah, Moitessier was a shiftless hippy.
small boat bluewater single-handers are often odd ducks, with 'unusual' personalities. Many choose to spend a lot of time away from society for a reason. And those that do integrate into society (like RKJ) are interesting in their own right - understanding why and how they choose to do it when they 'fit' (in society).

my personal approach is to respect their achievements and be curious and interested in the personality traits that allowed and drove them to those achievements, without (much) judgment - really neither moral nor rank-ordering. (for the very accomplished group we are talking about) I find it hard to say this guy's accomplishments were more impressive than that guy's very different ones (as the sailing is usually the very easy part of their accomplishments)
 

Elegua

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Coming of age in Asia in the early 90's, I got turned off by people like this because I think they generally violate the clean wake rule. There often is a beg-packer component where they grift, steal or just interact poorly with local communities. It got really old trying to explain away their behavior or suffering the consequences of it. The tenth time you have to shrug your shoulders because the locals are asking you why that single white dude did whatever and is that normal behavior where you come from.... In the worst cases it came to violence.
 
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estarzinger

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I resemble that remark or at least, I'd like to... but without the grifting, begging and stealing of shit.
Ajax, I have good news and bad news . . . . the good news is that you are objectively a super nice, intelligent, relatively normal guy with relatively low ego issues. The bad news is that probably makes you an unlikely candidate for actually doing a super crazy super masochistic long solo voyage.

I remember reading a paper (a long time back, like the mid-1990s) on the personality characteristics of successful Sub crew.
It read like: detachment, propriety, and workaholism were predominant characteristics. Thirty-seven percent had a clinical personality disorder, typically antisocial, obsessive-compulsive, or avoidant." I think you are well on the 'nicely balanced' end of this and are not in the 37%.
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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small boat bluewater single-handers are often odd ducks, with 'unusual' personalities. Many choose to spend a lot of time away from society for a reason. And those that do integrate into society (like RKJ) are interesting in their own right - understanding why and how they choose to do it when they 'fit' (in society).

my personal approach is to respect their achievements and be curious and interested in the personality traits that allowed and drove them to those achievements, without (much) judgment - really neither moral nor rank-ordering. (for the very accomplished group we are talking about) I find it hard to say this guy's accomplishments were more impressive than that guy's very different ones (as the sailing is usually the very easy part of their accomplishments)
Kirsten Neuschaffer and other modern GGR folks seem a good test case of your theory. She seems pretty damn normal to me. Skilled and driven, though, which isn’t terribly normal.

 

estarzinger

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Kirsten Neuschaffer .... She seems pretty damn normal to me. Skilled and driven, though, which isn’t terribly normal.
She is an impressive woman. If I remember she did an impressive solo bicycle trip when she was young (Portugal to S Africa?). She is articulate and socialized, but I suspect you would find a very distinctive personality profile sitting out on the far distribution tails for quite a number of factors. I wish her well in GGR. I suspect she will not be fast, but it is an event where the turtle can possibly beat the hare.

I spent a bit of time with Alessandro di Benedetto, and got to know him, and found him 'less odd', perhaps demonstrating that there are exceptions to my comment. I mentioned RKJ above. He 'appeared less odd' but whenever he relaxed . . . . I suspected that was a 'learned camouflage appearance'.

What actually is 'normal', and if being so is a good or a bad thing, is ofc a debate well above my pay grade. Certainly not all the odd ducks are 'unpleasantly odd', some are 'quite pleasantly odd' especially if you have some understanding/appreciation of their passion.
 
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Elegua

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What actually is 'normal', and if being so is a good or a bad thing, is ofc a debate well above my pay grade. Certainly not all the odd ducks are 'unpleasantly odd', some are 'quite pleasantly odd' especially if you have some understanding/appreciation of their passion.

Progress/innovation/change is almost always generated by the "crebels" - the creative-rebels. It's always a challenge to corral them in institutions that are by definition largely made of normies without either creating chaos or squashing them.

In my current role, we require scientists that don't follow the current scientific orthodoxy because they have the very narrow and specialized skills to see another way. But, as the normie finance guy, if they get much over 10% of the population, I get big headaches. :LOL:
 

Ajax

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I think you are well on the 'nicely balanced' end of this and are not in the 37%.
The Navy shrink who evaluated me for sub service said "You show up as kind of a loner. Are you going to have a problem with that?"

I was lucky (or smart). My position in the Radio Room was highly classified and kept me segregated from the crew much of the time. If I wasn't working, training or doing maintenance and I needed to be alone, I retreated to my bunk and played music.

I did spend plenty of time playing cribbage and watching movies with the crew so I wasn't totally anti-social.
 
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