sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Going it Alone: Failure and Self Reliance at Sea

Going it Alone: Failure and Self Reliance at Sea

'Lee sailing - Going it Alone'    Lee Winters
Lee Winters, solo sailor and campaigner for SOS childrens villages provides an insight into solo-sailing:

Keep the standing rig up and the water out. It is a simple mantra but is the essence of sailing solo. I am not a racer. I don’t maintain a strict travel schedule. My boat epitomizes classic plastic, but she is seaworthy. That is until 9000 nautical miles into my singlehanded circumnavigation my forestay parted in the South Pacific.

I set sail alone over two years ago from the small Texas town of Kemah situated in Galveston Bay on Texas’ Gulf Coast. The day I left I’d never gone offshore, overnight alone before.

My boat and I were both untested. The only thing I had going for me was a wealth of knowledge gleaned from every sailing book I’d thumbed and a cache of determination that bordered on lunacy. Fear and naysayers be damned, I was going to sail around the world.

The Good Life Belize - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters   Click Here to view large photo
Some 20 months later I was working my way North from Rarotonga to Palmerston Atoll when disaster struck. Winds were moderate and the sea was just easing after a week of strong winds. I’d just woken and was putting a pot of coffee on when I felt the bow shudder.

Running on deck I saw the jib fill, raise the furling drum over the lifelines, and drop into the sea. Nothing but the jib sheets and furling drum line held the mangled mass of sail and aluminum furling foils to the boat.

I wish I could tell you that the first thing I did was run forward, grab the spinnaker halyard, and secure it to the bow stem. That was my second action. At 20* S latitude in September it is hot. Birthday suit hot. My eyes caught the end of that broken forestay and saw a razor sharp, stainless steel cat of 19 tails. Pants. I put pants on first.

The forestay parted two centimeters above the lower sta-loc fitting. I lashed the end of the broken stay to the mast pulpit and turned my attention to the wreckage hanging off my port side. When the furler hit the water the foils broke into four sections now cutting and gouging my jib.

I grabbed the jib sheets and on pure adrenalin began heaving the tangle from the sea. Eventually the foils followed the sail onto the side deck. As I turned to find ties to lash them to the deck another roll of the boat dumped the lot back into the Pacific. Watching the sail fill with water I was gutted.

Adrenalin gone and sail ties in hand I began working smarter. With each roll of the boat I took up slack on the sheets and let the opposite roll bring up the shattered remnants. An hour later everything was secured on deck and I began taking stock.The wreckage was such that there was no salvaging the roller furling unit. The system was antiquated at best at over 25 years old. My jib however had only been commissioned three years prior.

To salvage the sail I was forced to cut the luff tape off with a sharp knife freeing the sail from the furler foils.

Mahi in the cooler - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters  
Cleared of sail I began throwing the 3 and 4 meter sections of aluminum overboard like harpoons. Getting the sail down below and the deck cleared of debris I started searching my mind for forestay options.

Jury rig number one was an ugly solution. I was committed to continuing on to Palmerston Atoll some 200 nm to the Northwest. I was lucky that the stay broke just above the deck fitting. 1 x 19 rigging wire doesn’t bend without deformation, but in that moment I didn’t care. With no small amount of anger I doubled the end of the wire over on itself. Using several cable clamps I secured a very ugly eye in the stay.

Digging through every shackle on board I gathered an extra turnbuckle, two anchor shackles, and a chain link connector and began filling the gap between the stem head fitting and the eye in the broken forestay. Using the full throw of both turnbuckles the rig came under tension and I limped onto the mooring at Palmerston a few days later.

Lee eventually cobbled together a temporary fix and made it all the way to the Whangarei Basin, Northland, New Zealand. We thought it only fitting that after his plight and given the good work that he is doing for promoting SOS villages a cost price Harken furler might come in handy.

Follow Lee as he makes his way back home here: www.sailingforsos.com

Kids of SOS Hampolol, Mexico - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters  

Isla Providencia - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters  

Isla Linton Panama - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters  

Galapagos Nap - Going it Alone -  Lee Winters  




by Daniel Johnston

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=84206

6:19 AM Wed 1 Jun 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World









The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI


















Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,


























Kempe thrilled to invite himself to Gold Cup party
2014 420 World Championships - Singapore wins Day 2 race
Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals
Etchells Invitational Cup - Girls on top in Cowes
National Sailing Hall of Fame reveals inductees
J/111 North American Championship - Wind Czar victorious
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4   
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014   
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston   
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet   
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Polishing the silverware   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT