Posted By RichC on February 9, 2009
There aren’t all that many following the sailing and blogging of Reid Stowe on 1000days.net (perhaps as many as 1000 or so according to his blog stats), but I am one who regularly track his progress and am noting just how long he has been at sea. Reid has been sailing on his old schooner Anne without resupply now for 658 days, which according to the Guiness Book of World Records is the longest, surpassing the record was set in 1988 by Jon Sanders – 658 days 21 hours and 18 minutes at sea. Although I question the sanity of spending this much time at sea, it does offer some scientific benefit “if” man is ever to attempt long distance space travel or even longer extended stays on the International Space Station. Thanks to technology, the mission control team in NYC are able to update the progress and share Reid’s thoughts with those who are interested in as he calls it the “Mars Ocean Odyssey.”
The 1000-day voyage – some content from Wikipedia
Stowe departed on the 1000-day voyage on April 21, 2007 at 3:00 PM EDT from Pier 12, Hoboken New Jersey, witnessed by about 100 well-wishers, including his parents and his former wife, Laurence Guillem. The heavily ladened schooner passed through New York Harbor and into the open ocean by the evening of April 21.
The voyage has incurred three incidents, two near the outset of the voyage. On April 25, 2007, the schooner ventured near a US Navy missile firing trial that was being conducted off the New Jersey coast. After United States Coast Guard personnel alerted the schooner, the crew diverted their course with no further mishap. A second, more serious mishap occurred on May 6th 2007 when the schooner ran into a container ship that left the schooner’s bowsprit heavily damaged, though the hull and the remainder of the ship was unscathed. Stowe was able to make a replacement, albeit shortened, bowsprit from less-damaged portions. Since these incidents, the vessel spent much of the second half of 2007 in the Southern Atlantic, passing the tip of Africa in mid December, 2007.
The most significant incident occurred on February, 22, 2008, when Stowe’s companion, Soanya Ahmad decided to leave the voyage. She disembarked from the schooner off Rottnest Island, near Perth, Western Australia. Members from the Royal Perth Yacht Club, including Jon Sanders, rendezvoused with the Anne and assisted with Ms. Ahmad departure. She had been suffering from chronic seasickness since November, and, according to Joe Barello of the New York City-based support team, had been planning to leave the schooner for five weeks, though reluctant to leave Stowe behind. Ahmad’s departure left Stowe without a crew and compromised an original tenet of the voyage, “…to leave the land and all support, sail for 1,000 days, non-stop at sea without receiving help, to live at sea, to be healthy, to send back good messages and have the whole world follow the voyage and understand the importance of it…” Mr. Stowe intends to complete the mission plan alone.
One of the more pecular twists to this oddessy is that Reid and Soanya also had a baby last year yet the voyage continues. She writes over Christmas this past December in answering a readers question about marriage:
Will you and Reid get married when he returns?
Reid and I are still a couple albeit from a long distance. We do plan to be together when he returns. However, how and where is not certain. His return is over a year away and there are too many variables to predict the future this far in advance. I know everything will work out as they should when the time comes. Until then, each of us has to concentrate on the task at hand. The days will pass steadily whether we pay attention to them or not, whether we contemplate “what-ifs” or stay focused on taking care of today. I feel that being in the present is very important because it is the only moment in time that is not made of conjecture. I can try planning and come up with plan A, B, C, D. And then something unexpected happens, and I have to revise everything that I planned. Sometimes, it’s just easier to be clear about what I want and allow events to unfold as they will, making decisions when I am called to do so.