Reporting on the progress and position of Southern Cross
Progress Report #15
In any special purpose vessel, like Southern Cross, there is seldom non-essential gear. In fact, the goal is have the gear perform several tasks or jobs if possible. Then sometimes gear surprises you and is able to do a job that was not imagined it would need to do. This was the case with the winches for the “running shrouds” (see the video in the media section).
Progress Report #14
In Progress Report #13, I wrote that there were a number of components of Southern Cross that were critical to the voyage and had a story of their own, like the tent. The small jam cleat shown in the photo has a short but interesting story. A cleat, for those non–sailors reading this, is used to tie off a line (rope) and a jam cleat has an additional “V” that will jam the line.
Progress Report #13
One of the joys working on a film like this is the time spent reviewing and cataloguing all the footage that has been shot. Not only the 80+ hours of footage that I have shot over the last four years but the 10+ hours of footage that Howard shot on the voyage.
As I sat watching scene after scene, I was struck by how many of the components of Southern Cross have a story of their own. It is interesting how a piece of equipment like the cockpit tent and the associated changes became a thread in the overall fabric of the voyage. It’s exciting to watch that thread blend together with the larger story of the voyage.
Progress Report #12
During the voyage I had the opportunity to communicate with Howard by satellite phone. He would call at various times and give me an update about his location or what had been happening since our last conversation. Generally the calls tended to be about the wind, it seemed either to be blowing hard or not at all, and how much sleep Howard had managed to get. I was always amazed to hear Howard state in such a matter of fact way that he had managed without sleep for forty hours or so. Sleep always seemed to be hard to come by. There was other information, of course, but wind and sleep always seem to be
Progress Report #11
The attached video shows Howard and Southern Cross during sea trials before leaving for Chile. It was during this particular sea trail that he worked to determine the location for the jib leads.
Howard flew in from Chile direct to Austin Texas with the footage he shot on the voyage. I have to admit that on meeting him I noted that he was a little beaten up by his experiences and has been slowly recovering. We are very glad to have him around because it was just weeks ago that he faced down dying in the cold southern ocean. He has been here delivering the footage he shot, recovering and in a quiet humble way beginning to tell his story.
Progress Report #10
The Rescue, and the Recovery. By John Welsford
Denny and I had a long telephone conversation with Howard three days ago. He’s in much better spirits now that he has been able to rest, recover some and that the amazing rescue of Southern Cross is behind him. His voyage is far from over as now he has the logistical challenge of getting the boat from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas, back tracking his course.
Thanks to those folks here who have expressed good wishes and opinions whether positive or negative.
Here are a few facts and then I don’t have much else to say really as respectfully I do not feel I owe anyone an explanation about anything I am doing or have done in boats.
Progress report #7, March 2nd by David Nichols
On Saturday the 25th I spoke with Howard by Satellite phone and he was experiencing very high winds and “hundreds of Williwaws. One right after another.” (A Williwaw is a violent burst of wind that descends down a mountain to the sea in the Strait of Magellan.) This was very similar to the experience on the 22nd. He was extremely concerned and had moved several times to find a more secure anchorage. At one point he had to cut an anchor free.
A vision, education without walls.
Howard has said that the original concept behind this voyage in the far south of South America was to do something just for himself. The reasons for such extreme adventures are complex, but include a love of the outdoors, a way of “proving” himself to himself; and by doing much of his adventuring solo, a way of creating space for himself “far from the madding crowd”.
Progress Report 6
When he phoned me yesterday Howard was about to eat a hot breakfast of the grains and nuts that constitute the main ingredients of a Japanese style of cooking that is known as “Tubu Tubu” It’s a high protein food that is ideal for extended physical exertion, and after spending so long at the oars the day before, a good choice of food.
Progress Report 5 by John Welsford
Howard rang this morning, 4:30 am. I was a bit slow waking and missed the call, but he has sent me his position and track so I can describe where he is and what he’s up to.
He’s sailed across the Straits from just north of Puerto Hambre to Isla Dawson, the big island at the western end of Estrecho de Magellanes, which forms one side of the entrance to the Magdalena Channel. That channel runs south and west out to the Pacific ocean.
Progress Report 4 by John Welsford
Its been a good day on the water on the Estrecho de Magellanes, Howard has made good about 35 kilometres (Nearly 25 miles) along the coast in light winds. As I write he’s heading in toward the beach a little south of a river by the name of “Rio Agua Fresca”.
Progress Report 3 by John Welsford
I had an exchange with Howard today, he departed from the Nao Victoria museum around 4 pm yesterday local time on a weather forecast that told of a moderate southerly breeze.
From the museo through to just past Punta Arenas the coastline is almost directly south before it bends to the west, so he was heading straight upwind, and there is no natural shelter anywhere short of half an hours drive to the west.
The water is shallow for a long way out, and the Straits are over 20 miles wide at that point so there is plenty of room for a strong wind to build up some wicked short spaced waves.
Here’s what happened.
Progress Report 2 by Howard Rice
Seven days ago I awoke at 3:30am anchored offshore in the Strait of Magellan to prepare for departure south from my location just north of Punta Arenas. I was finally seeing a small weather window of opportunity as January has likely hit the record books here as one of the windiest ever. My friend at the Armada has repeatedly said the January winds are very unusual and more like the heavy September winds.
Progress Report 1 by John Welsford
As I write, I’m only just back from a month in Punta Arenas, quite a lot of that spent waiting for Southern Cross to arrive in her shipping crate. She was late,and to compound the delay, the ship berthed on a Saturday so it was Monday before Howard with translator Sophia got the formalities done at Customs, and Patricio with his monster yellow truck and big crane was able to deliver the big box to us.