The Big Blue

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Bela Bartok

19 July 2012
Mark
Imagine you're a sailor. You and your boat are participating in a long distance single-handed sailboat race across the Pacific. You both have a symbiotic relationship because without her, you are unable to exist. Without you, she is unable to make port; you need each other. Life on board is busy. The wind vane autopilot allows you the luxury to attend to everything else on the boat. Between constant maintenance, you are keeping up with sail changes necessitated by changing weather, navigation, strategy, eating and rest. By law you are required to stand 24-hour watch, but that is impossible. You must sleep - while the boat sails on the course you set her - into total darkness. As an experienced sailor, you know the rules about keeping your harness on and yourself tethered to the boat at all times while on deck. You know the penalty; suddenly falling overboard and watching your boat sail away at top speed into the darkness. You know you will die. For the last couple nights, the Vic-Maui fleet has been getting updates on the sailing vessel Bela Bartok, a single hander participating in a long distance race across the Pacific which is now presumed "abandoned." She's been reported 300 miles NE of Honolulu making a slow speed and course roughly in line with the incoming Vic Maui race fleet. Our race started with a waning moon and I think we've had moonlight for maybe 3 night's tops. It's also been mostly overcast, which means that when it gets dark, it gets really dark. Not something this Alaskan is used to seeing in the summer. As we sail blindly careening though the darkness at top speed, the only way to steer is to look straight down at the compass. When you look up, the only thing you can see is the wake from your own boat and the speed is accentuated in the night. Every bit of common sense in your body tells you this is slightly insane, but you have many more nights ahead. You can't see and that's that. You try not to think about the things you could hit out here; a log, a submerged container, an unlit ship. But tonight has my mind on Bela Bartok. In addition to avoiding collision with her, my heart goes out to whoever her skipper may be and hope that he/she is merely incapacitated and not lost at sea. Until the authorities retrieve the vessel, they will not know...and tonight Bela Bartok sails on under her own command.
Comments
Vessel Name: Radiance
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau First456
Hailing Port: Seward, AK
Crew: Mark Ward, Laurence
About:
M [...]
Extra:
Radiance is a German Frers designed Beneteau First456 sloop. She has the deep lead fin keel and tall rig. She competes in the local sailing regattas and had taken top honors in all events on multiple occasions. Laurence and Mark have returned from a 2.5 year blue water cruise that essentially [...]
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Radiance's Photos - Main
1 Photo
1
crew
 
1
Seward to Anacortes
50 Photos
Created 20 July 2020
Pics from s/v Radiance visit to Fiji, 2013
71 Photos
Created 22 June 2013
Misc photos from Bay of Islands, New Zealand
49 Photos
Created 18 February 2013
Cruising Bay of Islands and driving about the North Island.
100 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
Opua, Whangarei, Karikari, etc.
39 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
32 Photos
Created 22 November 2012
91 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
49 Photos
Created 19 October 2012
S/V Radiance in Niuatoputapu
12 Photos
Created 19 October 2012
s/v Radiance photos of Fanning
47 Photos
Created 4 October 2012
s/v Radiance Photos of Suwarrow visit
40 Photos
Created 3 October 2012
29 Photos
Created 3 October 2012
Radiance in Palmyra, Aug, 2012
45 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
18 Photos
Created 29 July 2012
Photos beginning May 2012, Departing Seward Alaska - heading south.
12 Photos
Created 10 June 2012