• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment


Letters: Race, Money, and Sailing

Full Episode Audio
Larger view
Endurance Sailing
(Courtesy Reid Stowe)

It's time to open the Weekend America mailbag and hear your responses to recent shows. This week, host John Moe learns about whether there's any way to determine world records in endurance sailing. Also we hear your responses to last week's segments on race and forgiveness at a Michigan church, and our essay from a college teacher forced to sell her books to buy food.


Our story on race and forgiveness, about the white members of Macomb County's Renaissance Unity Church in Michigan apologizing to black members for the wrongs of slavery, drew quite a few letters.

Tony Tartaglia of Glensdale, Calif. spoke for many:

"Isn't forgiveness what it's all about? I was very moved by this piece. I think if more people would sit down and talk about the issues instead of avoiding the discussion altogether, we would be a better country. I am always amazed that people never want to say words like: I'm sorry, I love you, and thank you. As if it would cost them a million dollars to utter the words. However, when said, they have the power to disarm a nation."

Christian S. of Florida balked at the whites' apology.

"My family never owned slaves, never participated in slavery, and wasn't even in this country until the middle of the 20th Century. Does my skin color now make me culpable for the sins of others across the globe? Utter rubbish."

Heather Ryan's commentary last week about needing to sell her books or her plasma in order to make ends meet as a college instructor and single mom hit a nerve with listeners.

Scott Lubbock of Eugene, Ore., wished writing and teaching were more valued skills in our society.

"I, too, have been a teacher, writer, collector and lover of books that are precious to me. Like Ms. Ryan, I was hopeful that I could "eat my words," could feed myself and my family with creative, nourishing ideas put into words that are shared generously. Her skill, thoughtfulness and hard work should be enough to feed her children. I can think of almost no current politician who would not starve if he or she had to eat his or her words. There is more than one kind of hunger that threatens our global village."

And finally, we got a tsunami of emails from you on our story "Listening In on the Schooner Anne," about Reid Stowe's attempt to stay at sea for 1000 days without resupply. We profiled his life at sea and the music he listens to. Well, several of you questioned Stowe's efforts to set a nautical record.

Herb McCormick, editor-at-large for "Cruising World Magazine," spoke with our host John Moe to help us set the record straight.

Herb McCormick: Reid Stowe is trying to break a record that I believe was set by an Australian guy named Jon Saunders, who was a solo circumnavigator who circled the globe not once, not twice, but three times in the course of several hundred days back in the 1990s. I think that's the record that Reid is after.

John Moe: What are the rules for somebody trying to break a record like that?

McCormick: The thing is, there really are no rules for a record like that. There is a sanctioned speed-sailing group for trans-Atlantic records, around-the-world records where they have a time keeper who watches as the sailor leaves, records it, they keep strict scrutiny over the record and are there to record the time when they finish. What Reid's after is a bit of the "Wild West" of ocean sailing, you might say. There aren't any rules or real sanctions. It's tough to tell what anybody's out there actually doing. A lot of people doing all kinds of trips never seek any publicity, sanction or authorization, so it's hard to tell if a guy like Reid is actually breaking a record. There are plenty of guys wandering the oceans, who may or may not be pursuing a record and who may or may not set a record. That's not what they're out there for.

Moe: What's the appeal for you or for Reid to do stuff like this?

McCormick: Part of the reason that I do enjoy sailing and long-distance sailing so much is it's one of the last wildernesses where you can be so far away from the noise and bustle of cities and streets, and all the hubbub. Once you get out in the ocean, it's a very pure and natural wilderness, and you very much have to rely on your own wits and your boat and shipmates. If something does go wrong, you have to figure things out for yourself. In this day and age, it's a different sort of pursuit than a lot of people have, and I find that very pure and rewarding.

(McCormick just announced plans to break a record of his own, on an expedition called "The Around the Americas" with Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation group.)

  • Music Bridge:
    The Devil in Us (Dub Version)
    Artist: Black Devil Disco Club
    CD: Black Devil in Dub (Lo)
More stories from our Letters series


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Johnk350 Johnk350

    From ryitpret, AL, 07/28/2014

    I truly appreciate this article.Really thank you! Fantastic. fdkbeefbakgb

    By Johng957 Johng957

    From ryitpret, AL, 07/28/2014

    Rattling nice pattern and good subject matter, hardly anything else we need D. bedffcdakeda

    By Captain LordlyLoudmouth

    From Calistoga, AK, 05/17/2009

    As quite possibly the ass that Mr Cohoe refers to in his ego contrived wrong analysis of Stowe's ship repair subsequent to being hit by the commericial vessel, I have but this to say to that asshole:

    His ship's still sailing Tom. Around the Capes Around the Horn, still floating and someday on her way home.

    Those chickenshit sit at home blokes who've never been on the Anne wanting their way and say about everything under the sun, her construction, repairs and how it all should be run- really should just shut up and/or go to sea.

    By Pete C

    From Annapolis, MD, 03/15/2009

    I've been following this 1000days.net escapade from the beginning, and every step in the process seems strange and lacks much of the moral standards that I expect from goal achievers. The premise of the voyage had a lofty association with a space mission to mars put this voyage into a fictional and comic perspective that is not serious. The one thing that is most conspicuous in the negative aspect was when Reid Stowe seduced the young and naive Soanya Ahmad to join him on a highly risky voyage on an poorly prepared schooner. It wasn't that Soanya had a little experience in sailing or some other adventure and adversity experience like mountaineering to make her aware of the actual risks involved, but her complete lack of sailing experience and other survival skills should have excluded her from participating in this poorly planned escapade.
    It stands to reason that she was seduced and duped into thinking this was a safe and reasonable undertaking.
    During Soanya's time on board the schooner it seems she was more the concubine than a participating crew member and the pregnancy was no surprise.
    Now that Soanya has had the child, I'm wondering how she is coping with being a single mom.
    Can anyone tell me if she is working and has adequate care for her son Darshen?
    Lastly the whole process that Reid Stowe has used to get to this point appears to be made with no signs of employement, no professional undertaking and tainted with stories of drug smuggling and unpaid child support. Does that mean his voyage was funded by the proceeds of past illegal activities, a gain from not paying past child support and finally non-tax deductible donations from people who believed in the merits of Reid Stowe?

    By Al Keholic

    From The Big Easy, LA, 12/29/2008

    "Here's a clue, 'real sailor'. You learn to sail by sailing. You learn to sail around the Horn by sailing around the Horn."

    ... And you learn to drive by entering the Daytona 500 on your 16th birthday.

    Stay tuned, the Horn awaits...

    By Tom Cohoe


    >> With blog posts like the following, is there any doubt that Mr. Stowe is stark raving bonkers??

    Heh - yeah that stuff is pretty pathetic, but let's face it, he wrote crap like that from the beginning. I just skip over it, because he writes interesting stuff too. It's his nature, probably a major reason why SA types can't stand him.

    I don't see anything wrong with scoffing about what he's doing, calling him nuts, that kind of thing. In the end, the scoffers will be proven right or proven wrong, and that'll be the end of it.

    About his sails, I was the guy who asked about the ability of his sails to last three years on his site long before any sails had blown out. The answer from his support team was that they had special treatment to protect them from solar radiation etc. At the time, I was posting anonamously. I only started posting under my name when I objected to his temporary king post repair. The site management criticized me for anonymity so I posted under my name. I also included my email and asked the guy to delete it. He didn't, and then apologized, so advertised it as well. I got a few emails from some SA types as a result. I kept up my criticism of the king post repair while the management got madder and madder at me, until they stopped posting my comments. The negligence was to post to the public pictures and a description of the horrifying initial repair with no explanation that a better repair was planned, But the ass running the site couldn't comprehend that what was needed was more information, so it wouldn't look like he was planning to run around the Horn with rigging that would fail at the first strong blow.

    His later repair of the king post was much better, although it is not likely to be as strong as the initial construction, but I feel that critical analysis of its strength are beyond my competence.

    I see his sails and his king post as his weak points. His hull, presumably, is strong. Because of his sails and his king post, I would give him a 50-50 chance of making it around the Horn, but that reflects my ignorance of the situation.

    I think it's obvious that he's pretty smart and has lots of energy, so I wouldn't try and stop him. The hippy ramblings don't mean much to me, spacy though they are. That's just his 'superstition'. When he's got nothing interesting to say, he spills that. He'd be better to write it and then delete it, but who am I to tell him what to write (other than that he ought not to put out stuff like his temporary king post repair and leave it implied that that's supposed to do for all weather, all conditions)?

    Mr. Noyes,

    I can't see that there is any way that it can be proven that Mr. Stowe did not dump into the river - that's what is so unfair in raising the suspicion. You say that he was inspected in consequence of a complaint. What was the complaint? Why do you suggestively leave it hanging? I didn't say that there was no complaint. I said that there was no known report of him dumping sewage.

    You say "This allegation has been an issue for quite some time"

    It is not a legitimate issue. Someone could anonamously suggest that you enjoy beating children as well. Maybe someone heard you yelling at your kid once (who hasn't?). Would that make it a legitimate issue, that you should prove that you don't beat children? That's the way it works in police states.

    Reggata Dog, I did point out the difference between the newspaper coverage and yours, and I can easily tell that you're smart enough to have gotten it. Therefore I'm not going to say any more about legal issues because we are at the point of going in circles. Vacuous old Ben Frankle, who has little to say, might get bored and drown in his drink.

    By Billy Backstay


    With blog posts like the following, is there any doubt that Mr. Stowe is stark raving bonkers?? Some suspect that these uncharacteristic ramblings are the work of Fiction Control, rather than Mr. Stowe, who no longer signs his name to his posts....... "Day 570 - November 12, 2008 The Love Voyage Wind E 20 knots, Drifting W, 1 knot, Position 24*35s by 112*58w The voyage's mission is to inspire the world while using love to adapt to living with the forces of the sea. Man has ventured on the sea for many reasons. I came to live on the sea because throughout my life I always loved the sea and always wanted to keep going rather than come back to land quickly. I am out here for love. Whatever I thought this mission could be in its multiple manifestations, viewed from many perspectives and interpreted in many ways, it has become more and more "The Love Voyage". I survive with love in the forefront of all my actions. Love sets the course. This love is a broad universal love that seems to flow through me and I open up to it and it guides my activities. Love surrounds me in its wandering boat. The schooner is the "Love boat". It is not like the love boat where people break each others hearts and passionate love goes up and down, but a steady love beyond the waves of human emotions. The schooner is named after the Love Goddess Anne, our mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, who looks after all of us, including the babies and the old folks. Throughout her long life she has never been known to show anything but caring, compassionate, forgiving constant love, so brilliant and flowing that she never looks back for recognition, thanks or acknowledgement. The schooner was built by all loving hands with the gift of location and most of the materials. The schooner and the voyage are still being looked after by loving people. Love is the motivator, the search and on this voyage of discovery, love is discovered. I am so grateful to all."

    By Aloha 27

    From NS, 11/14/2008

    With the sails that blow out regularly this floating reef may not be able to sail at more than 2 to 3 knots. Hasn't happened often lately. Check out B2S' Wx over at Sailing Anarchy.

    By Peter Noyes

    From New York, NY, 11/14/2008

    Mr. Cohoe,

    I appreciate your enthusiastic defense of Mr. Stowe however note that the inspection was initiated in response to a complaint.

    The subsequent inspection found the required devices not to be in place.
    I too am amazed that Mr. Stowe, an environmentalist, would discharge sewage directly into the river and I was simply suggesting that those who may visit this site and be more familiar with the interior/sytems/operation of the Anne could simply and quickly lay this apparent speculation to rest.

    This allegation has been an issue for quite some time and I am unaware of any information that would contradict it. Would it not serve Reid and his supporters well if they were to do so and eliminate this controversy?

    By Regatta Dog

    From CT, 11/14/2008

    Mr. Cohoe,

    Reid has got much bigger fish to fry. Go for the NY Daily news - they've got the deep pockets and they are the ones that printed -- "The adventurer who is a third of the way through a 1,000-day sailing expedition is also a deadbeat dad running from nearly $10,000 owed in child support, records show."

    As far as I am aware, the DN is the only one who's suggest that the voyage was motivated by Reid wanting to avoid child support. Even after the DN article, I didn't run with the DN assumption. I don't think his child support obligation had anything to do with his trip.

    I have no fear whatever of a suit. It would just add another very amusing aspect to this completely ridiculous circus.

    By Tom Cohoe


    >> Point out where I have falsely tarnished his achievement.

    All right Regatta Dog. Take a look at the very next post after yours. Peter Noyes feels that it is up to people who know Reid to prove he didn't dump sewage into the water at Pier 63. I recall reading one of your breathless denunciations of Reid where you claimed he could have dumped however many tons of sewage into the river. Now I noted that you did not claim he had ... however the piece was written to affect people reading it to think that he had. So now we have Mr. Noyes making the absurd claim that Reid's friends have to prove he didn't do it even though there is not a shred of evidence that he did. Well, it doesn't work that way legally, logically, or morally. The proving is the burden of those accusing (or influentially insinuating), but through your diligent effort, we see that Mr. Noyes, a conservationist, has been influenced to feel that Mr. Stowe has to prove he didn't do something of which he never would have suspected Reid had you not gone to all the trouble to blow an obscure citation over equipment into a dark stain on Reid.

    The fact is he was cited for not having a piece of equipment that he was legally required to have. In 10 years of making his home at Pier 63 there is no known report of sewage having been dumped into the river.

    Let's do one of your kind of calculations. Let's assume that from the start to the end of dumping a head (excuse my ignorance on the terminology here) it takes 5 seconds (until the dribbling has stopped). Just one dump a day for 10 years would result in 10 hours of sewage dumping. Do you think you could dump sewage from a boat at a public pier for 10 hours without a single person who cared enough to complain noticing? Not very likely.

    Mr. Noyes attitude, then, is evidence of injury to Mr. Stowe. No matter how much you dislike Mr. Stowe, when you go around blackening his character, either through directly stated falsehood (Anne is capable of only 2 or 3 knots) or through subtle but effective insinuation (the scoundral Mr. Stowe could have dumped umpteen tons of sewage into the Hudson River) then you are sailing in dangerous waters.

    If you have a fraction of the judgement that you claim Stowe lacks, you will consult your chart, which in this case is an attorney) before you run into some rocks.

    Regatta Dog, I suspect that you are not all that bad a person. What I suspect has happened here is that you and other members of the SA fraternity have been subjecting Reid to the equivalent of a hazing, since he is not sailing according to your canon. I suspect, as usually happens in this kind of situation, that if Mr. Stowe completes his voyage, that despite yourself you will admire him - even love him, and accept him as one of your own. I am not one of those who think that hazing rituals are an unmitigated evil. Hazings are actually bonding rituals. But you have gone too far. You are out of place and you are unfairly hurting not only Reid's interests, but those of the people to whom he is indebted and the businesses who have sponsored him.

    But like I said, don't take my word for it. Talk to your lawyer.

    >> I really don't think referring to the boat as the "Cheese Scow" and saying they're traveling at 2-3 kts are actionable in a court of law.

    Not by themselves, no, but as part of a picture demonstrating a consistent bias against Reid, these statements are relevant. They were just the quickest and easiest things for me to come up with, basically the last few messages you guys have posted, which shows that you are sure to be negative all the time.

    One other point. The false claim by the alcoholic which I cited was not 'they're traveling at 2-3 kts'. It was an insinuation that Anne cannot sail at more than 2 or 3 knots. In an anti-publicity campaign you can nudge what was said into something else, but in court the actual words will be all that matters.

    By Peter Noyes

    From new york, NY, 11/13/2008

    Began following Mr. Stowe's story this summer. The terms "hippy" and "eccentric" were used to describe him in one of the more recent promotional videos. And he is just that. He should be thrilled with the controversy he is creating. Without it, no one would care.
    Now quite a bit of the sailing world is now aware of this otherwise unremarkable venture. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

    As far as the criticism he garners? His fans appear to have a well oiled publicity machine to get the message out. He will no doubt have supporters and detractors. You can't have one without the other. Get used to it.

    Reid appears to be harmless however I am an environmentalist and am concerned about the allegations of waste discharge directly into NY harbor. Seems like his defenders have not confirmed that definitely not to be the case. They presumably have spend a great deal of time on the boat so should know.

    Sail on, drift on, whatever.

    By Regatta Dog


    Point out where I have falsely tarnished his achievement.

    I really don't think referring to the boat as the "Cheese Scow" and saying they're traveling at 2-3 kts are actionable in a court of law. There's got to be more to it than that. Please enlighten us.

    By Tom Cohoe


    I should pay Reid's old debts? That's rich. Why not you? And if I learned you were planning an attempt to sink him at sea, I should pay off his debts before trying to stop that too? This kind of bad thinking on your part illustrates why you shouldn't try to figure out for yourself whether or not you can incur liability doing what you have been doing.

    You are trying to destroy him. The alcoholic has already as much as admitted his pride as a sailor is deeply involved in what is going on here. He is now spluttering about what a grand sailor he is and how that gives him the right to pronounce judgement on Reid Stowe, who obviously has more sailing experience than he does, as does Soanya.

    >> As far as Stowe making me look less manly by "sailing", nothing could be farther from the truth.

    You're sure sounding mighty sensitive about it.

    >> I find it dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable that Stowe chose ANYONE for the "1000-day-drift" with zero offshore experience. Period.

    Good for you, but that's just your damned bigoted opinion. Have you written to NASA denouncing their habit of taking women into space and occasionally killing them in front of millions? Do you disapprove of taking women to sea under any circumstance? Or is it just with your vast sailing experience you feel that you now know the thin line between foolish and OK to a T. If so, you are no different than a child who says to his parents, "I played on the road yesterday and I didn't get hurt, so it must be OK". It's always dangerous. Where do you get the authority to decide what is dangerous and what isn't?

    >> a small group of idiots and a couple major news outlets posted factual information

    First of all, the nature and tenor of the news reports is entirely different from yours. The alcoholic illustrates this just minutes ago with his sneering "Cheese Scow" reference to Reid's boat. As far as factual, his same post claims a top speed of 2 to 3 knots. That's false. Even with bad sails, it is negative speculation at best. Much worse has been published by you. Another difference is that the news outlets do not dog Reid's publicity. Another difference is that the news outlets do not publish from a consistently negative bias.

    I am not threatening you with a lawsuit. I have no suit to make, obviously. I am not trying to scare you. I am trying to make you look at what you are doing and recognize that you are indeed maneuvering yourself into a vulnerable position. It's one thing to sit around with your buddies and jeer away at someone. It is a completely different proposition to do it publicly at every possible opportunity. You can scoff at me all you want, but scoffing will not be a defense if you need to make one. Neither will spluttering about 10,000 miles of sailing experience.

    >> There's no evidence whatever that this voyage had a financial objective.

    Well there doesn't have to be. All that has to be shown is that you've injured his reputation, and therefore his ability to earn income through publication, with malice. Since people who make record breaking endurance voyages usually write about it, it would be foolish of you to assume he'll say, "that's OK fellas, I was just planning to flip hamburgers anyway."

    But don't take my word for it. Go to your lawyer. Don't show him the most benign stuff you've published. Show him the stuff that the other side would present in court. Look for the worst. Then just ask him if he would advise you that it's safe to keep it up.

    You might also consider that Reid's sponsors have an interest in defending, against your extremely biased agenda, the public's good will concerning Reid's accomplishment.

    A good way to re-establish such good will would be to win a lawsuit against the people who falsely tarnished the achievement.

    By Ben Frankle

    From MA, 11/13/2008

    This has been some very amusing reading. Watching you folks battle over this is much more interesting than following the captain you all are yammering about. I'm thinking maybe some of these so called haters are pretending to be Reids friends and having a good old time fighting with themselves. I can't imagine a real friend of the guy trying to scare people into shutting up. Mostly because the whole lawyer thing is just stupid. Keep it up. I got this bookmarked and read it late night when I get home from work.

    The guy on the ship is kind of funny to. And what is this SA people are mentioning?

    By Al Keholic

    From N'Orleans, LA, 11/12/2008

    Well Tom, that diatribe certainly put me in place, didn't it?

    (If you think that wasn't sarcasm, please turn your sensitivity controls down a bit.)

    I Sir, consider myself to be a sailor. Over 10,000 miles worth as a matter of fact. Having said that, I STILL wouldn't consider myself ready to tackle ANYTHING as ill-conceived and ill-prepared as taking the Cheese Scow on the open ocean singlehanded. Envious of Stowe? Not likely. As far as Stowe making me look less manly by "sailing", nothing could be farther from the truth.

    You Sir have stated that you live in the interior of Canada, as far away from any ocean as is possible. I, however, live ON the coast, as close as possible to the ocean. (Sometimes TOO close, but I digress.)

    Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should've been, so let me set the record straight. I find it dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable that Stowe chose ANYONE for the "1000-day-drift" with zero offshore experience. Period. The couple to whom you refer from your hometown had a seaworthy craft, I assume. By that I mean able to sail to windward and at a speed of more than 2-3 knots. Undoubtedly they worked, scrimped, saved and meticulously planned their voyage.

    Stowe, on the other hand.. did NOT work, relied on handouts and the most important equipment generously donated by Doyle have been ruined by years of neglect, which he is paying for now.

    Have a nice day.

    By Regatta Dog

    From CT, 11/12/2008

    Mr. Cohoe,

    Mr Stowe should have been flipping hamburgers until he had paid off his child support obligation. I'm not very impressed with Reid's priorities here or yours. You'd rather donate to a legal offense fund, that will result in nothing more than additional bad publicity for Reid, than hit the PayPal button to potentially reduce Reid's child support debt. It says a lot about you and many of his supporters. Sad.

    The idea of a lawsuit is very, very amusing to me. Your counsel will be presenting an argument that a small group of idiots and a couple major news outlets posted factual information about Reid Stowe in order to deprive him of future book sales. There's no evidence whatever that this voyage had a financial objective. The evidence (Reid's own log entries) clearly shows that Reid is not motivated at all by financial gain, but rather to live his dream, provide critical information to NASA, and be an inspiration to humanity. Because his "mission" has been an abject failure, he'll try to make up for it with a frivolous lawsuit? Blame others for his own shortcomings? That's not the confident, forgiving and all loving Reid we know.

    I look forward to hearing from Reid's attorneys. I'll meet with them in full SA regalia, Pro Se, and hope that I can keep a straight face whilst being deposed.

    You are very entertaining, Mr. Cohoe, and for that I thank you.

    By Tom Cohoe


    That last post was divided into paragraphs, but the site somehow removed that formatting and crammed into one big mess.


    By Tom Cohoe


    You may have an interest in children in need Mr. McGow, but you are doing nothing for them here. Hurting Reid Stowe will help no children. In fact, it could hurt his new infant child by putting him in a position where he has to flip hamburgers rather than write a book that would take its place beside Chichester's "Gypsy Moth" and all the rest. >>your lofty ideal that the law and ethics do not apply equally to people. Your imagination is running overtime, because I never said any such thing. >>The law has already decided that Mr. Stowe should pay Mr. Cohoe, how could you miss that? The law never appointed you as its executor. Did you miss that? >>You apply your definition of what is correct behavior, regardless of the law or conventional thoughts on responsibilities Once again, you have no legal mandate to do anything, so telling this rotten bunch that it is doing something bad has nothing to do with the law. You do not act in the name of the law. I am not interfering with the law, and I am not second guessing its judgement. >> it does not apply top all the years gone by. So in your great wisdom you've decided that you lot are not injuring him since he will not, you have here proved, attempt to write a book as most such adventurers do, because he never wrote one in the past even though he never had anything outstanding to write about. Good thinking. Good delusional trhinking. I'd get out of this if I were you, because this kind of thinking gets people into trouble. >> profanity 'Bullshit' is not profanity. It is, if you must, vulger, but it is not half so vulger as taking pleasure at the kind of character assassination you have been involved in. >> nor do I resort to name calling no matter how cute. So this will be my last post here Mr. Cohoe Gee, and you're the guy who excused the trash talk about Soanya on Sailing Anarchy by telling me you needed a strong stomach for SA (as if my point about the trashing of Soanya on SA was about the effect on my stomach rather than the light it throws on the character of those claiming to be 'concerned' about her). Actually, Mr. McGow, I believe that your postings against Mr. Reid have been merely misguided. The real malice, which has influenced you, comes from others. They really should be checking with their lawyers to see if they can get away with doing this kind of thing.

    By Bonnie A.

    From NY, NY, 11/12/2008

    Impressive. The Sailing Anarchy thread that spawned all of the trolling is nearing 20,000 posts.


    The obscenity level has gone down since Soanya left, but it's still disturbing - way more disturbing than the dirt they've managed to dig up.

    That stuff was also disturbing, but I kept a couple of kayaks at Pier 63 for several years, and the picture I had of him doesn't match the picture the SA set is painting. Seems like there have got to be some pieces missing from the story. I know some of the people that have posted here, they know Reid much better than I do, and their continuing support actually says more to me about Reid's character than anything Reid could ever say.

    BTW - I was happy to see Tom Cohoe start arguing that these folks are a bit hypocritical, attacking Reid for being a deadbeat dad while striving to undermine any measure of success he might have if he does make it to 1000 days.

    What's he supposed to do at this point - drop the whole bizarre endeavor, renege on even attempting to fill the obligations he has to his sponsors, disappoint his friends, family, and supporters, come back & get a job flipping burgers?

    Nothing's going to get paid off that way.

    There, I've said my two cents' worth. Going to leave the debating to Tom & the others - honestly, I'm feeling pretty dumb for even bothering to do this, 'cause it's just more fuel for the Cheese Scow fires (and I've already had my debate with them & you just end up arguing in circles if you try, total waste of time...)

    but wotthehell, archie, wotthehell...

    By non-Alcohol-icky non-Doggy-diatribeidiocy

    From Ocean Drive, FL, 11/12/2008

    It remains hard for me to understand exactly why Reid Stowe stirs up this kind of heated controversy and passion. Love him or hate him or both, he's still out there surviving and sailing, and well on his way towards successfully completing his stated goal of a thousand days at sea. A unique goal. An interesting and arduous
    thing to have done. Perhaps it will be nice for him to be known for having spent that amount of time nearly alone on a sailboat. What's the big deal? Some People say in print on this wild west Internet in the ether that they want him dead and would like to make sure his boat's taken from him if he makes it back alive.

    If you think about that, it sounds sorta evil, doesn't it?

    Fight Evil.
    Do Good.

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/12/2008

    Mr. Choho,

    Those who know me in my home town and county know what I do on behalf of children in need in on a very personal level. It would be gratuitous to go into it here. So I do have somewhat of a personal interest in child support.

    I do not agree with your positions and your lofty ideal that the law and ethics do not apply equally to people.

    The law has already decided that Mr. Stowe should pay Mr. Cohoe, how could you miss that?

    Your emotions appear to run roughshod over the facts and reason here. You apply your definition of what is correct behavior, regardless of the law or conventional thoughts on responsibilities.

    Mr. Stowe has had years and years to pay off this debt and never did. Could he have not written books about his past remarkable voyages? Or better yet sold the boat and fulfilled his obligations. Your hypothesis that he is being kept from making a money from writing a book and thus paying his debts is all well and good except that it does not apply top all the years gone by.

    I do not resort to profanity when challenging your standpoint nor do I resort to name calling no matter how cute. So this will be my last post here Mr. Cohoe

    By Tom Cohoe


    Oh bullshit Tom McGow. I have not denigrated parents. To denigrate someone, you have to do or say something that makes them look bad. I have said nothing about parents in general. The only denigrating that is going on here is the denigration of Reid Stowe by a pack of envy driven losers.

    I see that you have not yet learned what hypocrisy is.

    If you have all the respect for the law you claim to have, then recognize that it is not your job to punish Reid Stowe. Recognize that the law does not tolerate vigilante 'justice'. Recognize that you are setting yourself up for a lawsuit (have you checked with your lawyer yet to see if you can conduct tha kind of hate campaign you have been conducting without subjecting yourself to a liability claim? Just because you feel that you can say anything, suggest any negative thing about Reid because he owes some money doesn't mean the law will see it that way. Unlike you, the law still sees him as a member of the human race)

    Also, once again, recognize that you are actually injuring his ability to earn the money he needs to be able to fulfill his obligations. How about that eh. Cut off a man's hands and then demand that he work. Not something that someone who cares about his family would do, but not unlikely from someone who hates a person and pretends to care about his family as an ill thought out cover.

    Once again, if you really are motivated by concern over defaulted child support commitments, go after defaulters who are present and able to pay.

    Huh? What about it? Why aren't you doing this?

    As it is, since all you are doiong is hurting his prospects to pay, rather than doing something likely to make him pay, your argument is a bunch of transparent bunk. You are just a meddling troublemaker at best McGow, although you are far from the worst of the bunch after Reid.

    Come on there Mr. Do Good McGow, go after some child support defaulters near you where there is some hope of achieving something.

    Why aren't you doing this, since your intent is so noble?

    Why not?

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/12/2008

    Actually one more comment on Mr. Cohoe's point of view on the unpaid child support.

    Your post denigrates all of those parents working long hours, second and third jobs just to support their children. I am sure some them actually do pump gas Mr. Cohoe. And I am sure many of them would be happier doing something else. After I posted last time I reread your comments and was struck by your callousness.

    And yes this is relevant to Mr. Stowe's current voyage, for he choose to put it first instead of enduring as you put it the "misery" of finding a way to fulfill his child's needs first.

    Okay, I think we have found a good example of hypocrisy here.

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/12/2008

    Just a couple of points here, please, regarding Mr. Stowe’s unpaid child support.

    I cannot agree with the augments Tom Cohoe makes. A person’s personality or life style does not preclude accepting responsibilities to their children nor does it free them from legal obligation.

    I am sorry but Mr. Cohoe seems to want to impress the legal and moral issues here, what about the legal obligation of Mr. Stowe to have paid that money. You seem to assert that it can be waived because he has a “calling” that is in some way “superior” to the average individual.

    You cannot have it both ways.

    You cannot chide (and some may say bully with your legal innuendos) others from a ethical and legal standpoint while at the same time waving some sort of magic wand and condone Mr. Stowe pursuing his “calling” while neglecting his ethical and legal obligations.

    Further it is highly unlikely that those responsible for collecting Mr. Stowe’s debt in this matter have decided to be humane. Rather I would suspect it is an overworked underfunded system that has not caught up with him. This is a quote from the NY Daily News dated March 10, 08:
    "We want to collect the money and, if we can find him, we will try to do that," said Michael Hayes of New York's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which manages child support collections.

    People often have to put their personal desires aside in order to do the right thing both morally and legally. For some there is indeed misery attached to doing this; however we are a society governed by the rule of law. And hopefully we are a society populated by people who understand that commitments are meant to be kept.

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/12/2008

    Just a couple of points here, please, regarding Mr. Stowe’s unpaid child support.

    I cannot agree with the augments Tom Cohoe makes. A person’s personality or life style does not preclude accepting responsibilities to their children nor does it free them from legal obligation.

    I am sorry but Mr. Cohoe seems to want to impress the legal and moral issues here, what about the legal obligation of Mr. Stowe to have paid that money.

    You seem to assert that it can be waived because he has a “calling” that is in some way “superior” to the average individual.

    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot chide (and some may say bully with your legal innuendos) others from a ethical and legal standpoint while at the same time waving some sort of magic wand and condone Mr. Stowe for pursuing his “calling” while neglecting his ethical and legal obligations.

    Further it is highly unlikely that those responsible for collecting Mr. Stowe’s debt in this matter have decided to be humane. Rather I would suspect it is an overworked underfunded system that has not caught up with him. This is a quote from the NY Daily News dated March 10, 08:

    "We want to collect the money and, if we can find him, we will try to do that," said Michael Hayes of New York's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which manages child support collections.

    People often have to put their personal desires aside in order to do the right thing both morally and legally. And yes for some there is indeed misery attached to doing this; however we are a society governed by the rule of law. And hopefully we are a society populated by people who understand that commitments are meant to be kept.

    By Tom Cohoe


    >> Most of the seasoned sailors over at SA

    This is what it's all about. Envy from the 'real sailors', none of whom has anything like the resilience or the drive or the will to do what Reid is doing.

    I can hardly imagine the conceit in the statement, "The Horn" is really NO place for the ill-prepared or the foolish." Some of us think it is no place for anybody in a small sailing craft, but you award yourself the privilege to draw the line 'foolish' between 'real sailor' SA types and Reid. Unless you believe that all adventuring in sailboats, balloons, on mountains, etc should be stopped your speculation about Reid's 'foolishness' is nothing but hypocrisy.

    >>The man is totally selfish, a
    >> convicted criminal and a deadbeat.

    He has paid for the crime. This trip has nothing to do with it. Do you believe a criminal should be branded on the forehead? What about redemption? He is not to be allowed to make something of himself? Who appointed you to see that he lives in infamy for the rest of his life?

    Some men kill themselves over court ordered divorce proceedings that they cannot meet. Reid has obviously never been a money maker. He has a driven personality, but his is also the kind of personality that achieves things. Just because he is drawing turtles and whales doesn't mean he is not achieving something respectable that could make it easier for him to pay this debt doing something he wants to do. He could write a bok, but you want to make sure that it would never sell. You, imagining yourself fit to judge, wouldn't be happy unless his sailboat was seized and he had to work in misery pumping gas - all because he dares to be a sailor that doesn't act like your imagined 'real sailor'. And yet you pretend that you are concerned that he support his family while you try to destroy his best means to do so.

    If it is a zeal to 'make deadbeats pay' then you should actually be spending your effort working at the thousands of deabeats who actually have some money. Of course, it could be dangerous going after someone who is able to punch you in the nose for being a busybody. Also, that would have to be your real motivation rather than the pretense you use to cover up the fact that your real motivation is that hate Reid for making SA 'manly sailor' types lok like a bunch of pretentious jerks.

    Nope, it's convenient pretending that you are a busybody about Reid, while your agenda is really born of envy.

    His boat could have been seized years ago for this debt. Apparently those with an interest in doing so have more humanity than you do because they have allowed him to be what he is.

    >> I find it unforgivable that Stowe
    >> would take her on a "1000 day voyage"

    That makes you a sexist, plain and simple.

    She is an adult. No doubt she received plenty of warnings from the people around her. It was her decision to make, not yours. Moreover it is my understanding that she dragged Reid into getting on with it, not he into coming with her. Have you checked with Soanya to whether she shares your paternalistic concern?

    A couple from the town I live in right here in the middle of the continent sold out, bought a sailboat, and sailed around the world. Where exactly do you think you learn to sail? Jabbering away with 'real sailors' on the internet, attacking people who are actually sailing? Where exactly do you learn to sail around the Horn? Have you similarly attacked every husband and wife team that ventured onto the high seas with more enthusiasm than experience?


    Here's a clue, 'real sailor'. You learn to sail by sailing. You learn to sail around the Horn by sailing around the Horn.

    After 550 days, Soanya would have been a far more seasoned sailor than you 'real sailors' who have too much time on your hands and have nothing better to do than play out your envy desperaterly trying to ruin any reward Reid can get from any success he could achieve. You'll never do anything close to it, so get at it and try to ruin it. How dare and old hippie show up 'real men' like you furiously typing away in your basements in indignation.

    Nope, you are just a chauvinist sexist, plain and simple.

    >> To allow the mainstream media to glorify and promote this foolhardy "project" I refuse to let happen.

    Aren't you the big hero, looking after the world and all.

    If he is not to get credit for what he does, how is he to pay his debts and support his new family? Your very action belies your concern for those whom Reid owes his support. You injure his ability to support his family. You have no business whatsoever trying to pretend you have some noble concern for the people around Reid because it simply isn't true. The only sense that can be made out of this swarming of Reid is that a bunch of jerks associated with SA who, drinks in hand and convinced of their superiority, have attacked Reid as a non member of their 'real sailor' fraternity, and then you've deluded yourselves that you have some kind of humanitarian concern as a justification for your ongoing visciousness.

    Meanwhile, you admit in black and white that you have an anti-Reid agenda, so beware. Setting out to destroy another person's accomplishment for no good reason is fraught with danger. It's not your job to make Reid pay. Acting out your hatred against another person isn't, in general, something that you can do without incurring liability. Yours is the 'foolhardy project'.

    Why not stop this ugly, ignoble, hypocritical thing you are doing and give Reid a chance to make of himself what he can?

    Just quit it.

    By Al Keholic

    From N'Orleans, LA, 11/11/2008

    Back up the truck a second there Tom boy.

    Most of the seasoned sailors over at SA could really give a rat's patoot about what happens to Stowe now that Soanya and who proved to be Darshen are safe.

    Personally I find it unforgivable that Stowe would take her on a "1000 day voyage" when her entire sailing resume was a couple of day trips in the harbor. It is simply inconceivable to me that would happen.

    The man is totally selfish, a convicted criminal and a deadbeat.

    To allow the mainstream media to glorify and promote this foolhardy "project" I refuse to let happen.

    Good day to you.

    By Tom Cohoe


    I have nothing to do with Reid Stowe's team. I live in Canada about as far from any ocean as you can get. I have never communicated privately with Reid or anyone concerned with him ... with the sole exception of a single email I received and answered, from his sister in response to some posts I made on his public site, which posts severely criticized a temporary king post repair he had made and urged him to return to port for proper repairs.

    Several of the haters have assumed that I am a member of Stowe's team, something illustrative of their general lack of care over facts in their whole attack on Mr. Stowe.

    As for the word 'hypocritical', I suggest my respondant check a dictionary for its meaning. There is nothing hypocritical about defending Mr. Stowe against biased speculation that he dumped sewage in the river. On the other hand, it is hypocritical to pretend that you are concerned that Reid support his new family and then do everything you can to attack him with malice over an extended period of time, every time he receives any publicity, while he cannot defend himself, since writing an account of his adventure would likely be a very good way for him to earn income so that he can support his new family and repay his old debts.

    And no, he cannot currently defend himself, much though one poster would like to think he has the leisure and connectivity for replying to a frenzied pack of attackers whose relevance to his daily cares at this time (as opposed to his future) are non existant.

    You know Reid is an actual human being, and he does not deserve the special attention of a bunch of dedicated muckrakers who obviously have very little to do with their time.

    Regarding whether or not I am a lawyer, I would suggest that anyone who is concerned about this contact a lawyer of his own to find out whether or not you can go on publically saying malicious things based on speculation, the purpose of which it becomes quickly obvious is to hurt an individual without becoming liable for damages.

    I have never contributed one cent to Reid's voyage, and I never will, but if he ever asks for help pursuing the pack of blackguards who hate him, I will help him for sure. I suspect there are a lot of people who would do so.

    By Al Keholic

    From N'Orleans, LA, 11/11/2008

    Perhaps Stowe will regain his senses and call off the around-the-Horn phase.

    "The Horn" is really NO place for the ill-prepared or the foolish. At an average speed of two knots, he'd need a weather window the size of my ex-wife to go around.

    (But I'm not bitter...)

    By jerry king

    From Brooklyn, NY, 11/09/2008

    Right, I'm certain while living aboard and hosting numerous large gatherings at the dock and underway in the Hudson the 2 heads on board were never used.
    Perhaps one of Stowe's many supporters who have posted here would care to confirm that the Anne had/has holding tanks and that the oh so precious Hudson was never tainted by effluent discharges from the vessel.

    By Morgan Grayson

    From New York, NY, 11/09/2008

    Re Satellite tracking. The voyage was and is being tracked by satellite. The fact that the equipment did not report for a few days does not negate the fact that the tracker is in place and has worked fairly consistently throughout the voyage. When there is a lack of communication, the problem usually is because the folks at MC have other things going and haven't been able to post the notes from Stowe. Obviously, if he gets into rough weather, he may not write very much.

    As I suggested that others do, I finally took some time searching SA's site to find the comment re the "blackout." Written by a non-supporter of Stowe's, it is as follows:

    "So I read Reid's post on the "broken" satellite tracking, AND his coordinates. Here is the funny part- I don't think there is anything actually wrong with his equipment. Location? Barely north of the equator. Satellites travel above the earth at on the equatorial plane. Factoring in the curvature of the earth, and distance between him and the satellite, my guess is that he is in a directly below the satellite, and outside of the footprint. This problem with satcom happens a lot near the equator- especially in attaining GPS (four satellites must be in view...) Reid's satellite problem would definitely last a few days, especially when he is traveling at 2 knots."

    Then slightly later, the follow-up post: by the same person: "I totally called it! Position: 02� 08 N, 08� 01 W The satellite link is "mysteriously" back up! It simply took sailing further north to get back into the footprint."

    Now, please tell me where they stopped and how they took water aboard or just let this stupid speculation drop until you have some proof that what you are saying actually happened.

    I stand corrected on the Fram--she was equipped with sails, although not exactly a traditional sailing vessel, but an "ice boat" (I looked it up myself this time) designed to freeboard when ice packs locked her in.

    By Al Keholic

    From N'Orleans, LA, 11/09/2008

    At least Stowe realizes that his vessel is crippled, with sails that blow out in the slightest of breezes and bottom most foul. He can't sail to weather, his rudder is lashed hard-over at all times.

    For some perplexing reason, he drifted a picture of a rabbit off the coast of South America and calls it a whale?

    I'm glad he's just drifting about and has for the last couple of months waiting for favorable weather to round the Horn.

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/08/2008

    Regarding Mr. Stowe's citation, it was for having no devices aboard the Anne to prevent discharge directly into the water, not for actually discharging sewage into the Hudson. People speculate that Mr. Stowe never used the heads (toilets) aboard the Anne but rather walked ashore to relive himself, even at night in the dead of winter. They also speculate that none of the many many people he Mr. Stowe took daysailing on the Hudson ever had to relieve themselves and "held it" until they reached shore!

    To paraphrase Mr. Cohoe, that's some pretty "hypocritical speculation" if you ask me!

    By Jerry King

    From Brooklyn, NY, 11/08/2008

    Just read about Stowe being cited by NY Dept of Environmental Conservation for discharging his 2 heads directly into the Hudson. Ouch. I know he does the best he can with what he has but I thought he was an environmentalist.

    By Amy Blamie


    My Dearest Mr. Mission Control guy with the wig, afternoon shadow and way too much lipstick. I am in receipt of your letter of Tuesday last. Your mediocre effort to accomplish half of twenty five percent of a near fifth of two tenths of goodness will not stand.

    Until retaining counsel, I was very much confused about the event in the car. I didn't know whether to hit the PayPal button under my knee, button up my latex chaps or bathe my dead cat --- the one you have killed, kind Sir. Mr. Churchill, the cat of demise, was very well against the voyage, as most felines of his age would be. A very proud cat, 17 years of faithful service, he always cleansed himself but he's never been keen at all about the bath!

    Perhaps you, Mr. man-about-town, can explain how The Prime Minister of my household, at his age, could possibly reject his own toupee, having ingested the aforementioned whilst I was reading your "blog". I do, most humbly, hold you responsible for the ultimate demise of Mr. Churchill and will file against you and your derogatory comments about my dead pussy.

    In reparations I'll be seeking the amount of $146.57 and "in kind" reparations of a mouser of equal talent.

    There, then, you bully.

    We shall see you in court!

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/07/2008

    Mr. Cohoe,

    Does your speculation regarding law suits include the NY Daily News for publishing this blatantly hypocritical account of status of Mr. Stowe's child support?


    By Billy Backstay


    Here is the Latitude 38 text, a fair and balanced Cliff Notes version of Mr. Stowes Momentous "Mars Analagous" scientific mission. ;-) Stowe Away October 20, 2008 � Queens, New York Remember 56-year-old Reid Stowe � hero to some, whack job to others � who is bobbing around the world's oceans as you read this, attempting to set a record for the longest consecutive time at sea? If you do, you'll probably also remember our February report that his first mate on the "Mars Ocean Odyssey", 24-year-old Soanya Ahmad, jumped ship 306 days into the planned-1,000 day voyage as Stowe's homebuilt 70-ft schooner Anne neared Australia. The official explanation was extreme seasickness. Well, it turns out it wasn't seasickness . . . it was morning sickness! Despite Ahmad's claims in interviews that the couple were practicing safe sex because they didn't want to get pregnant during the trip, nature found a way. In mid-July, Ahmad gave birth to a boy she named Darshen. Young Darshen should be well into the walking, talking stage by the time he meets Pop. Having crossed the 500-day halfway mark in August, Stowe still plans to stay away from land until sometime in early 2010. If you�re wondering (as we did) why anyone would want to set a 1,000-day record for being afloat, a couple of stories that surfaced before the birth of Darshen might shed some light. One New York Daily News story claimed that Stowe is a deadbeat dad, �running from nearly $10,000 owed in child support� for a daughter from his first marriage. Another online source claimed Stowe had pled guilty to importing 30,000 lbs of pot from the Caribbean to Maine via sailboat in the mid-�80s, and spent 12 months in a federal penitentiary for it. Compared to that, bobbing around by yourself for another year and a half probably doesn�t seem so bad. Well, okay, he�s not exactly bobbing. Stowe was recently alerted the fact that his erratic course aboard Anne has resulted in a nearly complete outline of a whale. Inspired by his previous attempt to �draw� the outline of a sea turtle in the Atlantic, Stowe altered course to finish the drawing. He believes �if this oceanic, satellite-verified drawing of the whale can be seen by many caring people, maybe that will help the movement toward saving the whales.� - latitude / ld & jr

    By Claire Toume


    Here is a link to recent commentary from a respected boating publication, Mr. McMurphy. http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2008-10-20&dayid=183 Scroll down to Stowe Away. Mr Grayson, what is it you don't understand about the term 'satalite verified' which Mr. Stowe's media man claims as fact in these comments? If the satalite tracker was not transmitting for a week, (as the 1000 day blog says) then the track is not 'satalite verified'..MC google map pushpins don't count..

    By Claire Toume


    Here is a link to recent commentary from a respected boating publication, Mr. McMurphy. http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2008-10-20&dayid=183 Scroll down to Stowe Away. Mr Grayson, what is it you don't understand about the term 'satalite verified' which Mr. Stowe's media man claims as fact in these comments? If the satalite tracker was not transmitting for a week, (as the 1000 day blog says) then the track is not 'satalite verified'..MC google map pushpins don't count..

    By Fred McMurphy


    Thanks for the link to the mission statement. The statement says that "The international scientific, boating, environmental, food, clothing, equipment and sports media markets are tracking the progress of the schooner Anne on its 1000-Day Voyage."

    I can't find anything in the press about any of these groups who are supposedly following what is going on. It seems like the only people interested are the people directly involved and a handful of people who think he's nuts and this is a scam.

    Can someone point me to a non biased 3rd party that is covering this?

    By Tom McGow

    From Lake Worth, FL, 11/07/2008

    Mr. Cohoe,

    1. Are you an attorney?
    2. Does not Mr. Stowe have two way communication aboard the Anne? Could he not post his thoughts about the posts that you claim are mere speculation?
    3. You claim that people who post that they feel that Mr. Stowe's not paying child support are hypocrites. How can you arrive at that conclusion? That is speculation on your part.

    4. Regarding speculation; yes indeed there are some folks who post thoughts based on nothing more than speculation, both "for and against" Mr.Stowe. However the vast majority of those who post what some might feel are negative posts are expressing their opinions about documented and provable facts. How in the world is this actionable?

    Brief notes regarding the Fram:

    1. Not a sailboat? Hardly the case! Just like the schooner Anne she is rigged with sails and an engine and capable of motoring and sailing. By the way she is preserved in a Norwegian in truly remarkable condition.

    2. Mr. Stowe repeatedly uses the phrase "Leaving Terra Firma for 1000 days", any research about the Fram expedition will find similar phraseology by several authors predating Mr. Stowe by decades.

    3. Take a moment to read the 1000days "mission statement" http://1000days.net/home/images/stories/press/data/1000days-brochure.pdf and compare it to what the crew members of the Fram achieved, it is quite remakable.

    By Regatta Dog


    "Sounds like an ideal setup for a big lawsuit to me." -- That'd be just great publicity now wouldn't it. How many nails are you people at Reid's Mission Control going to put in his coffin before he fires every last one of you. Do you realize that the spin you try and put on this guy and his trip has become a more compelling story than the trip itself?

    Reid and his voyage will stand on their own merits, not on the delusions you try to sell the public.

    By Mary Johnson

    From CT, 11/07/2008

    Thanks to whoever posted the information about the Fram. Now 1000 days at sea will have to be "1000 days of open ocean voyaging where the the crew only left the boat to clean the bottom". That's really splitting hairs and is silly. Mr. Cohoe wants to contribute to a legal fund so Reid Stowe can sue people who write negative things about him. It would be just like Reid Stowe and his friends to set up that kind of fund while he still owes back child support. As usual, Reid Stowe and his supporters have their priorities completely messed up. They'd rather file a waste of time lawsuit than face up to his many years old financial debt as a deadbeat dad. It is disgusting.

    By Morgan Grayson

    From New York, NY, 11/05/2008

    Regarding the Fram expedition: I mentioned this to a friend, who immediately did some research. His comments are:

    "A quick read through a summary of Nansen's voyage (which is a pretty interesting expedition), shows that he left the boat after two years in the ice. He and another man tried to go over the ice pack on sleds to get to the North Pole, but turned around and eventually made it to an island where they spent the next 9 months. If you counted the time wandering around on the solid ice pack as being away from terra-firma, they might have made it past 1000 days, might not have.

    The men left on the ship (not a sailboat, which was mostly frozen into the pack ice), stayed with the boat for more than 1000 days. But, I'm sure they got off the boat whenever they wanted to, wandered around the ice, hunting, fishing, not exactly like an ocean voyage." The duration here in immaterial since theirs was not an open-ocean voyage, which Stowe's is.

    As I stated before, there were quotes on SA regarding Met Ocean's response to the five-day loss of communication. Stowe was low on water and went north to collect more. He did not stop anywhere, no matter how badly you want to believe that he did. If he did, once again, I challenge you to prove it or quit saying it. Mr. Cohoe's remarks do strike a chord. If only I were rich.....!

    As for Stowe being "fortunate" to have survived this long, consider that it isn't "fortune" that has gotten this far along. He's actually an experienced, skillful sailor (as much as it must kill people to admit it) who knows what his vessel can do. He fulfilled a dream using what was available to him and seems to be doing pretty well at living at sea for an extended period. The Horn will be a real test. Again, single-handing a 70-ft. boat through the Indian Ocean or navigating (w/crew) through the ice flows of Antarctica is not a job for the unskilled or feint-of-heart and Stowe has done it. You may disagree with his approach, his thinking, etc., but he knows how to sail the seas.

    By Tom Cohoe


    A certain group of people hate Reid Stowe and spend their time making one sided attacks on him every time his name appears in public. It is especially cowardly, as Mr. Stowe is not here to defend himself.

    The fact that they have engaged in one sided attacks and even attacks based on nothing more than speculation is very important from a legal point of view as it makes it very easy to prove that their only interest is to injure him.

    Some of them hypocritically claim that they are concerned that he pay off old debts and support his new child. Well it is possible that Mr. Stowe could earn money by writing an account of his trip, but the one sided attackers working desperately to injure his reputation for the whole planned 1000 days of his absence in which he cannot even reply are certainly hurting his prospects. Sounds like an ideal setup for a big lawsuit to me.

    If I hear of a fund on behalf of Mr. Stowe's need to litigate, I will certainly contribute to it.

    By Jerry King

    From Brooklyn, NY, 10/30/2008

    Mr. Grayson,
    You state that Mr. Stowe's vessel was set up as best it could be for singlehanded sailing however not as well as Mr. Sanders vessel. Very very true indeed. That he would set out in such a vessel was to most foolhardy/irresponsible and he has been quite fortunate to have survived as long as he has. His course seeking refuge in the safest areas of the oceans has served him well.

    The abundant publicity for this enterprise is geared to the uninformed non sailing public who might only note that Sanders and Stowe spent the same length of time on the water. The sailing community is keenly aware of the enormous differences between the two and views Stowe's voyage as a laughable publicity stunt. The readership here need only view some of the blogs and websites that have offered commentary on Stowe's voyage.

    By Gail Evers


    Interesting Mr. Grayson that you say that with a ton of food onboard there was absolutely no reason to go ashore. A ton of dried food without water is inedible. Without the necessary water to re-hydrate and cook beans, rice and to sprout seeds, starvation is possible regardless of how many tons of "food" you might have aboard.

    By Claire Toume


    Mr. G, regardless if you believe or not that the Schooner Anne stopped after disabling thier tracker, the FACT remains that the voyage is NOT 'satalite verified' as claimed by his 'media man', Mr. Sullivan.
    There is no disputing this.
    I haven't backed off of anything; I haven't the interest or stomach to search through Mr. Stowe's trippy logs to provide you with the exact data of how long he was off track or his silly excuses...
    MC inserted google position markers on his tracking map during a lengthy gap without his tracker when the Schooner Anne was within a day's sail of harbor and out of drinking water.
    Enough said. It is for Mr. Stowe to 'verify' his supposed claims for a record.
    If you want to take the word of a convicted felon with a criminal history as gospel, be my guest.
    Mr. Sullivan has no qualms claiming Reid's voyage is 'satalite verified' when he is well aware it is not.
    Spin on..

    By morgan grayson

    From new york, NY, 10/29/2008

    Ms. T....Please prove your allegation or quit making it. If you can tell us where the lapses were and what the tracking company says about those lapses, etc., then perhaps I will "listen." Dig back in SA to see what the responses were from Met Ocean when people called about this "way back when..." As best as I can recollect, there was no contradiction of Stowe's account; feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Or, again, please just find an eye witness to back up your assertations. Your wishing or thinking that the Anne made a stop to rest or resupply is not proof--this is your spin--so present some proof before you attempt to make know-it-all claims. Innocent until...etc. I assume you have backed off your "this guy" comment? (I must say, being part Dutch, I did enjoy your bit about the "meer observer," whether or not the pun was intended.)

    By Claire Toume


    Mr. G, the tracker can be disabled by simply pulling a plug aboard the Schooner Anne; company involvement was never suggested.
    Mr. Sullivan comments that his voyage is 'satalite verified'. It is not. There is a gap of many days when in very close proximity to land and his whereabouts at that time are unknown. Spin on...

    By Morgan Grayson

    From New York, NY, 10/27/2008

    Ms. Toume -- I suggest you verify your suppositions re the tracking problems with the international company that is supplying this service. As you are surely a follower of SA, you will know that all attempts to discredit them vis a vis stopping in ports and NOT having had a collision (I believe there was intense dialogue and much "proof" put out there that the "weak" rigging caused the bowsprit to "snap"); all this guff has proved to be just that--guff and faulty supposition. If you are so sure they put into port, PROVE IT for pete's sake--don't just keep pretending that this is a fact simply because you don't want to believe what Reid and Soanya say. There must be at least one honest person (or satellite) in whatever port you think they put into who could verify in some reasonable way that they were there. Afterall, you can't sneak around on a 70-ft. boat all that easily. There was absolutely no reason for them to go into port--there is literally a ton of food on board. And if all the things people said were true--they were only drifting--there would be no need for R&R. The idea that a major company would collude in a falsification of records is simply stupid--why would they do that? To undermine the confidence accorded to their product by the marketplace? I doubt that is in their business plan. Sorry, Mr. King--I should clarify: Reid's boat is set up as best it can be for single-handing (winches, etc.); however, the vessel was not reinforced and equipped to the extent that the Parry Endeavour was. He did what he could with what he had. Why is it not in the "tradition" of sailing to find a good, safe course for your boat if you are trying to stay on the water for an extended period of time? First Reid is criticized for "taking" Soanya into dangerous waters, then criticized for not making it more dangerous to prove some alleged "tradition." He is doing what he wants to do and if you want to say that sailing a large boat half-way around the boat without knockdowns or truly serious mishap is bad sailing, that's your right. I simply do not agree with you.

    By Jerry King

    From Brooklyn, NY, 10/27/2008

    Mr. Grayson, Thank you for admitting that Stowe's goal is to live on a boat for 1000 days. He is not sailing with any other objective other than to find images in the satellite track of his aimless course. Right again about Stowe not setting up his vessel for singlehanding and then diligently transcribing loops in the calmest areas of the oceans. That is not in the tradition of sailing as those who love the sea and it's challenges understand it. Call it performance art or a personal spiritual quest if you seek publicity but don't call it courageous ocean voyaging.

    By Claire Toume


    Actually, Mr. Sullivan, (media blitzer of MC), you are incorrect. While Reid's latest 'conception art', sailing the outline of a blob he says is a whale with a dangling umbilical cord is 'satalite verified'; his voyage is not. The failure of his tracking device when (conveniently) only one day's sail from a harbor in Africa puts his claims in serious doubt. He went untracked for quite some time and there is only the word of this convicted felon that he remained at sea. Photos taken right before the tracker went off showed an emaciated crew. Photos when the tracker returned showed them restored to good health. Funny how the tracker seems to function perfectly at the equator in the Pacific, yet malfunctioned in the Atlantic, aint it? Reid made the bizarre claim that satalite trackers malfunction at the equator. Reid Stowe is not an honorable man. With a criminal history and outstanding warrants from NY state, the accolades of his mission control are ludicrous. Spin on..

    By Regatta Dog


    She was 23 years old when they left - he was 55. He had sailed around the world - she had only taken day sails in the Hudson River. Reid planned on taking her into the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn - she had never been sailing on the ocean. They got pregnant together - she's home with their son while he's out "living his dream". When Reid was serving time in a Federal Prison for his role in smuggling 30,000 pounds of marijuana into the US (according to Gothomist.com - link --http://gothamist.com/2008/03/10/the_lure_of_the.php) - Soanya was probably in Jr. High. When Soanya was born, Reid already had a daughter for which he still owes back child support (according to the NY Daily News link -- http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/03/10/2008-03-10_1000day_sailor_a_deadbeat_dad_who_could_.html). If Reid had walled himself into a cave alone, or not worked so hard to put himself in the spotlight, he might have garnered more respect from the sailing community at large. If he goes 1000 days, good for him for meeting just one of dozens of his stated objectives. But as McCormick seems to imply, his accomplishment will not be that impressive. Check out his Wikipedia article if you want to see the complete Reid Stowe.

    By Morgan Grayson

    From New York, NY, 10/27/2008

    Hummm....What is the reading level here? if the "Mission Control" is anonymous, how does anyone know whether or not the others who have posted here are part of this group? Plus, their names are right there, so anonymous isn't quite correct; as for "disclaimers," it is clear that some know Reid. Furthermore, the phrase "this guy" does not appear anywhere in the thread that I see. The words "the guy," used affectionately after his name is mentioned, are not dismissive. Soanya is a young woman, but an adult. She made the decision to do something challenging knowing exactly what it would entail. She wasn't experienced, true, but it was her choice to go. If you think that makes Reid irresponsible, so be it, but these were two adults who had a relationship and made their decisions accordingly. It is too bad they don't know you or I'm sure they could have gotten your opinion first.

    By Claire Toume

    From NYC, NY, 10/27/2008

    Where are the disclaimers on these comments?
    They are quite misleading as they come from Mr. Stowe's very own anonymus 'mission control', yet even the head of his own support team refers to Reid as 'this guy' as though he is a meer observer.
    How outrageous and silly!
    Really, this article is nothing more than one more desparate 'spin'; there are so many innaccuracies in this report, one must wonder if the reporter slapped it together on a very slow news day.
    For anyone with an interest in seeing actual documents and facts instead of this nutty cult's media blitz; please go to:
    Weekend America should present a 'fact checked' story if it would like to maintain its reputation for quality journalism.

    By Billy Backstay


    Mr. Stowe is more than irresponsible. He is a narcissist interested only in shameless self-promotion.

    By Regatta Dog


    Interesting that the question of a record still seems to be up in the air. I'd suggest people to look into the "Fram" a Norwegian vessel that was at sea for over 1,100 days. Unlike Sanders, Reid had Soanya aboard until she left the voyage pregnant after 307 days, so he's got a ways to go for the solo record as well. Those of us who have followed this trip breathed a collective sigh of relief when she got off the boat in Perth. What responsible sailor would take a young lady for a 1000 day sea voyage to some of the most dangerous waters on the planet who's experience included nothing more than day sails on the Hudson River? It was completely irresponsible.

    By Morgan Grayson

    From New York, NY, 10/26/2008

    As a long-time friend of Reid's, I congratulate him on pursuing his decades-long dream of living on the ocean for 1000 days. I would like to point out, however, one does not "drift" through the Indian and Pacific Oceans and he is not drifting now. He is SAILING a very large boat (70 ft.) single-handedly and his been doing so for for a year and a half. Of course he is not taking unusual risks and, true to his nature, has seen a pattern in his course that he is trying to turn into a visual image on the map of the ocean. Mr. Sanders's boat was reinforced and geared for single-handing; Reid's boat is anything but. Reid's goal is to live on the water for 1000 days. Mr. Sanders did a very different sort of sailing, with a different goal in mind. Both men deserve kudos for following their visions.

    By jerry king

    From Brooklyn,, NY, 10/26/2008

    Interesting to see most of the comments already made about this report supporting Stowe are by financial and/or logistical supporters of his enterprise.

    Herb was right, a record is held by Sanders which took him around the world 3 times. Stowe however is drifting about and will be lucky to make it around once in a boat whilst avoiding the perils and challenges that Sanders faced. Stowe is
    simply floating about as long as he can in the safest parts of the ocean.
    Others also have voyaged in the truest sense of the word, not drifted about, for longer periods. None however have so striven for the limelight like Stowe and his supporters have sought.

    If you want to call this aimless drift art or some poetic, spiritual exercise, feel free to do so. Just don't call it sailing. The narcissistic comments he makes on his blog are an embarrassment to anyone who reveres the sea and voyages with purpose, respect and humility.

    By Mary Johnson

    From CT, 10/26/2008

    It is unfortunate that Reid has broken the ties that bound him to land. I think that he should have been working a job to pay off his back child support and also to be there to support his new son financially and emotionally. I think that by looking at his priorities, you can see that he is selfish.

    By Richard du Chasse

    From nyc, NY, 10/24/2008

    It is great to see people commenting on the article for a change. So often these posts fall quickly into the derrision of Reid's nay-Sayers, flat landers and sour grapes. For me, what strikes me the most about Capitan Stowe is that as a visionary, he was able to break the ties that bound him to land and boldly attempt to go where no-one yet has dared.

    Indeed, he is showing us all that there is a better way to live. Bravo, Reid!

    By Mike Dougan

    From New York, NY, 10/24/2008

    Sorry, Thailand, not Tailand... Freudian slip. :-D

    By Cheryl Klauss

    From new york, NY, 10/24/2008

    For anyone who has followed Reid's journey, the emotions felt wouldn't be anything other than inspiration and amazement. I am awestruck by his dream, his fierce determination, and his inner light to accomplish this personal journey. This has nothing to do with setting records.

    I'm right there with him. Carry on, Reid.....

    By Joel Bluestein

    From NYC, NY, 10/24/2008

    Reid is not only a visionary but also a true believer in life as art. I have known him for many years and have always been deeply moved by his commitment to the idea that man should live his life as an integrated part of the larger universe. A universe filled with compassion, music, and unending wonder. He's been out there for 550 days. Makes me contemplate what I have been doing the last year and half in your own life.

    By Fred Sullivan

    From Jersey City, NJ, 10/24/2008

    Reid Stowe has a dream and many others have helped him get out try to accomplish it. To sail for 546 days (MetOcean who has donated tracking devices allows verify the non stop course)so far with out stopping, without resupply is inspirational. The inspiration is central he may not have be a perfect man but has set out to do something is displaying a human being doing best he can. We receive several emails a day from people across the country who have been also inspired in their own particular way by his taking on the challenge.

    By Mike Dougan

    From New York, NY, 10/24/2008

    I know Herb from the Cruising World Bulletin Board, and he couldn't be more correct. He's a true sailor and understands that the essence of sailing is not always about getting some place as fast as you can. (re: sailing with Jon around Tailand).

    I've known Reid for years, and I don't think he is really that concerned about records, for his personal sake. If he sets records, that may help others involved in the project. But for him, this is a spiritual retreat. No different than if a buddhist monk walled himself up inside of a cave in the Himalayas, except that he has a Sat. phone and can send us interesting photos from the other side of the world. How cool is that?

    By Joe Barello

    From New York, NY, 10/24/2008

    I like Reid very much and believe in his dream to sail for 1000 days. Congratulations to the guy for getting to 550 days at sea. That is pretty remarkable.

  • Post a Comment: Please be civil, brief and relevant.

    Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. All comments are moderated. Weekend America reserves the right to edit any comments on this site and to read them on the air if they are extra-interesting. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting.

      Form is no longer active


    You must be 13 or over to submit information to American Public Media. The information entered into this form will not be used to send unsolicited email and will not be sold to a third party. For more information see Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Download Weekend America

Weekend Weather

From the January 31 broadcast

Support American Public Media with your Amazon.com purchases
Search Amazon.com:
 ©2015 American Public Media