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Greta Thunberg sails back to Europe on La Vagabonde

Oct 26, 2008
4,197
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
I'm not really a fan, but I don't like to take sides against a teenager, either. She's been made a celebrity by an exploitative media. It doesn't take any courage to come to America and make stupidly ugly faces at our President and other world leaders at the UN meeting. It didn't take any courage to growl "How dare you" as if she has some unique moral high ground. If she thought that she was going to be met with resistance and unacceptance by the elites and the celebrity class, and that she wouldn't become a celebrity by doing that, then she can't be given credit for the intelligence that she obviously has. She is playing the part for an adoring crowd, and she knew it. I think it might be courageous if she went to China and acts the way that she does.

Right now she is still a freeloader in the society that created her. That's all right, she is too young to be responsible for the compromises that are necessary for society to advance. She may understand it someday and learn how to interact with responsible people, rather than denigrate them. She certainly is intelligent enough. But the school disruption that she promotes isn't helpful. It's destructive. Her brand of activism is just a silly way for young people to behave. They hurt themselves when they are irresponsible. But her trips on sailing boats are interesting, and I daresay, she may learn a little bit about authority, teamwork, critical thinking, and risk/reward/compromise in the process. It's too bad we all aren't privileged enough to have that experience. She put herself out there and is reaping some reward, so it's not necessarily a bad thing!

Perhaps she really believes the environment is an existential threat. It's quite possible that she is still that naïve. I don't think climate change is an existential threat. I don't trust anybody whom says that it is. I think it is all about the power to dictate our lives and I will continue to think that way for as long as the elites continue to live the way that they do. (BTW, among the folks whom think the climate is an existential threat, why is there a singular focus on just one topic and it ain't the environment!) I think that two hundred years from now humans will still be adapting to climate and still wringing their hands over some political football, possibly climate change still!
 
Last edited:
Feb 14, 2014
4,209
Hunter 430 Saba Waveland, MS
Perhaps she really believes the environment is an existential threat. It's quite possible that she is still that naïve. I don't think climate change is an existential threat. I don't trust anybody whom says that it is. I think it is all about the power to dictate our lives and I will continue to think that way for as long as the elites continue to live the way that they do. (BTW, among the folks whom think the climate is an existential threat, why is there a singular focus on just one topic and it ain't the environment!) I think that two hundred years from now humans will still be adapting to climate and still wringing their hands over some political football, possibly climate change still!
:plus::plus::plus::plus::plus:
Man's ego grows bigger and bigger and bigger.

But these have more impact on our climate....
Global Volcanism Program | Current Eruptions
Look at all those changes atmospheric gases in 2019!:yikes:

In addition...
Our Sun has lost it magnetic poles in 2019.
All kinds of fun changes to our water Planet are under way from increasing Cosmic Radiation.:yikes:
We have not seen this amount of Cosmic Radiation, since the 1950's.

How dare our Sun!
Jim...

PS: @Scott T-Bird I am now following you, for your insight and wisdom.;)
 

Brian D

Moderator
Feb 17, 2006
4,612
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
My fault for saying she was extra keel weight, all 96 lbs of her, soaking wet in her foulies. So lets end that discussion and get back to the mysteries of why they headed north when they could have made better time going straight. Dang the sick people on board, full sails ahead!
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
I suspect Riley has been getting routing info. It appears he was concerned about the wind doldrums that plague the area north of the Azores. (Check out the Vende Globe or any of the trans atlantic races and the wind issues they have had in this area)

Had he gone straight for Lisbon 3-4 days ago he would have been becalmed. Instead he headed north to the south end of the Low circulating 400-500 NM north of his longitude. This gave him a strong breeze for the past 3 days. It may get him all the way to the Portugal coast. Depending on how many miles he makes today will show if he will be becalmed off the northern coast of Portugal or make it into Lisbon without the use of Diesel. Or they may choose to land somewhere other than Lisbon. Since the Conference is in Madrid it may be better to land in a Spanish Port. On the other hand there may be conflict about their visa/passports that we are not aware.
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I've never seen so much excitement about one little boat ride from the US to Spain. Why isn't she headed back to Sweden? She should be in school you know. LOL
For me the interest in the trip isn't really about Greta. I think it's an interesting passage from a weather forecast standpoint, being outside the normal route and timeframes. Add to that the fact that La Vagabonde has over 1 million YouTube subscribers who will eventually see the videos from the trip (I've been one for some time), they seem to have made the decision pretty spontaneously, I was just on the boat in Annapolis last month, etc, and there are several reasons to be interested.
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Getting close to the home stretch now -
View attachment 172612

They're just a few miles below last night's predicted route, though they're still heading NNE, compared to tonight's predicted route that starts turning ESE. Less than 700 miles to go. The race now is to get in before light winds set in, maybe sometime late on the 3rd. We'll see how quickly they can reach down in stronger winds before that happens. Certainly seems like they're moving faster now than earlier in the trip, probably as they're gaining confidence, getting closer to safety, and not battling big seas.


Quick Google search doesn't seem to show any significant currents around there; certainly nothing as notable as the Gulf Stream. Some references suggest there might be a slight southbound current, which shouldn't hurt them.

They did post on Facebook that it's "Still a little early to give a prediction of arrival into Lisbon. Somewhere between Monday and Friday? Your guess is as good as mine. What day do you think?" @JamesG161 I might point out that "Somewhere between Monday and Friday" is all before the 9th. :poke:
Almost there -
1575168490332.png


They have stayed a bit farther north than last night's route predicted. That will pay off as they turn more southerly, and get to enjoy more broad and beam reaching conditions instead of close reaching. Looks like as long as they can keep their speed as the wind builds and they don't break anything, they'll arrive before the wind drops out.

So lets end that discussion and get back to the mysteries of why they headed north when they could have made better time going straight.
For some insight on that, here's an excerpt from Nikki's Facebook post this morning -
We have spent the day heading ENE - keeping a true wind angle of about 140-150. Essentially we are trying to make best VMG (fastest speed) east to position ourselves well for when the wind tracks right around to the north east. This has already begun. We started the day yesterday with a wind direction of 270 and it is now (0500 UT-1) 295. We expect by tomorrow morning it will have gone to the right of north, and we should be pointing straight at Lisbon by lunchtime.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that sailing 100 extra miles will get us there faster. It can often feel a bit ridiculous to draw these big s curves on the chart. But we will be thanking it for sure tomorrow when we are taking it aft of our beam, rather than smashing into the wind closehauled - as we would have done If we kept to the rhumb line. This boat in particular is just so much faster with a little downwind in the mix.

Ooo and I’m proud to say that at dusk today we smashed La Vagabonde's speed record and hit 23.8 knots!! I’d love to say it was due to expert helming and precision concentration ... but honestly, I was doing a bit of star gazing with Svante - coffee in hand - the credit goes to Agatha (our autopilot which we named a few weeks ago). She is pretty good in this flatter sea-state - and the way that she hums - she is obviously loving it
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Here is the current report.
Tracking
SailingLaVagabonde
Boat Speed
7.7 kts
Last Updated 1 Dec 2019, 20:15 (GMT)
42º 28.824n 13º 08.265w

7.7 kts 118.5°
 
  • Like
Likes: Brian D
Mar 3, 2003
684
Hunter 356 Grand Rivers
Based on the Sunday night GMT 3:15 report, I have them 27.9 hours out at current speed. That would put them there Tuesday morning at just after sunrise, so I think they have slowed to arrive after the sun is up on Tuesday morning. My hats off to them. They have pulled this off to date in a most professional way - and are using the time proven method of arrival at a new port in the daylight. They have checked all the boxes it seems.
The Facebook report had a photo and they said they had a lot of leaks from the rough conditions and the floor inside was wet and slick even after mopping. It will be interesting to see the videos. I think the boat took a fair amount of abuse in those wave and wind conditions. They have got to be tired as well - and it has been chilly!
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Body Fat and goose grease.. You can swim the English Channel... So I am told.
 
Feb 14, 2014
4,209
Hunter 430 Saba Waveland, MS
Greta just tweeted and shows photo of them in Lisbon bay.
https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg
December 3 is the day.;)

I will be figuring my Beer losses and then contact the winners in PM's for delivery to perhaps your door steps.:clap:

Man of my words...
Jim...

PS: There were 6 aboard.
PSS: Not sailing on last stretch.
 

dLj

Mar 23, 2017
704
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I've just read the following from Nikki Henderson's Facebook page - thought some here may like to read it:

"Reflections from the North Atlantic:

For what feels like the first time in the entire journey, we are pointing directly towards Lisbon. We have 100 NM left to run before we can officially announce ‘mission complete’. The mission being - to safely sail Greta to Europe in time for her to attend the COP25 climate conference in Madrid.

Riley and I have spoken many times this trip about the ‘mission’. About feeling like we are now part of something significant. Like this crossing had real purpose beyond the normal “go from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’” which of course, whilst so simple, is one of the true beauties of travelling by sea: purpose.

Reading back through my messages from - unbelievably - only 23 days ago, we were discussing whether I would be the best person to help him and Elayna with the trip. I wrote to him and advised he make whatever decision was best for their safety - for there was “something bigger at stake than any of us”. I ... we ... felt a pull to work together for this bigger ‘thing’. There were good reasons to choose someone else - for example, the fact that I had to fly was not ideal considering what the trip represented, even though I did buy carbon offsets. What ultimately brought us together was the pull of the adventure, yes, but also a deeper common interest - a shared purpose ...

We have had many conversations on-board about the climate emergency - about how bleak the situation is. There have been some heated discussions too - is it too late? Should we still hope? Can we feel positive? Is it constructive to be afraid? To name a few.

Every discussion for me has been informative, and interesting. I’ve learned in much greater depth about the issues at hand - and had some ideas about how to contribute to fixing them. This was one reason I agreed to be part of this and support the crew - so in my view a successful 3 weeks!

One of my favourite conversations was with Svante and Greta yesterday. We were considering how the sailing trip that we have just done - a voyage that Greta decided was necessary for her to take - is so symbolic. On departing the USA we sacrificed any control or strict agenda. We surrendered to the ocean and to Mother Nature. We relied on science - the weather forecast - to guide us. We supported science with our own instinct for survival. We gained a unique perspective of how small we are in this big world. We compromised many of at least a Westerner’s life luxuries - plenty of food, running water, fast internet access - to name a few. Despite this, we are arriving feeling richer and more fulfilled than we left.

Reflecting on what this trip was about - the bigger ‘mission’- this conversation feels extremely relevant.

Whilst it could be misinterpreted this way, this trip was not about telling people what to do, or how to live. It was not about Greta or any of us travelling in the most sustainable way possible. If it was, there were probably slightly better options - although none perfect. There may have been skippers who could have joined the boat in two days without flying. There may have been boats without a diesel engine as a back up for power. There may have been vessels that could monitor their carbon footprint more closely.

This trip was about the bigger mission. It was for us to enable Greta - one of our influencers - our role models - to travel in the way that she felt was most in line with the youth climate movement message: To highlight the need for big structural change to fight the climate emergency. To make the point that there isn’t a sustainable way to travel yet, and there needs to be.

‘Big structural changes’ - no one knows exactly what that will entail. But I think it’s so beautiful that just by choosing to sail across the Atlantic, we demonstrated that it is possible to adopt ‘big structural changes’ into our lives - even if just for three weeks. These changes surely correspond with some of the changes necessary to solve the climate crisis: trusting science, setting aside differences and working together, sacrificing some of life‘s indulgences, surrendering control, compromising, staying optimistic - finding a shared sense of purpose.

By sailing across the Atlantic we have shown what it is possible to achieve if you work with nature, and not against her.

In making it to Lisbon by the power of the wind, we have in a small way, contributed to the youth climate movement. We had ‘walked the walk’ and ‘talked the talk’ so to speak. Perhaps that was our shared purpose after all … ?

It has been a privilege to have helped Riley and Elayna sail Greta and her father safely to Europe, and ultimately to her family and her home. Being part of this project is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It’s been an opportunity to deepen my understanding of the climate emergency; to make five new friends; and best of all, to enjoy and share the purity, the perspective, and the peace that sailing across an ocean provides."
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Greta just tweeted and shows photo of them in Lisbon bay.
https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg
December 3 is the day.;)

I will be figuring my Beer losses and then contact the winners in PM's for delivery to perhaps your door steps.:clap:

Man of my words...
Jim...

PS: There were 6 aboard.
PSS: Not sailing on last stretch.
Indeed, they arrived safely this morning. It does sound like they had some tougher conditions on their reach off the coast, but it subsided as they approached the finish.

PSS: Not sailing on last stretch.
There was a chase boat following them up the river and posting the video to YouTube. Looks like they dropped their sails 30 minutes before arriving.