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Andrew McAuley

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:19 am
by Windfinder
Anyone else catch the rather excellent documentary a few days back on this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_McAuley

Finally caught up with it last night. Superb.

Shame it didn't work out but brave guy, epic trip & he nearly made it.

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:57 pm
by Silkie
Which channel and is it available on demand?

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:12 pm
by Windfinder
Silkie wrote:Which channel and is it available on demand?


BBC1, too late to view again but it's been shown in other guises so you might find it somewhere.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hy0wb

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:26 pm
by sawdoc
Windfinder wrote:Anyone else catch the rather excellent documentary a few days back on this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_McAuley

Finally caught up with it last night. Superb.

Shame it didn't work out but brave guy, epic trip & he nearly made it.


I agree it was an excellent programme but I had serious misgivings viewing the traumatic scene as he left the beach with his young son crying behind him and he in a flood of tears with a foreboding that he would not see his family again. I thought the trip irresponsible - he should not have gone.

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:06 pm
by Windfinder
sawdoc wrote:I agree it was an excellent programme but I had serious misgivings viewing the traumatic scene as he left the beach with his young son crying behind him and he in a flood of tears with a foreboding that he would not see his family again. I thought the trip irresponsible - he should not have gone.


For me it's refreshing that in our safe, sanitized world that there are still people prepared to do totally reckless and irresponsible things. I have the greatest of respect for someone prepared to bet their life and the happiness of their family against big odds for a meaningless goal.

Even knowing he'd died the whole thing made me smile. I suspect he'd lived more in his 40 years than some people live in thier entire life and that's worth celebrating.

Your reasoning is a bit more rational and logical than mine, mind.

One question. I'm pretty sure there must be some tiny packed lightweight liferafts/survival craft available. In my opinion given he had an EPIRB a liferaft would have turned a suicide mission into a fairly rational undertaking. Why didn't he take one?

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:31 pm
by Pete Cooper
I didn't see the TV show, but isn't there a touch of the Donald Crowhurst's here - driven by expectations rather than capabilities?

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:03 pm
by Windfinder
Pete Cooper wrote:I didn't see the TV show, but isn't there a touch of the Donald Crowhurst's here - driven by expectations rather than capabilities?


Maybe Sawdoc will disagree with this but I felt he was almost the inverse of Donald Crowhurst.

Crowhurst thought his endeavour was near suicide and came up with an intricate way to avoid death - which didn't work out for him due to another competitor sinking.

McAuley seemed to know the endeavour was near suicide and that seemed to be a big reason for doing it.

What's clear is that at the end Crowhurst was mad as a hatter (two weeks of solid irrational writing) whereas McAuley's mind seemed to be clear. (A rational mayday).

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:31 pm
by ash
I watched the prog, and overall found the whole thing very sad, though maybe that was because the outcome was known. If he had survived, then the same footage might invoke different feelings.

Don't know why he didn't set off the Epirb. It would seem that he was able to transmit on VHF.

The kayak had a 'dome' - the yellow 'head' that you can see in the pic. This was attached with a stiff rod either side to act like a hinge. It could be secured in a parked position behind the paddler or clamped over the opening of the kayak in its working position. It was used in the working position during bad weather and when Andrew was asleep and provided a bubble which righted the kayak if it rolled. I'm not sure if it was sealed enough to provide a bubble in the parked position.

The dome got damaged (one of the rods tore out) such that it wasn't secure in the parked position. It's thought that the kayak rolled and the dome hung down on one rod and acted like a drogue to prevent the kayak being righted again. IIRC, even before the damage, he couldn't 'Eskimo Roll' the kayak, he had to drop out and right it before climbing back aboard. I think that he ran out of strength.

Image

Image courtesy of http://www.adventuresofgreg.com

Ash

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:37 pm
by Windfinder
ash wrote:Don't know why he didn't set off the Epirb. It would seem that he was able to transmit on VHF.


He must have been unable to reach it or thought he'd set it off but hadn't. Hard to imagine any other explanation.

Mrs Windfinder swears blind he's living in Bolivia with a new bit of totty. I hope that's true, but doubt it.

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:52 pm
by ash
I can't now remember whether the Epirb was attached to the kayak, or if it was a personal one. You might also ask why he didn't wear personal buoyancy, but I suppose that for the majority of the journey it would only have prolonged the inevitable. It would seem that he got to within 30 nm of the shore so it might have been of benefit then, but only if there had been a swift response to his call for help.

Ash

Re: Andrew McAuley

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:28 am
by Windfinder
ash wrote:I can't now remember whether the Epirb was attached to the kayak, or if it was a personal one. You might also ask why he didn't wear personal buoyancy, but I suppose that for the majority of the journey it would only have prolonged the inevitable. It would seem that he got to within 30 nm of the shore so it might have been of benefit then, but only if there had been a swift response to his call for help.


IIRC the Epirb was found in the boat so not personal. Mind you, if your life depended on it you'd think you'd find a way to reach into the Canoe to get it.

If he had been seperated from his craft maybe all he had access to was the VHF. Except he specifically said the canoe was sinking.

Not sure how much benefit a LJ would have been. Might even make getting into the Canoe harder.