December 23, 2008

Follow Rich's pain and heroics on the Vendée Globe Twitter

Rich Wilson  While still at Learning and Teaching Scotland I had hoped the national schools intranet, Glow, might help highlight an amazing story of heroism, and encourage Scotland's young people to follow, question and work around the adventures of solo skipper Rich Wilson as he battles alone around the world in his yacht in the Vendée Globe race. Alas, nothing seems to have arisen from the potential.

However, the social web being as simple to use as it is, even when you're balancing a sat phone to send text messages as you nurse a broken rib, Rich, on the recommendation of superb Boston-based teacher and BLC-buddy Lorraine Leo, has taken the initiative with his SitesAlive colleagues and is now Tweeting very regularly as he sails alone through the dark waters of the Southern seas this Christmas. His latest messages read:

Had an albatross crash land on the boat. Not sure which of us was more surprised. It struggled a bit to take off, but it finally flew away. from mobile web
Have 35-40 kt winds for foreseeable future. Making good time if boat & skipper can sustain tension of rocketing down waves. from web
Harrowing sea conditions. With just mainsail, boat is less stable directionally than if we had a jib up front. from web
Hammered yet again, big seas, breaking, barograph descended, then steadied as front came through with gradual windshift, not sudden. from web
Had albatross around the boat today. They are amazingly large and also serene birds. from web
Past the Heard Islands. Saw Iridium satellite fly fast overhead tonight among the bright stars, with its solar panels reflecting sunlight. from web
Had a nice chat with Jonny Malbon on the Iridium last night. Good to talk, especially with what happened to Yann yesterday. from web
Off the Kerguelen Plateau at last, seas much smoother. from mobile web
I am devastated to hear of Yann Elies broken leg. He's a great sailor and a kind man. from web


Contact with the 'outside world' during this time must mean so much, so I'd like to encourage you all to wish him well, add him as a contact for the duration of the final half of this race and be amazed at what a former maths teacher, close to retirement, is able to achieve.

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Good post - I have so much respect for anyone who can attempt this. Am now following him on twitter

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Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

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