Andrew Halsey — 267 days of fighting with the ocean and epilepsy!

Epopee Andrew Halsey, which was of the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat nearly nine months — since July of 1999 to April of 2000 — one of the sensations of the late twentieth century. In total, he spent 267 days in the ocean!

41-year-old Englishman, a former bricklayer from Camden Town, in the northern part of the British capital, was known for his tenacity

In singles wanderings over the oceans — a completely unique because it is — an epileptic, and the disease does not leave him, not ever.

1. Across the Atlantic — the first stage.

Thanks Halsey London Society epileptics was closely related to the Ocean Rowing Society. It is a strange convergence is even more true that all of his long stay in the ocean Andrew remained literally chained, tied to the sides of the boat: epileptic seizures during not know what they do, and there is great opportunity to fall overboard …

About Halsey I learned for the first time in 1997, when the Ocean Rowing Society gathered for its first general meeting with the guests. Most of the guests were contenders for the title of the ocean rower — the future participants of the now famous Atlantic Rowing Race 1997. I was invited to give a presentation on Smurgise — the first of the Ocean Rowing Russia. On the way to the building of the Royal Geographical Society, which was a meeting, I went through in the memory of the history of rowing marathons. The death of Eugene Smurgisa in the Atlantic and the Englishman Peter Beard in the Pacific were probably the most difficult issue at the meeting. Those gathered remembered in memory of the victims — they were for the day only six, but no one uttered a word, and that has long been no news from Andrew Halsey, who went to the Canaries in the Atlantic in April.

— How did it — I asked Kenneth Crutchlow — Director of the Company, who kindly lodged me in his house for the duration of the visit — buoy "Argos" gives his place, and due to the very paddler not?

— The explanation is simple, — said Kenneth. — Most likely, he and the batteries are depleted, touch wood, we are patiently waiting. And at buoy "Argos" food self-contained, so that we can see that the boat is moving on the route. So early to panic.

Patiently waiting to hear from Halsey and his fellow epileptics. In contrast, Halsey struggled with illness just too unconventional. Long before the planned voyage across the Atlantic, he often practiced in rowing, strapping themselves to the sides of the boat and oars. In society, epileptics, many believed that Andrew just wants to do away with the disease, withdrawing from life. That is why they did not react to silence the paddler. And the rowers suspected ulterior motive Halsey complicated task by swimming the wrong time. He came from the Canary Islands on April 19 without the noise and lush wires, knowing full well that the end of his voyage will have to peak hurricanes in the Caribbean. There, on the island of St. Lucia, he outlined a space race finish with epilepsy and … won! Much later I learned that Andrew brilliantly crossed the Atlantic in 116 days, and it is not holding back emotions, met in St. Lucia so many of his colleagues in the disease. Apparently, there were other times for Andrew and another life, because among the welcoming was his daughter, whose name he called his boat "Britanny Rose". During the meeting with his father Brittney silently watched her mother …

Two years later, I was back in London, this time in connection with the planning of the first crossing of the Atlantic Russians Viacheslav Kavchenko. That's when I first saw Andrew. High big man without any trace of a months-ocean beard animatedly discussed with Kenneth details of the press conference: April 7, 1999 Halsey was to announce a landmark project alone crossing the Pacific Ocean all the way … tied to the sides of the boat. The disease has progressed, but dramatic improvements were observed.

The spirit of frank sensation was in this new venture. The main sponsor of the project trading company "Le Shark clothiers of London" and made it clear that as a result expects a rush of customers into their stores. Demonstrated boat, decorated with labels from the gaping jaws of shark … The same shark jaws and featured on posters glorifying the clothing brand "Le Shark".

I regret that I never took a photo of Halsey, who frequented the home of Kenneth Crutchlow more than once.

2. Conquerors of the Pacific Ocean.

There is no need to prove the greatness of the ocean. Not accidentally, many scholars, athletes and adventurers just elected and elected to field his approval of their own ambitions. From the scientific voyages — and their big set (for example, copies of the ships of the past) — to countless cruises of different-sized yachts. Exotic ocean space and tropical islands attracts a lot of people who are looking for the romance of adventure. But, perhaps, no doubt, that the voyage in a rowing boat available to only the most desperate …

The first appeared in the Pacific in 1971, John Fairfax and his girlfriend Sylvia Cook. For a whole year (though, with stops at the islands) on the boat, "Britain-2" they crossed the ocean on the coast of the U.S. to Australia. A whole bunch of records marked this voyage. His character was first Fairfax, who two years earlier for the first time in the history of ocean rowing marathon crossed the Atlantic alone, and even by the very length of the route — from the Canaries to Florida. In the Pacific voyage Sylvia won the title of the first woman who conquered the ocean. However, their romance after going broke, and the memory of it was an amazing book: she has published bestseller "500 meals of ocean fish." Experts believe that this is the most significant of the many cookbooks (now it has become a rarity.)

Only a few years later (in 1976) ventured out into the ocean in a rowing boat "Hawaiiki" American Patrick Kuisnel — he became the first lone oarsman Pacific.

In autumn 1980 the same route is doing Englishman Peter Bird on a boat "Britain-2." But it was only a warm-up Peter in his new ocean as six years ago, he on the same boat crossed the Atlantic in a pair with Derek King. Pacific is for Peter constant battleground with distances and storms. First he alone crosses the ocean to the new boat "Hele on Britannia" from the shores of the United States to the Great Barrier Reef: 294 days (from August 1982 to June 1983), he has spent on this record swim, but the finish has afflicted him. Peter wanted to go the route of "coast to coast", but in the coastal reefs of Australia, a few dozen kilometers from the target, he was forced to transfer to the lifeboat …

In a year an American couple — Kathleen and Curtis Saville crossed the ocean off the coast of Peru to Australia by boat "Excalibur", the cost of migrating a total of 189 days. And it's no wonder, because Kathleen and Curtis had a wealth of experience: three years before his double in the Pacific Ocean on a boat built by his own hand, they crossed the Atlantic.

Six years later — in 1991 — a record for a single speed cross the ocean makes a Frenchman Gerard D'Abovil. Of 133 days with a lot of coups needed him to the coast of Japan, reached the mouth of the Columbia River. Triumph Frenchman covered by all the newspapers of the western coast of the United States, and all repeated the words of his interview: "These ten coups overpowering me. Atlantic reminds me of how easy walk. Now I've had enough, I never get to sea in a rowboat. " Gerard kept his word by switching to a traditional sailing (he became a Knight of the Legion of Honor and a member of the European Parliament).

Perhaps this success also came the Frenchman Peter Beard — he again decided to try to cross the Pacific in the same difficult route, but "from continent to continent." So Peter was the guest of Russia. He twice tried to cross the ocean, starting in Vladivostok and planning to finish in San Francisco. In a last attempt (in 1996), he disappeared somewhere in the middle of the route. His boat "Sector 2" with a fractured (probably from a collision with a log) sides was taken to London and is now a showpiece rowing glory of the British.

It would be good to add some details about the two "invisible" and leisurely tour around the world rowing boats. The very next after the death of Peter Beard year of his namesake from the USA Mick Bird on a boat "Rich" announced the beginning of his world tour and made the first passage to Hawaii. In 1998, he sat down again and reaches the oars of the Marshall Islands. On the further continuation of sailing I have no information.

Another kind of world tour "Pedal for the Planet Expedition" conceived two Englishmen Jason Lewis and Steve Smith on the pedal (!) Boat "Moksha". At first, they wanted bikes to get to Vladivostok and from there to begin a continuous round-the-world voyage by boat. These guys approached me with a request for assistance in obtaining visas. It was in 1993, just a year of the death of Eugene Smurgisa. But then (in 1994), the British changed their plans and set out from Lisbon. They successfully "peregrebli" Atlantic (here a small zakovyka: they are not rowing, and pedaled with a drive on the aft propeller) 1. In Florida, boarded a bike and reached San Francisco. Then, in two stages, they reached the first of the Hawaiian Islands, and in 1998, showed up at Tarawa — the capital of the island nation of Kiribati, near the equator. In 1999 voyage to the Solomon Islands continued alone Jason and his partner Steve left of earning on the way forward. In the media and on the Internet sites of their "muscular" circumnavigation write less and less, and it was in this year — I did not bother to dig. Likely to start in San Diego our hero Andrew Halsey switched all the attention to it.

Thus, it is easy to see that in the Pacific in 1999, swam three single paddler. As we approach the new millennium, the desire to establish a new record relentlessly pushed in all the oceans of new enthusiasts, and the year 2000 was no exception! But more on that later …

3. "Five hurricanes and one tropical storm."

This phrase for a title taken from the last interview Halsey when he listed his misfortunes, but for now let us return to the time in the red-hot from the heat of San Diego (in southern California) was a preparation for its launch. The seven meter ocean "Britanny Rose", the construction of which was essentially flawless, along everything you need on the road 250 days Andrew had intended to make a transoceanic voyage without resupply in the way.

Here, at the start, and he unveiled plans for the future: to become the world's first rower, who will overcome three oceans of the planet, as in the new century, he intends peregresti and the Indian Ocean. The representative of the National Society of epileptics Joe Lawrence King welcomed feat Andrew and said that all epileptics Britain applaud Halsey. In compliments no action. Even the main guardian Halsey — Director of the Ocean Rowing Society could not help comparing the upcoming Halsey sail around the world traveling to the recent hot-air balloon, which shed a lot of oil on a field of glory British adventurers …

However, the first swimming cooled many hotheads. And there were reasons. The fact that the starting place could not be considered successful. Halsey was in the vortex of currents and storms, as a result of its punctually threw months ago and he made up for the rampant hurricanes, which in the tropics proved to be extremely much. Then they all went and did not go as planned — with Halsey were lost.

On board the boat were two satellite buoy. The first — "Argos" with a standalone battery power for six months, was a buoy-informant. Once a day (or slightly less), he gave out information about where the boat, which was referred to the Centre in Toulouse. But the same buoy could play the role of an emergency — when you click on it existing "red button salvation."

The other — almost the same buoy "EPIRB" — gave the coordinates of the boat just in case of an accident, the fire, regardless of the individual — in case he is unable to press the distress alert yourself. This duplication is quite reasonable, but the fact is that in the area of severe storms, when the boat was swamped and overturned several times, this buoy often give false signals about the accident. Naturally, the organizers knew about the expedition. There was agreement that the real salvation Halsey will start only when the distress signal will come from the two buoys at the same time or in quick succession.

Note, however, that under the existing maritime legislation signal about the accident with the buoy "EPIRB", adopted by any ship requires him to follow the shortest route to the place of disaster. Note one more little detail. An unauthorized actuation buoy "EPIRB" rower sometimes unaware that his board "was an accident" and save it in a hurry. This is what happened in the fifteen hundred miles from Mexico, October 1 when a signal of "accident" took a Norwegian cargo ship. Naturally, he went to help, but on the coast headquarters flew about rescue operations that took up all of his feet. Andrew Halsey was the only one who did not know about it. After 24 hours, the ship found quietly going his own way the boat, and only if Halsey knew. He said the captain of the cargo ship that "terribly sorry" about the incident with his inadvertent buoy, and in response to an offer of help asked for a pack of cigarettes: a heavy smoker exceeded the plan by smoking the stocks of your favorite potion called "Marlboro". Note that at the time of the meeting, according to his calculations Halsey was more than 3,000 miles, but only 400 of them have been passed in the right direction — a general course on the shores of Australia. The rest of 2600 — in fact, been marking time in order to eliminate the consequences of the next storm.

In this "floats" Halsey adventures did not end. On the very eve of the New Year at 16.00 local time on December 31 the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress signal from the coordinates of the place, but who exactly gave the signal, it was not clear. Followed by a call to Kenneth Crutchlow, as it was known that the telephone communication Halsey long gone. Kenneth calmed the emergency services, saying that in a genuine accident should work more and buoy "Argos" — the main indicator of distress.

However, at 17.25 The Coast Guard received a distress signal and the second is, as expected, dubbed him "everything, everything, everything." Ship "Elektra" under the Liberian flag is closest to the accident site and at full speed should be specified in the disaster area. The entire crew of the ship called up in a heavy downpour remains at the top, looking at the source of a shroud of rain alarm … Communication by radio and failed to install, and already finding a boat captain "Elektra" has given sound. It looks like the sound the foghorn woke Halsey. He said that two weeks he had a severe attack, he lost track of time. Radio does not accept coast stations — took batteries, but because of the bad weather made them not charging from solar panels. On a boat filed a nylon rope and transferred rower new battery, newspapers and magazines, fresh water, as well as a set of holiday "to celebrate the New Year 2000." Halsey asked the captain to convey greetings to the family, Kenneth Crutchlow and sponsors, and said that it still hopes to see them all in Australia. At 16.50 on January 1, "Elektra" left the venue at coordinates: 8 ° 23 'N and 121 ° 34 'W

Erroneous operation of the buoy seems to becoming a regular …

4. The rescue operation.

First, under the rescue operation was understood rower water supply products, the replacement of worn-out and incredibly dirty clothes, the replacement buoy "Argos" and some other equipment.

By April, the boat Halsey moved to the center of the Pacific, and it was evident that the actual movement of the boat with the same general direction to the finish. However, the speed of progress toward the goal concern — it became clear that the available on-board products are no longer enough. Director of the Ocean Rowing Society, Kenneth Crutchlow and his U.S. counterpart, Thomas Lynch began collecting food and other equipment, including clothes that are complete again delivered the main company-sponsored "Le Shark". Supply of provisions for five months (mostly dry frost) — pulled 360 kg, so that the whole cargo had enough. As a result, given the lease of aircraft, the costs closer to the amount of

25 thousand pounds. In the house of Thomas Lynch in Guerneville on the Russian shore of the river that very near the historic Fort Ross, friends helped pack all 200 boxes …

So, in the 262-day voyage on April 2, according to the buoy "Argos", the boat Halsey was at coordinates: 3 ° 30 'N and 147 ° 26 'W This point was located at 2429 miles from the start, and Sydney was still 4133 miles! Calculations show that at this rate movements Halsey is not enough for a new supply of food.

The whole coast headquarters moved to Honolulu and was preparing to take off for restocking, which was scheduled for the 8th of April. All further developments, however, have gone a completely different scenario …

April 7, U.S. Coast office has received a new signal about the accident — again worked buoy "EPIRB" boat Halsey. Behind him load and distress beacon "Argos". Now scheduled for 8th April flight turned into a rescue operation.

Huge "Hercules C-130" 11:00 got to the scene, along the way letting all close to the district court disaster. The closest thing — a 10-hour course was a South Korean trawler "Dae-Hae", based on Honolulu. Funny dialogue followed:

— Only no English, the English do not understand — stubbornly insisted captain of the trawler. But on the plane there was no Korean experts. It was necessary to make the connection in a roundabout way, through the fishing business in Honolulu, the agent which Mr. Suh, fortunately, well spoken at all necessary languages: half an hour trawler boat rushed to Halsey.

So, on April 9, at the 267-day voyage, and Halsey "Britanny Rose" had been raised by Korean ship. One week he was vacationing on board the trawler, and on April 16, he was approached by specially sent tanker "Kasiam", which handled and Halsey and his boat. Two days later, at the airport in Honolulu Halsey gave his first interview and went to the scheduled flight to San Francisco, so after a short rest, surrounded by friends fly to London.

Already in Honolulu Halsey-Hurricane bluntly stated that the retry in the next year.

In the next few hours, until the spread this information became known to the dramatic details of another rescue operation that began earlier in the south Pacific …

5. Afterword. Drama and hope.

Talking about the details of the storm adventures Andrew Halsey, I was in no hurry to mention the fact that at the beginning of the year 2000 in the Pacific Ocean there is another boat, but under the French flag. Apparently, the dominance of British rowers confused their old rivals. The protagonist of the new drama — experienced rower. Back in 1995 the then 48-year-old professional sailor alone from west to east across the Atlantic with a great time — for 103 days. Note that his boat had a fairly elaborate title "Pour les Sauveteurs en mer" ("To the rescued at sea," if I'm not mistaken). It betrayed him not just a sailor, but a sailor rescue, something like a latter-day Bombard. Brilliant swimming Le Guena in atypical direction speaks volumes, and the case was not slow to excel again be presented. As is now well-known Atlantic rowing race is known to be involved two French boats: one — a married couple (they're out of the race after a crash in a storm), and the second — with Le Guen and his partner Pascal Blondeau, 34-year-old boxing instructor. By the start of Pascal had already served in prison Brest exactly 14 years for a double murder in one of the bars. It is interesting that (here we are not talking about the degree of guilt prisoner) in his life he attended the prison, actively helped Blondeau, when he was in the last two years of his release began to build a boat for the conceived by Le Guen participate in the prestigious race to row across the Atlantic. A week after the release of "prison" boat "Atlantik Challenge", decorated with inlaid hovering at large gull launched among other 30 double "galleys." This was followed by a sensation: the French crossed the Atlantic from the Canaries to Barbados for 49 days and took the second place, behind only New Zealanders Assertive … After the boat was delivered to the home and triumphantly demonstrated across the country.

Naturally, a new journey in the ocean is rarely a simple repetition. Joseph Le Guen decided to take an even more perilous journey alone in the zone of the "Roaring Forties" on the unthinkable for a rowing boat route — from the coast of New Zealand to Cape Horn. He seems to have everything taken into account — and the incredible wind drift, and low temperatures. He launched into a single voyage is at the height of summer in the southern hemisphere, but the winds have suffered stroptivtsa not just to the east of Tierra del Fuego to the desired, but it is too far to the south, so much so that scrape against the wind to the life-giving warmth he could not. The first thing that was out of commission — is still up. As he does not Kuta, they still obmerzli, and Joseph on April 2 gave a signal of distress. He was rescued and taken to a nearby hospital in Chile, which had to be amputated eight toes (see "Kya" № 171, 172).

"Or just," as the poet said, but apparently not everyone liking. Around the same route, but in the opposite direction, after just a couple of months went another boat — seven meter "Le Shark" with a lone paddler, yearlings and old friend of Le Guena to participate in the Atlantic rowing race Englishman Jim Shekdarom. Jim appeared in the Peruvian port of Ilo, which is in the south of the country, well before the start. The town and the port with its old Spanish buildings, which lies far from the busiest routes, literally wore on his hands newfound daredevil. The honor, which was awarded this godforsaken town, played a role: he gave the British adventurer their attention and love. 29th June 2000 at 12.30 local time, Captain of the Port of Ilo Hon Senor Augustin George Guerra, after a brief inspection of the boat gave Jim permission to go into the ocean. All forty thousand population of the city came out to spend in the way of a brave paddler. His route to Sydney — 6876 miles — the longest in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, it promises a lot of surprises in the form of a whirl of counter-currents. But Jim is full of bright hope for records. Rowing experience, he hit the bottle on the same track in the Atlantic paired with David Jackson on a boat "Boatcom Wavereader" (they finished the race in 15th place out of 24 who came to the finish line).

In this solitary voyage he hopes to keep in touch with his wife and two daughters in London. Jim Shekdar take into account the experience of their colleagues and the first to sail single from the "continent to continent" in the Pacific plans to meet the deadline. In terms of the accuracy of these nobody knows, but the 8-month supply of food and overlapping one another means of obtaining fresh water is impressive. According to information — in the middle of summer — all of it right. On-board computer provides a link, and its coastal coordinator in Peru Gender Visshar regularly conducts page rower on the Company ocean rowers …

About hopes and plans far too early to say, but if this self-reported future creators of sensationalism, it is worth at least a brief mention of the plan of British rower Tim Velforda (also in the race in the Atlantic, where he finished in 8th place in conjunction with Vayanom Kellahanom ). In the first year of the new millennium, he intends to overcome the oars in the Pacific Ocean alone — to go from Japan to the United States, that is, in fact, repeat a brilliant diving Frenchman Gerard D'Abovilya. And it's probably not a coincidence: the peaceful, but to the extreme uncompromising rivalry at sea the British and French has been going on for centuries …

In conclusion, all the fans of rowing marathon to remind you that in the Atlantic and on the verge of millennia also expected sensation. In contrast to the previously mentioned race "galleys" of 1997 with two rowers, a new race will be the brave lone competition for the first time with a prize winner at 75,000 pounds. Interested — do not count …

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