I know that I said that I would not give these two hapless women any more ink but I can’t help myself. I had moved on, put them and their ridiculous story out of my mind, but that was until I saw them on The Today Show. For those that don’t know The Today Show is one of the highest rated morning TV shows in the US and Thing One and Thing Two were there being interviewed by Thing Three; aka Matt Lauer who I used to think was a half decent journalist. That was when I knew that my promise to give them no more ink was going to be broken.
So here goes and this may surprise you. I am going to give the two ladies the benefit of the doubt. So far no one has been able to factually dispute that they were out there for five months on their boat. With the amount of coverage that this story has received someone would surely have come forward and said that they had seen them more recently than five months so let’s presume that they were out there sailing around without a clue and presumably without a care. They just had no idea what they were doing and what in fact was going on around them. Strange, but true.
Now let’s admit it, we sailors have been known to embellish things on occasion. Like wind speed, boat speed and wave height. Despite the fact that the met service in Hawaii said that there was no Force 11 winds the night the ladies left (which is what they claimed) it can get gusty and squally between the islands and to someone who has no clue, a 30 knot downdraft could feel like a hurricane and when you have an audience, like Thing One did when she was on the navy ship that rescued her, one might be prone to exaggerate a little and take that 30 knot downdraft and make it sound like a full-on gale for two days and three nights. The story about the 50-foot sharks attacking the boat is a little tougher to swallow but again when you have an audience, you have to have a story and they are getting a bigger and bigger audience with each passing day.
I think that the real villain here is us. All of us, myself included. As a sailor I can see right through their story. It’s embellished bullshit and has no place on a TV show like The Today Show. We have all become so damn lazy that we are willing to believe just about anything so long as it’s fed to us through the prism of a semi-respected media outlet. Heck let us not forget that the US election was swayed by a deluge of rubbish stories. I for one never believed that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop, but many people did. Nope I am going to cut these ladies some slack. They were rescued, they had an audience, they, well blondie anyway, made up some fanciful stories and the hair brained media jumped all over it. These two women would not have been invited onto The Today Show had there not been an audience for their stupid story. And to make it worse Matt Lauer, who kept referencing that he himself was a boater, pandered to them as if their stories were really true when to anyone who has spent any time on the open ocean knows that they were making stuff up.
I am wondering what we have become. As I said in my previous blog about this story, why is there no coverage of the some of the real and amazing sailing that is currently going on from the Volvo Ocean Race to the Transat Jacques Vabre and more. We don’t seem to care that a real story like a sailor sailing a 100-foot trimaran single-handed around the world is actually more interesting and more compelling than a bunch of bimbo’s and their dogs floating aimlessly in the Pacific. We, us, we are the ones that have brought this upon ourselves and we have only ourselves to blame.
And to wrap it up I thought that it was fairly brazen of Thing One to hold up a Garmin GPS and shamelessly plug it on air. She knows how to work a room and like many people won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. I doubt that Garmin will touch them with a ten foot pole but who knows. Stranger things have happened.
For a good analysis of their appearance on The Today Show check out Dawn Riley’s rebuff of their claims here
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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog