On a mission to inspire military veterans >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News


Navy veteran Taylor Grieger left Pensacola, Florida for Cape Horn in September 2017 on a 36-foot sloop he bought for $ 20,000 and repaired by following video tutorials on YouTube.

The captain and his mate, Stephen J. O’Shea, a far more accomplished writer than a sailor, were ready to document their 10,000 nautical mile voyage with digital cameras, drones and an Instagram account cheekily named @skeletoncrewsailing. They were intended to inspire veterans struggling with PTSD, to help prevent suicides among them, and to raise awareness of these issues.

But Grieger and O’Shea weren’t prepared for the capricious weather, mechanical breakdowns, emotional storms – including a drunken brawl – or money issues that together nearly scuttled both their sloop, named “The Ole Lady”, and their mission.

And none of the young Texans could have foreseen how a team of film professionals from Philadelphia would help them complete the journey and present their story in a touching new documentary, Hell or high seas.

“My biggest thing about this movie… and Stephen and I talked about it a lot… was to be real,” said Grieger, 29, whose description of his suicide attempt is one of the most powerful moments in the film. movie. “If we were to do anything to reach the veterans, it would have to be unrestricted. It was the goal. “

Lasting 90 minutes, Hell or High Seas follows The Ole Lady through the Gulf of Mexico, the Panama Canal, and along the Pacific coast of South America. It offers a visceral sense of what it’s like to inhabit and navigate a tiny, fragile craft for weeks on end through an aquatic world that can be beautiful but can turn beastly with little warning.

The film’s scenic stretches and the occasional footage at the edge of your seat are punctuated by a number of surprisingly personal conversations about the challenges of the business and the veterans who have suffered unseen and unheard of suffering. Full report

Here’s the movie trailer:


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