It's great and wonderful news that Abby is safe. However; the way the media and family
makes it sound was that it was like an end of the world scenario. As many of us know the conditions described are actually very near the baseline anywhere on the open seas. Even off the benign coast of California
, winter storms can post 75Kn winds and 45 foot breaking waves. Remembering almost any boat can survive any height of wave as long as it's not breaking one has to wonder what really went wrong.
A knock down is a terrible thing to experience for the first time; it does feel like the end of the world as everything not bolted down on your boat becomes an out of control missile. However, this is not an unknown condition to sailors and one must be prepared in advance for catastrophic failure, including a mast
take down. The father fails in wanting to disclose the conditions leading up to the demasting and consequential loss of communications
indicates that the boat wasn't completely prepared. Where was the "ditch bag"? As we know this is an essential piece of equipment
that carries (DRY) spare batteries, food
AND communication equipment
. A spare and fully charged iridium
(uses same satellites as EPERP) phone
would have reestablished communications
almost right away. There and many unanswered issues regarding the preparedness of this boat and I think the parents should come clean on the events
leading up to and after the loss of the mast
I actually saw this boat at Windward Boat Yard in Marina Del Rey 2 weeks before it left. They had modified the keel
beyond the original specs, adding substantial weight to the bulb and length to the fin that would increased the inertial mass to the mast as weather
As an experienced cruiser I would have never left the dock
to go to Catalina
in this boat more less do the great circle. It was an insufficient boat with insufficient crew with insufficient support with insufficient experience. No wind vane
, just auto pilot...no wonder they left it adrift.
These issues aren't about curbing the human spirit of exploring our limits, regardless of our age, because this is the Human factor, but if we're going to face these perilous conditions we must be prepared so as we don't have to put others at risk to save us for our short comings.