Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Posted by Silke Sommerfeld at 05:48
Next Life aground - this is what happened...
So, we ran aground going through a cut between Guana Cay and Fowl Cay just outside of Georgetown
in the Great Exuma Islands.
You might be wondering how this happened to us. And I even go as far as saying "...to us of all people", meaning that we both are very cautious people and were very well aware of the danger
in this area.
The problem was that we had travelled with the Navionics Chart Software
happily and safely for months and for more than 10,000 Nautical Miles. We had also travelled to Alaska
and back with the Navionics software
without ever running into any problems. We trusted the software, not blindly, mind you, we would still have our guards up. But we trusted it enough to make our passage planning based on the information it provided. For the route
we took, Navionics did not only show the depth
of the cut as being sufficient, it even showed it as the recommended route to take.
At the same time, the angle of the sun was such that we could never have seen the reef before it was too late. Local people who helped us said that there would have been no chance. And on top of that, the tide was such that the water didn't break in front of the reef, so there were no waves to indicate that reef either.
So the charts said it was okay to go and it looked like it was okay to go and that's when we ran aground.
We overheard people talking about the stranded catamaran
in the supermarket yesterday. They were looking at pictures on their camera
at the same time, so we started talking to them. I hadn't seen the boat after it had come off the reef last night and when I saw the pictures of Next Life floating with the water up to the salon
table, I felt sick.
The insurance's surveyor
is coming today, so tonight, we will know more.
The hardest part for me, I think, will be to go back to the boat later today and see the full disaster first hand. Rolf says it will still take some time for the salvage
company to lift
the boat up, so that we can see whether there are any more personal items we can take off the boat. I'm full of hope while trying to prepare myself for the worst. We only took the bare necessities like documents, computer equipment
and such, cash & credit cards and some pieces of clothing
with us when we abandoned ship.
We left so much behind, I don't even want to think about it.