Thank you all for your expressions. I was tempted to detail from the very beginning and thank God Boatman61 showed me the reality, that no matter what, in a Forum events
like this one should not be shared. Sometimes, in between an Army of good soldiers, one bad one is enough. If 20 don't shoot, this one shooting kills enough to make a massacre. What I see by his comment is, that I wouldn't like to be in his boat in a similar situation, because he seems to have some fairy tale, that Seaman go down with their boats, or something like that....
However, I appreciate your all expressions.
@Boatman61: I don't wish wrong to no one and certainly I don't desire you the events
i've been and going through. And certainly, as a Captain
of a sailboat I am not going to ask another - Captain
or not - if I did right or wrong. This event is actually documented at the Council of Maritime Business by me, the Captain of Dole Costa Rica
and by the US Coast Guard and by the Admiralship from Ecuador
, who at a point intervened before the Government
of Honduras in order to deploy a ship to assist Serenity. There are existing documents from Logbooks of 2 vessels, the one from Serenity, which has been transfered on board of the Dole Costa Rica
, the Logbook of the Dole Costa Rica. So, thiswise I don't need to be approved by some Boatman61, nor anybody else.
Here is what happened and I hope, that Boatman61 can stick up to the attitude of a "real" seaman, to keep his judgements at his own home.
Serenity departed from Cayman Island via sails
at a course of 242 degrees towards Rio Dulce - Guatemala
, planned final destination
for the next 1 month. Having lost
the Windgenerator IstaBreeze500 (mentioned before in another threat), I started the engine
entering night time. After a while the engine
stopped and I checked the Racor
filter and found a half of a glass full of water
. I cleaned the glass, I purged the filter at the entrance of the engine and I purged the injectors. Then, I started the engine and after verifying she worked properly, I turned her off. The next day, during afternoon I repeated the action, this time to support the sailing as per slow wind
and almost downwind sailing, which was actually very annoying slamming the Jib
and Boom all the time. After 2 hours, the engine again stalled and I found exactly the same. I repeated the procedure adn druing the next day I repeated the procedure 2 more times, finding horrible amounts of water
in the fuel
. I wasn't sure if the tank was contaminated, or if I bunkered at Mexico
. However, the last time the engine did not start up again and about 4 hours of cleaning
and working on the fuel system, did not help at all.
So, I turned off the refrigeration
and almost all electrical system
in order to safe power for communication and navigation
instruments. The forth day, at noon time, battery
1 was at critical 9,5 volt and battery
2 had to be activated. At that time I started transmission
to Port Authority of Isla Roatan, 18 miles south, without success. Thiswise, I changed the communication to SSB and got the response on one side from a vessel Dole Costa Rica, leaving Puerto Castillo and on the other hand from US Coast Guard. USCG informed not to have any vessel close by and urged, to use the communication power of the vessel Dole Costa Rica, to inform PA Isla Roatan. Dole Costa Rica requested deployment from Roatan, while I informed to sail at course 225, straight to the northern coast of Roatan. I hadn't observed, that the slamming at the lifeline had ripped the sail and when I realized what happened, the sail was already 1/3 ripped. In the meantime, the vessel Dole Costa Rica took course onto me and after 1 hour, they stopped their engines on my side, since Roatan had informed to send a ship, which would arrive in 2 more hours. The Captain of Dole Costa Rica invited me on board of his boat, to rest and recover, while the rescue
team would arrive. Thatfore, I unpacked my dinghy
, inflated it manually and put it in the water with the outborder. However, because of increasing sea, I decided to stay on board of Serenity and wait for the Rescue
ship. The Captain of DCR nformed not to leave me, untill the team would arrive. At about 1700 hours he informed, Roatan had informed not to deploy any rescue team as per lack of fuel for their ships. Perplex, the Captain of DCR requested information from USCG, who at that point informed, that it would be best to advice me to abandon ship, since my boat was running out of electricity, without refrigeration
preservation and without power for navigation
and a damaged foresail, that the sailing in Honduran waters covered with Coral reefs
, was risky. I requested via the Captain of DCR to locate Admiral Vallejo from Ecuador Navy
, which as friendly Latin American Government
might could convince Honduras to deploy a vessel. As per existing registers, Ecuador Navy
immediately intervened with Honduras to assist me as Ecuadorian citizen and cousin of the second Navy Commander of the country. Unfortunately, without success! From here on I was advised from the USCG and from the vessel DCR, to abandon my ship and aboard the DCR vessel. I denied this advise and stayed on board of Serenity at drift, when at 2000 hours the Captain of DCR left to his course towards Gulfport. 30 minutes later and with the last power of my SSB radio I contacted him and asked, if I was entitled to change my opinion, as I understood, that without deployment from any Navy, with the Islands northern reefs
, 300 NMi course east to Guatemala
and no electricity, instruments, communication and sail, I would face to deploy my life raft with chance to drift for long days and face life threat. The Captain very decent changed immediatly his course and returned and at 2200 hours the rescue took place. Serenity was at drift adn we informed Isla Roatan, from the vessel DCR I spoke immediately with my cousin, Admiral Vallejo, who did several phone
calls, so far without success. From that moment on, Hondruas did not respond any communication anymore to our vessel DCR.
As per now, the Honduran Government gives no statement, informed not having equipment
to realize a rescue and that until this very moment, no Serenity had been found. This seems pretty incredible, since we left all the coordinates and we indicated the drift observed during 1 1/2 hour in the radar
as a pattern.
At this time, the case has been informed to the Council for Maritime Affairs at Bahamas
, where Honduras will have to inform as per international maritime treaties. At this time I believe, OR Serenity is at some Port and being taken apart in her equipment
, or she sunk, since the day after the sea became pretty rough. However, to me she is lost
as, whoever finds her in the sea is entitled to claim her.
Me for myself, I am on my way to Port Isabel, where I want to go for another boat and then re initiate my goal, to sail out into the South Pacific
As I stated above, I don't need the opinion of Boatman1 nor anybody else. There is plenty documentation
about this unfortunate incident. On one side it helps you people, t see what you can face if navigating down in Honduras, on the other hand because I believe we can learn from incidents like this one.
My lesson is, Radio and Instruments require to be independent each one from one battery and supplied from solar
power, so Radio and Instruments are able to continue to operate. I realized, how a boat has to be overlooked, if it is a placer boat or a living cruiser and that Racor
filters have to be at a position, where they become daily check. I realize how important it is, to check each and every can of diesel
I fuel, so I can detect before filling, if there is water in larger amount. I realize, that sailing is not a question of having fun, it is a hard work of checking engines, instruments, communication and to analyze the boat permanently, since a disaster is here sooner than we think. Finally, I learned how important it is to manage the communication instruments like SSB, to check if antenna
and equipment has the reach.