I see this forum is now back online so I can now post what I have learned. My apologies for some of you that might be seing this information again, as I have posted on some other forums
or emailed you directly.
I can also provide further corroboration to the details as I have found one of the former owners (Liz) and met with her to reminisce about the "old days".
Onagarah did in fact make port in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
(“DR”). Exactly when I don’t know. It is safe to assume late in 1982 or 1983. I base this on the fact that Onaygorah left Kingston in 1981, had to break down her rigging
for the trip down the Erie Barge Canal. I am guessing refit
would have taken a few months.
I did find a picture of Onaygorah on the web showing her under sale
and the picture was labeled “Onaygorah under sale
in the Atlantic Ocean
off Domician Republic” This picture was taken by a Canadian photographer name Dale Sanders out of British Columbia
In 1985 Onagorah was sold to a French corporation. I confirmed this with Transport Canada
. Onagaroh was to be moved from Puerto Plata to Martinique
where it was to be used as a floating restaurant.
Joe. Captain Joe was the captain of the vessel that was hired to tow Onaygorah from DR to Martinique
I spoke via skype with Captain Joe. Captain Joe was towing Onaygorah and using much more fuel
than they had budgeted for. They unhooked from Onaygorah to head
out to refuel in St. Croix. Onaygorah was left under her own power until Captain Joe returned. Onaygorah broke an oil
line in the engine
room. A short time later, there was a large explosion and fire.
Captain Joe hooked back up to Onaygorah to continue the tow. Weather
picked up and Onaygorah was hit with a tropical wave where she lost
her top mast
. A second top mast
let go and the two pieces crashed through the cabin
. Rough waters and taking on water
through the holes in the cabin
the Captain Joe and his crew fought all day to keep Onaygorah afloat. In the overnight/early morning hours Onaygorah had taken on enough water
that she started to sink. At this point Joe remembers Onaygorah sinking quickly. They raced to unhook her so that she would not drag Joe’s ship down with her. Onagorah is presently resting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean
somewhere off the island of Montserrat. Despite information I have read about Onaygorah sinking and taking all hands with her, there was no loss of life in connection with Onaygorah’s sinking.
Rereading many of the posts on various forums
about Onaygorah many of the stories contained some truths interwined with misinformation. For instance, I had heard Onaygorah made port in Port au Prince, Haiti
. Puerto Plata DR is where she spent the bulk of her time...but in my reunion with Liz, they were in Haiti
for a short time. Sadly, the rumours of her sinking are no longer rumours. She did go down about September 1985.
There was a story about Onaygorah being on the cover of a travel magazine in 1988. This is also true. Liz saw the magazine, which she remembers as being the Air Canada in flight magazine "Enroute". It was weird seeing the ship in the magazine knowing it had sank. I am trying to find a copy of this issue at Archives
Canada. The last email I received from them, they may have it but I still have a little searching to do to find it.
Was Onaygorah used as a floating bar? Yup. Lots of booze was consumed, tabs were run. Another truthful story...I read somewhere that this happened in Mexico
Lastly, for anyone interested, you can also read a little story about Onaygorah and her time in DR. There is a chapter titled "Paco and the Colonel" in a book called Margarita Cat by Bruce Van Sant.