last words

It’s eerie to be able to read someone’s last words and then learn of their death, but the age of cheap satcomms is upon us and that’s just what we got this weekend. Below is Jan Anderson’s last blog from the 38’ Island Packet Triple Stars, shortly before a large wave swept the deck and took her into the ocean. Husband Rob jumped on a freighter to take part in the search, which was suspended today with nothing found.

The Anderson’s were taking part in Offshore Passage Opportunities’ stupidly named NARC (North American Rally to the Caribbean) when they were caught by what turned into late Tropical Storm Sean around 300 NM from Bermuda. They were not the only boat abandoned, either, in conditions that are not unexpected in the North Atlantic this time of year. The 40-50 knot winds were certainly survivable for well prepared boats stuck in the middle of the storm, yet the disturbing trend for people to abandon their yachts because they tore their mainsail or lost steering continues…

Our condolences to the fun loving Andersons, who by all rights were doing the right thing strategically by being hove to when the storm hit. But all the right moves in the world won’t help you if you’re not clipped in when a big wave comes over the top. Our condolences to the Anderson family, and be sure to check on the Cruising Anarchy thread for more news about this incident and Sean’s aftermath.

11/06/2011, Somewhere in the North Atlantic
So far I must say the weather has been…STINKY…the past couple of days have been tough, but we are “hove to” and resting today…in talking with our weather guru guy on the SSB..HERB..who has been doing this for many years, we are in good shape and there are a few boats all spread around this region just hanging out waiting for this Storm Low pressure before we can move any closer to Bermuda. It apparently stalled, producing 40-50+ winds, high seas, stormy conditions some of what we saw on Saturday! The good news is we are drifting the right direction (ENE)to hang out for a couple of days to wait to see what this low does, once it that pesky gets moving again. SO…we won’t be in Bermuda until at least Thursday, maybe Friday and we are just taking one day at a time. We have plenty of food & drink on board and will be REALLY looking for the Laundromat in Bermuda

We are both good…a bit tired but will hopefully both get some sleep tonight. DO NOT WORRY… we are doing fine. Will write more as we know more and can use the computer, as sometimes it’s just too rocky.

Not to worry you all, but 2 boats from the NARC fleet, who some of you might have been tracking with the “Spot” tracker, neither of which are really close to our location, had to call the coast guard. That is exactly why we are NOT traveling any further south towards Bermuda and are glad we went a more northerly route. A few of the faster boats did make it to Bermuda on Saturday, but they were all 48-53 footers with oodles of fuel (and used it) and can motor 8-9 knots to “beat” some of the nasty weather.

Love you all and will update as we can…