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Ehecatl

Holes emerge in Hawaii women's tale of survival in the Pacific

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>it is quite possible that these people are just two of the stupidest people on earth that decided
>to sail across the pacific with having no clue what they were doing

Yep. Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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Calvin19

I've been on some multi-week sailing trips, never as far out as they were but I have some points to make that I think are well informed.




I'm baffled by the 'just give up' attitude they displayed.

They're on a functional sail boat. Bobbing around for 5 weeks because a spreader got damaged makes no sense to me. I can think of half a dozen ways to get under SOME sail without even trying.

Open ocean sailing needs skill, preparation and determination. These girls were way out of their league.

And I disagree with you about the EPIRB. Total loss of steerage and power is a no shit emergency. I'd trigger it. Drift into a big storm or a shipping lane and it's game over...

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yoink

***I've been on some multi-week sailing trips, never as far out as they were but I have some points to make that I think are well informed.




I'm baffled by the 'just give up' attitude they displayed.

They're on a functional sail boat. Bobbing around for 5 weeks because a spreader got damaged makes no sense to me. I can think of half a dozen ways to get under SOME sail without even trying.

Open ocean sailing needs skill, preparation and determination. These girls were way out of their league.

And I disagree with you about the EPIRB. Total loss of steerage and power is a no shit emergency. I'd trigger it. Drift into a big storm or a shipping lane and it's game over...

Agree that they were in over their head.
Agreed that open ocean sailing requires honed skill and a mental steadiness that they did not appear to have.
Also agreed that the 'give up' attitude that they conveyed after 'rescue' was concerning.

I did not look too far into what 'stranded' their boat, but I'll revisit the statement that they were in over their head.

Sailing is not rocket science. Assuming your sailboat can maintain buoyancy without constant manual bailing any reasonable sailor should be able to make their boat move in the general direction they want it to go.
Even with a mast broken in half I am confident I or any skilled operator could make 1/2 VMG to anywhere in the Pacific given FIVE MONTHS.

I'm not defending the women in the sense that I would EVER want either of them on a boat with me, I'm defending their reasoning in not pushing the EPIRB. All i'm saying is that they are really, really, REALLY bad at sailing or figuring shit out.

Granted, none of us were there. The only relay of the damage to their boat and their experience must me seen through the filter of emotional 'victims' in shock from their failed voyage. If you look at what vessels have been able to navigate across open oceans safely, I cannot see any reason why their sailboat drifted for months in ambiguous directions. Hell, I can sail a canoe upwind with a space blanket and some properly placed paddles as keel and rudder. Give me or any competent sail driver a keeled hull, functioning tiller and only minimal rigging and you will have a steerable, sailable vessel in less than a days work. Granted without a full sail you will be slow and inefficient, but thats the nature of sailing. Also keep in mind that being in the open ocean like that you have literally NOTHING to do but keep food and water stores available and ALL DAY AND NIGHT LONG TO RIG THE BOAT TO SAIL WHERE YOU WANT IT TO GO. I've done 300 mile open ocean sailing legs with a known inoperable engine and a destroyed main sail. You just figure it out and go.

Had the boaters pushed their button, I doubt any news would come from it. they would have been rescued and maybe towed. End of story. But I do respect their resilience by NOT pressing it for the reasons they gave.

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From Jennifer Appel's facebook::

Quote

ALOHA WORLD!
I want to thank everyone for their support. Our journey was a fantastic experience until we met the fishing vessel. Think about it - if we were "RESCUED" by the fishing vessel, why did we need to be RESCUED from them by the US NAVY???
The media has spent alot of time adding spin to a story that needed none. Many of the facts are omitted and many obfuscations surround the tale.
Hard to believe, but we have not signed a book or movie deal as the ordeal in itself is still continuing... the last portion being: truth in media, fact checking
We were never "LOST" - we knew where we were - but because the 4' antenna was missing - we were "Lost" to the rest of the world.
I know there is confusion about the initial storm. We were offshore more than 100 miles before the first raindrop hit us. Now, confirmation from the NWS is coming out in support of a piece of the claim on May 3, 2017. I also have supporting data from the raw satellite feed showing an actual storm. My mast is 57' tall - call it 60' for the purposes of discussion. (That is 6 stories tall.) The spreaders are about 35' off the deck. I experienced waves on May 5th starting about 5 am of which 2/3 of them reached more than 1/2 way up to the spreaders. The remaining 1/3 were either higher or lower. You do the math.
We circled Christmas Island, tried to fix the rigging damage and were denied entry. Went to the Cooks and got in a ten knot west current that without full sails we could not safely navigate so we decided to turn back towards Hawaii.
We got into a white squall. That sent us to the Devil's Triangle where we met blue water sharks - which behave quite differently than near shore sharks. I did write a story about them and will put that out with pictures soon. The video I took from under the boat before abandoning her shows many chunks of pretty blue paint missing. It didn't flake off - these were things that hit us.
We left that area and went back to Hawaii - getting as far north as 8 degrees North and 156 degrees West - under Maui but the rigging would not hold.
We went West with the waves and current, using kiteboarding kites (Thank you Bernie), to help steer us to a TINY 7.4km island owned by the US Military called Wake Island. We talked with them and asked for help, but it did not come.
We then decided to go North and catch the bottom of one of the typhoons producing a WNW swell so we could go over the top of the French Frigate Shoals and back to Hawaii - that is what produces the famous North Shore Surfing and October was a banger month - we got it before you guys did!
That is when we met the fishing vessel - they were running from the storm. There were about 20+ Fillipino, Indonesian and Tawainese individuals on the boat. None spoke English. These people kill beautiful things in an incredibly harsh manner for a living - so you can have fish.
They showed me W26 typhoon hitting Japan. We agreed to go to the nearest island to make repairs (Minami) so they offered help. When they learned there were no men aboard, their eyes filled with the sights of fresh meat and dessert.
I know of no safe towing experience where a 100 ton steel boat crashes into a 25 ton fiberglass boat on purpose. I have video of the boat from the day before and the day after meeting the fishing vessel. The damage done in less than 24 hours was incredible. What can knock off a 3/8" steel bow anchor roller out in the ocean??? It was more incredible that we were still floating after being treated like a marlin.
The EPIRB issue is moot. I sent out a PR statement from Okinawa - which I will put up with the other documentation but the press didn't use it because it did not fit THEIR NARRATIVE of our story.
The USS Ashland experience was amazing. My first glimpse of safety being M-16 rifles pointed at me and then those people became some of our best friends. Go back and listen to CO Steve Wasson tell how the Navy was given coordinates 60 miles away from where they actually found us...
XO German will make a fantastic CO, again, on his next ship. Many mahalos to Seaman Aves of Ewa Beach and Chief Don of Kalihi - it was great having O'ahu, Hawaii to help us feel our way around the ship and make us feel aloha comfortable. I have many more to thank but that will come with their chapter.
We also want to thank the US Consulate, without whose help, we could not have made it in a land where I don't speak the language.
The Quarantine officer, MR. YAMAGUCHI, is the most professional and caring human a person in our situation could have encountered. He came in on a holiday and two of his days off to let me be with the dogs. I am grateful.
We are in NYC in Times Square and it is very different than being under the carpet of stars with water lapping at the hull.
I will start putting out video and stories at a blogspot (to be named) after I can get some sleep.
We won't be able to return to Hawaii until the Hawaiian dogs can get two sets of rabies shots to fulfill the Hawaii Quarantine requirement.
I am still hopeful I will get SEA NYMPH back - she has made it through 3 tsunamis since we left her and to the best of my knowledge - my home is still floationg.
I modified the hull over a two year peiod of time and paid for experts to do the mast, antenna, radio hookups and rigging.
Aloha
Jen, Tasha, Val and Zeus

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