Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Islands’

Saturday, October 27 – Epilogue

0000 to 0300 hrs. We watched as the AP maneuvered to the established rendezvous point. At approximately 0015 hrs., we thanked the officers and crew of the Atlantic Prosperity once again before we were led by a crew member to the starboard pilot gangway. One by one we made our way down to its last step, climbed on to a Jacobs ladder and carefully lowered ourselves down the final 30 feet to the waiting USCG patrol boat. With the assist of USCG personnel, we made the step aboard the USCG boat so it was timed with the rising sea. Quickly…

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Friday, October 26, 1000-Midnight

1000 to 1300 hrs. The Epiphany crew was escorted to the Navigation Bridge of the Atlantic Prosperity at the direction of the Chief Officer, where we were introduced to the Captain and welcomed aboard. After introductions, our passports were collected by the CO for the purpose of checking our identities and determining any security issues. We were then invited to the officer’s stateroom at the rear of the Navigation Bridge to have a donut and coffee. At this time we were told by the Captain that he had sought and received permission from the ship’s owners in Japan to set…

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Friday, October 26, 0700-1000 hrs

0700 to 1000 hrs. With the dawning sun low on the horizon, Mitch was first to see the absolutely immense (316,676 ton) Atlantic Prosperity coming out of the east. Communications with AP and the USCG continued. It now became clear that the USCG was not coming at all.

The Captain of the AP made the decision to bring us aboard, though it was still not known if we would be going along to Nigeria or if some effort would be made to connect elsewhere with the USCG for our removal by helicopter or CG vessel.

Friday October 26, 0000-0700 hrs

Watch 2400 to 0200 hrs., Ed and John

Conditions continued as above.

01:10 hrs. John is at the helm and he observes sudden turn, with bow going up into the wind. With autopilot on standby, John attempts to gain control of steerage at wheel. No response to helm. Summons Capt. Ed for assistance. Capt. Ed attempts to re-gain steerage at helm with no success.

01:15hrs. All crew alerted to emergency situation and scramble to assist, life jackets donned.

01:25 hrs. After discovering that the rudder has fallen off of the vessel (both John and Ed…

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Thursday, October 25

These are the log entries made by the crew of the sailing vessel Epiphany in the hours leading up to the abandonment of the vessel.

Watch 1800-2000 (Atlantic Time) – Gary and Harry

Weather: Mostly cloudy, mid 70’s, wind easterly at 20 to 25 kts. Sea Conditions: close rollers at 10’ to 12’ with some at 15’ and breaking, coming from the east-northeast in a disturbed uneven pattern causing significant rolling with frequent yawing as bow went into the trough and stern was snapped to leeward in a violent manner, tossing gear and crew about. Quarters below were

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Rescue of the Crew of SV Epiphany

Here’s a (b)log of a sailing trip gone wrong. When asked if they’d attempt such a trip again, the participants said, “Only on a cruise ship.”

In October, a friend of mine at work, John, left for a 2-week sailing trip on a 42′ vessel, SV Epiphany. The plan was to sail from Salem, Ma., to Bermuda, and then on to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. We all thought John (and the rest of the crew) were out of their minds. In a brief fit of good sense, John had his will redone, but the rest was madness as…

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St. Thomas (3)

I took a seat on a stool at the counter near Kris.

“Look at this. Isn’t it beautiful?”

I disguised my grimace as a smile and nodded subtly. From the other end of the counter, a well-dressed man who I took to be the storeowner studied me. We locked eyes as he strode over to my resting place.

I have to admit that what he said to me was sheer marketing genius. I was caught completely off guard.

“Would you like a beer, sir?” he asked.

We were doomed…

I smelled the trap, but was too weak to resist….

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St. Thomas (2)

Coki Beach may be a surprise to some. It is relatively small — intimate almost — wedged between Coral World and some densely packed residential areas. The vista looking seaward is gorgeous. Turn around, and the view takes in a line of brightly painted tumbledown shacks housing vendors of all sorts. This is not a quiet stretch of sand.

Wells and Dan took off through the trees toward the beach as the adults took their sweet time retrieving towels and the like from the back of the truck. The sky was steadily darkening.

“I hope we get some snorkeling in…

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St. Thomas (1)

Sleep was fitful for me. I was excited at the prospect of returning to St. Thomas, where we lived from 1977-80. As a cruise destination, St. Thomas has taken some heat lately on the boards. For us, it will always be fondly remembered as ‘home’. I hadn’t been home in 24 years, and today was the day.

The wakeup call came at 6:30, and it was just in time. St. Thomas was already sliding by the window, and the sun was just starting to rise. Our view was to the aft, and I did not recognize anything in particular. The…

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