Indian Ocean Knockdown, and Across the Caribbean We Go

Abby Sunderland, who was attempting a solo around-the-world sail, was rolled in the Southern Indian Ocean yesterday. The picture above was taken from a Quantas A320, which was sent to find her after she set off tow of her EPIRBs. Luckily, the 16-year old is OK, and awaiting rescue from either a fishing vessel or a French naval vessel. I’m impressed that she made it so far, and glad she’s OK, but wonder just what the hell kind of parent lets a 16-year-old do this kind of thing. She could just as easily have died yesterday, or never been found. Let’s hope her parents and her future book/movie deals net enough cash to pay for what’s already been a pretty extreme rescue operation.

Aboard the big, red sloop Georgia, we are in the throes of our final preparations for leaving Sint Maarten and heading toward Cartagena, Colombia. We leave tomorrow, June 12, and should be able to make the 860-mile passage in 4-5 days. We’ll spend some time there, and in the San Blas Islands before heading to the Panama Canal. Georgia was designed as a Panamax yacht, which means that our rig just barely makes it under the Bridge of the Americas. We’ve double-checked the air draught to make sure, and are shooting to head under the bridge during low tide.

After the Canal, we head towards Jaco, Costa Rica, where the boss has some property. It’ll be a slow cruise up the coast of Panama/Costa Rica, with plenty of stops along the way. I’ll take pics and try again to post them.

I’m looking forward to getting some passage time in. We’ve spent a lot of time on docks in Antigua and Sint Maarten. It’ll be nice to get out of this part of the Caribbean and see some new places. It’s been a lot of hard work (just imagine taking the sails off and on a 160-foot yacht, or sanding its decks), but there have been some fun bits, too. Now we concentrate on the job at hand; cruising with the boss.

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