Friday, February 08, 2008
That Sinking Feeling
Gunnar & Grethe are a truly adorable, funny, fun couple. Teachers from Norway, they took a year sabbatical. They bought Sailabout in January in the Rio Dulce River in Guatemala and their goal was to sail to New Zealand. Greta insisted that they install a Single Sideband High Frequency Radio or better known as an SSB. She finally got her radio when they were in Jonesville, Roatan. Several boaters finally convinced Gunnar that he had to have the radio for safety, since they were planning such a long crossing. Doug, from Kristiana, and Bob, from Shamal, helped Gunner install the radio and they both taught them how to use it.
After exploring Guatemala, they left Monkey Bay Marina for their sailing adventure. They worked their way down thru Honduras, Columbia ... all the way thru to the Panama Canal and started their trek across the Pacific.
Early in the morning on May 4, 2007, friends on sailing Valentina were listening to their SSB and picked up a Mayday on the net frequency cruiser's in the NW Caribbean listen to every morning. It was friends Gunnar & Grethe from Sailabout and they reported that they were taking on water and do not think they can get it under control. They were alone, in a storm and their fore stay had broken loose from the fitting down on the dolphin striker at the water line. Water was coming in the fitting. The bow sprit was torn loose and the anchors were banging against the hull. They were in 12 -14 foot seas with 20+ wind and squalls. They set off their EPIRB. Gene and Brenda from sailing vessel Queen Mary called the 14300 Ham net to let them know that a Mayday had been received from Sailabout and they are 700 miles west of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Read more about s/v Sailabout here.