| 9:30 PM local time, Monday, December 9 (2130 Dec. 9 UTC) 17 01 N 041 00 W.
Temp. 80, Humidity 71%, Cloud Cover 30%. Thirteenth day at sea.
Greetings from the crew of Maverick.
We just sailed by the place where, about 3:00 this afternoon, the 45-ft.
Hunter "F-2" was abandoned by it's owners, and sent to the bottom of the sea
It's about two miles deep here, and it occurs to me to wonder whether it's
hit bottom yet. We reported in an earlier dispatch that it has lost its
rudder, which actually fell out of the boat. An emergency rudder was
fashioned by a square-rigger, but after trying for several days to get to
their landfall with the backup, it also broke away. The owners, a couple,
were exhausted and a fellow ARC boat took them and some of their possessions
aboard and will deliver them to St. Lucia. Scuttling a boat is a pretty
desperate measure and it seemed a little curious that some extra crew on
another nearby boat wouldn't have just gotten aboard and sat on it for the
three weeks or so it would have taken to float to the Caribbean. A two
hundred thousand dollar boat is worth a few weeks of minimal comfort.
We've had another problem on Maverick, but I don't think we're at the
abandoning stage yet. We discovered that the main water tank has some yucky
growth in it. We may have enough other water to get to Grenada, and maybe we
can filter this stuff. Ship's Nutritionist Terry Shrode tells me water is one
of the main food groups. We've drunk the water in Eritrea and Thailand and
Borneo and we have to go to a ritzy marina in the Canaries to get a tank full
of bad water. There seems to be no water available out here in the Atlantic.
We haven't been able to get Maverick to self-steer in the sea conditions we
have at present. We tried a few different sail combinations today and nothing
quite did it. She's capable of doing it in lighter conditions.
So we're doing a bit more hand steering to help out the fragile
autopilots. Cruisers almost never hand steer, and it's kind of weird to be on
a sailboat you are used to tacking and jibing and maneuvering all the time,
and yet never touch the wheel except getting in and out of harbors.
So give me the helm of a thirty-year-old race boat with twenty knots of
wind behind me and turn the stereo up to "stun." We'll be surfing at eight or
nine knots. There goes a sunset, and a moonrise, and, as brother Tolmie would
say, I'm "all the way live."