This story was updated at 3:27 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
A massive Southern Ocean storm packing 70-knot gusts has hit the Golden Globe Race fleet and two boats have dismasted. Seas have built to 14 meters — that’s meters, not feet! Abhilash Tomy of India and Gregor McGuckin of Ireland rolled and dismasted. Dutchman Mark Slats experienced two major knockdowns.
Both McGuchin and Slats report that they are OK, but Tomy, a commander in the Indian Navy making his second solo circumnavigation, has been injured. A Code Red Alert was issued after Race HQ received his eight-word message at 12:09 UTC today: "ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP."
Maritime Rescue authorities were also alerted. His position is reported as 39° 38.420 S 077° 22.565 E. GGR Control has asked him to confirm if he can turn his sat phone on, if the mast is still alongside the boat, and if he has turned on his EPIRB. They are awaiting response and had no further information at this time we posted this ‘Lectronic. "Have advised other entrants to make towards his position if possible."
Update of 2100 UTC (3 p.m. PDT): There has been no further communication with Tomy. the Australian Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center (MRCC) in Canberra, which has issued an all ships alert and is now coordinating rescue efforts led by Australian Defence Forces. French MRCC based on Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean is attempting to source a vessel that might assist, including a French Fisheries Protection ship thought to be in the area.
The position of Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s yacht Suhaili, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, is some 1,900 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia, at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range.
The fact that Abhilash has been unable to make contact via text or sat phone, or set off his EPIRB suggests that he remains incapacitated. "The only link is the tracking signal we are receiving from the yacht, but the batteries have a limited life,” state race organizers.
Ten solo sailors out of 18 starters are still racing in the retro-style nonstop circumnavigation. Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is in the lead. The race started on July 1 from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. See www.goldengloberace.com.
"We are elated to have as our guest speaker for the 2018 Northern California Westsail Rendezvous sailing adventurer Randall Reeves," writes Randy Leasure of the Westsail 32 Tortuga. Randy is known to Bay Area sailors as a racer with the Singlehanded Sailing Society and a veteran of two Singlehanded TransPacs.
Randall will entertain the Westsail Rendezvous with sea stories at Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond tomorrow, Saturday, September 22, at 7 p.m., and the Westsailors are inviting Latitude readers to join them.
"Randall will share his sea stories as he sailed a 25,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe. In the fall of 2017 Randall departed San Francisco for the first-ever circumnavigation of both the American and Antarctic continents in one season," explains Randy. "The route was to pass through all of the world’s oceans, approach both poles, and round Cape Horn twice. No one has done this before — no one has even tried. He experienced some critical gear failures, and Randall is getting ready to depart again on Sunday, September 30." Reeves plans to depart between 10 and 11 a.m. from Travis Marina at Cavallo Point in Sausalito.
After a few years away, we returned to one of our old haunts for a quick visit. There’s been a lot of change — some of it hard to see, and some of it exciting, like the state of the sailing and cruising scene. We’ll bring you the story next week.
When it comes to money, there are two types of cruisers: those who have enough that they no longer need to work — and those who don’t.
Among that second set, there are also two types — commuter cruisers and those who work along the way. The former will leave the boat somewhere secure and return home for a month, six months or even a year of work before they go back for another few months of cruising. Then leave the boat somewhere else and do it over again.
The latter group is the one that’s always fascinated us the most. These are the folks who head out with enough to make it for a few weeks or months — then they have to earn more some way, somehow. What do they do?
In more than 40 years of writing about this stuff, we’ve heard some doozies —trimming palm trees infested with ants, putting on magic shows, selling paintings on the dock — we even met one southbound couple with a pair of toy poodles they planned to breed along the way and sell the pups. (We’ve always wondered how that one worked out…)
Back in the BC years (before computers), a lot of work was performed within the cruising fleet ranks — bottom cleaning, diesel mechanic-ing, painting/varnishing. Actually working in foreign countries, although it was (and is) certainly done, was sometimes iffy because of local laws.
These days, tons of cruisers, especially the younger ones, are in tech. And they can do whatever those jobs entail from their boats. Or perhaps we should say, from their computers wherever they can find Wi-Fi. Some cruisers are even able to start and run small ‘businesses afloat’ from their boats.
We’d like to get as good a handle on ‘taking care of business’ while cruising as we can for a future article — and for that we’re asking for your help. We’re interested in hearing from both commuter cruisers and those who earn money along the way.
- What do you do to earn money?
- How often do you (have to) do it?
- If you’ve done different jobs, what are some of the more interesting ones?
- Have any of the jobs been in other countries, and if so, were there any legal issues with your doing them?
- Is there any sort of regular work niche out there you didn’t know about that might be ideal for future cruisers?
- What is the craziest cruiser job you ever heard of (and might you have contact information for the crazy people who did it)?
Please send responses by email to JR. And please ask your cruising buddy-boats to chime in, too!