Checking in from the Philippines, and Checking in on ‘Vega’

Santa Cruz sailor Tom Van Dyke is sheltering in place in the Philippines and decided to check in with an update of his current whereabouts and sailing life. Tom left Santa Cruz in 2012 aboard his Jim Brown Searunner 31, En Point. After sailing through Thailand and nearby regions, Tom sold En Point in 2016.

“I went as far as the west coast of Sumatra before deciding it was time for a bigger boat.”

Now, lounging luxuriously aboard his newly restored St Francis 43 catamaran Umineko in Coron, Philippines, Tom is enjoying exploring and diving the nearby waters of Busuanga Island — the resting place of several WWII shipwrecks.

“We don’t have to go far, less than 1/2 mile to dive on one, the Akisushita, a Japanese Imperial Navy oil tanker sunk by the US Navy in late 1944 during the battle to liberate the Philippines.”

Along with enjoying the island life, Tom has been keeping track of the historic sailing vessel Vega. Early last year Tom wrote about Vega, the (then) 127-year-old wooden ship that was dropped — twice — during what should have been a simple haulout.

Vega lies on her starboard side
Down, but not out: Vega has been fully repaired and is ready to continue her good work.
© 2020 Historical Vessel Vega

Vega is now fully repaired and ready to resume her mission to carry free school and health supplies to remote islands in eastern Indonesia, and to East Timor. However, just like the rest of the world, the vessel and her crew are sheltering in place, waiting for life, as they have known it, to continue.

Vega
This photo, taken from Vega‘s website, shows her historic beauty — even without raised sails.
© 2020 Historic Vessel Vega

Vega was built in 1892 in Olve, Norway. She was designed to carry heavy cargo for trade in the North Sea and Baltic Sea — a mission she is clearly well suited to as she sails over 6,000 miles a year carrying her ‘cargoes of hope’.

We hope to bring you a more detailed update of Vega and her crew in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38, so stay tuned!

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Steve Wolff 3 weeks ago

    Great story, would love to do some diving on WW

    Great story. Would love to do some diving on some WWII wrecks, many battles fought in the waters around the P.I.
    Looking forward to reading more.

Leave a Comment

Community Sailing
Recent events have provided the stark realization that providing opportunity will never be enough to adequately address the systemic racial inequity in either our society or our sport. It has been 20 years since TISC began and yet we still do not see the changes in our sport or society that we envisioned.