One thing cruisers learn, is that when s_ _t happens, you’ve simply got to beathe deep and deal with whatever chaos has arisen. That’s exactly what a group of westbound cruisers did recently after getting hammered by abnormally strong winds after departing from French Polynesia.
As reported last week, both the the Seattle-based Bristol Channel Cutter Little Wing and Steve and Wendy Bott’s Seattle-based J/44 Elusive suffered substantial damage — Little Wing‘s mast was totalled and Elusive suffered a cracked gooseneck and blown main. At this writing, however, we have some encouraging updates: According to John and Renee Prentice of the San Diego-based Serendipity 43 Scarlett O’Hara, technicians at Forespar have already begun production of a new mast for Little Wing, which should be ready ship to Samoa within days. Other cruisers have donated fuel and jerry jugs to the little cutter, and the sailing vessel Fearless will escort Little Wing to Pago Pago, Somoa.
Elusive‘s main will have to be shipped back to the States for repairs, but the boat’s mast manufacturer, Hallspars, is currently manufacturing a new gooseneck fitting for her. Scarlett O’Hara will escort her to Pago Pago.
"One good thing about all of this," notes John Prentice, "is that the repairs to both boats will be occurring in American Samoa with American shipping and US Postal Service, which should speed the process greatly! The other thing is the cruising community has once again risen to the challenge and is helping each other. It reminds us all that on any given day, it could be you in need!"