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The following courtesy of: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/20/two-britons-missing-yacht-mexican-hurricane

Two Britons are missing after hurricane Odile swept through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula last Sunday.

The BBC reported the couple were Paul Whitehouse, from Wolverhampton, and Simone Wood, from London, both in their 40s.

The two were reported missing aboard a yacht in the Sea of Cortez on Friday, and Mexican marines and sailors were taking part in a search operation.

Their yacht was one of 25 that capsized in the hurricane, the BBC said. It is thought Whitehouse worked as a scuba instructor in the city of La Paz.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We are in touch with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the families at this difficult time.”

The British embassy in Mexico has advised British nationals in those areas of Baja California and Baja California Sur affected by the hurricane to leave through Los Cabos international airport.

A spokesman for the embassy told the BBC: “We are urgently working with authorities on the ground in Mexico to ensure the safety of British nationals following hurricane Odile, and have sent staff from our embassy to assist in this.”

The hurricane affected power and water supplies, as well as phone services, triggering widespread looting. Three other people, a German and two South Koreans, are known to have died.

Power has been restored to about one-fifth of customers in the resort cities of Los Cabos, with 200 electricity workers dispatched to the area.


Posted on the Cruisers Network Online – Yahoo Group

Unfortunately, Simone was found dead in the mangroves yesterday. The most complete information I’ve found is collected on the Charlie’s Charts Facebook page from a variety of sources, including the radio nets.
http://www.facebook.com/CharliesCharts.

For anyone who wishes to donate, Club Cruceros de La Paz has set up a donation site: http://www.gofundme.com/en7dtw.  I was a member  of Club Cruceros when we were in that area and saw the work they  do to coordinate the work during disasters. I trust them to do
well with the money collected, both for those who lost boats and the volunteers who are actually doing the work (there’s no such thing as SeaTow, it’s all volunteers to get the boats off the beaches/rocks/mangroves and remove the navigation hazards).

Carolyn Shearlock
TheBoatGalley.com <http://theboatgalley.com/>  &  The Boat Galley Cookbook

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Here’s the latest courtesy of ‘Lectronic Latitude (Latitude 38):

Hurricane Odile Damage Updates

September 17, 2014 – Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Escondido & San Carlos

sancarlos-boat-aground-jim-cochran

This boat was one of several boats that were beached in San Carlos by Odile. Nearly two dozen boats sank or went ashore at La Paz. © 2014 Jim Cochran

The biggest — and worst — news is that there apparently is no new info on the status of three sailors that are reportedly missing from boats in the La Paz anchorage: The young Mexican man named Gabriel on a steel boat is reported fine. But Holly Scott of Charlie’s Charts reports that the Mexican Navy dove on the sailboat Princess, owned by a man named Gunther, and didn’t find any sign of him or his dog. Paul and Simone of Tabasco II have not been found either.

The following is a collection of information we’ve come across about the hurricane damage in the last two days, including the first reports of damage to boats on the mainland side. It’s more jumbled than we’d like, but it’s the best we can do given the circumstances. We try to give credit in all cases, but sometimes info has been forwarded multiple times without the original source of the info being included. Yesterday we omitted giving Holly Scott credit for a chunk of our report. Our sincere apologies. Holly is a longtime good friend of Latitude and has been doing a great job of getting information out of Baja.

Cabo San Lucas — It’s our understanding that the Cabo Marina infrastructure and boats within it generally did better than the rest of the city, which suffered tremendous damage. Getting the airport back in full operation is going to be critical for two reasons: 1) getting critical supplies to the resident population, and 2) getting trapped tourists back home. That said, several news agencies reported this morning that military transports are currently flying hundreds of tourists out to gateways on the mainland. As expected, roads in Southern Baja, have been badly damaged and fuel is in very short supply. There has been looting at Costco and other stores, but these people are cut off from the world and are in desperate need of water and food. Particularly water, as it’s hot and dry in Cabo.


Most of Cabo is in very rough shape. But despite the small boat damage seen here, reports are that no yachts in the marina suffered significant damage. © 2014 The Vette Barn

 

The following are some details from Mark Drewelow of YachtAid Global, which arranges for megayachts to provide humanitarian aid for coastal communities around the world:

“At 1730 today (Monday) Cabo time I spoke with local Superyacht Agent Victor Barreda. He weathered Odile at home, and he and his wife and kids are okay. He says the  town has no electricity and it looks like every building has been damaged. If electricity doesn’t come back on, fresh water becomes a major issue quickly. Yacht Aid Global has one 75-meter superyacht that will be deeply involved in an immediate relief effort, focusing on producing 4,000 gallons a day of fresh water for locals.”

Drewelow spoke with the marina managers at Cabo and they reported that the boats in the marina and the marina itself came out “unscathed.” Mike at Driscoll Boat Yard spoke with the owner of a large motor yacht. He said there was some very minor damage to his boat, but all in all, the boats in the main part of the marina did remarkably well. Photos show that the small boats on the port side entering the harbor took a beating.

“Every yacht big or small that intends to head south to Cabo needs to bring aid,” Drewelow said. “Recovery will take months. YachtAid Global is coordinating some efforts with Marine Group Boat Works, which also has a facility in Cabo San Lucas. The Marine Group Boat Works yard in Chula Vista is collecting items that are of critical immediate need: drinking water, basic first-aid stuff, food with a long shelf life, temporary shelters, small line. If you want to help, contact Leah Yam, Cabo Relief, at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista at (619) 427-6767. You can also donate funds via YachtAid Global’s donation page.”

La Paz — Again, the most urgent matter in La Paz, homeport for hundreds of cruisers, is that the three cruisers named above are still missing. Beyond that, boats in the various marinas apparently suffered very little if any damage, while some boats on stands at Atalanta Dry Storage, adjacent to Marina Palmira, suffered damage. Bob Davis of the Shell Beach-based Irwin 44 Nirvana called the Latitude offices this morning by satphone and reported that 22-25 boats had broken free in the cruiser anchorage in front of town. Five sank and the others were washed ashore on the Mogote peninsula or into the mangroves. We hope to have a complete list in our next posting. Davis reports that there was no real damage to boats in either of the La Paz boatyards. He says also that the Mexican navy has been conducting ongoing search and rescue (SAR) operations since shortly after the storm, and that the cruising community has pulled together in an impressive effort, in some cases refloating beached boats.

It’s been widely reported that Internet and phone service are still out in La Paz, so lots of family and friends back home are desperate for word that loved ones are fine. Authorities stated that electricity is available in only 17% of the city, but they are hopeful that it will be completely restored by next week. Davis was told that the fiber-optic cable that runs from Cabo all the way up the Baja Peninsula had been severed, leading to grim projections on the timetable for re-establishing phone and Internet service. But before our satphone conversation ended, his wife Sherry suddenly got a TelCel connection on her cell. We are now told that telephone and Internet connections seem to be working well including major land line connections. Davis witnessed “an armada” of electrical service trucks arriving recently from the mainland by ferry to address electrical issues in Cabo and La Paz.


Looking northwest from just outside the entrance to Cabo’s yacht harbor damage is strewn all along the shore. But being constructed with steel-reinforced concrete, we imagine that most structures are still standing, although damaged. The building in the far right of this image was under construction. © 2014 Whitney Roe

 

The La Paz Airport isn’t yet functional, and the TransPeninsula Highway may be destroyed in several areas. However, Davis has been able to confirm that the highway is fully functional from Puerto Escondido to Mulege. Vessels have been arriving from the mainland with aid for Southern Baja, and President Pena-Nieto is said to have toured the area by helicopter.

According to Bob Davis, consensus among La Paz cruisers is that Cabo is in much worse shape than La Paz, where some stores — including Walmart — are open, although all banks are closed. He has not seen any TV coverage, but the word-of-mouth info he has gathered about desperate people looting stores in Cabo for food and water is in sync with various network TV broadcasts.

In an earlier message relayed by Holly Scott, Davis wrote: “Susan Ross of the Portland-based Endeavor 43 Two Can Play suggested that the Baja Ha-Ha fleet could potentially provide an essential service by transporting ‘stuff’ [supplies, medicines, etc.] down to Southern Baja when the fleet comes south, and to the Turtle Bay and Mag Bay regions. Granted, early November is a ways off, but based on what I am hearing regarding Cabo, it may still be in ragged shape at that time.”

We’re certain that members of the Ha-Ha fleet would be happy to do all that they can. However, with the fleet’s arrival being almost two months away, we’ll have to see how things play out. People have to also remember that even one small ship could carry far more than the entire Ha-Ha fleet, but we’ll stand ready to help.

From Lewis Stewart Keizer: “The dry storage boat yard adjacent to Marina Palmira has a number of toppled, damaged, crushed or dismasted boats. All the other marinas had spotty but manageable damage (cleats ripped off docks, etc.) I know of no boats in marinas that sustained any appreciable damage, short of one boat in Marina de La Paz with a wooden mast that broke during the storm.

“Two Baja ferries unloaded a massive number of military and mostly CFE — the equivalent of PG&E — trucks, all of which is it rumored are headed to Cabo. Cabo is in really bad shape. The word down here is that Cabo airport will not reopen until the 21st. La Paz airport won’t reopen for a few days, but info is non-specific.

“Several of the 20 or so beached boats have been refloated this afternoon. A number of others are scattered hither and yon, and will be refloated as manpower, tow power and tides permit. A military flight is airlifting a number of stranded civilians out of La Paz to Mexico City today. Don’t know who they are.”

In a Tuesday-afternoon update from Nirvana via Holly Scott, Bob and Sherry made this offer: “Bercovich boatyard and boats on the hard had NO damage. I walked through there this morning and everything is intact. . . If anyone wants me to go down there and look at a specific boat, let me know and I will. Abaroa boatyard had some damage but again, I’ve not heard of any specific vessel damage in the yard. Same story, give me a vessel name and I’ll get the specifics. Atlantic boatyard nearby Marina Palmira took a real hit: a number of boats toppled over, some stacked on others, some crushed.”

Puerto Escondido — From Jake Howard aboard the Hunter 45 Jake in Puerto Escondido on Wednesday morning: “Here is the best list I can put together at this time. Firefly is here. They were right behind us in the storm and they are OK.

BOATS BEACHED IN THE MAIN ANCHORAGE:

  • Manta – Terry and Dawn onboard OK – We will try to refloat today.  Damage to port side ama, but should be OK.
  • Cloud 9 – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – Possibly salvageable
  • Libertad – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Rapscallion — Unoccupied – light to moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • BOATS ON THE BREAKWATER/SEAWALL ON FONATUR SIDE OF THE ELLIPSE:
  • Merilon – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – may be salvageable
  • Yankee Dreamer – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Elusive – Bill on board and okay – sery serious damage – probably a loss
  • Cloud Nine – Bill on board and okay – sunk – probably a loss
  • Sea Toy – Unoccupied – sunk – probably a loss
  • Luna Sea II – Unoccupied – dismasted and moderate damage – probably salvageable
  • Small 27-ft sailboat underneath Luna Sea II – Sunk – probably a loss

BOATS IN THE WAITING ROOM OR API AREA:

  • Angel – Unoccupied – High and dry on beach – moderate damage?? – may be salvageable
  • 27-ft trimaran – (Don’t know name) – In mangroves – minor damage – should be salvageable
  • Red Something (not sure on second word in name)- Unoccupied – on the rocks at API – moderate to serious damage? – may be salvageable?
  • Estancia – Unoccupied – dismasted and sunk at big API pier – definitely a loss
  • Nikka – Unoccupied – dismasted but still floating – moderate damage but should be salvageable.

One other boat was dismasted but don’t know name.  Unoccupied. Should be Salvageable.

That’s it, I think.  FYI – Heard on Amigo Net this morning that Pantera and Bob are OK in Santa Rosalia. Lot of damage there. Old marina destroyed. All but one boat on that dock beached or sunk.  Town is awash in mud.”

San Carlos / Guaymas — John Skoriak reports: “As more photos are posted on San Carlos message boards, the damage from Odile becomes evident. It seems that three large sailboats — one trimaran and two monohulls — broke loose from their moorings. Apparently all the boats at the two marinas are fine, and the same is true at the Marina Seca Dry Storage area where I have a Catalina 36.


Now reduced to a pile of rubble on the San Carlos shore, this was once a large trimaran. © 2014 Vince Radish / Viva San Carlos Message Board

 

The boat in the first photo in today’s report, apparently taken by Jim Cochran of the San Carlos-based Bliss, broke free from her mooring and grounded on the beach at the end of the San Carlos Bahia anchorage, “which is actually one of the best and most protected natural deepwater anchorages in Mexico,” says Skoriak, “except, of course, in a hurricane from south.”

The following is the firsthand report, from Monday, by Jeff Hartjoy of the Baba 30 Sailors’ Run in the northern Sea of Cortez, who is preparing for a nonstop sail around the world via the Southern Ocean:

“I figured out where the hurricane was when the eye passed over at 1:30 p.m. It was calm windwise for 30 minutes, although I had 10-foot waves, and had to sit in the trough and roll like a baby in a box car. My ice-maker flipped upside down and the cushions were all falling all over the place, but I was happy as the wind had quieted. After 30 minutes, the wind came back with a vengeance and blew like stink. The good thing was it had shifted 90 degrees, putting me once again in the protection of the land. The wind was also beating the 10-foot waves down to where they were about four feet. If my anchors let go, it looked like I could escape. Previously, I would have had to dive over the side before the boat crashed ashore and swim for my life.

“The worst part of the first half was I was having gusts to 85 knots. They would last about 15 seconds, and heel the boat so far that the rail was in the water. A couple of times I was tending to things on deck, and the rain was like buckshot. It stung! I couldn’t see anything, as the wind was like smoke on green water. So far, the only thing that is damaged is the bimini, as the zipper started blowing apart. So I rolled it up. One of the solar panels was trying to blow off the boat, and I had to tie it down with a rope and black tape. I think this thing will be gone by 7:30 p.m. tonight, and the back half of a hurricane is usually lighter than the front half’.”

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Global Piracy Report Released

Both the commercial maritime world and the yachting cruiser are on high alert for piracy in the Indian Ocean after the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report  was released last week.

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Map showing the location of the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia. Nearby bodies of water include the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. By Norman Einstein

No Surprise

The report revealed that there has been a sharp rise in piracy world-wide, driven by a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first quarter of 2011, up from 35 in the same period last year. Violence has also increased worldwide in the first quarter of 2011; 18 vessels were hijacked, 344 crew members were taken hostage, and six were kidnapped, IMB reported. A further 45 vessels were boarded, and 45 more reported being fired upon.

‘Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any past year,’ said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.

Still, only five of that total have involved yachts or other cruising vessels, up from two during the same time frame in 2008. However, Cyrus Mody, the organization’s manager, says the figures for yachts are incomplete, and are simply too small to make reliable comparisons. The group maintains a piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre is the only manned centre to receive reports of pirate attacks 24 hours a day from across the globe. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Immediate Action Needed to Stop Piracy Off Somalia

May 26, 2011. In a call for immediate action on piracy, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) urged governments to take action against the increasing number of pirate attacks occurring off the Somali coast. The Call for Action was launched at the annual International Transport Forum taking place in Leipzig, Germany from 25-27 May.

Despite measures taken by the United Nations Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area of the Gulf of Aden, pirates continue to strike. More and more commercial shipowners have had to resort to using private security firms to protect their seafarers and ships.

In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be between US$7-12 billion.

“This is of great concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water,” ICC said.

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Transport and Logistics, the call for action said: “As the World Business Organization, ICC urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations.”

ICC called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area, and refocus the efforts of the UN and other international bodies to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.

Together with shipowners and trade associations around the world, over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies have endorsed the ICC Call for Action on Piracy.

Help is coming – but slowly

International organizations are urging governments to enforce maritime laws more aggressively. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have been training some third world maritime forces in how to deal with attacks against yachts. And companies are adapting new technology – such as drone aircraft – that might someday help.

Cruisers Have SSCA In Their Corner

In the wake of the murder of four Americans aboard the sailing vessel Quest, the Seven Seas Cruising Association has released a statement pushing for a “Call to Action” by the U.S. and other world leaders to stop piracy on the seas.

The statement outlines a number of steps that should be taken to stop the growth of piracy in both Somalia and other dangerous areas of the world. Perhaps the most controversial is the recommendation that nations of the world execute an agreement “to immediately stop all current and future payment of ransoms to pirates for the release of individuals or vessels, and publish this fact far and wide.”

The rationale:

This is a particularly painful, yet absolutely vital step. It is highly likely that ruthless and desperate pirates will test our will and resolve in this matter, and they have stated that they will kill hostages if rescue attempts are made or ransoms are not paid. While we deeply regret any loss of life, more ransom money paid means that even more lives will be lost, and the pirates will grow ever stronger. It is absolutely necessary to break the current business model where piracy provides a fast path to great wealth. Ransom money equals increased piracy, escalating costs, more hostages and greater loss of life.

Other recommendations include:

  1. Implement a policy to quickly and aggressively rescue hostages from pirate control.
  2. Immediately take whatever actions are necessary to protect the lives and vessels, both commercial and private, which are currently vulnerable to pirate attacks as they attempt to reach the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
  3. Work through the United Nations to establish a multi-national naval quarantine of the Somali coast that forbids armaments aboard Somali vessels, authorizes the boarding and search of any vessel operating in the quarantined area and authorizes the seizure of any armaments found on Somali vessels.
  4. Focus anti-piracy efforts on the sources of piracy.

We strongly recommend you read and share this statement: http://ssca.org/downloads/SSCA_Call_to_Action_2_Mar_11.pdf. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

What You Can Do

The IMB’s Mody and other experts point to several precautions that boaters can take to minimize the risks that they’ll encounter pirates on a circumnavigation or extended passage. Even little precautions can make a big difference.

1. Route your cruise carefully to avoid the most pirate-infested waters whenever possible. The IMB and several other groups list specific areas where piracy occurs most often. Besides Somalia, the waters off Venezuela top the list, along with Colombia, much of Central America, parts of the Caribbean, the Cape Verde islands, the Philippines, Eastern Malaysia and the reef-laden Malacca Strait, which links the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The State Department’s website also contains a list of warnings. about piracy.

2. Do your research! Learn as much as you can about pirates and how they operate. Check out the list below for a list of websites on Piracy expressly for cruisers.

3. Before you start out, make sure that you and your crew have a plan on how to deal with piracy attacks so that no one makes a rash move that could endanger lives. This includes knowing where emergency equipment is, how to get help and how to respond if you’re boarded. (Most experts advise crews to go along with attackers rather than fight.)

4. File a Float Plan with friends and relatives. Some “experts” recommend filing that with local governments, but in my experience local governments can be corrupt, especially in poorer countries. I’ve personally known cruisers who were set up by local officials in Columbia, Mexico and Central America.

5. Compile a list of telephone numbers and radio channels you’ll need to contact local authorities and, in some cases, let them know in advance when you’ll be transiting and what route you plan to take.

6. And Most Importantly, try to arrange to go in convoys with other boats when you sail through pirate-infested waters, and develop a plan for communicating with one another, getting help and what to do when your convoy is attacked. To make a convoy work, you’ll have to team up with boats that can make the same speed that your boat can, so you can all stick together. Use AIS to call one another rather than hailing over the VHF where everyone can hear you.

7. Sail at night. Many authorities suggest that you sail through pirate-infested waters at night – preferably when it’s cloudy and there’s no moon to make you easily visible. Turn off all lights – both interior lights and running lights – so it’s harder for pirate crews to see you (and keep a careful watch for traffic). Keep your engine noise to a minimum. And shut down unnecessary electronic devices.

Set a lookout at all times – even when you’re at anchor – and assign someone to monitor VHF-FM and single-sideband radios for warnings of pirate activity. Pirates usually use speedboats and frequently attack in early morning or late afternoon when they can use the sun to their advantage. If you have a sailboat or a vessel with low freeboard, you’re an especially inviting target.

Pirates don’t wear distinguishing clothing, but there are some signs and characteristics that should make you wary. Attacking vessels are usually small skiffs or speedboats, carrying two or three crew members.

Rule of Thumb: If you don’t see nets in or around the boat and sea birds aren’t flying around, they aren’t fishermen.

live-piracy-map_icc-ccs-org

Image courtesy of icc-ccs.org

Piracy Resources:

Seven Seas Cruising Association
www.ssca.org

Noonsite – Piracy
www.noonsite.com

Caribbean Safety & Security Net (CSSN)

http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/

Yacht Piracy (Klaus Hympendahl)
http://www.yachtpiracy.org/en/dangerous_regions.htm

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) – Piracy Reports
http://www.sailing.org/1382.php

Live Piracy Map from ICC
Live Piracy Map Link

Note: The main aim of the PRC is to raise awareness within the shipping industry, which includes the shipmaster, ship-owner, insurance companies, traders, etc, of the areas of high risk associated with piratical attacks or specific ports and anchorages associated with armed robberies on board ships. This site is not directed towards piracy against private yachts.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

If you wish to report an piratical incident or armed robbery please contact the 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre:

Tel: + 60 3 2078 5763
Fax: + 60 3 2078 5769
Telex:  MA34199 IMBPCI
E-mail: imbk l@ icc-ccs.org /attrpiracy @ icc-ccs.org
24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014

Please Stay Safe Out There and Fairwinds!

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Sailboats Lost

Back in December of last year (2010), I posted a story here about a devastating storm that almost wiped out the fleet in Phuket, Thailand just prior to the start of the King’s Cup race. This became known as the “King’s Cup Disaster” and my post ended up in the nether-world of cyber obscurity where so many posts go to rest for eternity.

That was until a young woman doing a web search for her long-lost step father, found it and made a comment.

“Hello there, I am trying to locate Keith Mackay (from England). I am his step-daughter and have unfortunately lost touch with him; we last met more than 20 years ago. He knows me as Jopie Mackay, not Jodie. My cell number in South Africa is 082 —–.”

Keith had taken some fabulous photos of the disaster, boats strewn along the Kata Beach. Some buried up to their gunnels in the sand as the tide ran out faster than men could push. He lives in Thailand now after having sailed there solo from Lauderdale a few years back.

It was purely by the grace of my long-time cruiser and friend Ginny-Lea Duba-Filiatrault that I even saw these photos. She has sent them to me in an email that Keith sent to her. I posted those photos on my Blog (King’s Cup Disaster – Sailing Regatta) and the rest, as they say…is history!

Once I read Jodie’s comment I fired off an email to Keith with the comment so that he could contact her. I copied Ginny as well, since she had introduced us and I knew she’d be thrilled to follow this story.

Daughter Found

Keith replied a few days later…

“Dear Nancy & Ginny,

Two great things happened on Friday: one was a stunning momentous wedding involving TV viewers the world over and the second happened to two very ecstatic people who found each other after having lost touch more than twenty years ago. Of course I’m talking about my daughter and yours truly. We have since had a few hours on Skype catching up on all those intervening years and I have to thank you both for making it all happen. To you Ginny for forwarding my King’s Cup disaster photos to you Nancy, and to you Nancy for not only publishing them on your website but for forwarding Jodie’s mail to me. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart and from Jodie too.
Big Hugs and monstrous thanks,
Keith”
(Heart swelling, BIG smile… ; ) Sometimes technology can be a beautiful thing!

I just wanted to share this great story with all of you and wish you a very happy day!

Fairwinds,

Nancy

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I’d like to pass on a direct appeal by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project as it is close to my heart. Please use the link below to voice your support.

“The horrific BP oil spill began one year ago, and no new sea turtle protections or restoration plans have been put in place! Our legal actions stopped the burning of endangered sea turtles and launched a new investigation into the deadly effects of Gulf shrimp trawls, and now we need your help to call for immediate action to save Gulf sea turtles.

oil-covered-turtle

Oil Covered Turtle. Photo courtesy of seaturtles.org

Click below to send a letter urging immediate action to protect and restore Gulf of Mexico sea turtles
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1723/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6585

Then, read our newest press release “U.S. Earns Failing Grades for BP Oil Spill Response and Repair in Gulf of Mexico – Environmental Report Card Finds Business As Usual in Gulf One Year After the Biggest Oil Spill in U. S. History” and download the color pdf Enviro Report Card from the BP Spill. Read and share it!

Finally, dig deep and donate!
Turtle Island Restoration Network, home to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, is THE leading organization fighting for sea turtle justice in the Gulf of Mexico. Our small staff can use all the help we can get!

Sincerely,
Chris Pincetich – Sea Turtle Restoration Project”

And here’s more things you can do now to help the cause:

* Visiting the Sea Turtle Restoration Project Action Center [ http://seaturtles.org/article.php?list=type&type=71 ] and taking MORE action
* Stop using plastic bags and replace them with cloth or paper bags. Sea turtles are known to mistake plastic bags for food which can result in their death
* Make a tax-deductible Donation! [ http://seaturtles.org/article.php?list=type&type=60 ] With offices in California, Texas, and Costa Rica, we are leading the international fight to save sea turtle populations worldwide by partnering with activists and communities to protect nesting beaches, establish marine conservation areas and reform fishery policies.

After living on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago, the survival of sea turtles depends on us. Working together, we can save the sea turtles.

In an attempt to get you motivated, please take a look at these disturbing photos from Costa Rica at the immense devastation that locals are reeking on the turtle population by harvesting eggs to sell.

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Thanks to dear friend Ginny for sharing this with me.

Please distribute widely 

The Turtle eggs are stolen to be sold.

The planet is thankful for the forwarding of this email.

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It is with much sadness and grief that I pass on the grim news reported this morning by Fox News that all four sailors on board the cruising Yacht The Quest were killed by their captors.

Fox News confirms that U.S. forces responded to gunfire aboard the yacht Quest at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday, but discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite attempts to save their lives, all four hostages died of their wounds.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen. James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander in a news release.

Two pirates died during the confrontation and 13 were captured and detained, along with two pirates already in custody. U.S. forces also found the remains of two other pirates already dead aboard the vessel and believe a total of 19 pirates were involved in the hijacking.

The yacht Quest was hijacked on Friday off the coast of Oman and U.S. forces had been closely monitoring the vessel.”

The bodies of the four Americans — including a yachting couple from California — have been taken on board the U.S. carrier Enterprise. Four U.S. Navy ships had been shadowing the couple’s yacht after it was taken over by the pirates last week off the coast of Oman. Pirates had said it was headed to Somalia.  While negotiations were underway to gain the release of the Americans, U.S. forces responded to gunfire aboard the Quest. The four Americans had been shot.

According to the U.S. military, the Enterprise is now off the Horn of Africa.

Read the entire report here:
https://foxnews.adsonar.com/admin/advertisers/indexPl.do

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After hearing of the taking of The Quest with Jean & Scott Adam and two crew, fellow cruisers and SSCA Commodores Nancy & Burger Zapf (Halekai, currently in Phuket) wrote to say:

“We first met Jean and Scott in Suwarrow (Cook Islands) in 2005 and met up with them again in Fiji and Vanuatu 2 years ago. Thought you’d be interested to read the attached…They had been sailing with the Blue Water Rally.

Scott and Jean Adam joined the Oz-Med section of the Blue Water Rally just before Christmas and had been sailing with the Rally from Phuket as far as Mumbai. Quest had taken on two well-known rally participants: Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle. However, she chose to take an independent route from Mumbai to Salalah, leaving the Rally on 15 February. All information is now being handled by the US Central Command and their spokesman in Dubai.”

sailor-bob-riggle

Bob Riggle from S/V Gaia

So now we have the identity of the two other crew members onboard The Quest.

According to an article in today’s LA Times, “U.S. Military officials said they are considering a response after reports that pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked a yacht belonging to an Orange County, Calif., couple on a worldwide voyage distributing Bibles.

Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, deputy commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, told CNN on Saturday that the U.S. is prepared to intervene to rescue the couple if they are indeed aboard the boat.”

French Commandos have previously rescued the crews of two French vessels that were hijacked, by military intervention. In the second of these, the rescue of the yacht Tanit in April 2009, the skipper Florent Lemacon was killed by friendly fire, while his widow Chloe and small son Colin were rescued.

sailor-phyllis-mackay

Phyllis MacKay of S/V Gaia

No military attempts to rescue yacht crews by this method have been made since. Later in 2009 British cruising sailors Rachel and Paul Chandler were captured and held in captivity for over a year before a ransom was paid and they were released. The British Navy watched the hijacking at sea, but held fire for fear of hitting the Chandlers.

Piracy has flourished off Somalia’s coast for two decades. Cruisers are having to make serious decisions about whether or not to voyage into pirate-infested waters.

Zapf wrote, “The Thailand to Turkey convoy (TTT) of 30 yachts was just disbanded in the Maldives last week due to piracy fears. Some of those yachts have left for Oman, others are returning to Thailand/Malaysia. Still others are shipping with Sevenstar to Marmaris in March.”
Our prayers go out to the Adams’ and their families during this horrendous time. Let’s pray that the U.S. Military will defend it’s citizens abroad better than the U.K. did for the Chandlers.

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