Derrek's Bonaire to St.Thomas Delivery / Charter

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Last week was packed full of adventures and excitement as Derrek flew to Bonaire to help a fellow Captain, Louise on a charter/delivery to St. Thomas, USVI.  She needed another member to help with the crossing as they sailed around the clock to reach the USVIs.  Lou charters on a Hylas 47 throughout the Caribbean teaching ASA courses, including celestial navigation and giving practical experience with sailing offshore. We first met her through the Boy Scout Program in the Florida Keys and then again later with Harold through Island Dreamer Sailing School.

 Their entire trip went smoothly from favorable weather, wind direction, timing, to taking shifts sailing throughout the night.  .....BUT along the way one of the zip ties that held their EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) *that had been holding it on for the past few years* broke loose when it was bumped with a fishing pole - dropping the EPIRB into the water. It took them a few minutes to pick up the device but once it had hit the water it had automatically activated a distress signal. Within that hour every person that was listed on Lou's EPIRB received a phone call from the local coast guard asking about the boat's float plan, passengers onboard and other vital information Since the EPIRB was not in the water for very long it didn't register their location so left the coast guard with a distress call that they could triangulate to the nearest 50 nautical miles of where it sent the message from. ........ Let me tell you there is nothing scarier that receiving a phone call saying that your boyfriend is on a boat where their EPIRB had gone off... and the location is a little iffy.... but long story short within another hour the coast guard had made contact with the boat through VHF in a plane that flew over head and they were able to let everyone know that the crew and boat were okay and that the EPIRB had accidentally fallen overboard. 

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