Thursday, May 9, 2013

On our way to the Canaries

All day, the fate of the sailboat "Grain de Soleil" has been at the center of our conversations and thoughts. If the small amount of informations that we have is true, I am shocked and upset that so little has been done to try and help those people.
They switched on their EPIRB on April 24th, being around 400 miles west south west of the Azores. Search and rescue did not start until the 26, allegedly because of the weather. The EPIRB stopped transmitting on the 27th, and since then, no news. But apparently, very few people are aware of this drama. The Ham Radio networks that I talked to were not aware.
I do not understand why so little has been done.
I thought that as soon as such a distress call is received, the organization that received the call (in this case I think was CROSS from France) would initiate a search and rescue effort, and at the very least, makes sure that all shipping in the area is made aware of the call. And the ham radio networks, which are one of the most effective communication system worldwide, should have been made aware.
I hope at some point that I will get more info and be able to understand why so little was done. My friend Mike, back in Norfolk, who is very familiar with those situations having been in the center of it, told me that if you triggered your EPIRB in the middle of the North Atlantic, rescue would be on their way within hours, sometimes minutes.

Apart from that, life on Papy Jovial today has been uneventful. Nice weather this morning, showers and light wind the afternoon, until at 4 o'clock we hit a wall of squalls with little wind and plenty rain that pushed us south. It does not look like it is moving or disintegrating, so we have to continue with a lot of south in our east. Might not be that bad since there is a depression developing to the north, and the "Reseau du Marin" (Ham radio network out of Canada) tells me that if we stayed south of 33 north, we should not see more than 22 knots of wind.
And Jean-Paul who had done his laundry today and put it outside to dry has instead received a multiple and thorough rinsing with freshwater.

We are wondering if the weather is not trying to force us to change destination and chose Madeira or the Canaries. Hopefully, after the week-end, we might at last see some easterly wind and sail towards Horta.
Right now, our position at 10:00 pm TU, our position is 33:16 N and 40:03 W. We are only 638 miles as the crow flies from Horta, but we might ending up covering 1100 miles to get there. Currently our course over the ground is 120, which is not exactly the direct course.

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