Atlantic Odyssey: Lost to the ocean waves… or so we thought
11am on January 30 we capsized 530 miles east off Barbados. Sara G, our 11 meter ocean rowing boat stayed turtle and the six of us on board had the fight of our lives to survive.
We had initially tied a 50 metre line between our life-raft and the upturned hull of Sara G, because everything we needed to survive and to be rescued with was in the flooded cabins of the upturned boat. It had taken six hours of swimming back and forth, diving underneath to retrieve what we needed. You can read my full account of the capsize by clicking here.
Eventually we had cut the line, leaving Sara G to a watery grave. And so, in the dead of night, as the Taiwanese cargo vessel Nord Taipai rescued us from the Atlantic I caught my last glimpse of her, bobbing low, the Atlantic-Odyssey.com logo just visible on the waterline.
We were lucky to be alive and so the material loss shouldn’t really matter – however, in the past months I have often found myself thinking about her and all our possessions she still holds. For Matt, our skipper, the loss was by far the greatest. Sara G was an uninsured £70,000 investment in his quest to break a whole series of ocean rowing World Records. But for all six, an emotional part of us is still out there with Sara G on the ocean waves – it will always be impossible to fully relate what we went through to survive.
And so imagine my surprise to receive an email from the Florida Coastguards a few weeks ago to say that Sara G had been spotted about 40 miles offshore. They had been able to contact me because the website was still clearly visible on the upturned hull. In five months Sara G has travelled a long way to the North East and is now probably on the North Atlantic drift moving back out to sea… but she hasn’t sunk.
She is tantalisingly close to shore as the aerial photo (above) taken from the Coastguards aircraft shows. Yet as much as we would love to get her back, this is as close as we can get. A salvage is prohibitively expensive.
I can vividly remember diving underneath that hull, grappling and searching for anything that could save our lives. It’s a very odd emotion to see her again, lost and very much alone on the ocean waves.Tagged in: Atlantic Odyssey, Sara G
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