Friday, June 7, 2013

Ora Del Found


Many of us have been deeply concerned for the long over-due yacht, Lady Domina, when Tore Christiansen reported yet another yacht missing.  The Ora Del.

"Hi Tore,

Yes his daughter in US hasn't heard anything from them for long time too, I am the contact person for them in China, I am supposed to get their email regularly. 

Do you have the way to report their missing to the Coast Guard SAR authorities? you may leave my email and my cell phone to them too."

Maybe it is that too much bad news is bad news, or maybe there are sincere differences in points of view about when one should report a yacht overdue.  Suffice it to say, when we got the good news the Ora Del finally reported in, Tore got a hell of a blistering from his fellow sailors.  How could he have sounded the alarm so soon?

I have related my personal experience several times about getting caught in the Gulf of Mexico in a Storm.  How can one ever forget the foaming pot the ocean turns into during high winds and lateral, heavy rain.  Yet, the waves are still there.  We got hit by a freak wave broadside so hard the stiff hull of my Tayana 37 groaned.  She came right-side quickly after getting knocked on her beam, but I began to fear the rage of mother nature was more vicious than the integrity of my blue water cruiser.

Fortunately, the 90 Kt. winds quickly passed, preceded and followed by 30 kt. winds.  I had a broken rib after missing a hand-hold coming up the gang-way.  Our rudder had been damaged.  We were a yacht in trouble.

My family believed my assurances it was perfectly normal to head out in the advance of a Norther in an attempt to speed across the Gulf of Mexico.  I can be very convincing.  They had no idea how much trouble I was in.  I am not sure they know today.  

Guys like Tore are my heros.  We need to have more guys like this out there, willing to report an over-due yacht.  Not afraid of the guf when everyone gets good news.

Christ, when should you report a yacht over-due?  Considering the lead time it takes to organize a search, isn't sooner than later better?  Or should one wait until Long after the crew really need help?

In my case we were never reported over-due.  It was the longest, coldest eternal moments of my life.

After well wishers reported the Ora Del had not checked in, Tore was contacted for advice.  He posted information on a popular yachting bulletin board.  He also began notifying a list he now keeps close at hand for over-due yachts.  A few days later, the Ora Del called in by radio, all was fine.  No harm no foul.

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