City when the temperature alarms for both engines sounded. I
turned to see the transom door open and waves lapping in. I sent
my friend down to close the door. Within seconds both engines
quit. When the boat settled down, water flooded into the cockpit.
Realizing we were sinking, we grabbed life jackets and I immediately issued a mayday call with our position on the fixed-mount VHF,
but got no response — the batteries were already underwater. Our
handheld VHF and cellphones were forward in the flooding cabin.
My friend jumped overboard in his life jacket. I went forward
to untie the inflatable dinghy secured to the cabin top. The boat
went down, and the dinghy broke free with me in it. I looked
and called for my friend but never saw him or heard a response.
I was found floating in the dinghy 18 miles away. They found
my friend floating dead in his life jacket five miles from the accident. This happened in clear weather just eight miles from Coast
Guard Station Atlantic City. We could’ve been rescued within
minutes if we’d had our cellphones or handheld VHF with us
on the bridge. Now, I never leave the dock without a charged
cellphone and handheld VHF within easy reach, whether on my
boat or someone else’s. Dan Ball
BoatU.S. Flags Found In Far-Flung Places
For six years, from 2001 through 2007, my husband Douglas
and I broke away from our jobs, and sailed Ithaka, our 39-foot
sloop, throughout Central and South America. It was a dream
come true for the two of us. While we were voyaging, we spent
two extraordinary seasons in the San Blas islands of Panama, where
we made friends with many Kuna Indian families. Every day we
saw the men paddle or sail for miles out to the reefs to free-dive
for hours for lobster and fish, then paddle or sail all the way back
to their island huts by nightfall. Their boats were dugout canoes
called cuyukos, and their raggedy sails, if they had any at all, were
made from fabric scraps and sacks all sewn together by hand.
During our cruising adventure, we wrote a twice-monthly log
Did Your Mutt Make The Cut?
If there’s anything boaters like as much as their vessels, it’s their canine companions. Several of you have
sent photos of your furry friends over the past year, and
we’ve compiled them into a slideshow on our website,
www.BoatUS.com/Magazine. We’ll do another one soon so
send your favorite doggie, cat, parrot, or lizard shots, aboard
your boat, to Magazine@BoatUS.com
for the BoatU.S. website, called “The Log Of Ithaka” ( www.BoatUS.
com/cruising). When we uploaded the one about those fishermen,
we began to receive offers of sails and sailcloth from BoatU.S.
members who were touched by the arduous lives of these men
and boys. When the president of BoatU.S. heard about this, the
company generously offered to ship all this donated sailcloth down
to us in Panama, along with lots of BoatU.S. flags. With a couple of
cruising friends, Douglas and I began cutting and sewing sails, and
trading them with the fishermen, in return for anything they offered
— a few lemons, a pretty gourd — just so there was no feeling of
charity, as pride is an important part of their culture.The project
was a success, we made 52 sails, and began seeing the BoatU.S.
flags flying from the tops of cuyuko masts, and in little villages, all
over the islands during our last months in the San Blas. The Kuna
treasured those flags! Thanks, BoatU.S., for helping us help these
folks. They’re so generous to boaters who travel through, and it felt
good to give something back. Bernadette Bernon
For your own BoatU.S. flag, call 800-395-2628
or visit www.BoatUS.com/logoitems
Lori, Cook It Up!
Last month, we invited readers of our online cooking and recipe
site to challenge Lori Ross, our cruising cook extraordinaire, to make
speciality dishes based on different themes. The first winner of Lori’s
invitation is Kathy Dismukes, who challenged Lori to come up with a
selection of hot vegetarian pastas. You can find these and many other
recipes on www.BoatUS.com/cooking. Kathy writes:
My thanks to Lori Ross and BoatU.S. for the wonderful
recipes. When I’d heard I’d won the contest, I was thrilled,
but I couldn’t believe the personal cookbooks from Lori’s cooking library that came with winning. I finally had a chance to go
through them, and I’m grateful, Lori, that you felt you could part
with them. Thanks for your inspiration! I’ll tune in regularly to see
what treats you bring us. Kathy Dismukes
dog, from Merritt
can’t wait to get
back in the water!