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post #103 of Old 01-19-2007
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Beacon, New York
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Originally Posted by Kernix
What - having your obituary printed - sounds like an interesting story there - how did that happen. So you are technically the only dead man who still sails?
No Kernix, I think almost everybody has decided it was a mistake and I am still alive in spite of my sailing. At one time I was “Presumed Lost” during a trip in which I got hammered by a hurricane. One of the reasons that I was presumed lost was that to the north of me was the 590 foot 15,028 ton Sylvia L Ossa with a crew of 37. She sank with a loss of all hands sometime between the 13 to the 15 of October. At the same time my boat was rolled and I lost the use of the SSB so couldn’t keep my radio schedule. The search for the Ossa turned up wreckage from a yacht and the Ossa so it was assumed that it was the remains of my boat and some newspapers printed articles about my demise. In fact some boating magazines ran very nice articles which they had to retract the next month because I turned up after being rescued by the Germen ship Hagen. Motor Boating & Sailing ran a great article when I was dead saying this was an example of no matter how well you prepared the sea could easily overwhelm you if it wanted. One obituary was very poorly written and had me doing things I had never done and graduating from schools I had never attended. I would include that with my resume when I went on a job interview. Even if I didn’t get the job I guarantee they remembered the interview.

John Koster wrote a book about it called, funny enough “Presumed Lost.” Not a good book from a sailor’s point of view and it’s not recommended reading if you are interested in sailing. The book covered all the sailing I had done up to that point including my first crossing of the North Atlantic when I was 21 with my 22 foot Sea Sprite. She was an un-powered sailboat with no self-steering or electrical system. Got to go, it’s time to start driving and head for the sailboat show.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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