Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea
I think what's got my dander up on this thread more than anything is to assume 7 people on a 71' vessel are just sitting out there waiting for rescue.
Even dismasted and rudderless, in 5 months one would think some sort of jury rig could have been developed. There are certainly many, many more stories of survival at sea with people who have made their own way to safety, than the few who have not, and were rescued. The book "Once is Enough" by Miles Smeeton, saved my life, the lives of my wife and daughter and a young man named Nick, after we were capsized 3 times in a hurricane on a 65', 65 year old wooden boat. After reading that book I knew exactly what to do to cover the holes left when the hatches were torn off by the sea.
To imagine that these 7 people did not try to jury rig something to get the boat underway, amazes me. A spinnaker/whisker pole or two, or a boom, and a sail from below, deck, even a pair of oars stuck up in the air with some bed sheets could propel the boat westward at a few miles a day. Something, anything.
I can only assume that after sailing half way around the world, the captain of the Nina was a pretty competent seaman and if he loves the sea and sea stories as I do, that he has read tales of survival in the days before there was anybody to call for help.
Has anyone even taken into account the fact that the Nina could be a hundred or more miles away from their last assumed position? How far from that position was the nearest land? Could they have made any landfall in the time they have been missing at 10 miles a day? At 25?
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.