Yeah, everything is pure speculation at this point. Their reported position on the reef some 4,400 ft (2/3 of a nautical mile) south of the middle of North Bar Channel is quite a ways off. Don't know how to explain that, really. Maybe a navigational error? GPS datum error? Don't know what charting system they were using.
My guess (and it's only that) was that the boat was swamped trying to enter the channel to the north and was driven south from the channel and onto the beach/reef by the swell/breaking waves. There is a transponder on each boat that has independent battery power and it so the current position shown on the Carib 1500 website is probably where the boat came to rest.
Here's the most recent data from Rule 62s transponder:
Given that the time stamp on the position is less than an hour old, it's safe to assume the transponder is still operating and that the boat is currently at rest (Last speed: 0.0 kts) on the reef / beach.
Apparently the Rule 62 WAS swamped. Here's the relevant paragraph from the CRA website:
Black said, “with great sadness, we report that Rule 62, a Jeanneau 46DS, was swamped while attempting entry into the Bahamas. Richard and crew Laura Zekoll were washed overboard and recovered. The life raft was launched. Richard, Debra, Laura, and a fourth crew member, David Sheppard from Ellsworth, Maine entered the life raft with life jackets on and attempted to row it to safety. The life raft subsequently overturned in swells. Richard, Debra, and David were separated from Laura and washed up on the beach. The search for Laura Zekoll is still continuing.” Unquote
To clarify, the transmitters on the C1500 boats send out a location every 4 hours, so the "track" is really a line between dots. The track to the current location does not show their route.
Also, the C1500 is not posting all information available. They show us as "withdrawn", when in reality, our boat was severely damaged when entering Oregon Inlet Tuesday afternoon. We are very luckily to be alive. The news of Rule 62 is extremely horrifying to us as we somehow survived a daytime ordeal in an inlet in big seas. Now we are on the hard awaiting repairs... no loss of life.
Thanks for that clarification. So sorry for your mishap in the Oregon Inlet. Glad you're OK and, hey, HR's are pretty tough. It'll bounce back :-)
While the tracks shown on the CRA's website aren't exact, you can turn on the "waypoints", showing "fixes" at specific times. A lot can be inferred from these. For example, one can surmise that you entered Oregon Inlet then turned north into harbor, even though the "track" shows you passing overland.
By contrast, Rule 62's track and waypoints indicate a direct course for the North Bar Channel right up until 20:04:46 on Saturday the 13th. The next waypoint, some 8 hours later, shows the location aground on Lynyard Cay.
Guess we won't know the full story until the owner and his crew recover and tell what really happened.
Lynyard Cay doesnt have a 'beach' on its ocean-side as its mostly coquina and sharp rotted/eroded and 'undercut' ancient coral-rock with lots of reefs immediately offshore. From that location it may be that they were attempting to pass through Tilloo Cut which even in 'moderate' conditions can be an 'absolute royal bitch' on an accompanying strong easterly swell.
My heart goes out to these sailors, I hope and pray that Laura is found OK. I know that most of the Bahamians on Elbow and Lynyard Cay will be out there looking, they're that kind of people.
OMG....I was one of the last people to speak with her before they departed Hampton, Blue Water Marina. She came up to us and introduced herself to us as we were 2 of only a few women departing on this 1500 mile voyage. She was an articulate, upbeat, friendly, engaging woman. We are an all woman boat delayed in our departure in the 1500, waiting on new crew due to the departure delay. Our prayers are with her. We leave next week.
I agree with one posters theory of what happened. "Rule 62" was on course for the inlet when something happened, perhaps a large wave swamping them, resulting in a 2/3 mile drift to the reef. I have surfed off that beach and it can get really big. Rule 62 is from AA and states: don't take yourself too seriously!
I hope and pray for her with all my heart and soul.
Thank you for all of this information. Laura is a friend of mine and I have been sailing with her at Lake Lanier here in Atlanta. She is an amazing woman of incredible courage having dealt with some very tough things in her life.
I will pass on to my friends all of the prayers and things said on this site and will forward this link, as this is the best information I have found to date.
Thank you and please keep any updates coming as I am using this site as my source of info for our community here in Atlanta.