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Re: 5000 Miles off course
Another possible explanation, that has the advantage of simplicity, is that the "sailor", Appel, is manic, and that, while on the "up" side, pre-voyage, her energy, enthusiasm and charm were contagious. Her demeanor, and her exaggerations, on the first rescue interview would fit...
Maybe the problem was that she wasn't taking a drug that she needed--lithium--instead of being in the grip of "recreational" drugs as others have speculated...