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A palapa awaits me...
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Hey Everyone,

I've been following Lucid Salt for quite a while and he posted this story recently. I'm curious if anyone has heard this one and if there are any additional details that are available.

Sailing a Pearson Alberg 35: The Lee Shore

I found this link, but am curious if there are additional details/developments.

Vanished - without a trace

"It's a mystery at sea, full of omens good and ill. Chris Malchow, 31, of Victoria, and Courtenay Steele, 27, of Saltspring Island, set out Sept. 8 to sail from Hawaii to Victoria, and vanished."
 

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The yard owner was telling me of a cruising couple on a budget who bought a low priced 30ft wooden ketch. They had it surveyed and the surveyor had told the couple not to buy the boat(one of the details was that the chain plates were moving). With the all too familiar enthusiasm, they went for it anyway.
ho hum.

Fortunately theres very few of these types of sinkings. 2007 to 2013 is pretty good with so few... but, obviously, they can happen.
 

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Sad but avoidable and predictable. Lots of people have warned them.

Just some days ago a guy was rescued out of Australia, sailing at 50º South in a 35ft light boat:rolleyes: and I heard that a guy is staring a circumnavigation in a 7.7m light boat:rolleyes: not to mention a re-incident Swedish that want to circumnavigate in a boat a little bigger than a bath tub:rolleyes:

Sailing and crossing oceans involve always a risk...the question is what is an acceptable risk, for the guys that are doing it, for the ones that have to rescue them and for the ones that are paying those rescues.
 

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Sadly there have been no new developments. Nothing has been found of them or their ship.
My mother knows the young mans mother so this haunts her a bit when I talk about our cruising plans.......
 

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A palapa awaits me...
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Discussion Starter #7
Sadly there have been no new developments. Nothing has been found of them or their ship.
My mother knows the young mans mother so this haunts her a bit when I talk about our cruising plans.......
Thank you for sharing this.

I came across their still-active Flikr feed. Paging through it, I can't help but really connect with them and they sense of freedom and adventure. It certainly adds faces to the story. It becomes a bit more than just another story. Here it is:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/970762939/
 

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Mirage32
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Given the number of cruisers making passages every year it's amazing how seldom I hear of losses like this. My feeling is that most ocean sailors and their boats are pretty well prepared before setting out on a crossing. Any thoughts from others who hang with the long distance crowd?

During an Atlantic crossing with two pilots a few years ago there was lots of time to talk about the typical combo of human error, equipment problems and external forces (like weather) that come together to cause most aviation disasters. Same with sailing.....and it seems like this storey fits right into that pattern.

Last thought....I hope that both partners were equally 'eyes open' on the risks they were taking....then it is their adventure and their lives to live, however tragic the outcome. Not sure that is typically the case where you might have a strong willed overly eager skipper.
 

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Given the number of cruisers making passages every year it's amazing how seldom I hear of losses like this. My feeling is that most ocean sailors and their boats are pretty well prepared before setting out on a crossing. Any thoughts from others who hang with the long distance crowd?
They last pulled in with a "broken boom" nailed together with two 2x4's. This suggests a wooden boom. For a wooden boom to break at sea is to me, unheard of. It suggests to me the boom was rotted (and severely rotted) and, if that's the case, this boat was in serious condition (as in "sink at the dock" condition). Crossing the Pacific in October in a boat that failed survey is an invitation to trouble.



Last thought....I hope that both partners were equally 'eyes open' on the risks they were taking....then it is their adventure and their lives to live, however tragic the outcome. Not sure that is typically the case where you might have a strong willed overly eager skipper.
I suppose they had to go in eyes "wide open" on a boat that failed survey. But why survey a boat that you're going to buy anyway even if it fails? It's the sign of a "strong willed overly eager" buyer. They liked the price and got what they paid for.
 

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But why survey a boat that you're going to buy anyway even if it fails?


I know I know.....they probably used the survey to pull the seller's pants down to his ankles on the price of the boat . They might have though...." Oh boy , more money to spend in Hawaii. ?
 

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I know I know.....they probably used the survey to pull the seller's pants down to his ankles on the price of the boat .
I think we can guarantee that because, had they bought it "subject to survey", the owner would have had to correct the faults to get his price. It meant they were trying to get a boat for less than the "subject to survey price" from day one. They probably couldn't afford one that passed.

So they went looking for a lemon, found one, and bargained for a wooden coffin. I'd say they knew it too. Even on a wood boat how many boaters are carrying two 2x4's and probably 10-12 penny nails? A 2x4 is not a hull plank and it's not a rib or not a mast. It's for shoring. He expected trouble.

Pretty good odds too he was also pumping the bilge of water before he even left (Which is why he didn't wait until November to come back. If he waited until then it probably would have sunk at the dock.). He was probably crossing the Pacific in a losing race with his bilge water and simply said nothing to anyone about it, figuring he could make it before her seams opened up. Once the water reached his batteries, no more pump and no more radio. But, like everybody else, I'm just guessing.

Him I don't I don't have much sympathy for. Her? Odds are she followed the leader - right to the bottom. But, as previously mentioned, the surprise is there aren't more stories like this.

What's the lesson? "Cheap" and "safe" are not always synonymous - Or maybe it's "At sea a shim is worth more than a 2x4"?
 

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A palapa awaits me...
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But, like everybody else, I'm just guessing.


What's the lesson? "Cheap" and "safe" are not always synonymous - Or maybe it's "At sea a shim is worth more than a 2x4"?
Thank you IMAnonymous, for weaving a silky veil of truthiness around a cracking foundation of supposition, assumption, and presumption. You wrote that as if you were actually looking over their shoulder during the buying process, and sailed with them in it during their last miles. You seem to bring such authority on the matter without actually having any first or second-hand knowledge about either their boat or them as people, yet still you come to such concise and confident conclusions.

I'm hoping you don't investigate accidents for the Coast Guard or NTSB, otherwise we'd all be in trouble.
 

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I am a lake/coastal guy, not even a cruiser and this here is something I would have never done. You can always plan to go at a better time. That would be like me planning a trip to the Bahamas during hurricane season. I would wait and go OFF hurricane season...

"Two hundred miles after setting off from Tahiti -- anticipating such a relaxed and tropical journey -- we realized we'd be going through a potential hurricane zone . . . and that August is the worst possible month. Ahhh . . . it's always something," Steele wrote.

Him I don't I don't have much sympathy for.
I do, and also their families considering I have no idea what happened to them.
 

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Thank you IMAnonymous, for weaving a silky veil of truthiness around a cracking foundation of supposition, assumption, and presumption. You wrote that as if you were actually looking over their shoulder during the buying process, and sailed with them in it during their last miles. You seem to bring such authority on the matter without actually having any first or second-hand knowledge about either their boat or them as people, yet still you come to such concise and confident conclusions.
It was offered as a best guess. You even quoted me saying that. Evidentally, you failed to notice what you quoted.

I think one should debate why a boat disappears. It might save somebody else. The guy buys a boat that fails survey, comes in with his boom nailed together with two 2x4's, and crosses in October but that shouldn't be noted??



I'm hoping you don't investigate accidents for the Coast Guard or NTSB, otherwise we'd all be in trouble.
And I'm hoping you're not teaching safety classes.
 
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