Day 8 gone and continuing towards Flores, Azores 38:35N 044:32W
Sue & Alan
Sat 24 May 2014 15:00
In position 38º35'N 044º32'W COG 081(T) SOG 7kn'ish sailing with poled 2-reef genoa quite nicely. Wind SW F6. 2-3m seas & sunny.
Flores, Azores is 082(T) 625NM Dist Run by log in last 24 hours 153NM Distance made good towards Flores 159NM.
During hours of darkness on watch this morning BBC World Service reported Cheeki Rafiti latest news. Day before yesterday we overheard the British SAR aircraft report spotting wreckage close to our intended course to steer today. Earlier yesterday at noon we couldn't miss seeing a US Navy SAR helicopter circling close by on our port side. The helicopter flew over to us at low level then returned to same area on our port side. In meantime the US warship, which had been searching an area few miles to the N of us, took-off at high speed towards the helicopter and us. The warship called us on VHF C16 and asked us to keep clear whilst they manoeuvred to put a manned boat in the water to inspect Cheeki Rafiti wreckage located on the surface by their helicopter. We were less than 2 miles away and would not have spotted the up-turned hull if not for the close presence of the helicopter. The US warship then made arrangements for the US Navy Auxilary ship Gumman, which had been searching an ar
ea few miles to S of us, to join them. We continued sailing on our way without interfering with their SAR operations. BBC World Service now reports the US Navy used underwater cameras to inspect inside the up-turned hull revealing smashed windows, liferaft attached and not launched. We were passing through the search areas
keeping lookout for the liferaft and we pinned our hopes on finding it because there is always a chance survivors can be found, no matter how small the odds.
Fellow yachties, as well friends and family of yachties will probably feel like I do as I write this day's blog during my 00:00 - 03:00 watch, early hours this morning. There by the grace of God go I.
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 24/05/2014 14:58 UT our position was 38°35.42'N 044°32.85'W