Efter en vecka till sjoss och med ca 1400 nm kvar till Flores drabbades Andante av en storm. Baten gjorde en kullerbytta vilket orsakade manga skador och mycket vattenintrangning. Den som ar intresserad av handelseforloppet kan lasa den engelska beskrivningen i bilagd fil. Efter tva dagar blev jag upplockad av Frontlines M/T FRONT LEOPARD och sitter nu har ombord pa vag till Houston I Texas. ANDANTE lamnades med oppna sittbrunnsluckor och ligger med storsta sannolikhet nu pa havets botten da vinstyrkor upp till 25 m/s uppmattes har ombord nasta dag. ANDANTE-perioden ar alltsa over och nu ar det dags for nasta projekt, Sommarstugebygget pa Styrso. Det kanns nastan som att vara med i Lasse Abergs gamla SOS –film. Men kara vanner, som ni alla vet, segla ar nodvandigt, sa kanske kommer jag att lasa batannonser snart igen.
Sent torsdag kväll (europa tid) fick jag meddelande från Roy att han funderade på att överge Andante och be om assistans. Jag bekräftade den dåliga väderprognosen och uppmanade honom att trycka på ”irben”. Tog kontakt med Erika som var ”irb”-bekräftare att vi var ute på sjön ifall vi skulle satt igång den. Erika ringde sjöräddning i Göteborg och vi kunde ha ett trepartsamtal. Så fort irb-signalen fångats upp ringde US Coast Guard och kollade att det var allvar och att insats behövdes. De ringde och meddelade när de fått kontakt med Leopard och berättade att ett flygplan och tankbåten skulle söka upp Andante. Sedan ringde de igen när Roy var ombord i säkerhet. Fantastiskt professionella och lugnande! Stort tack till USCG!
Här följer Roys redogörelse/rapport till USCG.
Rescued by a Leopard
My name is Roy Jaan I am a 63 year’s old retired captain. I served as master in the merchant navy for about ten years. Sailing has from childhood always been one of my passions. My sailing boat was a 33 feet double-ender type Allegro 33 which has a long keel. The boat-type’s design is appropriate for ocean crossing, strong built and good course stability. I was after two seasons in the Caribbean Sea on my way back to Europe. I departed from Norfolk, Virginia May 15, 2019 aiming for Ile of Flores, Azores.
May 20, my position was about 1400 nm west of Ile of Flores. The weather forecast showed that wind force 15 m/s were expected early next morning. I decided to take in the main sail and the genoa and hoist a small storm jib. I wanted to have a calm night and not change the sail-setting in darkness. After midnight, the wind force increased rapidly and I understood that this was well above 15 m/s. I had no wind instrument onboard and could thus not measure the wind force. But I saw how the white breaking tops of the waves were blowing away by the wind. This indicates wind forces around 10 Beaufort. The seas had grown significantly and the yacht was from time to time surfing down the waves. The sea-anchor needs to be launched in order to reduce the speed. But the yacht was hit by a breaking wave and turned, mast-down-keel-up, 360 degrees before this action was taken. A hatch in the cockpit was broken up by a heavy table and a solar panel which were stored in the compartment below. The yachts rotation continued to about 120-150 degrees before it stopped. The open hatch-hole was now under the water surface and a large volume of sea-water entered into to the boat. But the mast was still standing, the sails were still there and the rudder was functioning. The most urgent action was now to prevent another upside-down incident. I launched the sea-anchor connected to a 50 m line. The speed was reduced but after a few minutes the sea-anchors’ fabric broke of from its lines and I was back in a bad situation. The electricity was gone due to the sea water inside the boat and the auto helm could not be used. The wind vane was damaged and out of order. Hand steering was the only possible way to keep the stern against wind and waves in order to avoid another 360 turn. Luckily, I could use the hand operated bilge pump and the rudder simultaneously and commenced to pump out the sea water. The self draining cockpit was filled with water two times more but now the hatch was closed and no more water entered into the interior. After several hours, the wind force decreased and I could stabilize the wind vane with a rope and put it into operation again. The functionality was not very good but better than nothing. I had now time to survey the damages and evaluate the situation. It was a wet mess inside the boat. Sea-water, smashed eggs, rice, lenses etc. were all over the interior. The electricity was gone and I could not find the torch among the piles of other things. The grab-bag was disappeared from its hook and hidden somewhere under all the other things.
I was now aware that I had 1400 nm to go, no autopilot, no water maker, no navigation lights and no navigation equipment. I had a GPS in the hand held VHF and in my wristwatch. The wind vane was possible to repair but more time was required. The weather forecast expected bad weather conditions next day again. I understood, after two days without rest, I was too exhausted to perform another night’s hand steering. I had some communication (inReach) with my wife who confirmed the weather forecast from other sources. In the afternoon May 23, I decided to activate the EPIRB.
About four hours later the deck lights from M/T FRONT LEOPARD became visible in the darkness. I placed two water proof battery lamps on deck in order to be visible. I tried a VHF call by the hand held VHF but the distance between me and M/T FRONT LEOPARD was still to long. Some minutes later, I heard VHF-communication between an airplane from US Coast Guard and the captain of M/T FRONT LEOPARD. Within short,VHF-communication was established between me and the captain of M/T FRONT LEOPARD, I was visible on radar but not visually. I lit a red flair which was thus easy to see from M/T FRONT LEOPARD. We agreed on rescue method. There was still very rough sea and to launch a rescue boat from M/T FRONT LEOPARD was considered as a very high risk. We agreed that the less risky method was to use the pilot ladder. M/T FRONT LEOPARD is a large ship, 109 000 DWT, length = 250 meters beam = 44 meters. The captain informed me that he will give me shelter from the wind before I was alongside. It was impressing to see how the captain in rough weather condition maneuvered this large tanker close up to my side without touching my yacht. A line was connected to the yacht which was hauled alongside. The mast was slamming into the ships side but the pilot ladder was at safe distance in the position of my stern. I connected the safety line provided from the crew on deck to my harness and climbed up to safety.
Well onboard, the medical officer interviewed me concerning my health condition, checked for fever etc. I was offered a nice meal of warm food and had a warm shower and a good night sleep in a warm bed. Next day, the wind instrument showed wind force 9 Beaufort with gusts up to 10 Beaufort. It was a pleasure to sit on the bridge and look down at the big waves. The life was nice again.
• Do not depart too early! According the original plan, I was going to depart in the end of May, beginning of June. I changed the plan when I saw a long term weather forecast showing good weather condition the next coming week.
• Make sure that your sea-anchor is of high quality! Mine was not strong enough which took me into a dangerous situation.
• Make sure that your grab-bag not can move from its place if your boat turns up-side-down!
• Heavy things stored under hatches should be secured!
• Trust your barometer! A forecast is only what the word means, a forecast. A rapid air-pressure fall is something that is happening where you are.
Basic facts about the yacht
Type: Allegro 33, double-ender, long keel, L=9,85m B=3,3m D=1,5m
Propulsion: Sails and inboard diesel.
Communication: VHF, inReach satellite texter, AIS
Safety: Safety-harness, EPIRB, Rockets and flairs, life raft, guard-zone alarm on radar, daily weather reports (from inReach), barometer which writes and save the barograph for 12 hours.
Fresh water: Water maker, capacity 12,5 L/h.
Self steering: Monitor wind vane, Electric autopilot.