They’re called drifters or ghost ships — lost, abandoned, partially sunk or crippled vessels that cross vast expanses of open water on the great ocean currents, sometimes with a starving crew but mostly without. Or with their ghosts.
I wrote a column recently about the amazing voyage of a 26-foot Regulator lost off Nantucket, Mass., in 2008 that was found floating off Spain earlier this year — more than three years later. The twin Yamahas were still bolted to their bracket, even if the cowlings were long gone, along with the hatches and deck cap. A remarkable journey for a small production boat.
The most recent headlines involve a 150-foot Japanese squid boat lost in last year’s tsunami that was spotted a week ago off British Columbia. It was expected to make landfall within 50 days, give or take.
This ghost ship — no one aboard — may be one of the first large pieces of tsunami debris to reach these shores. More — a lot more — may be arriving during the next several months.
Click here for a news report on the ghost ship.
Officials estimate that thousands of tons of debris from the catastrophe could survive the transoceanic drift. And don’t be surprised if another ghost ship or two are among the travelers.
With so many fishing vessels lost in the tsunami, a Maine boatbuilder put together a fleet of 20 small boats this winter that recently were delivered to Japanese fishermen who had lost everything.