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Adrift at sea

JAN. 15 — Mystery shrouds one 30-foot vessel found on the shores of Kauai, Hawaii, that was found stocked with food, beer, and a laptop computer – and traveled on its own an estimated 2,500 miles.

The Catalina sloop “The Bug Trap” belongs to Darrin Bunker, a 42-year-old resident of Dana Point, Calif., who purchased the vessel at DanaPointHarbor about three months ago, according to the ABC News. He reportedly left his hometown Oct. 3 for San Diego, according to Narik McArthur who sold the boat to Bunker.

“I asked him if he’d sailed, and he said not really,” said McArthur to the Los Angeles Times. “But he said it had been his dream to live on a boat.”

The sloop was found by the Coast Guard and towed in on Jan. 6. The mast was torn loose and the cabin was slightly damaged by a fire, but authorities have ruled out foul play, according to ABC News. The Coast Guard told the Los Angeles Times that they believe the sloop drifted down the coast to Baja, Calif., where it was swept out to Hawaii by trade winds. Even though Bunker was missing for three months, no one reported him gone to the authorities and his family described him as an “enigmatic loner,” according to news reports.

The Coast Guard speculates that the fire might have started when Bunker fell asleep on the coach with a lit cigarette. Since the nozzle on a can of gasoline in the cabin was loose, it could have ignited, causing Bunker to jump into the water. The case is still under investigation at this time.

— Elizabeth Ellis