These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com, which also contains a searchable archive of Soundings stories.
Classic burns and sinks en route to Galapagos
Barely seven months after a complete restoration, the 107-foot classic wooden motoryacht Dorothea burned and sank in the Pacific shortly before being delivered to her owners, former U.S. ambassador to Singapore Steven Green and his
wife, Dorothea, according to a report in The Seattle Times.Capt. John Crupi was taking the yacht to the Galapagos Islands to meet Green when it caught fire, giving the crew only 20 minutes to abandon the vessel, get into a life raft, and set off an emergency signal before Dorothea was completely engulfed. No one was injured, but the crew spent three hours in the water before an aircraft from U.S. Customs and Border Protection out of Texas spotted them and contacted a nearby Panamanian tuna boat, which picked them up and delivered them to a U.S. Navy vessel that had arrived on scene. Dorothea was originally built in 1967 by Vic Franck and designed by Seattle naval architect William Garden, according to the report.
Petr Muzik, a 69-year-old veteran sailor from Cape Town, South Africa, became a circumnavigator despite a dying engine and his boat taking on water, according to a report by Sail-World.com.
After 1,100 days of sailing and visiting 32 countries, his yacht, Shoestring, limped into Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town after enduring winds that tossed her onto a coral reef near the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean, damaging the engine, propeller and keel. But Muzik was resourceful. After the boat began taking on water, he covered the hole with foam and fashioned a rudder out of a daggerboard from an abandoned catamaran, eventually hand-steering Shoestring through RichardsBay, Port Elizabeth, MosselBay, and finally Cape Town. “It was only at 69 that I finally achieved my dream,” Muzik said.
At age 15, David Morse of Great Britain has a rare physical disorder called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, which is non-progressive but limits the use of his lower limbs due to muscle weakness. That, however, hasn’t stopped him from sailing. Sponsored by the Whyte and MacKay Earls Court Boat Show held in London in December, Morse had his own stand to launch his campaign to participate in the 2012 Paralympic Games, according to BYM News. After participating in the International Multihull Championships in Greece last June sailing a Challenger Trimaran, a sailboat designed specifically for people with physical constraints, he has been selected for the Challenger Transition Squad for pre-
Paralympic training. And Morse is in good company. The Challenger Trimaran is also the boat of choice for Geoff Holt, the 41-year-old British quadriplegic sailor who completed a 1,400-mile solo voyage around Britain in September.
A 61-year-old Beckley, W.Va., man was stopped by police when he was seen driving a lawn mower towing a 15-foot powerboat with children on board along busy city streets, according to a report by the Associated Press. They were bound for the King Tut Drive-In restaurant at about 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. Questioned by officials, the man said he wanted to give his grandchildren a treat with an extra-special ride around town, according to the report. Seeing the humor of the situation, police didn’t charge the man but gave him a verbal warning because the children weren’t restrained. The man was instructed to have someone pick up the children in a more conventional vehicle with seatbelts.