Web Waypoints - August 2006 - Soundings Online

Web Waypoints - August 2006

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Picasso stolen from megayacht is found

A valuable Pablo Picasso charcoal sketch stolen from a 147-foot megayacht in 2004 has been recovered in a sting operation. Miami-Dade police announced in June that they had arrested a 48-year-old man in connection with the theft, the

Miami Herald newspaper reported. The man, who reportedly claims he isn’t the person who stole the sketch, contacted another person who left the rolled up piece of art under a palm tree. Though police recovered the sketch — a partial draft of Picasso’s 1925 painting Les Trois Danseuses (The Three Dancers) — the drop-off person escaped.

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A Washington State man recently pleaded guilty to charges that he deliberately sank his fishing boat and lied to authorities about it. Ahmet “Turk” Artuner, who is 53 and of Ferndale, told jurors in May that he sank his 73-foot fishing vessel off California in March 2003, according to a story in California’s Ventura County Star newspaper. When Coast Guard authorities found the sunken vessel and traced it to Artuner, he said he was in Washington at the time of the sinking and that another man had been living aboard the boat, which turned out to be untrue. Artuner faces up to 10 years in prison, the report says, and agreed to pay $132,000 to the Coast Guard and to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigative Division.

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The skipper and mate of Gipsy Moth IV, the historic ketch that Sir Francis Chichester sailed solo around the world with only one port of call in 1966 and ’67, were relieved of duty in May after they ran the 53-footer aground in the South Pacific. The UK Sailing Academy had performed an investigation to determine how Antonia Nicholson, the 32-year-old captain, and mate Chris Bruce, 24, ran Gipsy Moth onto the reef north of Tahiti, the academy says. The boat reportedly sustained a hole in her starboard side, as well as other damage, and was transported to New Zealand for repairs. She was being crewed by a group of volunteers with a two-year charity project, and is expected to continue sailing. Nicholson and Bruce can appeal the academy’s decision, but it wasn’t immediately known if they would.

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A Russian cruising family plagued by immigration woes returned to Canada in June, hoping to make a permanent home there. Vitaly and Marina Bondarenko and their two young boys landed in Nova Scotia after being awarded a one-year temporary residency permit to return to the country, Rhode Island’s Providence Journal newspaper reported. The Bondarenkos had lived in Canada for several months when their visas expired last June and they were told to leave. The family, who had been living aboard and cruising for 15 years, sailed to Bermuda, then to the British Virgin Islands while awaiting the permit.

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A Florida teenager was held for more than 20 days in June on charges of driving an 18-foot skiff over a young snorkeler, who died. Authorities say the teen ran over the 6-year-old boy off Key West, Fla., on Memorial Day then fled the scene, the Associated Press reported. The 13-year-old is charged with vessel homicide and reportedly faces up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if charged as an adult. As a juvenile, he could instead receive probation, deferred prosecution or commitment to a residential juvenile program. The 6-year-old had been snorkeling with his father and a sibling when the incident happened.

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A group of archaeologists say they might have found the sunken vessel of 18th-century British explorer Capt. James Cook. Researchers at the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project announced in May that they found the wreckage of four ships they believe are part of a 13-vessel fleet sunk in Narragansett (R.I.) Bay by the British in 1778, according to a Reuters news report. One of those vessels, they say, is the 109-foot bark Lord Sandwich, which records apparently show was once Cook’s and was named Endeavour. The team says it so far has recovered a cannon, anchor and part of a British teapot from the ship.