A man is never lost at sea.
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Yeah, well. Romantically said, not so romantically done. Just ask the families and loved ones of the crew of the "Pineapple," a 38-ft. catamaran that went missing at sea for more than ten days. I am one of those "friends and loved ones" and you could have cut my poor heart out with a spoon while all this lost-at-sea drama was coming down.
You may have been following their adventures on the news the last couple of weeks. It was all over the place: CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. They left Guam with all intentions of reaching Cebu in the Philippines in maybe ten days or so. Were confident enough to have already made their flight reservations back home. Then they seemed to fallk off the planet. Went missing. Gone without a trace.
Or so it seemed to anxious families and friends. Seems though, they were doing okay but had rudder problems and couldn't steer, but how were we to know? They had decided not to bring a way to communicate long distance--HF radio, SAT phone. What the hell, hey? We'll be fine. The voyage from Guam to the P.I. is a downhill cakewalk and the weather looks great.
Did they capsize and go down? Any boat can do that, but catamarans have a reputation. Did the boat break up and sink? That happens, too. Were they attacked by pirates? Someone asked me that. The answer is, not probable. Not many pirates have set up shop between Guam and the P.I.
A huge search and rescue operation was launched. C-130s from Hawaii joined planes from the P.I. Coast Guard vessels followed their assumed track, commercial shipping in the area were notified. Back home, on Guam and in the States, we held our breaths and crossed our fingers and shared hopeful messages with one another. Then, the husband of the lone woman on board, receive a phone call: "Hi, honey, it's me!"
And so, the drama ended. They were 150 miles from their destination, sailing again after making repairs. For some reason, her cell phone coverage extended out that far. (Go figure. Whose her carrier?).
All's well that ends well, but they got some 'splaining to do.