Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lost at Sea, Found at Sea

                       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.

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