Update on Everest Horizontal seach, Thursday, June 26, 7:45 a.m. Eastern time:
There have been a couple of hopeful twists of fate in the search for Tim Kent’s Open 50, Everest Horizontal.
I arrived in Bristol Tuesday morning and soon checked on our boat to start preparing for a quick departure. Phone calls were flying about between Alan Paris (in Bermuda), Tim (in Milwaukee, I think), Brad (in between flights), and me. Plan A was for me and Tim to depart as soon as possible on the approximately 2/3 day trip to his boat’s last reported location. Tim was rushing to Chicago to get a new passport, since his had been in the boat of course and was lost. Alan was searching for a more economical salvage boat…..Plan B would be to leave Ocean Planet in Bristol and instead head out directly from Bermuda with a salvage boat and hope to locate EH without a lot of expensive (charged by the hour!) searching.
Around mid-day, Alan called up with some interesting news: EH had just been sighted by a racer in the Marion-Bermuda race so they had a new position fix which was encouraging in that she hadn’t moved all that far. This new position meant that the chances of locating the boat with a salvage crew where much improved if they could depart soon enough, or if we could leave immediately on Ocean Planet…..but Tim was stuck in traffic in Chicago and wouldn’t have his passport processed until Wednsday. I had the bottom cleaned on OP, gathered up our safety gear stored at Bill & BJ Stephens’ house, and stood by for more news from Tim/Alan/Brad. Brad arrived in Newport and was ready to drop off an extra Iridium phone and maybe some surplus freeze-dried food from his boat supplies.
Early yesterday (Wednsday), Alan called with more good news: he had found a much more economical salvage boat. Tim would have to make the final call, whether to come to Newport to head out on OP, or head straight for Bermuda and start searching. Tim called a few hours later (finally armed with a passport) with his decision: Plan B it was. He will arrive in Bermuda today, and we will all keep our fingers crossed that EH hasn’t moved too far and that the salvage search is quick! He thanked me profusely for flying out on short notice and having my boat ready in case we were needed, I let him know it was no problem.
Let’s all hope for the best of luck for Tim and his boat. There are so many questions that won’t be answered until they find her. Is the mast in one piece? The boom still attached? The sails shredded underwater? They don’t need me on the salvage boat so I’ll be heading back home in a few days. I have to admit that I was getting a little amped up for a search mission, but there is a lot to attend to at home and I was glad to help by being ready just in case.
I will update you all on Tim’s search as I get the news, and will keep my fingers crossed for him.
Skipper, Ocean Planet