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Saturday, August 22, 2009

It Can't Sink, It Can't Sink, It Can't Sink

It can't sink, it can't sink, it can't sink were the words going through my mind along with help us Lord Jesus, and trust your equipment. Bob is saying don't panic. He did not remember saying those words to me, but it actually helped me to remember not to panic.

Hugh waves are breaking into the boat, we are being pushed up on a shoal. The boat is full of water and if it is not tied down it is gone. The antenna has fallen, the T top dry box just bounced open and all my important papers are falling, the waves are pushing us up to the rocks that we can't see, it is pitch black out with a cloud cover, our spotlight is only good for a few feet because of the fog. We are scared, I am scared both for my life and for the mission, especially the mission.

A few minutes prior to this, I was driving, it has gotten dark and I am totally exhausted so I ask Bob to drive. He too is exhausted. We have just passed a light house on the outer Islands of Faroe. There is a small town there. We decide to go back to the small town to spend the night.

When we got back we can't find the harbor, because there is none. There are two large fishing boats not too far back; we decide to follow them in. Only they are too far away and they disappear. The waves are over 10 foot and it is black out. We see a couple of light houses in the distance, and Bob wants to tuck in behind an Island.

Suddenly the waves get much bigger and start breaking into the boat. In ten minutes a relatively calm rolling ten footers went to xxxxx. Ten minutes ago we had a better chance to follow two much larger boats, but they are both gone. Ten minutes ago we felt successful having reached the Faroe Islands, ten minutes. Now the waves are filling the boat. Bob still wants to find a way to get out of the storm. I want to get away from the rocks. I don't even know where they are, you can only see the outline of an Island. We both think the storm caught up with us.

I want to get out to the open sea. I will take my chances with the bigger waves, but not the rocks. Bob, let me take the helm, gladly. It won't sink, it won't sink, it won't sink. Don't panic. Don't panic, Help me Lord, help us Lord, please, Trust your equipment. Trust your equipment. I set a course back out. The boat is full of water, more waves are breaking. We are talking to search and rescue, we only want directions, they want information, and I don't want to change screens to give them the coordinates.

Can't get the boat straight, Bob climbs out to fix the antenna, waves are still breaking into the boat. It is pitch black out and it is hard to drive by GPS only. It is slow to respond, hard to starboard, hard to starboard, why won't this heading change, too far, hard to port hard to port. Waves are still breaking into the boat. Up and down. Suddenly there is a bright star or a planet. We lock in on our bearing. We get the boat straight, trust your equipment. Bob wants me to do something, can't take my eyes off the screen, suddenly we are spinning around again, don't know where the rocks are. There is the star, keep it on the right, starboard.

We are back out to open sea. The waves stop breaking. We get in the shelter of some islands. Wow, we are still going. The mission is still on!!!!

There is a helicopter with a spotlight in the distance. Are they looking for us? We get them on the radio, they were looking for us, it is Ok, and they go home. Do we wait for day light or try to make Torshavn tonight? Bob takes the helm. He gets us there. I try to sleep. So cold, so wet, I don't think anyone makes a suit for what we are doing.

The first person we meet in Torshavn is Linjohn Christianson. Get this he is the captain of the Akamalik, the STAR OF THE NEW DISCOVERY CHANNEL TELEVISION SERIES, MIGHTY SHIPS, a Greenland Icebreaker Fishing Ship. What are the odds? He invites us over for a shower, a nap, and breakfast. I am writing this from his daughter’s computer.

Mine, well, both dry boxes got full of water last night. Thank God Panasonic gave us a Tough Book, because, well I hope I can find someone to pull the hard drive from my new anchor because that is all it will be good for. It is now time to go into full use of that Toughbook, it still works.

When I turned this one on, we were already on the home page of the Faroe Islands

God bless

2 comments:

  1. We had an interesting, cold, wet, rough crossing. One of the neatest things, a small bird, landed on our bean bag and road with us for a while. He even flew in front of me while I was sitting in the captains seat next to standing Ralph. The bird just hoovered one foot from my chest and one foot to the left of Ralph. He hoovered there for about thirty seconds, flew off and came back a couple more times including had a seat on the seat next to me and I told Ralph not to sit down as to keep our visiter safe.

    We also saw the most impressive rainbow I've ever seen. It looked more like it was airbrushed than real. As it turned out, we had a heading right in the center of it. It was a complete rainbow. I took some pics, but I'm sure they will loose some of the brillance.

    This crossing from the V island to the Faroes was our second worse crossing. We had fairly big seas, not in the direction that we wanted, I have yet to get any going in the right direction to test some surfing. I won't waste the time going in the wrong direction and we are always in a hurry. I still have about 800 miles to get some surfing in, the ice bergs stuff was good, but I want to try to jump off the bow of the boat into a face of a wave. The wave has to be atleast eight feet for it to be steep enough and last long enought to ride. MOst of the waves seem to shift and reshift all the time, so it has to be about eight feet to retain enough of it's shape to get a good ride. I also want the weather to be right and the visibility to be really good so as not to get seperated for the boat, (I will be carrying a flare gun in the event that it could happen.)

    Bob Brown

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  2. We arrived at V island around midnight and slept on the boat till morning. I got up at 6 am and walked around the town while Ralph slept. It was a really cool town, I didn't have my camera with me. I went back to get it when I met the Harbor guy. He was sending a truck for gas around eigth, so I never got to go back and take pictures. I do have some at the dock and the clifts near the harbor.

    We finally got fueled up around 10 am and started our crossing to Faroe. We drove so close to Iceland that we almost should have not fueled up in V island and just drove fast to a town east of Vic where we had originally planned to go. That would have been a good stop and we wouldn't have had to carry as much fuel, making us heavy and slow. The mountains along Iceland were covered with snow and some small glaciers were going to the sea. Beautiful!!! The weather steadly got worse and the seas rose up to well over 10 foot, atleast the random waves in the bigger sets. I got a huge headake when Ralph decided to try to do some wave riding in the boat while I was asleep. He finished the ride going over a huge jump and the boat and motor came out of the water, thus I got my head slambed into what you would think was a soft beanbag. The headake lasted about 45 minutes. He said sorry, but he couldn't resist, the wave was too perfect.

    We met the Star of a new TV show coming out soon. It is Mighty Ships Discovery Show, Linjohn was down at the docks and discovered us freezing. I had just changed out of my wet clothes into dry and Ralph was just opening his drybox where I helped him pour the water out of his computor that was supposed to be inclosed in a dry bag inside of his duct taped up dry cooler as a storage drybox. Ralph later poured fresh water into all the vents so that after it drys out we can attempt to recover the information on his hard drive. He figures that he will only get one chance to get it to work.

    Tomorrow morning we will be going to the Vesturkirkjan church in town for the 11 am service.

    Thanks to Linjohn and his family for all the help they have given us.

    Bob Brown

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