I was on holiday with my husband in Fiji and we always knew we didn’t want to fly back home – we wanted to sail. So, luckily, we found – through an internet site – a nice experienced captain willing to take on two novice sailors.
Our radio wasn’t working on the way out but we never guessed that would be a problem.
About seven days into the 14-day trip we hit a storm (– which could have been avoided had the radio been working.
After two days of travelling in a steep 45-degree slant, over huge waves, the three of us were all suddenly flung through the air and water started gushing into the boat.
Shocked, we picked ourselves up and I ran for the lifeboats. The captain had a bleeding head wound and seemed dazed. Luckily, the boat wasn’t sinking but we had a serious moment when we thought we were going to die. Instead, the water had been rushing through an unsecured porthole on the roof.
We had capsized right over, then popped up the right way again. The mast was broken, the diesel had all spilled out, everything was soaking wet.
We called for help on the long-range walkie talkies and luckily had a response, before – just like in the movies – the walkie talkies stopped working due to water damage!
We floated on the water in the storm with no mast and no way to steer for 26 hours before being rescued by an Indonesian fishing ship. – Caitlin Lester, Otago New Zealand
Want to read another true story of a fishing trip that turned into a matter of life and death?