19 REASONS THIS “SURVIVAL” STORY SMELLS FISHY

[This entire post was imported from here, so that I could cut out the swearing for a friend. Plus it’s a great post. Everything that follows this paragraph is not mine, but is from that author. I knew they were fakes already. When I read these ladies claims about a school of tiger sharks attacking them all night, I busted out laughing. I knew at that point we were witnessing a couple of marvelous fabulists … as the author amply demonstrates below. The author’s story begins now …]


Have you missed me? Trick question; I know you’ve missed me. Frankly, the main reason I haven’t been writing is laziness. I make no bones about it. The second reason is that I got hit by a car in April and broke four bones in my hand, and the third is that I had a very outdoorsy summer (after my hand healed), and the fourth is that I have a girlfriend to occupy my free time now, and the fifth is that the world has gone insane.

I mean, what am I even supposed to write about? What am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to point to one stupid thing to focus on — like the fact that Solar Roadways’ website suddenly doesn’t work because haha to them — when the real-life things that are happening are so much stupider? The world is an Onion headline and I can’t even pick a place to start.

So let’s start with some morons in a boat!

No politics here (though I’m sure if you squint you can find a way to accuse me of racism or sexism or something), just me and my lifetime of sailing experience, including nearly five years living on a boat, against these two idiots.

Those two are named Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, and their story has been everywhere recently. Here’s their account of what happened, in brief:

They set off from Hawaii in May of this year, bound for Tahiti. They were caught in a storm that both ruined their engine and rendered their mast and sails useless. They were unable to contact help. They drifted for five months, living off of dry food and a handheld watermaker (takes the salt out of seawater so you can drink it) until they were rescued by a fishing boat and, eventually, the Navy.

Now here’s how much of their story makes sense:

They left Hawaii in May. They were rescued five months later by the Navy.

That’s it. That’s the only portion of their story that has even a shred of credibility to it. Now, I’m not going to speculate as to their motives yet, but I will point out that the world of open-water sailing is an obscure one to most people. I am one of a small minority to have spent a lot of time sailing on the open ocean, out of sight of land for months at a time. So I don’t blame journalists for not catching these things at first sight. But that’s why I’m here to explain them to you.

1. Food

These women were able to survive because they had vast stores of dry food on board —mainly oatmeal, pasta, and rice. I’m going to assume that they’re giving an incomplete picture of what they ate, because if that’s all they had they would have died. No question. The human body cannot live on carbs alone for five months, nor can the two dogs they had on board with them. Even ignoring the essential nutrients like vitamins, there are eight amino acids from protein and fats (11 for dogs) that the body cannot synthesize, without which you will die in a couple of months. Unfortunately, the Nazis performed just such an experiment, so we know this to be true.

So I’ll assume they also had some Centrum Silver and canned sardines on board that they didn’t talk about that kept them from dying. What I’m more concerned about is how they didn’t just starve to death.

See, most news outlets who’ve reported on this story say they had a year’s worth of food on board. The Independent quotes Appel as follows:

“They [experienced sailors in Hawaii] said pack every square inch of your boat with food, and if you think you need a month, pack six months, because you have no idea what could possibly happen out there.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but that is utter horsefeathers. In my time living on boats, I undertook literally hundreds of overnight passages. Probably a dozen of them took more than a few days, and six took more than a week. One took two weeks, one took three. And at no point in those five years did anyone ever advise us to carry six times as much food as we might need, let alone 12. You see, the passage from Hawaii to Tahiti is 2600 miles.

Capture
Tahiti is very small, you’re going to have to trust me on this one.

In a boat like theirs (we’ll get to the boat), 120 miles in 24 hours is a very reasonable pace to expect. That’s a passage of 21 days. Three weeks. And you packed food for a year? That doesn’t make sense. An inexperienced sailor wouldn’t have thought to do that, and an experienced one would have known it wasn’t necessary.

And then there’s the matter of carrying that much food. Luckily, Costco sells a year’s worth of food, so we know what it looks like.

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That’s a year’s worth of food, for four people, at 1300 calories per person. For two people, it’s 2600 calories a day, which is a very reasonable amount to eat when you’re out at sea, moving around, pumping a hand desalinator all day long. It comes on a pallet and weighs 1800 pounds, and is an absolutely ludicrous amount of food to bring on board a 50-foot boat. These people were vastly overprepared in the food department.

But weirdly, they claim to have gone through 90% of their food by the time they were rescued. So did they bring six months’ supply or a year? And how did they go through it so quickly?

2. Water

You can’t drink seawater. More specifically, you can, but it’ll kill you, and pretty quickly at that. Appel claims that they made water using a desalinator, presumably a handheld one like this.

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That one will put out about a quart an hour. So mow much do they need?

Let’s assume that they’re each eating 1500 calories a day, and the two dogs are eating that between them (again, ignoring the fact that dogs can’t survive on a carb-only diet). That’s 4500 calories a day of oatmeal, pasta, and rice. They didn’t tell us how much of each they ate, but I did some poking around and found that 1000 calories of rice needs about three cups of water to prepare, while 1000 calories of oatmeal needs about 12. Pasta is somewhere in the middle. Let’s average it out to about 6 cups of water (1.5 quarts) per 1000 calories of food.

So for 4500 calories a day, they need 6.75 quarts of water. Now, how about drinking water? All the info I found said that humans need around two quarts a day, though they can survive on one quart a day if it’s absolutely necessary and they’re not exposed to too much sun. At two quarts a day, between them and the dogs, that’s another six quarts a day for a total of 12.75 quarts. That means between them, they’re operating the watermaker literally all day long. Granted, the boat had water tanks, but I don’t know how big they were. And if you’re outside in the sun, trying to fix the boat, working up a sweat, etc., those needs will go up. Surviving would be a struggle.

[EDIT 11/1/17: there are a ton of other desalinator options on the market that would meet their needs more easily, though they didn’t specify what kind they used. It also appears they have a wind generator in some of the photos, which might have made enough power to run an electric one, depending on conditions. Safe to assume water wasn’t an issue.]

Which brings me to my next point:

3. Their Condition

Take another look at these women.

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These are not women who are struggling to survive. They have not been dehydrated, or even operating at a caloric deficit, for five months.

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They are healthy enough to stand up and blow kisses at their rescuers, and the dog still has visible, healthy muscle tone.

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They are healthy enough to climb long ladders unassisted while smiling enthusiastically.

Do you see my point? These women and their dogs aren’t starving. They’re not close. They’re not even skinny. They have visible subcutaneous fat. Their faces are plump, not sunken and emaciated. Their skin isn’t burned, their lips aren’t chapped, there is no indication whatsoever that they’ve been through any kind of hardship. The dogs have shiny coats and strong muscles.

For contrast, I present Maurice and Maralyn Bailey.

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In 1973, their boat was sunk by a whale in the Pacific. They collected seawater and ate birds, fish, and turtles. They were out for 117 days (less than four months) before being rescued, and they each lost forty pounds. They look like Holocaust survivors. Jennifer Appel and Taisha Fuiva haven’t lost an ounce.

4. The Storm

Let’s backtrack to how they got stranded in the first place. They left Hawaii on May 3, and hit trouble right away. Appel claims they hit a storm with “force 11” winds on their first night.

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I had to.

“Force 11” is a reference to the Beaufort Scale, a somewhat archaic but still widely used scale of wind strength that goes from 1-12. 12 is a hurricane, 11 is 64-72 mph winds. Think about putting your hand out the window on the highway and you’ll know how scary that might be. The thing is, they say this happened on the first night. If they left at dawn on May 3, that means they’re at most 18 hours from Hawaii, or about 90 miles. And the highest wind speed that Hawaii experienced that entire week was under 30 mph. And that weather data is from Bradshaw Air Field, way up on Mauna Kea, so it’s not sheltered at all. Is it completely impossible that they were experiencing 70 mph winds less than 100 miles from the island? No. But it is profoundly unlikely.

Apparently, that storm rendered the sails unusable. Some reporters said that the mast “broke,” which it clearly didn’t, but I’ll let that slide as ignorant reporting. Pictures of the boat are a little suspicious, though.

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The mast is still upright, and the forestay, backstay, and shrouds (wires that hold the mast up) are still intact. The boom is still attached. The mainsail is down and, though sloppily folded, isn’t obviously damaged. The jib is neatly rolled, and both sheets are still attached. There is absolutely no indication that this boat isn’t capable of moving under its own power. I know I’m not on the boat and I haven’t examined it myself, but I’ve seen booms break. I’ve seen masts break. I’ve seen sails blow out. It is shockingly violent, and you are absolutely not able to put the sails away afterward in the way that these sails have been stowed.

[EDIT 11/1/17: one source mentions a damaged spreader, a structural component of the mast that I can’t assess from the photos. A damaged spreader might have prevented them from running at full sail in strong winds, but would not have immobilized the boat by any means. If the jib was intact, and it certainly seems to be, any competent sailor could have gotten the boat moving.]

Around May 30, Appel says they hit a second storm. Now, at this point, it’s been 27 days since they left. They should be there by now. To make the trip in 27 days requires a pace of only 96 miles a day. That is, by any boat’s standards, a snail’s pace. It’s an average speed of four knots, and that’s how long it would take to cover the entire distance to Tahiti. So where the heck are they on May 30? Granted, you can only expect about 500 miles of range out of a marine motor, but if your sails are rendered unusable on May 3, you’re still 2500 miles from Tahiti, you’re only 90 miles from Hawaii, and you have to know your engine won’t get you to Tahiti, why wouldn’t you turn back?

Grudgingly, let’s move past that. Let’s assume they’re barely crawling south, under engine power only, knowing full well the engine can’t take them that far, and they’re somewhere in this region.

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From CNN’s video:

“we had no way to realize that we were about to enter a typhoon that had winds of 100 to 150 miles an hour and minimum wave heights of 40-foot height.”

Nope. Bulldust. Absolute bulldust. There is no flipping way that this is what happened. Firstly, look back at the boat. That mainsail is stowed very sloppily. It’s not folded right or lashed down properly. There’s no sail cover, for which I can think of no justification. It has many folds and loose parts for the winds to catch. 100-mph winds would have shredded that like a cat shreds toilet paper.

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Here is a helpful visual aid.

Same goes for that canvas awning over the cockpit. That awning is probably 3’x4′ at the end, so using the formula F = 1/2(rho)*v^2*A*C for wind load, the awning is experiencing at least 4500 pounds of pressure on it. If the wind is dead on, it’s closer to 9000. There is simply no chance in hell that that boat, as it looks there, has been through 100+mph winds.

But don’t take my word for it. Turns out we keep track of these things. Let’s assume that despite their broken sails, they were still motoring south toward Tahiti. They’ve explicitly said that they decided not to turn back. There were only four hurricanes in the Pacific this year with winds in the Cat 3 or Cat 4 range like Appel describes, and SURPRISE, none of them happened until mid-July.

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Also, none of them were within a thousand miles of this boat, but does that even matter at this point?

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So let’s recap. They left Hawaii on May 3. That night, they claim to have experienced Force 11 (~70mph) winds. That almost certainly didn’t happen. They claim that this storm rendered their sails unusable, which also almost certainly didn’t happen. Rather than turning back and limping home to Hawaii in less than a day on motor power alone like any sane sailor would have — and remember, Appel claims to have decades of sailing experience — they decided to press on, hoping for … what? The motor would have crapped out less than halfway there. The sails were unusable (again, I don’t believe them, but that’s what they say). There was absolutely no hope of getting where they needed to go, but they say they kept going for 27 days.

What were they doing for 27 days? God knows. They weren’t motoring. The motor in a boat like that is good for maybe 200 hours on a tank. Call it 10 days of barely puttering along. And then what? Two weeks of drifting? And only then, on May 30, 27 days after the first storm and 17 days after running out of fuel, the second storm of 100+ mph winds hit. That definitely didn’t happen, as evidenced by the boat itself and all of the weather data that we keep on big storms. Apparently, that storm “flooded” the motor, rendering it unusable. Only then, according to their story, were they truly stranded. But the motor couldn’t possibly have been functioning that long anyway, so what does it matter if it broke? None of this makes sense. But I’m not done yet.

5. Communication

Let’s talk about how one would signal for help in a situation like this. Several stories talk about how their cell phone fell overboard, but that’s completely irrelevant because it would have been useless a few hours into the trip so I’ll ignore it. From the same CNN video:

“We had no VHF — no range on it — no weather comm, no SSB, we didn’t have our HAM radio, and our radio telephone inside the boat was not working, also our Iridium sat phone was not working”

Let’s break those down.

VHF

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Stands for Very High Frequency radio, and is probably the most common radio used in the boating world for everything from day-to-day communication to emergencies. It’s basically line-of-sight though, so they weren’t close enough to use it. That checks out.

“Weather comm”

No idea what this means. You get weather reports on the open ocean via some other form of radio, not a separate piece of hardware, so I’m not sure what she means here.

SSB

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Stands for Single Side Band radio, and is also extremely common for open-water sailors. If you’re ever out of sight of land, you probably have one of these. It bounces signals off of the ionosphere, meaning it can transmit past the curvature of the earth. Theoretically, it has a range of thousands of miles. That’s how you’d normally get weather reports out in the middle of nowhere. Apparently it was broken.

Ham

Ham radio really just means amateur radio. It covers a broader array of wavelengths than SSB, though in a marine context those won’t have the range either. In practical terms, ham radio and marine SSB are the same thing.

[EDIT 11/1/17: The reason I say that ham and marine SSB are the same thing is that on the open ocean, they’re both using SSB frequencies, so it wouldn’t make sense to have two separate pieces of hardware. You could, though.]

Same frequency band, same hardware. The only difference is who you’re allowed to talk to and what licensing you need. It makes no sense at all to say that both of them were broken, since they wouldn’t be two separate radios in the first place.

“Radio telephone”

Radio telephone is more of a system than a piece of hardware. It’s also known as ship-to-shore, and it’s pretty much obsolete. Basically you radio to a shore station, and the shore station operator calls someone on the phone and holds the phone up to the radio. It’s slightly more sophisticated than that, but not much. It also uses SSB frequencies. You can get ones that look like a walkie-talkie, but more likely you’d just use your onboard SSB. In any case, this was apparently also broken.

Iridium sat phone

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Iridium is a brand of satellite phone. It should theoretically work anywhere in the world except underground, but it also apparently wasn’t working. Maybe it was out of battery.

The last resort, if all of these fail and you can’t get help, is called an EPIRB. EPIRB stands for Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, and is hooked to a global network of GPS satellites. It looks like an really big walkie-talkie, usually with only one switch on it (“on”), and sometimes comes with other stuff like a strobe light, orange dye, etc. It is utterly bombproof, waterproof, and foolproof. Some of them are even water-activated, so if you sink, it starts automatically.

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When the nuclear holocaust happens and everything is ash, there will still be EPIRBs blinking away somewhere.

When an EPIRB turns on, it sends a signal to its satellite network. If you’re within 5000 miles of the Equator (70% of the Earth), it’ll be in range. It might take up to 45 minutes to lock on to a signal, and then another three minutes to alert emergency services. At that point, since you have to register an EPIRB to buy it, it’ll tell them not only where you are, but who you are and what kind of boat you have. It’s accurate to within 50 yards, updates every 20 minutes, and runs for 48 hours. After the EPIRB was activated, a Coast Guard plane from Hawaii could have reached this boat in six hours.

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This has a range of almost 5,000 miles and there are four of them on Oahu right now.

The Navy could have been there in two days. So what about Appel’s EPIRB?

She didn’t even turn it on.

Jennifer Appel confirmed in an interview Tuesday that they had the beacon and did not use it. She said that in her experience, it should be used only when you are in imminent physical danger and going to die in the next 24 hours.

“Our hull was solid, we were floating, we had food, we had water, and we had limited maneuverable capacity,” Appel said in Japan, where the U.S. Navy took them after they were rescued by a Navy ship. “All those things did not say we are going to die. All that said, it’s going to take us a whole lot longer to get where we’re going.”

No, woman, that is not how that works. You do not wait until you are hours from death to turn on the EPIRB, because it will probably take longer than that to get rescued. If you are stranded, you turn on the flipping beacon. If your sails and motor are broken, you turn on the flipping beacon. If you’re running out of food, you turn on the flipping beacon. And if, as you say in this video, you “honestly didn’t believe that we would survive another 24 hours,” you TURN ON YOUR FLIPPING BEACON.

Philip R. Johnson, a retired Coast Guard officer, weighed in on their situation as well.

If the thing was operational and it was turned on, a signal should have been received very, very quickly that this vessel was in distress,” Phillip R. Johnson said Monday in a telephone interview from Washington state.

Appel and Fuiava also said they had six forms of communication that all failed to work.

“There’s something wrong there,” Johnson said. “I’ve never heard of all that stuff going out at the same time.”

The absolute worst case scenario, even if the month of May went as badly as they say it did (which is impossible), is that they turn on their EPIRB after the hurricane (that didn’t exist) hit them on May 30 (which it didn’t), and they’re home before Mother’s Day. There is absolutely no reason for their summer to have unfolded as it did. As the Denver Post put it, “Key elements of the women’s account are contradicted by authorities, and are not consistent with weather reports or basic geography of the Pacific Ocean.”

6. The Sharks

I know we’re 3500 words deep at this point, but we’re going to have to take a second to talk about the sharks.

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Repeatedly, Appel mentions being in “a tiger shark location.” The phrase “shark-infested” has been thrown around. Tiger sharks are coastal animals, but you know what? I’ll grant that maybe there were sharks out there. That’s when it gets ridiculous.

“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along. They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night. We were just incredibly lucky that our hull was strong enough to withstand the onslaught.”

“I’m telling you I’ve never seen any Stanley Cup winner come even close to the precision these five sharks had. Three would get on one side and two would get on the other side, and they would make waves and try to knock down the boat.”

“I told [the dogs] not to bark because the sharks could hear us breathing. They could smell us”

This is such utter and complete nonsense that I hardly know where to begin, so I’ll just do bullet points.

  • Tiger sharks are solitary.
  • Very few sharks hunt in packs. Tiger sharks are not among them (sand tiger sharks aren’t the same thing).
  • Sharks occasionally ram boats, but the chances of it breaching the hull are zero. Here is a much bigger shark ramming a much smaller boat and it still can’t overturn it. A 50-foot boat like that probably weighs 20 tons, and a big tiger shark weighs maybe half a ton. Plus, sharks only have cartilage, not bones. There’s no big, hard surface like a whale’s head to bash into stuff.
  • Sharks don’t teach their children how to hunt. They lay eggs and leave.
    [EDIT 10/31/17: Tiger sharks are one of the shark species that give live birth. The teaching thing stands.]
  • Sharks ABSOLUTELY do not coordinate to make waves to knock boats over. You are thinking of killer whales, which have nothing in common with tiger sharks except living in the ocean. This would require the ability to make waves, the coordination to make one big wave, some concept of how boats work, and sophisticated enough communication to organize the whole thing. Sharks have none of those things.
  • EVEN IF THEY DID, you just told us that your boat survived three days of 50-foot waves (it didn’t) and 100-mph winds (also no) and you think the sharks can top that? Even a pod of half a dozen orca can only muster about a 3-foot wave, and they’re about five times the size of tiger sharks.
  • Sharks can’t hear you breathing.
  • Sharks can’t smell you through a boat, you expletive deleted.

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Conclusion

Here’s what we know: Two women left Hawaii on a boat on May 3. Five months later, they were picked up 900 miles south of Japan.

They claim to have been hammered by multiple hurricane-force storms. That absolutely didn’t happen.

They claim to have been attacked by sharks. That absolutely didn’t happen.

They claim that their boat was rendered immobile. It absolutely wasn’t.

They claim that they packed a year’s worth of food, but that they somehow went through 90% of it.

They claim that all of their communications devices failed.

They admit to not turning on a distress beacon.

So what happened? Here’s my guess. Two women bought a whole load of food and put in on a boat, then sailed it a hundred miles off the coast of Hawaii and turned the motor off. They mussed up the sail a little bit (or just suck at stowing it in the first place), and just sat there, waiting for the trade winds and Equatorial Current to take them west, content in the knowledge that the boat wouldn’t sink and they wouldn’t run out of food until they reached Japan, if it came to that. When they finally made contact with a boat, they invented the sharks, the storms, the technical failures, the hardships, etc. They’re expecting publicity (mission accomplished) and maybe a book deal. Maybe a TV special. Maybe an episode of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” Hell, maybe a movie. They’re attention whores.

Luckily, I’m not the only person noticing the problems here. Multiple outlets are reporting that they never turned on their EPIRB. More are reporting inconsistencies with weather and timing. Their story is falling apart only days after it landed, partly because they can’t even keep it straight themselves. You’d think with five months of nothing to do, they could have at least invented a better narrative, but I guess not. They’re on their way to being exposed, as I hope they are.

Bonus tidbits

I’ve been obsessing over this story for days, and I keep turning up more good stuff. It’s an endless treasure trove of lies. Here’s a few I decided to leave out.

  • Appel claims that they couldn’t turn back to Hawaii after the first (made-up) storm because there were no harbors deep enough for a boat the size of theirs. Ignoring the fact that they had just left Hawaii, the islands are also home to several enormous marinas, a Coast Guard base, and PEARL FREAKING HARBOR. If it can hold the Navy, it can hold your 50-footer.
  • They say that their tech was all broken before May 30, which is why they didn’t see the storm coming, but then they say they sent out distress calls for five months. On what?
  • They say a “white squall” flooded the engine. A white squall is a sudden burst of wind out at sea that whips up the waves and makes whitecaps. It is not accompanied by rain. That’s called a black squall, named for the dark clouds that come with it. Anyone with the experience Appel claims to have should know better.
  • She says the squall “dropped copious amounts of water and it flooded the cockpit, which actually ended up flooding the ignition and the starter for the boat.” Believe it or not, the cockpit does not actually drain directly into vital engine components, in the same way that the gutters on your roof do not drain on to your home theater. Also, boat ignition systems are waterproof since, you know, they’re on boats.
  • The engine is below decks. It is not open to the outdoors. If there’s enough water in the engine bay to disable it, the boat is probably well on its way to sinking.
  • Appel says “we got pushed into what’s called the Devil’s Triangle, where boats go in, but they very rarely come out. And if they do, there are no people on them.” Firstly, the Devil’s Triangle is another name for the Bermuda Triangle, which is in a different ocean. Secondly, the legends of the Bermuda Triangle are completely unsubstantiated, like alien abductions or Bigfoot sightings. It’s possible that she was referring to the Devil’s Sea or Dragon’s Triangle, different names for a similarly myth-shrouded area of the Pacific. Except they weren’t in that part of the ocean. And besides, there is no magic area of the Pacific with skeleton-filled ships floating in limbo forever.
  • Appel says she took two years planning this trip. It doesn’t take two years to plan one month on a boat. You fill up the fuel tank, take one day to go to the grocery store, check all the vital systems (like maybe your SIX RADIOS), and head out. One week of prep, as long as the boat doesn’t need major maintenance.
  • Appel describes telling Fuiava about the trip as follows: “When I asked Natasha, I told her I have no idea what’s going to happen out there and she said, ‘That’s OK, I’ve never sailed.’” That is super not ok. One person cannot operate a 50-foot boat for three hours without help, let alone three weeks. Two people are already stretched thin, given that someone has to be awake 24/7 to keep watch, and that’s if they both know what they’re doing. I wouldn’t dare do this trip with two people. No experienced sailor would set off on a trip like this with a useless copilot they’d just met, and no sane human being would agree to a three-week boat trip with a stranger who says they have no idea what to expect.

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  • Also, why didn’t you have any idea what was going to happen out there?! I’ve personally sailed a very similar voyage from the Galapagos to French Polynesia. It took 23 days, at the same time of year, in the same trade winds and currents, and I’ll tell you what happens out there. NOTHING. It is boring as excrement. The winds don’t change. The temperature is balmy. The sea stretches in every direction. You adjust the sails once a week. You watch for big ships (there aren’t any). You catch some fish. You read a lot of books. One of the most exciting moments is when the ETA on your GPS blinks over from –:– to 99:59, and then you still have four days left. It is an exceedingly uneventful way to pass the time.
  • They claim that they were able to get their crippled boat, without sails, to cover the 1000 miles to Christmas Island, part of the island nation of Kiribati, but didn’t try to land because “It is uninhabited. They only have habitation on the northwest corner and their reef was too shallow for us to cross in order to get into the lagoon.” Christmas Island is home to 2,000 people and regularly hosts much larger ships.
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It has an airport… [EDIT: I should clarify that this is a generic visual aid for airport, not the actual Kiribati airport]
  • When asked if the small island would have been a good place to land and repair their sails, Appel said no. “Kiribati, um, one whole half of the island is called shipwreck beach for a reason.” It’s not. It’s called Bay of Wrecks, it’s a small area on the east side, and the REST OF THE ISLAND is fine.
  • Instead of stopping in Kiribati, they decided they “could make it to the next spot,” which, in their mind, was the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands are 1600 miles from Kiribati, too far to go by motor alone even if the motor hadn’t failed, and past the original destination of Tahiti. That, apparently, was a better option than just going to the OTHER BENIGHTED SIDE of Kiribati, if they were even at Kiribati, which I doubt.
  • The Coast Guard made radio contact with a vessel that identified itself as the Sea Nymph near Tahiti in June, well after the alleged boat-crippling storms, and the captain said they were not in distress and expected to make land the next morning. Either it was a different Sea Nymph (plausible) or they somehow managed to screw that up and ended up 5,000 miles west of there instead.

More Bonus Tidbits (as of 11/1)

It’s only been 24 hours since I posted this and more claims keep coming up.

  • They have doubled down on their claim that they encountered 30-foot waves and hurricane-force winds on the night they left, despite no evidence that any such storm existed. Even very generously assuming that they mean 30-foot swell — caused by large scale wind and weather — and not 30-foot waves — caused by the storm you’re in right at that moment — doesn’t account for the lack of evidence of the wind.
  • “We got into a Force 11 storm, and it lasted for two nights and three days,” Appel said Tuesday.” No, you didn’t. Any storm that strong and that long would have showed up on radar, which is live 24 hours a day and updated every three hours. The storm didn’t exist. This is as clear-cut a lie as there could be. It’s like lying about what time it is.
  • Appel’s mother told the AP that she called the Coast Guard to report Jennifer missing about a week and a half into their trip. Not only is that too early to report someone missing if they’re supposed to be on a 3-week trip, but the Coast Guard say they never got such a call. They received a call from a “family friend” they identified as a male on May 19, still several days before the women expected to arrive.
  • The women said they filed a float plan listing their course and other details with some friends and relatives. In an interview with the Coast Guard, the women said they had filed no float plan. You don’t have to file a float plan. It’s not like a flight plan. But in general, it’s a good idea to tell people, “if you don’t hear from me in a month, tell the Coast Guard.”

tumblr_lud0n1uJ2I1qmkbfvo1_500

  • MORE MAGIC SHARK MADNESS. Apparently they claim the tiger sharks were 20-30 feet long. They don’t get that big. Also, according to CBS, “University of Hawaii professor and veteran shark researcher Kim Holland has never heard of any kind of shark repeatedly attacking a boat hull throughout a night. He also said tiger sharks never jump out of the water and do not make coordinated attacks.”
  • They’re now saying that they contacted someone on Wake Island, after previously saying that they weren’t ever able to contact anyone. They didn’t land on Wake Island, though, because they weren’t able to navigate the two-ish miles to the other side of the island to land. So no one could come out and tow them in? No one on Wake Island reported an adrift vessel? Wake Island has about 100 members of the Air Force on it at any given time and a substantial airstrip, there’s no reason a rescue couldn’t have been mounted from there.
  • They’ve changed their story about the fishing vessel that originally contacted them. Originally they said they were kind, but now report that they feared for their safety. They claim that the fishing boat damaged their boat, and then Appel said, “I also believe that they knew they were damaging the boat. And if we couldn’t get additional help, that boat would sink, and they would get … two girls to do whatever they wanted to.”
  • In one account, they said that Fuiava had to swim to the fishing boat to tell them to stop damaging the boat while towing it. Not only is it ludicrously impossible that a swimming person could catch a boat in motion, but it’s also not especially plausible that towing a boat would cause it damage. And if it were, they could have just cut the rope and TURNED ON THEIR BEACON.
  • The captain of the fishing vessel says he saw someone waving a flag on a boat about a mile from him. When he went over, they asked to use his sat phone, and for him to tow them to Midway Island, which is almost 2000 miles from where they were. He towed them overnight, at which point they asked to be turned loose and called the Navy instead. He also says he offered them water and food, which they declined.
  • Mike Michelwait, owner of the Honolulu Sailing Company, says he’s made the trip from Hawaii to Tahiti several times, but wouldn’t try it with only two people. “There’s only two of them on board, and it’s a 50-foot boat,” he said. “That’s a lot of boat to handle.”

Even More Bonus Tidbits (as of 11/2)

I can’t help myself.

  • Fuiava claims to have lost 70 pounds during the trip, despite having a year’s worth of food, despite almost running out of food in five months. And if that goatrope wasn’t enough, her clothes still fit fine.
  • That line of green scum on the boat is majorly suspicious.Capture

    Normally, you’re supposed to clean your bottom paint every 2-4 months, depending on where your boat is (green scum grows faster in warm water). You’re also supposed to paint the boat’s waterline (the barrier between white and blue, in this case) roughly where the water sits when the boat is in the water. You can see in the screenshot that that’s the case. The blue is relatively clean because it’s what’s called “bottom paint,” which is engineered to repel algae/barnacle/mussel growth. The white isn’t supposed to be underwater at all. But the green stuff only grows under prolonged submersion, so what’s it doing so high on the white?

    Glad you asked. Green scum up that high on the boat indicates that the boat was sitting much lower in the water than it was when they got picked up, and for a long time. For perspective, this couple writes about getting rid of 1200 pounds of stuff and rising two inches in the water, and that’s on a (relatively very light) 5-ton catamaran. Shedding weight will have more impact the lighter the boat is. A 50-foot sloop like the Sea Nymph probably weighs more like 20 tons, and that’s before the 5-6 tons of extra fiberglass and keel that Appel claims to have added on. All the food and water they went through in five months can’t come close to accounting for what looks like two feet of waterline difference. That boat looks to have been seriously weighed down for a very long time.

I don’t know what the heck happened. But I do know these women are full of bovine waste products.

42 thoughts on “19 REASONS THIS “SURVIVAL” STORY SMELLS FISHY

  1. Maybe the had a turboencabulator to power their water filters and power the boat after the fuel ran out. It’s operation and functions are absolutely marvelous!

    You should never leave home without one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These girls must be from Arkansas. This account rivals the stories and tall tales that folks from Arkansas love to tell. Lots of action – liberally embellished with Oh My Goshes. I didn’t believe their tale for a moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lb, that was my thought too.
    What a marvelous story, I think what we have here is FAKE NEWS. Perhaps the best part of the story told is the outright disgust our writer exhibits. Fun stuff!
    IF I were to sluth this out, I’d say these two gals were holded up on a remote part of the island, got bored and when a high tide came in floated their long dead dad’s sailboat off the sand. Experimented with the sails, not knowing how to rig them lashed them down again, motored out a bit till she ran out of fuel. The story they told is a result of some good gonga. Too good it appears. But then what do you do if you’re excrement afloat with nothing to do. Fill the bowl again, and again, and again….

    Like

  4. I’ve never been in a boat on any ocean, and know basically nothing about sailing, but their story (as I read it from the early press releases ) sounded fishy from the get-go.

    It seems they were “partners” in this tall tale, how could you trust anyone so willing to (apparently) lie their asses off ?

    Like

  5. Sounds like the poor girls almost have a full house for a movie. Just need to blame Trump, insert need for safe space, rape and groping, and discrimination against women and gays and it’ll be a winner!

    Wait … it’s coming soon. They left the country because Trump got elected. The boat was their only safe space but were nearly killed due to ‘global warming’ induced storms caused by Trump leaving the Paris scam. They could not stop on any islands due to the fact they would likely be raped. Then one of them exercised power over the other and sexually assaulted her. And last but not least, now they are being discriminated against because no one believes their bullshit story! Yeah … That’s the ticket !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know it doesn’t matter anymore, but the white member of the crew actually looks like a man. Just saying. BTW, thanks for posting this. Great stuff!

    Like

  7. Whenever I hear a suspicious story, my suspicious mind turns to illicit behavior; in this case: drugs.

    Of all the items you have catalogued that makes this story preposterous, two stood out for me:

    The number of hands to sail a 50 foot sailboat on the open water for a proposed 3 week trip is usually more than two, the bigger the boat, the more hands required. When this trip began, my question is: were there to be more hands acquired along the way and now have subsequently disappeared? Murder on the Orient Express is making a revival in the movie houses and the intrigue of this fabrication heightens with each puff of breeze.

    The scum line. Bow to stern this boat appears to have laid on her port side for a long time, likely in sand in a quiet lagoon, waiting for the right time to move on. The other possibility is the boat overburdened with cargo, sitting and waiting for the “right time.”

    One way to disable your electronic communication equipment is by: sinking them in water.

    Drug running in the Pacific; what a novel idea. Keeping away from authorities one’s cargo is a well known art form which means not contacting anyone or, refusing help when you are in distress. Not activating the EPIRB is smart, not dumb since EPIRBs are made to be in the water.

    My suspicious mind believes these ladies had nefarious agendas, hid away until delivery accomplished and were safe as they say. Now let us follow the money trail.

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  8. Mr. Eschenbach,
    Thank you for posting this. As an experienced offshore sailor with lots of ocean passages under my belt, the minute I heard the first report about these two clowns, all kinds of alarms went off. In fact, I thought it was so unbelievable that I immediately consigned it to the dustbin and awaited reports of fraud or worse. The only curiosity I had was wondering what the motivation was for such an obvious fabrication.

    The story was so ridiculous that I forgot about it ’til now— and that’s why I thank you for posting it.

    Like

  9. 2 people on a 50 foot boat for a passage is not that bad. I’ve sailed 3 up from New Zealand to Tonga (about 10 days with a great stop at Minerva Reef on the way). My brother and I are experienced sailors, but my sister-in-law isn’t. 3 was no problem With 2 I would heave to in daylight occasionally to grab some extra sleep. But 2 inexperienced people? I’ve know it happen but they got experienced very quickly!

    Like

  10. Thanks for making a family friendly version. I’m posting it on my facebook page. Like others, I’d like the Willis “special take” on the story.

    Like

    • You’re welcome, Jeff. I do like being friendly to families in my own writing. I have no special take on this story, just a couple of thoughts.

      The first is that I truly have no idea what it is that drove these folks to put together this story. I mean, usually you can just say “cui bono” and figure the thing out. But in this case, there are no clear winners.

      The second is that I’m reminded of the famous case of Donald Crowhurst. He was in a single-handed round-the-world race. It appeared that he was doing quite well, but in fact, he was merely fabricating his log books and reporting false positions. This was not revealed until after his death when his log-books were found. Just as in this case, it was not clear why he made it all up. But at least he had the excuse of the race …

      My final thought has to do with the vastness of the ocean, and the sad fact that those that wander in that limitless world sometimes get lost in their own tall tales. While I cannot understand that, I have compassion for those poor benighted folks who end up making up false sea stories. Because if their actions and their look bad from out here, imagine what they look like from behind their eyeballs … yikes! That’s what finally drove poor Donald around the twist. He couldn’t live with what he had done … and while these ladies may not take his drastic measures, it cannot help them sleep well at night.

      Best to all,

      w.

      Like

  11. I knew the story was fake as soon as I heard it; it doesn’t take a genius for that. But the media ate it up! Incredible how gullible they are; do they believe everything? except Trump.

    I figured it was a lesbo honeymoon; that they wanted to disappear for a while. I still haven’t heard any story I like better. If you think this story is strange, wait, it gets stranger … and kinky.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5063707/Bungling-yachtswoman-kinky-sailor-dominatrix.html

    Warning: The press in the UK prints photos that the US press does not.
    You have to be careful not to believe everything tabloids say, so I’m not claiming all of this is true. You decide for yourself.

    Like

    • YMMV, I must object to the term “lesbo”. You are talking about my friends … there is no reason for gratuitous insults. Consenting adults, you know? Please be good enough to dial it back, thanks.

      Other than that, your comment was, as usual, interesting, as was the link.

      w.

      Like

      • Sorry, I did not mean it as an insult, the word just had a better flow. As it happens I have lots of lesbian friends, but we never talk about that. Lesbian sounds clinical, lesbo sounds romantic, like a Greek island. But what do I know?

        Like

  12. Back to the fishy claims. There is a guy with a blog who has made an effort to analyze this.

    https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com/
    He has several blog posts and videos analyzing the claims.

    The boat. The media says 50 feet. Close enough.
    It’s said to be one of these two, which are essentially the same.

    Morgan 45 center cockpit
    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3746

    Starratt & Jenks 45
    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2123

    Here is the USCG registration for Sea Nymph.

    http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/VesselByID.html
    Enter the ID number 608498

    Note that the length is listed as 37 feet, which is clearly not right.

    To get an idea of the worth, see similar boats for sale
    http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/cache/searchResults.jsp?slim=quick&sm=3&luom=126&currencyid=100&searchtype=searchbar&Ntk=boatsEN&Ntt=morgan+45

    Since she was using it as a live-aboard, not as a sailor, the condition of her boat was more likely somewhere between junk and project boat. The marine version of a trailer park.

    The slowboatsailing blog points out that she crashed her previous boat, a 34 foot boat powered by an outboard (quite unusual). The details of that incident show poor judgement.

    BOLO for Sea Nymph
    http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2017-06-07&dayid=1531#Story5

    BOLO = “be on the lookout for”
    “The blue-hulled vessel was last heard from on May 3, and was reported missing May 19.” contact the Coast Guard.

    They said they had a Katadyn water purifier. Nobody calls a desalinator a water purifier, they call it a watermaker. In any case, Katadyn makes two.

    This one is for your boat.
    3 people, use daily
    electrical desalinator
    https://www.katadyn.com/us/ca/102-8013438-katadyn-powersurvivor-40e-12-v

    This one is for your liferaft.
    one person, use rarely
    handpowered.
    https://www.katadyn.com/us/ca/149-8013418-katadyn-survivor-06

    One has to wonder if anything on her boat was in working condition, much less top-notch condition, when she set out.

    Like

    • Here’s my updated theory, after reading the blog mentioned above. They set off for Tahiti or perhaps a different uninhabited island, with the intention of staying there a long time.

      0. Food. They said they took a year’s worth, or something. I would not go so far as to believe them. Maybe they thought they did. Overkill for a three week trip, but not if they planned on living on an island for a year.

      0. Water. Absolutely essential. Watermakers are notoriously expensive and hard to maintain. Great when they work, but always have a plan B, such as ways to collect rainwater. There’s no indication that they had any plan. A hand held unit would be an exhausting exercise routine!

      0. Their condition. It’s clear that they thrived, so plenty of food and water and exercise. It’s hard to get enough exercise on a boat, especially just drifting. And dogs need to be walked. On the other hand, one of the women started at 250 pounds (it’s said) and lost 70 pounds (it’s said). She should write a lose weight self help book.

      0. The storm. There was no storm. On the other hand, these were not experienced offshore sailors, and I don’t think they had instruments to measure wind speed, so they might think it was a big storm, and we know they are prone to hyperbole. So they could get into trouble at 15 to 20 knots, and could get into serious trouble at 30 knots. Whether they did or not I don’t know, but I expect they terrified themselves and gave up sailing after that. Especially at night.

      0. Communications. They drop some names, but it’s clear they are clueless about all of this technology (except cell phones ashore). They had no idea of the range of VHF radios. They probably did not know how to use SSB. There was an EPIRB, but it was registered in some else’s name, perhaps a previous owner, and probably the battery was expired. Odd that they all failed? No, not if they weren’t ever working, not ever tested, not ever maintained.

      0. The sharks. What’s a good story without sharks? But in a 45 foot boat? Better to worry about whales. There are things that go bump in the night, turtles maybe? Imaginations gone wild? Fear gone wild?

      Conclusion. They could have just gone to see the Life of Pi movie and saved themselves a lot of money, not to mention the taxpayers.

      The dead engine story. It would be nice to know what the rescue party found. Did they run out of fuel? That boat couldn’t possibly carry enough fuel to make that trip without sailing. Did they have a knockdown through poor seamanship to flood the boat? They said the starter was flooded. If they had that much water in the boat they had bigger problems than they are admitting. One possibility is that they kept cranking the engine trying to start it. With a wet exhaust diesel this can have the effect of back flooding the cylinders with sea water, and water being incompressible, causing major engine damage. If you don’t notice and don’t know what to do next. In any case, with no engine, most people would sail or jury rig a sail.

      But then, maybe they didn’t care where they were going, as long as they had food and water. Did they know where they were? They said they had a GPS. hand-held? Did they have charts. Did they know anything about navigation? Did they keep a log? Where are the photos they took?

      The blog identified the Taiwan tuna fishing ship. Very big, crew of 36.
      It’s not an appropriate tow boat. I can’t imagine them agreeing to do a tow.

      The seaweed growth on the hull is not suspicious. In the videos you can see the boat pitching and rolling almost that much. Stuff grows. The anti-fouling paint on the bottom is good though, still working fine.

      There are so many loose ends to this story!

      Like

  13. I also believe the boat was not upright for quite a while, as if run aground and lying partially on her side. The green stuff is in an arc that suggests just that. I have no idea how much draft she has, but just sitting lower in the water the scum line should parallel the painted waterline. She was partially on her side for quite a while.

    Like

  14. Man, this story just gets better …

    Appel Now Says The Taiwanese Fishing Boat Tried To Kill Them
    Appel added a new, confounding detail to her story during the Today Show interview: she now says the Taiwanese fishing vessel that was reported to have alerted the Coast Guard to the Sea Nymph’s location actually purposely rammed the sailboat in an effort to kill Appel and Fuiava. Appel says she then climbed aboard the fishing boat and placed a call to the Coast Guard.

    “The Taiwanese fishing vessel was not planning to rescue us,” she continued. “They tried to kill us during the night.”

    It was then that Appel said she decided to alert the U.S. Coast Guard. But she claimed there was an explanation for why she still didn’t use the EPIRB and instead used the satellite phone on the fishing vessel.

    “I was able to get on a surfboard and get on their boat, make an actual phone call. Because no one spoke English, it was easier and safer for me to relay the information to the U.S. Coast Guard-Guam sector that we were in danger without them realizing what we were saying. If I had thrown the EPIRB at that point, he [the captain] would have known.”

    The gift that keeps on giving …

    w.

    Like

    • At first she said she swam to the boat, implying she did it while they were being towed, then she paddled, which is more believable if the boat was not being towed at least. No sharks this time.
      No mention of how she boarded the ship, stormed the bridge and “made a phone call”. Just an insult to their rescuers. And she implies that you have to throw the EPIRB into the water to activate it.

      Take a look at the boat which resued them. Fong Chung no. 66
      https://www.wcpfc.int/node/15454
      Thanks to slowboatsailing blog for that link. That blog also has another photo.

      There is a newer posting there which gives the story from the Taiwan side.
      https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/taiwanese-fishing-vessel-that-rescued-hawaii-sailors-is-never-asked-to-comment-on-appels-allegation-they-tried-to-kill-us-during-the-night/

      and if you can read Chinese they give this link to a news report with photos
      https://tw.news.appledaily.com/international/daily/20171028/37828382/

      Like

    • More from the Taiwan side.
      http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11/16/hawaii-lost-sailor-is-making-up-parts-survival-story-taiwanese-official-says.html

      More on food. They said they took lots of food. But what did they cook it with? There are many options for fuel for a stove. Except for electrical elements, they all require fuel, and when it’s gone it’s gone. Hard to refill propane tanks in the middle of the ocean.

      Drifting. Where did they go? Did they drift starting near Oahu or near Tahiti? I’ll have to look up the currents there and the wind patterns.

      More on comms. They said 6 radios all failed because they rely on the same antenna. No they don’t.

      More on the boat. She says she added 6 tons of fiberglass and deepened the keel. This whole thing is a comedy routine for those who know anything about anything of which she speaks.

      And then there’s her Bermuda Triangle like comment. I’m waiting for the aliens, although she might be as close as we ever get to meeting one. Maybe you go crazy drifting for months, like cabin fever. Maybe anyone starting a voyage like this without proper preparation already is crazy.

      Like

    • For comparison, here’s a talk about sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti and back in the normal manner, with still photos.

      The two women planned to do it in 18 days, about the normal amount of time.

      The trip is in the trade winds, NE north of the equator and SE south of the equator with some doldrums near the equator. The normal course is to head a bit east of south. The video explains the course in terms of the wind patterns.

      For the current patterns, see this graphic.

      The currents would take them towards Japan, eventually.
      As long as they stayed in the northern hemisphere.
      They said they never got close to Tahiti, so that’s probably true.

      They said the first storm (early May) which damaged their rig was near Maui, so they altered course to the Cook Islands, which is not a huge course change; those islands are west of Tahiti. Then the engine quit (end of May). If they made it almost to the equator by then, they did half the distance in about twice the time.

      Then several months drifting west in the current and back north to the final point about 930 miles SE of Tokyo. I haven’t seen the exact position. That seems possible. I thought the Taiwan fish boat captain offered to tow them to Midway Atol. That is too far to be credible.

      I expect their 15 minutes of fame is about up and we will never know what really happened.

      Like

  15. Guessing, but suggest that they ran aground and had to wait for the next spring tide to float them off again. With a few weeks and nothing to do, they cooked up a story. Someone with better knowledge can check the tides in the area.

    Like

  16. I think there is like a rule on the oceans, if someone is in distress, whether it be a raft or an aircraft carrier, if you hear the call you MUST try to help if at all possible.

    Like

  17. A strange tale to be sure. Can’t claim to have done much on boats other than a three month trip around Southern and Western Britain, including Storms. (Hey it killed The Spanish Armada)

    Like

  18. Hey … just one more comment before this thread passes into history. The poor ‘lost at sea’ gals have one more chance to extend their 15 minutes of fame. One of them could claim that she groped herself in a serious ‘butt squeeze’. She was startled and insulted by her own actions and wants to sue. This behavior must stop. Keep your hands off your own butt!

    There are no limits or boundaries!

    Play every angle for your 15 minutes!

    Like

      • I woke up this morning and decided to identify as a woman today and gave myself a good ‘butt squeeze’. Kind of liked it until I looked in the mirror and decided I was not attracted to myself and it was a disgusting thing to do. So I immediately identified as a man again.

        Therein lies the conundrum, I had just squeezed a man’s butt (myself) but was put off by it. Should I slap myself or report myself for groping? Will I gain 15 minutes of fame as both being a victim of assault as well as the assailant? Will I become a media sensation for a new and exciting approach to social constructs? Fame manifests itself in many ways!!! Oprah, Ellen, Dr. Phil, Jerry Springer, book and movie deals, my 15 minutes! Autoinappropriate behavior ….. Yikes! … I’m beginning to rationalize the idea !!!! I think I need Dr. Phil !!!

        Like

  19. The only issue I have with this account is that SSB as a radio is not a frequency band, it is a specific type of radio transmission where all the power is put into a single side band of an AM transmission with suppressed carrier. It is not “frequency relevant.” You can use it in the LF, HF, VHF, UHF and higher ranges. Normal long range radio is in the HF range. SSB just allows a smaller transmitter to reach further. I don’t consider the expression “attention whores” necessary, either. I had already given up on the article since it was getting longer and even more dare I say boring because of the constant “beatdown” on the people involved – there reaches a point when the author merely discredits him/herself through repetition – and then I hit the term “attention whores” and that did it for me. What happened after that was going to be just more of the same, and all because two people tried to get their “15 minutes of fame.” Get a life – there are real problems in the world to get worked up over.

    Like

    • Tom,

      Maybe you would enjoy 140 character tweets to an in-depth discussion here. You seem to have gotten worked up over this while there are real problems in the world.

      As for me, I enjoyed the post as presented. It was fun to see the absurd story deconstructed piece by piece.

      I’ll now attend to my real world problem of getting my snow blower running prior to any snow falling. I laughed while offering my hunting buddy it’s use to catch a deer as he seems to be missing a few. His current worldly problem is he can’t shoot straight! With the snow blower you only have to get one by the leg and it’s 24 ” wide!

      Like

  20. New information from the slowboatsailing blog. The USAF confirms that Sea Nymph was near Wake Island on October 2, 2017. Wake Island is 19°N, as is Hawaii, and 2100 nautical miles east. If Sea Nymph drifted for the months of May through September, five months to go 2100 miles is an average speed of about half a knot. From there to their rescue point (about 28°N 156E) is about 800 miles and 3 weeks more, so an average drift speed of about 1.5 knots, in a NW direction. These numbers are consistent with their story. (The basic story, not the hype one)

    It’s normal for sailboats cruising the south pacific to have HF SSB on board, using either the marine band or ham band, to communicate with other cruisers, get weather information, and send/receive short e-mails. The HF antenna is usually an isolated section of the backstay. Recently, the Delorme/Garmin inReach provides an inexpensive way to exchange short text messages via satellite. More expensive satellite internet options are also available. It’s still unexplained why they never used their SSB radio.
    https://www.cruisingworld.com/staying-connected-at-sea
    http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Email_at_Sea

    Like

      • Jen talks crazy talk and had to be either crazy or crazy naive/dumb to set sail on this trip. The final diagnosis is not in yet. Meanwhile, Willis’s rule of thumb applies. Madman or not, she and her tales will drive you crazy, even if there is some element of truth in them … somewhere.

        https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com continues to follow this story and that blogger did an interview with Jen which he put up as a podcast. He also mentions an interview which Sailing Anarchy did and also put up as a podcast. Both interviewers commented on how hard that was.

        https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/sailing-anarchy-writer-survives-an-eight-hour-interview-with-hawaii-sailors-mr-clean-cant-find-gps-breadcrumbs/

        For the SA podcast itself, look here:
        http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/194902-ask-jennifer-appel-and-tasha-fuiava-for-the-sa-podcast/&page=4&tab=comments#comment-6015007

        I haven’t listened to any of these podcasts. Warning, SA is not something you would recommend to your mother.
        I poked around to see that the interview starts about 10 minutes in. The comments on the thread don’t encourage listening to the podcast.

        “Out of sight of land? They should stick to the shallow end of a pool.
        They are the shallow end of the gene pool.”

        “45 minutes in and Clean has told more of the story than she has…
        73 minutes I am giving up….there isn’t any new info coming from her, no clarity, all random, broken bits of bizarre randomness…
        pure kook stuff…”

        “30 seconds later Jen says she knows many us think she is crazy. She then laughs but neither confirms nor denies.
        The way I heard it, Jen seemed quite pleased to have been labeled “batshit crazy”.

        “her wandering off point is amazing.. CLEAN is amazing in attempting to keep her on point.. Like herding cats…
        I couldn’t listen again to do proper show notes, but she admitted most of the stuff was BS. If you think the wandering is bad after editing imagine what it was like before”

        Some things I don’t even want to imagine. I would like to know what really happened.

        Like

  21. Fishy story to be sure, but look at it this way. If they had told the story straight without the absurd exaggeration, Hollywood would have made a movie about it, “based on a true story”, and the Hollywood story would be exactly the one they did tell the media.

    There could even be a sequel.
    “Rescued Polish sailor claims he was adrift in shark-infested waters (with his cat) for nearly seven months”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/27/polish-sailor-washed-ashore-christmas-day-months-stranded-sea/

    Like

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