Jenni here -- let me preface by saying that the last 48 hrs have been absolutely harrowing for the Gallivant and her crew... Capt John was finally able to take a few minutes to write down the events that have transpired since Sunday evening, which thankfully have had a positive conclusion:
SUNDAY (day 9)
The winds have not been good for us to maintain a course for Hilo, HI so we are just doing the best that we can for now. The best that we can means many more miles and days to get there.The open ocean is so very different to sail in. With every swell it tosses you to and fro. If winds are anything under 15 mph the sails just flap and bang. It is very hard on the equipment.
I had not been hydrating well and was feeling the effects so laid down to rest. While I was down Justin saw a flying fish. What an odd critter. I made some supper and we watched the sunset. This was the first real one that we have had. Most of the evenings have been rather colorless as far as sunsets go.
It was just a bit after 8pm, Dad stood to give it a look. He sat back down and just smiled.I asked him something and he didn't answer, just smiled. I asked again, something is not right. it didn't take but a few minutes to realize that he was having a stroke.
Right arm weak, no speech. 1200 miles from anywhere or anybody.
Almost exactly half way between San Diego and Hawaii.
I called our doctor right away. The recommendation was to observe and keep him hydrated. I am finally able to convince him to chew an asprin.
We got him propped up in the cockpit and I sit next to him keeping him steady as the ocean rocks us as it has since day one.
About 2 hours later Dad wants to get to his bunk. He has regained some motor skills and Justin and I get him down the ladder and into bed.
I called the Coast Guard in San Diego, and the Flight surgeon said the same as Dr. Dawson: just keep an eye on him.
Dad is able to get himself up and make it to the head and that is very encouraging, I ask him to drink but he hasn't had much and that concerns me.
Next morning he was able to speak a little, this is good but using the head often and not replenishing. Did get another aspirin in him though.
I called Dr Dawson again and it is just a hard thing to call, as opposed to him being there. My concern is Dad becoming dehydrated out here. Once you're behind that curve it is tough to get on top of it again, so I made the call to the Coast Guard in Hawaii to request a medical extraction.
They wanted me to talk to another flight surgeon but I have already talked to 3. I need rescue for this man.......now. I understand that the individual on the sea must be as self reliant as possible and the resourses it takes to extract, but I have done all that I can for him and I feel that he is in need of more than that.
hey relented and said that there was a cargo ship within 15 miles of us that could pick him up. I asked where it was bound? Guatemala........it will get there in 5 days. And where would they be taking my crewman (my dad)? Well..........Guatemala. With all do respect sir I appreciate your assistance, but there is no way that I am putting my Father who has had a stroke, in need of medical attention on a ship going to Guatemala. I realize that you are not a travel agent but there must be a ship out here bound for an American port. "I will see what I can do."
Two hours later, the CG found a ship that was coming from Seattle right to Honolulu: the Horizon Reliance. Optimus Transport had taken many a load to the Horizon lines over the years. This was very good news. More later on the actual rescue.
Rough day for the Gallivant... nuff said.
Here's to a fresh day tomorrow, fair winds, and God's good graces.
The guys are making decent time now that they're in the trades - slow days are about 120-miles of travel, best days are 160-miles or more. Something tells me the Big Island is going to look mighty fine of the bow a week or so from now!
Quiet night last night, John says, which is a good thing! They're still angling south, and hoping for a bit warmer air (he says it was too chilly to wear shorts yesterday).
They're still sailing under just the jib, but once everyone is up and has had breakfast, they hoist the main and see if they can increase their speed some without stressing Oscar (who, by the way, is performing marvelously now).
John was kind of excited to see they've passed 26'N. They've passed through 22 lines of Lat since entering the ocean (Neah Bay is 48'N) and have just 7 to go (Hilo is at 19'N). Still lots of ocean to travel westward, but the trades are favorable and they're doing well.
Well like I said the storm kicked our butts (and Oscar's). The vice grips I used as a clamp just snapped. It's a good thing we had lines tied to everything or we might have lost something important and had ourselves a very long sail to Hilo.
I did get a nap this morning. Justin was at the helm. After I got up I went to work on Oscar.
I hung out over the stern with pieces and parts in my teeth (and a string ties to each on in case of butterfingers) The swells were only 10 to14' and I got him back together and on the payroll again!
Now sailing downwind in the trades.
Gonna go take a nap.
Rough night for the Gallivant - while they've been looking for/waiting for some stronger winds, the gusts that blew in briefly last night about 20:30 caught the man on watch a little off guard, and Oscar sustained some (repairable) damage that will require daylight for repairs. Without Oscar, a two-man watch was necessary, so Justin manned the helm while John manned the sails until they were both too tired to continue, at which point they hove-to for a few hours to catch some sleep.
After daybreak, they'll launch a kayak so they can access Ocsar and make repairs.