25 September 2012 | Bali Sea
We got underway yesterday and by last night were over the top of Bali headed north. Allen was on watch from 8- 1245 and I went from 1-530am. I had to wake him up twice because the first time a circuit breaker popped and I lost the running lights at the bow, the steaming light on the mast, and the cockpit lights. After I reset it, there were a lot of ships around. We had a ship within a half mile of us so I told him again to come help me and he radioed them to go astern. So I went back to sleep at 6am and he altered course to see if we could get a smoother ride. About 0730 when he told me to get up, he had seen something out there and it was an overturned boat w/ a pile of men on top yelling and waving buoys. He wouldn't have ever seen it without the course change, which Allen had also communicated a course change with a tugboat and barge that had been following us all night. I quickly hauled in the fishing lines while he drove as close as we could, then NINE men all jumped into the water and made a chain to swim towards us. They were screaming, HELP US MISTER, SAVE US! and Allen said he pulled them out like scared wet rats. I ran the boat in reverse while Allen threw out the life ring and towed them to the stern. They were cold, hungry, and really sliced up from the barnacles on the boat bottom. They immediately guzzled several bottles of water, as they said with very limited English that they'd been out there for 3 days and nights, no sleep and no water, adrift from Surabaya, Java!
I quickly diced up a giant papaya, and had made a pot of brown rice at 0400, so it was still warm. I fried an egg each to put over the 9 bowls of rice, and they scarfed it down happily. Wyatt was in charge of distributing forks but he was so occupied with trying to count out 9 instead of just bringing the whole pile that they just went ahead and ate with their fingers. Then the triage started, and some of them had severe lacerations on their inner thighs. Their hands were also cut up, and some had chunks of skin missing in various other places. I pulled out a pile of Allen's shorts, which for some we could've put two men into one pair each because they're so skinny, and I had to swap for a couple of my shorts instead. Then we doctored them up and put them into all the beds, floor beds from couch cushions, cockpit cushions, and my yoga mat. They were obviously exhausted from the ordeal, but very happy to be alive.
We made it to Kepuluan Kangean, some group of islands north of Bali and east of Surabaya to drop them off. There were a lot of people on the wharf so we yelled (they were too tired to yell) since noone answered the radio hailings. Two canoes came out and made several trips to retrieve the men. We didn't get to hear anything else after that, or see them again, so we spent the day feeling like it was all a dream and how God put us right where we were needed, orchestrated perfectly for being all the way around the world from home to experience yet another miracle.