22 September 2001 | Los Angeles
As you know by now, Pacific Odyssey has come to a dramatic and premature end. The Tuna fishing vessel 'Judy S' collided with Crackers cutting the hull virtually in two, throwing Dom into the sea and leaving me trapped in the upturned hull. After getting out we were taken aboard the Judy S and amanged to salvage some of our equipment. Another fishing boat, the 'Al and Ken' then attempted recovery of Crackers but our faithful old boat snapped as she was hauled up the stern of the trawler. The aft section of Crackers then slipped slowly away into the deep never to be seen again.
Some time later the US Coastguard arranged for us to be transferred from the Judy S onto the Container carrier 'APL Iolite' which deviated some 200 miles from its normal course in order to take us on board. Had we not been the recipients of such generosity by APL we would have been tied to the fishing fleets programme. None of the trawlers intended to put their catch ashore until they were full and the next boat due to visit the canning factory a week off with a destination of West Samoa via Hawaii for fuel.
Once safely on board the APL Iolite Dom and I were extremely well looked after and we have made many new friends. A very warm and heartfelt thanks from Dom and I to Captain Peter Fernandes and his crew. Two days later we arrived in Los Angeles to a fantastic re-union with our wives and Al and Tony from our support crew.
Looking back so soon after such a major upheaval, we've no regrets. Accidents happen at sea and although this was a million to one chance, we always knew it was possible. We're both devastated to have been thwarted so close to land but very glad to be alive.
As to the future, well, who knows right now. Dom has plans for a major sailing expedition - watch this space! Finally for today, before we fly back to the UK, I must thank everyone who has been kind enough to send such fantastic messages of support both now and throughout the expedition. We'll be posting more news to this site for some time yet, so keep checking for photos of the accident and a more considered telling of the whole story.
All the very best, Tim.