Noises, the nights in the ocean are very long and the time marked by shifts at the helm.
I feel that JK is in pain and he communicates it to me through the noise.
The metals, the woods, the ropes, the winches, the blocks, the trolleys, the slamming doors all generate a sinister noise.
The noises are putting a strain on me.
The noises haunt me and constantly renew the question of questions: how long will JK be able to support all this effort?
How long will JK be able to make us dominate the sea and the wind by sheltering us from the depths of the ocean.
During the OFF shifts the imperative is to sleep but my sleeps are constantly populated by nightmares.
Day 02 December 05:30 UTC I get off the shift and try to sleep, as always in the dinette, near the radio.
Our VHF in dual scan mode is constantly listening on channels 16 and 72.
Channel 16 reserved for emergencies, 72 for communications between boats racing.
Two British yachts make my rest even more difficult by starting an absurd conversation.
How many people are you on board? Are you all adults or are there children too?
In reality they just want to feel less alone in nothing.
Their voices bother me, I hate them I can’t sleep I approach the radio in the act of turning it off.
No it’s not possible and what if someone needs our help?
So I decide to just turn it down and fall asleep.
Day 02 December 09:02 UTC.
Mayday – Mayday – Mayday yachting Charlotte over.
I wake up with a start convinced that I am in the throes of a nightmare.
Just one of many nightmares.
Mayday – Mayday – Mayday yachting Charlotte over.
No it’s not a nightmare it’s reality.
Still sleepy, I pick up the VHF and answer the Mayday in my typical English that my son defined very well several years ago: “Daddy, you speak English like shit a jaguar”.
Even today I wonder why this parallelism.
Charlotte Charlotte Jk Jk what the problem? over.
My help response overlaps with the voice of another vessel Magic Dragon – Magica Dragon – Charlotte Charlotte over followed by Polygala Polygala – Charlotte Over.
The whole crew of JK in disbelief approaches the radio.
I open the incredible plotter screen !!
The AIS system detects me three boats within 11 miles.
In addition to us position 17.44.189n 36.3.343w we detect
Charlotte (the boat that launches the may day) 17.49.443n 36.7.835w
Magic Dragon 17.52.232n 36.001.691w
Polygala 17.49.446n 36.3.343w
We are located 1,467 miles from the coast of South America and 1,542 from Gran Canaria.
We are in the middle of the ocean.
How many are the chances that Charlotte in failure can find next to if not one not two but three boats?
There are no possibilities but it is happening and the boats do not know each other nor have they decided to sail in the flotilla.
They simply found themselves by sheer chance in the middle of the ocean.
Charlotte reports that both steering systems are damaged and they intend to abandon the boat (a beautiful Hanse 520 with hard top.)
There are 5 adults.
I am reminded of the conversation I intercepted and cursed before falling asleep. Now it is important whether there are children on board or only adults.
There are many boats that leave for the Atlantic crossing with children on board.
Charlotte agrees with Magic Dragon for recovery operations.
On board Magic there are 7 people and the castaways are 5.
Magic reports that it does not have enough water supplies to continue the journey.
On board the JK team is active for any eventuality.
We communicate our willingness to embark the castaways.
JK is larger and with abundant water reserves (we are equipped with a 100 lt hour watermaker)
Magic Dragon and Charlotte are of the same nationality.
Even if I were in the middle of the ocean I would prefer to be welcomed by fellow countrymen.
We understand the situation and offer a water transfer.
Magic thanks and we gear up.
We prepare a rope secured to a fender with several dozen bottles of water (both natural and sparkling) hanging … I ask the team to also tie a bottle of wine.
I want them to feel all the Italian warmth.
Wind at 25 knots 6 m waves charlotte launches the life raft into the sea.
One, two, three, four we finally silently watch the fifth person come aboard.
In an instant the top is cut.
Now the 5 members of Charlotte’s crew are in effect shipwrecked in the midst of a raging sea.
I call Magic Dragon and communicate that on board JK there are 3 members of the Disney Marine Team and in case we are ready to provide all the necessary assistance for the transfer.
It is not needed.
The commander of Magic Dragon coldly and competently approaches the raft which leans gently against the side from above the wind.
Once again one, two, three, four and finally the fifth and last person is safe.
I immediately call the captain of the boat that carried out the rescue to congratulate him and inform him that Jk sail is ready for the water transfer.
And so we spin the bottles and the fender which, in favor of the current, quickly make their way to their destination.
Rescue operation completed.
Imagining the excitement aboard Magic, I think it is necessary to stay still in the area to allow him to take stock of the situation.
Will they also need food? Of more water? Do you need medicines?
After 30 minutes I call back asking if everything is ok.
With a moved voice we are thanked for the assistance provided and we communicate that they are autonomous and self-sufficient to continue navigation.
We decide independently to escort the boat for another 30 minutes…. After which we set off again for the Caribbean.
Who knows what the ocean still has in store for us.
Certainly the noises of JK tonight will distress me even more.
Taken from the logbook of the commander of jk sail Luca Davoli