Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finding Spirit of Orlando by Angela 2013 07 13

Finding Spirit of Orlando

By Angela  July 13, 2013

debmole's Old Glory finds Spirit of Orlando album on Photobucket
The search for the boat began as soon as I made landfall on June 17, 2013. Deb and
I stopped everyplace between Santa Barbara (the point of extraction 80 miles west of Morro Bay)
and Long Beach sharing pictures of the boat and speaking with people. We wondered how far a small boat with a parachute or drag anchor deployed would drift before making landfall? When I was on the boat it was only drifting 6-9 miles a day in South East direction whilst on sea anchor however that was not in gf4 winds.

It had been three weeks since my rescue and we hadn’t had any news on Spirit of Orlando. We decided
to be more proactive and booked a Channel Islands whale watching tour with Island Packers to go out looking for my little boat on Sunday. Once there we gave out more Spirit of Orlando picture cards and talked to more people. We had a fun day but had no success finding my little boat. We took the coastal drive home and I kept a lookout using a pair of binoculars just hoping for a sighting. We were nearly home when we received a face book message from Denise Muller that stated the boat had been found in San Diego. I was opening my computer to go online and look at the message when I got a call from Catherine Miller who informed me that a long range fishing boat named Old Glory had found my ocean rowing boat. She stated that they were towing it in and that it would arrive at 6 am Monday morning. We quickly called the Navy lodge and booked a room for Sunday night. We then hooked up the trailer and were on our way to San Diego so that we could be there when the boat arrived in the morning.

We did not know what to expect as that was a considerable distance, hundreds of miles farther than expected. We got to San Diego at 1 Am and managed to get 3 hours of sleep before heading to the H&M Landing at 5:20 AM. All kinds of thoughts were running wildly through my head like what condition the boat would be in and will I have enough money to pay the boat that recovered Spirit of Orlando? According to Salvage laws they did not have to give me my boat and could ask whatever price they want for the boat. What if I did not have enough? I have Search and Recovery Insurance for myself and have Vessel Assist for recovery of the boat up to 100 miles but It has to be recovered by a specific Vessel Assist boat.  I would have to cover these costs myself.
Spirit of Orlando with Old Glory

When we arrived at the Marina there was a ABC 10 news van there and a lot of people getting ready to go out fishing. It was sunrise and daylight began penetrating the Marine layer. Our eyes began
searching the H&M Landing for the boat. First we followed the news crew power cord to the back of the building by the gangway that lead to the dock with all of the commercial fishing boats where the news reporter was busy shooting a piece so we went past them down the gangway. The tide was out and the ramp steep so I positioned myself at the top, lifted both front wheels up and proceeded to ride a wheelie all the way down the ramp. My back pack was hitting the anti-slip surface making a dragging noise that
got the attention of the reporter and the camera man. I turned to see where Deb was and was blinded by the light on the camera. I wondered if I should have approached them but I was in a hurry to get to the boat.

The boat Old Glory was almost to the end of the boat dock and was unloading the fishermen who were aboard for Spirit of Orlando’s recovery. Just down to the right on the dock before Old Glory was The Spirit of Orlando. I had not seen all of the damage done in the container ship incident as it happened at night and I was extracted from the boat in the cover of darkness. Other than broken antenna, broken all round navigation light and flag staff the boat looked good. There were some scrapes in the 3M wrap but I don’t think it even goes down to the gel coat. It was a very emotional reunion and I got teary eyed remembering how close a call that really was and how much worse that could have been. The reporter and cameraman made it down to the boat. I felt a little embarrassed being teary eyed and getting caught on camera doing it. I suppressed my tears and then did a brief interview with channel 10. I was distracted during the interview by my own anxiousness to get aboard Spirit of Orlando and as soon we were finished I transferred onto the boat and opened the cabin door. It was a little bit damp and the contents shifted all topsie turvie like the boat had possibly pitch poled and definitely had rolled over and self-righted at least once. Pitch polling is going bow over stern. The airlines statement “contents shift during flight” came to mind.

Deb told me the boat owner was ready to talk to me so I transferred back over to my chair and went to meet the Owner and the Skipper of Old Glory. They helped me aboard Old Glory and I sat inside the galley waiting anxiously as it was time to discuss business. I was so afraid I would not have enough money. Joe Philips, the owner operator of Old Glory told me how he supports veterans and how they take our wounded warriors out fishing and then he told me he was not going to charge me. I offered money to cover expenses and fuel and he and the crew refused to take any money. I was relieved and put off at the same time as I wanted to give them something .All I can do for now is express my gratitude. They were all so generous and kind. The skipper had looked up information about my boat and the tribute row and it is my understanding that all consented unanimously to the recovery of the Spirit of Orlando.

Thanks and appreciation to
H&M Landing
Catherine Miller
Old Glory
Owner operator Joe Philiips
Bobby Turner
Alex Centner
Richard McDonald
John Chustine
Tory Shane DeNuccio
Ray Kommel of Bakersfield
Lott Mason of San Clemente
Roy Rafferty of San Clemente
Ted Davidge of Laguna Nigel
Troy Regan of Dana Point
Brian Wilson of San Clemente
Juan Contreras of San Diego
Luis Godinaz of Chula Vista
Alfred Orozco of Southgate
John Nix of Garden Grove
Kathleen Barcelona Garden Grove
James Willis of Capistrano Beach
Mike Hatzidakis of Colton
Trent J Levinson of Desert Hot Springs
Richard Allen of San Diego
Glen Lee Borgia of San Clemente
Gaetono Legrande of Dana Point
Todd Lake of San Juan
Daniel Craig of San Clemente
Chad Psilopoulos of Oceanside
Brian Muecke of Rim Forest

Thank you all so much
Angela & your Old Glory catch of the day, Spirit Of Orlando

RowofLife Journey-YouTube Video by Sageweb