Friday, April 22, 2005

The Yachtsea disaster scoop from SAIL Magazine

In early April Zephyr commented - like every other sailing site - on the travails of the good ship Yachtsea, a Santana 22 that was crushed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco when she tried to run the current off of Fort Point. Pictures of the disaster were captured by photog Wayne Lambright with a Nikon D2h (with a 70-300mm lens) that shoots 8 frames per second. If you haven't seen the shots check them out here. Apparently the captain of the vessel, Joe Schmidt, a human resources executive from San Carlos, California - is now ready to give his account of the disaster. Great reporting by SAIL Magazine. According to the story in the two weeks following the April 2 posting, Wayne Lambright's web site had 17,000,000 page views. That's traffic we all can envy! The story is a good inside account but my favorite part was the apparent "harbinger" that occured when a crew member fell off the boat at the dock before the race began. Sailors are a notoriously superstitious lot, a part of sailing culture I plan to explore in more depth...and I applaud Schmidt for incorporating this illogical but congruous happening into the lore of his tale. Both the captain and crew were rescued by surfers - a detail proving to me once again that (pirates aside) we are all brethren on the water.

The wave went vertical, and things happened fast: "Is this the way I'm going, I wondered? I didn't know what the hell happened. It was like a freight train had hit us."

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