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CORCOVADO'S SAD END

Despite the loss of his boat, Andrew loves spending time in the Caribbean — sailing as well as fishing.

for me to believe what I saw today when I finally got a chance to go aboard my boat. The Guardacostas had warned me that fishermen had stolen a lot of stuff, but I had no idea! The only things left on the boat were the winches and the sails. Everything else had been stolen or was destroyed. And I mean everything! Every anchor, pump, breaker, compressor, tool, fan, spare part, fishing lure, light bulb, bit of wire, fitting and fixture. They stole every hose and hose clamp, knife, fork, spoon and can of food. There was nothing left inside but the floorboards. The halyards were gone as well as all the blocks, shackles and standing rigging. The pulpits were bent and her hull scratched and gouged. My beautiful boat, which had been such a big part of my life, was destroyed! "I tried to imagine how it must have happened. The poor fishermen must have spent days tearing my boat apart. There had probably been fights over who got what. It's unbelievably sad. Although battered, Corcovado' Corcovado's hull is still sound. And the main and jib are, inexplicably, still on the boat. Yet it's very unlikely I'll be sailing Corcovado back home. It's true that her hull is sound, but that's about all. "Those who know me know that I enjoy a good laugh. Well, here was one on me. As I tossed and turned in my bed Connell, as well as the owners of this Trinidadbased tri and the cat 'Blue Marble', would caution you to be wary of commercial moorings.

ANDREW CONNELL

ANDREW CONNELL

was an ongoing investigation into the theft of things from my boat. But I didn't know who was responsible for the inin my jail-like hotel vestigation and who was investigating room, I envisioned whom. Would the police investigate the what the fisherman Guardacostas? I was told the investigaon Cayo Sombretion could take weeks, if not months. ro must have done Friends in Venezuela told me that I would when they found my get no sympathy or reimbursement, and unoccupied boat. that I should move on. It was hard to "The first things doubt them. that came to mind "It was creepy in Venezuela, too. I were the golf cart was told the authorities were following batteries, the Alpine my posts on Facebook. And my Gmail stereo, and the solar panels. I wondered account had been hacked the first day I if the fishermen had set up the panels in got to Venezuela. such a way that they were charging my "For my own safety, I was told never deep cycle golf cart batteries, and had to leave my hotel room without an escort, plugged in the Alpine stereo and hooked even during daylight hours. In the six up the ADS speakers, all of which were days I was in Venezuela I didn't see one missing. They then could have been European or Norteamericano. And there charging my iPod and cranking music were clear signs of the terrible shape the on the beach, dancing around wearing country was in. I noticed countless food my fancy Musto sailing gear. Who would lines, empty malls, and they be listening to? Did empty car showrooms. I they prefer the music of heard about the inability Anders Osborne, Jerry of companies to import Garcia or Taj Mahal? raw products, materials "Had they set up my and spare parts. awning on the beach for "Emotionally bruised shade? Maybe they had and battered by what had inflated my eight-man happened to Corcovado, liferaft and filled it with and her uncertain situwater to make a swimation in a country that ming pool. Were they takappeared on the brink of ing proper care of my All turmoil, if not civil war, I Clad dishware? Were they caught what I believe was folding the chicken stock the last flight out of Veninto my risotto at the right ezuela for Curaçao. All pace? I forgot to check if other international flights they'd stolen the olive oil, had stopped because the but they probably had. Venezuelan government They had left the propane owed the airlines hunregulator on the boat, so dreds of millions of dolI wonder if they'd found a way to use the butane 'Corcovado's engine was prob- lars. "So Corcovado remains in the French tanks? Did ably one of the most highly they like my Starbucks valued prizes taken by salvagers. but a treasured memory. All this misery for the price of a bad coffee? shackle. Nonetheless, I'd like to thank I find it hard to understand why the everyone for their emotional and finanCoast Guard would have left my boat for cial support. Friends chipped in nearly the picking at Cayo Sombrero, knowing $5,000 in order to help me try to get my that Venezuelan people were in such a beloved boat back. I'm down now, but desperate state. I noticed a lot of black there will be another boat in my future." scuff marks on my Editor's note: Beware of strange boat, and know that moorings and shackles. Last year the fishermen don't wear Fountaine-Pajot 46 Blue Marble was shoes. I began to lost at Niue when the shackle on a comwonder if members mercial mooring failed. In December the of the Coast Guard Trinidad, CA-based trimaran Surrender hadn't stripped my went onto the rocks at Yelapa in the boat, too. middle of the night when the commercial mooring failed. And now this. Be cautious out there. he authori— latitude/richard ties told me there

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Latitude 38 March 2014  

The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 March 2014  

The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.