Drama in the Pacific Ocean

Published on September 29th, 2014

After participating in the 2014 Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii, the Corsair 37′ Transit of Venus hit a foreign object in the darkness while returning to the mainland. Here’s an excerpt from the onboard report which was posted on Pressure-Drop.us:

We set sail on the 37-foot trimaran “Transit of Venus” on 9/13 from Honolulu bound for Oakland. We expected to take about two weeks and after a week of slow progress we picked up steam and expected to arrive in the bay sometime the weekend of Sep. 27-28. Well, sh#t happened and now we’re on a slow boat from China, expecting to arrive Panama on 10/8.

We were sailing between 8 and 12 kts on autopilot with Tom on watch. The captain and I were resting, when a loud bang at 0115 cause me to slide forward and bang my head into a cushion while Tom was thrown forward and knocked off his feet. “We just hit something” Tom and I yelled simultaneously. I pulled my groggy self up off the cushions and threw on my foulies as fast as I could. The captain emerged from the back bunk and we immediately began damage assessment.

A trimaran has a main cabin in the center with two outriggers or “ama”s, which I think is Hawaiian for “arm”. Whatever we hit had destroyed the front of our starboard ama. The unknown object then apparently became airborne, slamming into the starboard side of the main cabin. It hit with sufficient force to completely detach two cabin light and knock much of the lining off the inside of the hull. Up near the V-berth, we observed a 3-foot hairline crack that was dripping water. One of the starboard windows was mostly destroyed and the other one cracked, probably from the flexing of the hull. The forward starboard net and forward starboard rigging were dragging in the water. The object even managed to dislodge the radar unit mounted several feet above the water line and aft of everything. Whatever it was, it must have flown at least 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically after we hit it. – Read on

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