The night Dagny drifted off I dreamed of a young women from Sarasota. There was nice blue water everywhere, even in the streets. We swam around endlessly. Then someone died in a freak circus accident. She said she had to go. Something had broken. I said “we’ll talk,” but I knew she was gone forever.
Flying fishes are incredible creatures. You’d think they just extend their jumps a little to escape predators but no, they are amazing fliers, well, as far as fishes go. They fly a few inches from the water’s surface, going up and down with the waves, making turns, thus for incredible distances. I wonder if they hold their breath in their own way, getting a glimpse of our world like we get a glimpse of theirs. Some day they will be birds and look down on us. One of them flew over the bow of Keith Cooper’s boat and two feet from my face today as I peeked at the horizon looking for Dagny.
I met Keith Cooper this morning. He knocked on my room door at nine. In a daze, I went in my hotel robe to greet him. He explained to me that he is the BASRA representative for West End. I had heard of BASRA, thinking that it was part of the Bahamian Government, but actually it is a volunteer association for search and rescue in the Bahamas. How he found out about me, I forgot to ask, or maybe he told me in my half-asleep state… I don’t think the police notified him. As I sat there rubbing my eyes he started making phone calls, to a U.S. Embassy contact, the USCG and some other people. This was the first time someone took a real interest in finding my boat. I showed him the position report I received from the Coast Guards in Miami. Dagny was spotted by a USCG aircraft assisting in an emergency (one with people aboard). I still need to put all the pieces together but it seems the Seven Seas Cruising Association is helping as well. Glenn Tuttle from the SSCA sent a drift estimate by Chris Parker, the well known meteorologist. If this is the kind of stuff the SSCA does, I want to be part of it too, and not just on the receiving end.
Finally emerging from my much needed sleep, I heard Keith offering to take me on his boat to the calculated intercept point. I was introvertly ecstatic at the offer! Then he mentioned his boat, a 20ft. Mako… Crossing an ocean in Dagny is one thing, going sixty miles off to sea in a twenty foot single-engine pleasure boat is another. I don’t think I would feel comfortable doing so, but Keith Cooper is not an ordinary man, he is on a mission to help people, and does so with very little resources, in my case the cost of gas. Who in this world will still gives his whole day to a stranger? I have to admit, the support has been overwhelming, from people giving good advice, taking time to make calls, even loaning me a bit of money on Paypal, some I do not even know. There will be a long thank-you page to write after this ordeal is over.
Keith runs an eco-tourism tour business in West-End, check him out!
We left West End at 11:30. Keith drove his boat hard all the way to the coordinates. It was a bumpy ride for such a small boat. I was handed a turkey sandwich, ah yes, breakfast wasn’t something on my mind but it hit the spot, especially that I had only eaten a can of Spam the night before. At this rate I will see my abs again pretty soon, but I’m not complaining. We finally reached Dagny’s estimated location and four eyes scanned the horizon again, nothing. Keith drove us a further seven miles in that direction, but being so far was getting a bit hairy. It was time to turn back, and my heart sank again, though I am glad we did not. The ride back was a much longer ordeal. We saw a cruise ship seemingly stopped, and a cargo ship from pretty close. If they saw us they must have thought we were totally nuts. It was 9:30 when we entered West End, ten hours at sea on a little plastic open shell.
Merry Christmas everyone! I just realized as I am writing this that it is 12:25AM on December 25th!
I am renting a house I really can’t afford right now, just for two days. There is nothing in West End at any reasonable price. I do absolutely need to find something for cheap, maybe in Freeport, or buy a ticket back to France, which would put me out of reach of Dagny, wherever she is now. There might be some interesting developments soon, but I can’t say now just based on an email I received from a fellow sailor. The only thing to do now is to wait for a sighting. I am of course open to any suggestion.
Thank you again to all who helped and are still looking for Dagny and sharing the information.