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July 15, 2022

Sailing; Mysterious Disappearances

In December of 2007, 70 year old Jure Sterk in his sailboat called Lunatic set out to sail around the world. He was last heard from January 1st, 2009. His sailboat was spotted January 26th, about 1,000 nmi off the coast of Australia. The boat had been damaged and there was no sign of Sterk. On April 30, 2009 the boat was found adrift. The sails had been ripped. The last log entry had been made on the second of January 2009. What happened to Mr. Sterk remains unknown. He had successfully crossed the Atlantic eight times, Indian Ocean twice, and the Pacific Ocean once. Between 1991 and 1994, he single-handedly sailed around the world, in his own 6.5 meter-long boat, so he was no Sunday sailor.

MV High Aim 6 was a Taiwanese fishing boat which left southern Taiwan on Halloween October 31st, 2002 and was found without any crew drifting in Australian waters, on January 8th, 2003. The captain communicated by radio in December 2002 when the ship was near the Marshall Islands, but on December 13th, the boat became derelict under unknown circumstances. Police thought that a possible mutiny might have occurred, as the ship was found drifting with its entire crew missing on January 3, 2003 approximately 80 nautical miles off of Australia. Maybe some ghouls and spirits had gotten aboard when it launched that Halloween day.

Donald Crowhurst was somewhat of a Sunday sailor; a British amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. The trimaran yacht began its journey October 31 (there’s that ominous date again) in the year 1968, and the vessel was found on July 10th,1969 drifting by its lonesome in the North Atlantic. Crowhurst, who had forged his logbooks in an attempt to win had only sailed as far as Argentina where he was forced to make repairs which would have voided his attempt anyway. He is thought by many to have had a mental breakdown after leaving Argentina, and jumped overboard. His body was never found. The film ‘Deep Water’ gives an excellent account of his journey..

In 2002, a private yacht grounded itself on Fort Lauderdale Beach at about 1:15 a.m. on the twentieth of June. Its engines were still running and the navigation lights were still on. The vessel appeared to be seaworthy except for some relatively minor damage. Some items that belonged to the owner Guma Aguiwere found on board the ship, but neither him or any other passengers were ever found. It has been said that he had previously suffered from psychotic episodes. So what happened? Nobody knows…except for Mr. Aguiwere and any passengers aboard if there were any.

In 1975, The SV Ocean Wave with Bas Jan Ader aboard was lost at sea while attempting a single-handed west–east crossing of the Atlantic in a 13-foot-long (4.0 m) boat named Ocean Wave. The passage was part of an ‘art performance’ which was called "In Search of the Miraculous". Radio contact ceased 3 weeks into the voyage, and Ader was presumed to have been lost at sea. The boat was found after 10 months, floating partially submerged 150 miles west-southwest off of the coast of Ireland. Ader’s body was never found, and there are no clues regarding his disappearance. Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels, Ader's mother, wrote the poem "From the Deep Waters of Sleep" on October 12, 1975, after having what she described as a premonition of his death.