A fascinating and tragic story of Eli Carr about the mysterious SOS signal, which her father sent from the middle of the Pacific ocean
Translation of the history of Eli Carr, we are forced to publish in the reduction. The full original version in English was published on the website outsideonline.com.
E-mail my father was almost senseless, but I guess he wanted to say that his boat landed the pirates.
“Taken inprisoners of companiesfrom Carrycot the deep South took on control, — stated in it. — The ship is immobilized”.
He sent it to my mother, March Carr, at 4:30 a.m. Pacific time on may 28, 2017. She was at home in Los Angeles, and sleeping, so didn’t see the message (and a couple of others similar) to 8:30 in the morning. A few hours my dad, 71-year-old Richard Carrmust have thought they never came.
Dad was in the Pacific ocean, on the way from Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) to the Marquesas Islands. he did a 26-day single transition in 2780 miles, which was supposed to be the first important step to realize the dream of his entire life: sailing around the world.
There, near the equator, where he was, it was 3:30 in the morning — one hour earlier than on the Pacific coast of the United States. It was in 1160 nautical miles from the Marquesas Islands, in 1975 or so miles from Hawaii and in 1553, from Mexico. So far from land and help as soon as you can get.
Ten minutes after the first message he wrote to one of his younger brothers, John Carr: “captured by pirates. Talk to Martha”. John, too, slept and had not seen the letter. Two hours later, the Pope continued, writing to John: “Apparently, I was spared”. A few minutes later, at 6:45, he wrote his mother: “Sillybear pirates left. I’m fine. Dogovorimsja”.
He said he sent the SOS signal and activated the EPIRB — emergency beacon-a pointer to the location that the satellite transmits data to the rescue when the boat gets in trouble. He asked her to call and cancel the call.
At 7:45, shortly after dawn, he wrote to my mother: “Write me as soon as I can. I’m really shocked”. He then again tried to contact John: “Very scary. Thought I would not live till morning.”
For dads sunrise meant 13 hours of sitting in 26 degree heat, in the calm in the area near the equator with a non-permanent conditions that cause the sailors to calm down in one minute, cringe from the barrage to the other, and then fight to catch a strong gust of wind in the third.
About eight in the morning in Los Angeles, the mother went out into the garden to work there until it got too hot. She still didn’t know about the disturbing letters that were sent by the Pope.
“Richard usually wrote to me in the afternoon, and I answered, she said to me then. — So I haven’t checked the mail when I got up”.
At 8:30 the phone rang. John wanted to discuss the strange message that he received. She ran upstairs to the laptop. It was almost an hour after my dad sent a message last morning. Finally, the family responded to him.
The first letter from my mother was: “OMG, do you need anything? Are you okay?”
She called my brother Tim and his wife Jen, who lived 45 minutes from her. Tim wrote to the Pope, asked if he was okay, and instructed how to cancel SOS. Then he came to mom. At this point, they called me on the West coast, Woodstock (new York).
Before sailing, my dad gave my mom a list of numbers for emergency contact. She called the Coast guard. After hearing the details of a Pope, the woman checked the EPIRB signal from it. When he returned, she said, “there was no Signal”.
What happened? There were several possible explanations, but none of them Bode well. We tried to find answers, knowing that time can be a little…
Richard Carr was born and raised in upstate new York. His family was very conventional for the time (1940s-1950s) and places; seven children and hard-working parents living in a house with three bedrooms. The boys often spent the whole day on the street. Richard loved the water and scuba diving. He taught children to swim and to fish in a local club for boys, built with a brother, a canoe, on which they floated on the canal, playing the “lost boys” of “Peter pan” on the Niagara river. He wanted to study marine biology at the University of Miami, but fate decreed otherwise, and he received a degree in anthropology from the University of California in Los Angeles, and then became interested in psychology. At the University he met his future wife, Martha. The wedding took place in 1978, a year later, was born first — Tim.
Dad learned to sail in California, sold his boat — a 9.5 metre ketch sea of Cortez and bought an old house in the Spanish style in the valley of San Fernando, where Tim grew up and still lives mom. The parents were busy with our brother and upbringing and taking care of customers who took their therapy, but sailing still was always on dad’s mind. He had often tried to convince my mother that the family must sail around the world, but she wanted the children to have a normal upbringing. However in my childhood we sometimes went on a rented sailboat to the island of Santa Catalina. The trip from Los Angeles took half of the day.
As the years passed, he increasingly tied to psychological practice, became interested in scientific work: he studied the neuroscience of embryos in the womb and wrote a book about neuroscience in art therapy.
But, although the father was selflessly devoted to his work, his coffee table was always room Cruising World.
Seriously about going around the world sailing dad thought in 2010. On March 16, he paid the last installment and won the 11-metre sailing tender 1985 Celebration. Once the boat was called Pelican, but the previous owner of the vessel changed its name during the voyage, which was to become world. The venture failed because the captain had a stroke and he was forced to change plans. There is a belief that, in order not to anger the sea gods, renaming a boat is necessary to observe some rituals, for example, to burn off the old logbook. I have no idea whether you heard the previous owner of this boat on such a tradition, but the boat he renamed just in San Diego, where he had a stroke. In 2017, seven years after the purchase, Celebration, dad bought a Pelican carved in Mexico and put in the cabin, as a talisman.
Dad spent the weekend meticulously working on the Celebration for eight hours a day. It was a lot for him, a man who is over 60.
The more time he spent on the boat, the more I wanted to bring the repair up to the end. When was work supposed to be doing Celebration, he was upset and annoyed.
Dad was hoping to begin my journey at the end of 2015, but in the winter it was expected El niño. In addition, the boat was still seaworthy. The delay seemed to him enormous, if adherence to the schedule was one of the main goals. He didn’t understand that peace will allow him to practice and prepare. I think he felt that at this stage of his life preparing for the journey may take more time than he has.
The departure day was approaching and my mom was more worried. Their lives were closely intertwined for decades, and he was going to go on a journey that could last years. The renovation, which cost about half the cost of the boat, was always a cause of controversy. But she had to accept the fact that he’s not going to give up on your dreams, and they are sometimes awkward, continued to move towards the goal, bringing the beginning of his incredible adventures.
In the beginning of 2016, it became clear that the deck Celebration needs to be replaced. After this part of the work in Marina del Rey was completed, dad’s on the motor went South to Bay of Los Angeles. On the road the engine started to smoke. It was partly to sort out. The vital time required for the test engine and practice a single voyage, was lost.
Finally, the Pope refused even the least bit to defer access to the sea. He forced himself to apply for participation in a two-week cruise rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) at the end of October. During the regatta along with him in the Celebration went his friend at the Marina , Marty Richards.
Shortly before the start of the trip in a bar in San Diego, Tim got into conversation with a sailor. He talked about the pirates, which many in the African waters, where the Pope will fall, time is going to get around the world.
“I remember being impressed with his courage, as he was proud that he was doing it, but also scared, says Tim. — I hugged his boat and said I’m scared that he might not come back.”
During the trip, the Pope and Richards South, the problems continued. In addition, they had to fix tromoy pump, because of which the engine compartment formed disturbing a lot of steam.
Due to the new noise the first night, dad was not able to sleep.
After talking with him on the phone the next day, the mother noted that because of the lack of sleep in his mind was a complete mess. In addition, he had an optical illusion.
At night, he thought he saw a wall of forest rising from the phosphorescent water. His hallucinations would bother us, but we knew that they are often the sailors on the night watch.
“I was plagued by questions… When Marty come upon the land, with whom I will share thoughts? How will I cope with the management of the boat day and night on long passages? Am I ready to travel alone?” — the Pope wrote.
3 may, a round trip of the Pope began in earnest. To the Marquesas Islands it was only waiting the ocean. It was his first transoceanic crossing, and he was supposed to be the most difficult part of the route, judging by the expected weather and length is 27 days. When I asked what was in the journey that scares him the most, he replied that it was lack of sleep is an inevitable condition for yachting singles who are often busy so that it can rest only in fits and starts.
Celebration — a slow but steady boat — was, in addition, is equipped with solar panels, wind generator, Watermaker, rescue boat for four people, by autorului, signal gun, food for three months and a survival suit for $1.3 thousand, designed for climate of Alaska. Experts say that this boat was easy to handle. In a storm it was a good place to drift, waiting out bad weather.
First, the journey seemed like a dream come true. Every few days dad told us how great he terms. It gave a sense of relief. It was great to know that after so many years of work with a hammer and fuss, from whose hands the Pope became dirty and rough, the boat was finally justifies invested in her work. Dad really did it.
Over time, the waves got bigger and rougher. Dad’s autopilot was overwhelmed, he had to stay on deck and help to taxi. Attempts to use very imperfect in its direction the wind demanded vigilance, and fatigue is accumulated.
10 days after the beginning of the swim, during which dad slowly moved in on average 80-90 nautical miles, in isolation he began to know yourself better.
He told mom that a lot of mentally talking to himself. For him it was a normal way to cope with difficult situations.
Day followed day, and the frequency of messages from the Pope declined. Slowed the pace of its move forward: now a day it has only covered 77 miles, so that the transition threatened to stretch out for five weeks.
From 20 to 24 may the weather was varied from repulsive to peaceful and back. May 26, two days before the Pope sent his first message about the pirates, he desperately turned on Hiva OA, the second largest island of the Marquesas Islands, but the storm threw him back 20 nautical miles. According to the forecast the wind was supposed to be better in 24-48 hours. He had almost a full tank of fuel. He could pass on the motor most of the way to Hiva OA, but he seems to have forgotten that the weather will be like this.
“Serious problems continue, he wrote on the 26th. — I need some new ways to approach him. Just happened the strangest thing. Too weird & Far beyond Preliminaryreport. Involved fraudulent filmmaking”
The worried mother said in a couple of minutes, and said that he would like to hear more about the challenges he faced. He didn’t answer.
In the afternoon of may 27, around 13:15, he wrote: “Rain Intensified at times, sometimes horizontal. my deck is relatively clean, unlike the sails. Happy 39 wedding anniversary. Again kinoma. Maybe my Brilliant Mind war My sailing Mind. Take note of this as an idea for a book. As of this dilemma. После2 days nejv sleep, Banderas Bay, Shortwave radio ‘ uses unknown to me made to think I have a problem. Then thought to check it out. Laughed.”
Mom said, “Happy Anniversary, my love! I was wondering is not hallucinations is a repeat of kinoalmanah, but thought maybe you’re listening to something odd on the short wave… SLEEP!”
Then she received a message, after which it became clear that his boat has lost a course. “Drifting. Strong storm Moving North… Unfavorable d next Friday. Imagine. Obstacles at almost every step. Problems related to”. The text was cut off.
On the morning of 28 may, when my mom read a pirate of the letter, the family was trying to get through every 10 minutes: “are You okay?”, “The communication with the coast guard”, “Trying to find you”, “PLEASE ANSWER”
The coast guard tried to Wake up daddy test messages, but he didn’t answer.
After four hours, passed in silence, dad appeared around noon in his time. “It’s part of putting on my macto southern style — he wrote. — Details later.”
But not followed by anything even a little bit would add clarity.
On the contrary, about an hour later he wrote: “Now I’m fine. One of the fishing boats in the neighborhood working on uznogo boss. Which, to my knowledge the BLM wants to put me in my place. It’s a long story”.
Why is it very dark? He was taken prisoner by the pirates and someone else sent those messages? He was trying to communicate in code? Mom asked him the radio frequency to transmit it to the Coast guard in Honolulu. “You have to answer… NOW. What you say makes no sense. Stole something?” Coast guard via satellite asked boats around the Pope to look after the Celebration.
An hour passed, and dad said that I would try to contact the Coast guard on long wave radio (SSB).
He apologized for not having answered, and then added: “Nothing was stolen, Nobody was hurt, there is No information about the boat. Was inside deciding how best to proceed”.
We exhaled with relief, but was puzzled. The pirates allowed him to stay inside and ponder the possibilities, while they’re on Board?
At 15:00 the Coast guard again wrote to him.
He sent their coordinates (6 35.9712′ S 127 17.7952′) and wrote them: “It’s a boat. Celebration WDJ4510 need confirmation of the abolition of the EPIRB 2DCC7B512CFFBFF 5/28/17 this morning around 6:30 in the morning. Can’t swastikastrologyservices on SSB”.
We were still confused. Unexpected switching of the Pope — with a vague message about pirates for us to precise and detailed management letter for the Coast guard — seemed absurd. Why couldn’t he clearly explain what happened to him?
An hour later, he texted mother: “I can still be a problem if my data popadut public report”. She said that nothing has been made public. 5:08 he told the Coast guard: “I kiusamine”.
“We do not understand your message, they replied. — Are you in trouble? Someone boarded your ship? What is the black cult’s deep South?”
Tim’s wife, Jen, wanted to make sure it’s not someone else pretending to be dad. “Say something that only you know about me. What I do for a living?” — she wrote.
Sports physiotherapy, he said. True.
Mom insisted on details about pirates. “We talked about disability Phyllis She’s retarded or dumb, he wrote about someone about whom we never heard of. — She thought yabyl drogatory should stay. I refused”.
“Who talked to you about Phyllis? — asked the mother. Is it something to do with fishermen? I have no context. It sounds strange. They landed to you on the boat? Threatening you?”
“I always vil you, — he said. — Marnie’s ashes buried at sea. Ala too”
It was a blow to the gut. Marnie and al was mom and my stepdad my mom. They both died two years before dad’s journey. One of his goals was to scatter their ashes in the ocean. “When I saw this post I thought, uh-Oh. He’s going to do something, said mom. — It looked as though he brings things in order.”
“Thank you, darling, — she wrote at 18:06, I’m worried that you’re not answering my other questions. To send messages safely. Do you want to go to Hawaii?”
Three minutes later he said, “Killer. Look out behind I’m sorry…”. A few minutes after that: “Gaysfucking barbecue in the sea… Sorry for strahovku”
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? — mother wrote. — You’re scaring me. What’s going on? Sounds like you want to hurt yourself! Do you need help? Say Yes or no.”
“Atilade floor killer is not a beautiful mind”, he said.
During this day, the Pope slowly but continuously moving in a South-westerly direction to Hiva OA. But now the map on which his position was at the time of each message, showed that he is going West. He went off course.
18:59 he wrote: “my daughter listening to Anubis well, not Onego assistant. Poisonous crack. She’s dying, Those old southerners. People say I killed myself. Better than what he’s going, I’ll wait. Miss you”.
“Your boat is immobilized? — mother wrote. Company?”
“No, not in bucalossi. Listening via the loudspeaker at a distance of cheloveka”
“Listen to the radio? Who was talking?”
“Sluchaynaya&epodoc says& up-imposes”.
My sister-in-law intervened and said that she’s worried. “So I nemiscau to die, — he wrote. — Don’t want to be killed or taken in slavery.”
At this point the Coast guard asked him to print a y or N to the question “Your life is in danger?”.
“I think so,” replied dad. A few minutes later he wrote our family: “Prosite”.
“You’re going home! NO!!!” begged the mother. Ten minutes later he said, “I would sudovolstviem-ntsyslog&Ointestinal quickly.”
In the next hour, his responses slowed down. 20:48 Tim wrote: “the Satellite shows that the nearest boat many miles from you. It’s not just the lack of sleep, right?” At 21:08, when the new letter from the Pope not to come, Tim asked: “Click SOS, please.”
Family members continued to send messages until late at night, but no one’s heard anything from dad from 8:30 am his time. The last letter from him was: “I can’t stop Petrotest news she bodyspace&uzicanin AEE the boy friend”.
By the end of the day may 29, hours passed from the time we last received a message from the Pope. In the area where was dad, the Coast guard never recorded cases of encounters with pirates. It is possible that he night entangled in fishing nets and are faced with angry locals speaking an unfamiliar language.
It begged the question: was there something at all? Dad said that sent a beacon signal and SOS, but he didn’t. And what did he mean by “barbecue in the sea”? The message “I’m sorry for strahovku” he sent immediately after that. If he was trying to tell mom that she can’t get the insurance money because no body?
My ideas about how my dad left this world, were not such. I longed to know what was his face what he felt at this moment. His words gave us ideas.
When on may 29, around me the darkness fell, my mind endlessly repeated questions: “Dad, where are you? What did you do?”
The coast guard started looking for resources for searches. Soon the ship was 200 nautical miles, more than one day’s journey. A cargo plane could fly to him, but the team would be ten minutes looking: then they would have to go back.
At 23:00 is the manufacturer of the device for tracking and messaging that was used by the Pope, confirmed that it has ceased to accept messages at the moment when he sent the latter to us. The device is turned off or it failed or was destroyed.
The evening of 30 may the American fishing vessel American Enterprise, which was aboard the helicopter, began to comb the area to the South-West of the last known location of my father’s boat. The evening of may 31, three days after the last communication with the Pope, they searched an area the size of Connecticut, but found no trace, no wreckage Celebration.
In the South-West, where, presumably, could be dad, the quest is joined by a 200-foot Panamanian ship. But it found nothing.
By June 2 we got desperate. We knew that dad, even if he was still alive, probably could not survive longer.
June 4, a week after the last message, the quest is joined by two more vessels, but it did no good.
The next day there was a glimmer of hope: on satellite data received by the Coast guard, was something that looked like a sailboat going South in the theoretical course Celebration. The length and color coincided with dad’s boat.
On 6 June the Coast guard contacted the hospitals in Tahiti, to learn, and did not bring there dad. The answer is no.
June 13, two weeks after the last session, an unidentified boat was close enough to before it can be reached by plane from Tahiti. June 15 in the area flew C-130 Hercules, on Board of which was a communication device, a life raft and other things that can be reset. With him on the quest he sent a surveillance plane Falcon. They met four boats. Three of them were identified immediately, and another one with two sailors on Board, which had to communicate by radio, did not fit the description of the Celebration.
21 Jun Hercules returned to Hawaii. June 22, the Coast guard has suspended the search.
24 day was verified 154,3 thousand sq. m. of Residues of the boat was not found and for the next 17 months after the disappearance of the Pope.
I doubt they ever will, although one analyst suggests that if Celebration is still drifting, it can reach New Guinea two years later. But I believe that boat — or what was left of it — at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. The last coordinates serve dad his only tombstone.
My family can again and again to try to understand what happened and why it happened. But we will never know for sure. We may feel guilt, remorse, anger.
But we’ll always come back to one thing: maybe dad was not skilled enough to achieve the goal, but he had to try. Or die — dreaming and dissatisfied with their own lives.
You can hardly say that everyone should die that way. But the question remains: if you have a dream of a lifetime, and time is running out, what will you do?
Like any adventurer, dad didn’t know how it will end. He had to raise a sail and find out.