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Tuesday 25 April 2017

'Vanished' crew chart their final 760 miles -- the old way

Arvid Moe from Norway – part of the two-man crew that was feared lost in the Atlantic
– works on the rest of their trip from Portmagee Pier in south Kerry
Arvid Moe from Norway – part of the two-man crew that was feared lost in the Atlantic – works on the rest of their trip from Portmagee Pier in south Kerry
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

RESTED, fed and watered at last, the two-man crew of the Golden Eagle yacht that vanished in the mid-Atlantic are now plotting the next leg of their trip.

But Arvid Moe (69) and Frank Cooper (62) have vowed to use old-fashioned navigation charts rather than relying on the expensive electronic equipment that let them down so badly on the first leg.

The pair are currently enjoying the hospitality of Portmagee, Co Kerry, while they wait for the new charts to be sent from the US so they can complete their trip from Bermuda to Bergen in Norway.

They have another 760 miles of sea ahead after surviving an encounter with Hurricane Katia, an encounter that sparked a major rescue operation coordinated by the Valentia Coastguard and involving British, French and Norwegian authorities.

"It was the first time in my life I trusted completely in an electronic chart plotter that cost $3,500 (€2,600), but I won't do it again," said Mr Cooper, who has over 39 years' experience.

"We're now waiting for new charts to be sent over from the US. These should only take a couple of days. We still have a crippled boat but it will get us back to Norway."

While they wait, they have been enjoying the hospitality of The Moorings in Portmagee where they're exchanging stories with local fishermen.

Host

Their host Gerard Kennedy said the pair were still going strong at 1.30am on their first night and he had to make them go to bed to get some rest.

"We slept the sleep of the dead, after we enjoyed a cold beer in a warm pub in the company of even warmer hearted people," Mr Cooper said.

"It made a nice change from the salty, damp bunks of the boats where we had to spend 90pc of the time huddled up in sleeping bags just to keep warm," said the New Zealander.

And although they're enjoying their stay in the Co Kerry fishing village, they'll have to be on their way before long.

"We have to get going because the weather is going to get worse," he said.

"We still have another 760 odd miles to cover and we don't want to get too overwhelmed by nasty, cold, wet weather."

Irish Independent

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