HMS Nothumberland stands guard over stricken Aviva
Thursday 20 December 2007
Received 1336hrs UTC
It has been 30 hours since Aviva was dismasted and I am still bobbing around in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The good news is that the weather has improved. The sky has cleared the rain has stopped and the wind has abated. The swell is still at large and the relentless rolling onboard Aviva is uncomfortable to say the least.
As the daylight was being lost yesterday afternoon, panic set in. I couldn’t stay out here alone at night. I hadn’t slept for two days. I was scared and felt vulnerable and was worried of being mowed down by a ship as I did not show up too well without a mast and sails.
The shore team had been doing a sterling job arranging a rescue and keeping options open and checking I was still okay. Then just as I was about to crack I heard the news that a guardian angel was coming to keep watch over me. My angel was in the form of the British Warship Northumberland and the crew with the Commanding Officer Martin Simpson. They arrived at midnight and spent all night keeping watch on Aviva and me so I could sleep. It was heavenly. This morning with breakfast delivered they agreed to stay on station until the Spanish tow arrived from La Coruna. All being well I should be under tow this afternoon and making way to Spain with hopes of stepping onto dry land tomorrow.