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Posts posted by Donovan

  1. Rimas is an interesting fellow.  Met him in Bellingham and then again on Aunu'u and Pago Pago in American Samoa.  I kinda miss him and glad to hear he is well and grounded in Hawaii. 

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  2. 5 hours ago, Norse Horse said:

    Rimas will have some tale to tell, depending on the author who puts it into words. I hope if Jean can do it,he can make sure the details get written and some epic highlights like his shipwreck are complete.

    Rimas did a lengthy audio interview after his Alaska trip, where he claims to have learned to sail the [first] SJ24, Caesura, Caesura - Wikipedia over a winter season. This may translate to just motoring around, given his abilities. He may have learned to anchor but he offers little detail. I assume he lived aboard then. In the interview he clearly states he sailed upwind and against the current on his way to the Aleutians. Rimas Meleshyus - Radio Interview by Cory Kaimana Barros recommendations on SoundCloud

    It is one of my goals to sail there one day and I have been reading what I can find online about Alaska, this winter.

     The famous Lawn Dart crossed my mind and I was curious just when and where Rimas went aground near Atukan Island. The passage time, CG rescue, passing ship discovery, total time shipwrecked and day of the beaching don't exactly fit to the Rimas timeline so his tide and weather at the time of grounding is a guess...
    Akutan pdf nautical chart
    Akutan - Google Maps
    FPI Aleutian Islands-Akutan Anchorages
    Akutan Alaska, drone spring 2017 - YouTube 
    Akutan Alaska Mooring basin- Small Boat Harbor
    Bays in Alaska - Alaska.Guide
    Fox Islands Passes - Wikipedia 
    Climate of Unimak Area, Alaska
    Akutan, Alaska - Wikipedia

    Several SA posters who have been to the Aleutians before know firsthand that area well. Even Mr Furnish fished commercially up there, he wrote.
     It is a sobering sight to see the limit of the pack ice on the charts and watch video of the conditions up there, including this one video where the commercial boat just rolls over and stays there. CAPSIZE IN GULF OF ALASKA-440 mark- - YouTube
    Bering Sea Heavy Weather - Arctic Lady - YouTube 

    Deadliest Catch Geography: The ISLAND OF AKUTAN | Deadliest Reports
    On his Alaska passage Rimas lost several teeth, had a whale kiss his boat, was thrown out of the cockpit to the end of his tether and the boat was knocked down several times as he hove to abeam to the seas. 34 days later he planted his boat on Akutan, becoming the second most famous crash landing after the Akutan Zero of WW2. The “Akutan Zero” | The Java Gold's Blog

    The Aleutian ship traffic route is very busy, one of the busiest, and Rimas must have had some time of it with fog and limited visibility, to make it across the shipping lanes at his boat speed. No wonder he finally passed out from lack of sleep. The long daylight hours helped but can make sleeping a challenge. His goal was to make it to Japan, which is the opposite direction most cruisers try. He ended up pinned to a rock near Akutan.
    Akutan Pass,June 25 2012 Aleutian Islands, Alaska Current Predictions
    Akutan Pass, June 21-22 212 Aleutian Islands, Alaska Current Predictions
    Weather in June 2012 in Unalaska, Alaska, USA
    Weather History Jun 21 2012 Dutch Harbor, AK | Weather Underground 

    All I see for rocks to get stuck on is the Baby Rocks in Akutan Pass, where currents can run 12 knots. Imagine being pinned to a rock in Seymour Narrows and the terror that would be. Perhaps the kelp kept his boat from smashing to pieces. The only other submerged rock is in the bay where he shipwrecked. He went to sleep when he could not dislodge off the [likely] Baby Rocks and when the tide turned he drifted back into that bay and was pushed ashore with the exposed beach break and storm surge. The submerged rock formation near where he beached likely kept in in a small gyre and being flushed back out to sea again.
     Unimak Pass Alaska tides & currents may put your life and yacht at extreme risk - PREPARATION IS CRITICAL
    Akutan Pass, Aleutian Islands, Alaska Current Predictions 

    There are several sobering descriptions in cruising blogs of the currents in Akutan Pass and others.
     35 Knots and 15 foot Seas-2013: S/V TRAVERSAY III departs Nome - WTHO? Why has this skipper made this decision?

    Boat Eating Passes-Akutan-SS Dora

    Japan to Alaska -Dismasted multi- THE YARROW GYPSIES 

    Passage to the Aleutians | Gone Floatabout

    John Muir: Waves reared- Cruise of the Corwin Akutan 

    Where Might & Majesty Meet | Cruising World

    Illywhacker - Russia to Alaska 

    He shipwrecked about 5km as the eagle flies from the settlement on Akutan and would have spotted it in good weather, if he crested the hill behind him. He would have seen or heard the airport on the neighbouring island and float planes to and from the cannery on Akutan. Panorama from peak near shipwreck- Photo of Akutan Harbor July 2010
    He was later seen and rescued by a passing boat, curious about the perfect lawn dart, or maybe the distress flag he flew if it faced them. Coast Guard picked him up and took him to the base. Akutan williwaws and 12 knot pass
    There was no word on the salvage of his boat, one can assume the previous owner was still listed on the title, a Mr. Lawyer he identified in the audio interview.
    He moved on to collect his second SJ24 from Mr Buys in the PNW, showing off in a photo with the spinakker flying at the dock. He later sold it. To the surprise of S.B., Rimas took off without a shakedown cruise, as he 'was familiar with the model'. It was then he was equipped with a tracker, was interviewed for local news stories, grifting ancedotes from social media were posted and his interest on SA took off.

    He remains an enigma, accepting his fate, unwilling or too stubborn to ensure his safe passage, learn the art of sailing, fixing boat breakages himself or ensuring gear doesn't fail, yet willing to suffer unduly when things go pear shaped because of his preparedness or ineptness.
     As you know, stubborn kills, but not our great adventurer, Go the Rimas!

    Media of Akutan wreck
    Tale of a sailboat high and dry June 22
    Solo Sailor Wrecks on Akutan | Alaska Public Media
    Is Rimas radioactive?
    Japan Radiation Risk: Alaska’s Aleutian Islands Live With It
    SJ24 Pier Pressure
    In One Ear: Mystery at sea - In One Ear - The Daily Astorian

    Very nice post.  You really pulled a lots of things together.

  3. On 8/22/2013 at 2:25 PM, buys737 said:

    Have you ever wondered (hypothetically) just how far you could go if you set sail one day and headed out over the horizon in a Craiglist special 4ksb with almost no preparation? Well...now you dont have to because three weeks ago this Russian immigrant, Rimas Meleshyus, left Oak Harbor, Washington in an old San Juan 24 he bought for $500 the month before. Where is he headed? Around the world...via Cape Horn.


    I went back and looked at the first post.  Looks like Rimas began sometime around July 31-Aug 1 of 2013.  His last ping:

    Jul 30, 20175:49:30 PM
    No response from fiji coast guard yet. My tilles broken no contrals for boat its dangerous current pushing unknoow strong gale was couple daays ago at night 
    Speed: 1.87 mph Course: WSW
    Elevation: 21.00 ft. Batt: Normal
    Lat: -16.324075 Lon: -179.760703
    Looks like about an even 4 years.

    I also thought about his handler that was guiding him around the islands.
    Remember how nervous he was some 15 to 20 miles away from Danger Island as he called it.
    But his last ping he was heading right for Texas Reef and perhaps only a few hours away.
    I don't think he or his handler knew about the reef.  It must have been a big surprise for him when he hit.
  4. 2 minutes ago, RKoch said:

    I don't think he knew the risks. He thought that the mere will to survive was sufficient, and was unaware that he lacked the skills and preparation to increase his chances. Yea, he wanted glory...he thought it came at the end of a tow rope.

    And he thought that a US Coast Guard type of response was available everywhere.

  5. 47 minutes ago, Volkeno said:

    I think there are still four possibilities since it's only been three weeks.

    1 Rimas is dead, He hit the reef and sank.

    2 Rimas the pinball wizard dodged major damage and drifted all the way through the Fiji area, but lost his Delorme over the side. He will soon be the mummified ghost sailor unless he finds a sandy beach to plant the keel on.

    3 Rimas is in intensive care as a John Doe after being pulled from where ever.

    4 Rimas is in Detention for illegal entry and being delusional. He may or may not have access to a phone. Maybe they ship him to Moscow.

    4a Rimas was in detention, but is being flown to LAX with no phone. He decided to walk to Jean's house and will make Jean's wife really mad in a month or two when she finds him living on the couch..

    For me the possibilities are:

    1. He is dead on Texas reef.


    2. Given the winds, current, and his lack of forward mobility, on his way to Japan.  With his skills and survival equipment, he will be DOA at Tokyo.

  6. 25 minutes ago, RKoch said:

    The boat was likely tumbled in the breakers. He likely wasn't aware until the last second. If below, there was stuff flying around the cabin that probably injured him. If on deck, he went overboard and was dragged through water by harness. The hatch was probably open, boat took on a lot of water, a few following waves probably sent it down, Rimas still clipped on. I think the wreck is on bottom of the 'lagoon' that's on leeward side of reef...Rimas's body floating around on end of feather like a piece of bait. It was all over in a minute, minute and a half.

    I think you are on point here.  But I suspect it took a bit longer to get across the reef.   I feel bad for him.  I don't think he had a death wish. I'm glad I got to meet him.   

  7. 1 hour ago, axolotl said:

    Enough talk about Coast Guard rescues.  He's been lucky enough to approach landfall in CG patrolled areas before (even American Samoa has a presence, a Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Unit). USCG District 11 assets included In the Pacific Basin are:   Coast Guard vessels and aircraft patrol not only the waters around the Hawaiian Islands, but also Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, and other U.S. territories in the Pacific.  That's it.

    Rimas screwed up.  He sailed outside the realm of USCG assistance and is now stuck where SAR activities are primitive and reefs are deadly.  Fiji was not a good place to make landfall, although it appears it's not his choice to make, with his Kon-Tiki style and all. 

    Surely we'll learn what came down in the next few weeks, and I think it'll be ugly.



    57 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

    Hmmm... Jean says "maybe I should have chosen a better candidate." Perhaps it was a private sociological experiment after all.

    I agree, he was counting on USCG type of rescue and not available in Fiji.  As for a better candidate, what a terrible thing to say.  Kind of like the candidates in the LOST TV series.

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