Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Deals. Cruise Questions and Answers! > All Things Cruising
Register Forgot Password?

All Things Cruising Any cruise question not specific to one cruise line

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 11th, 2013, 10:07 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,603
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default Not the smartest way to go to sea

Kiribati is a distant South Seas island. It's amazing what people who have no experience with being at sea must think. If they just sat for a minute and contemplated the fact that the ocean covers 3/5's of our planet's surface.

PHOENIX (AP) A northern Arizona family that was lost at sea for weeks in an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion will fly back home Sunday.

Hannah Gastonguay, 26, said Saturday that she and her husband "decided to take a leap of faith and see where God led us" when they took their two small children and her father-in-law and set sail from San Diego for the tiny island nation of Kiribati in May.

But just weeks into their journey, the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress. They were eventually picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel, transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and taken to Chile where they are resting in a hotel in the port city of San Antonio.

Their flights home were arranged by U.S. Embassy officials, Gastonguay said. The U.S. State Department was not immediately available for comment.

The months-long journey has been "pretty exciting" and "little scary at certain points," Gastonguay told The Associated Press by telephone.

She said they wanted to go to Kiribati because "we didn't want to go anywhere big." She said they understood the island to be "one of the least developed countries in the world."

Kiribati is a group of islands just off the equator and the international date line about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The total population is just over 100,000 people of primarily Micronesian descent.

Hannah Gastonguay said her family was fed up with government control in the U.S. As Christians they don't believe in "abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church," she said.

U.S. "churches aren't their own," Gastonguay said, suggesting that government regulation interfered with religious independence.

Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being "forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don't agree with."

The Gastonguays weren't members of any church, and Hannah Gastonguay said their faith came from reading the Bible and through prayer.

"The Bible is pretty clear," she said.

The family moved in November from Ash Fork, Ariz., to San Diego, where they lived on their boat as they prepared to set sail. She said she gave birth to the couple's 8-month-old girl on the boat, which was docked in a slip at the time.

In May, Hannah, her 30-year-old husband Sean, his father Mike, and the couple's daughters, 3-year-old Ardith and baby Rahab set off. They wouldn't touch land again for 91 days, she said.

She said at first, "We were cruising."

But within a couple of weeks "when we came out there, storm, storm, storm."

The boat had taken a beating, and they decided to set course for the Marquesas Islands. Instead, they found themselves in a "twilight zone," taking more and more damage, leaving them unable to make progress.

They could have used a sail called a genoa, she said, but they risked snapping off the mast and losing their radio and ability to communicate.

They had been on the ocean for about two months and were low on supplies. They were out of food and were down to "some juice and some honey." She said they were able to catch fish, but they didn't see any boats.

Still, we "didn't feel like we were going to die or anything. We believed God would see us through," she said.

At one point a fishing ship came into contact with them but left without providing assistance. A Canadian cargo ship came along and offered supplies, but when they pulled up alongside it, the vessels bumped and the smaller ship sustained even more damage.

They were getting hit by "squall after, squall, after squall."

"We were in the thick of it, but we prayed," she said. "Being out on that boat, I just knew I was going to see some miracles."

They watched the surrounding storms disperse, and "next thing you know the sun is out. It's amazing."

Eventually, their boat was spotted by a helicopter that had taken off from a nearby Venezuelan fishing vessel, which ended up saving them.

"The captain said, 'Do you know where you're at? You're in the middle of nowhere,'" she said.

They were on the Venezuelan ship for about five days before transferring to the Japanese cargo ship, where they were for nearly three weeks before landing in Chile on Friday. The Chilean newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias reported the story of their arrival.

"They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island but they didn't have sufficient expertise to navigate adequately," police prefect Jose Luis Lopez, who took the family's statement at San Antonio, told the newspaper.

Sean Gastonguay's brother Jimmy, who lives in Arizona, said he had provided a description of the family's vessel to the U.S. Coast Guard and exchanged emails with them once they were picked up by the first boat.

"There was some concern, but we were hoping for the best, and they eventually popped up," he said. He was able to keep track of the family with the help of the Coast Guard as they were transferred from ship to ship.

"We're all happy. We have good peace of mind now," he said.

Hannah Gastonguay said the family will now "go back to Arizona" and "come up with a new plan."
__________________
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.

Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 11th, 2013, 12:24 PM
Moiraine's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,340
Default

Really, come up with a new plan? Are these people for real?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Parents Say The Smartest Things ..We Just Don't Realize... venice Chit - Chat for Cruisers 5 July 6th, 2008 08:45 PM
Sea & Sea Island in Grand Cayman mmes4 Carnival Cruise Lines 0 January 19th, 2005 07:29 AM
Sail from NY City on the Sea Em Sea Sea Gee Sea Kuki CruiseMates Group Cruises 0 April 6th, 2004 02:54 PM
The smartest thing I've done Joe H. Celebrity 28 February 18th, 2003 07:22 PM
sea sickness,does ginger work?,sea bands? mitch Health at Sea 5 August 27th, 2001 04:59 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:04 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1