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Another Worrying Incident On Panama to Galapagos Route

By doina — last modified Mar 23, 2007 03:03 PM

Published: 2007-03-23 15:03:43

Following the attack on yacht Yume Maru on April 5, 2004 enroute to the Galapagos Islands from Panama ( Yacht Attacked 400 Miles South West Of Panama ) Noonsite received the following report:

Information and a word of caution for cruisers sailing from Panama to the Galapagos. On July 14, 2004 we were chased by a boat near the Isle De Malpelo at 3 deg 48.59'N by 80 deg 21.6' W. The boat had a dark hull (probably black), small white cabin near the stern, 40 or 50 feet long, raised bow, rigging above the cabin and forward to the bow, the vessel was similar to many of the local, wooden boats we saw in the Galapagos. We first noticed the boat at about 10AM. It became apparent that he was on a collision course with us so we changed our course by 30 degrees. Shortly after we altered our course he did the same and continued straight for us from the windward side. We then turned on our diesel engines to increase our speed to 8 or 9 knots. The seas were very heavy and both boats were getting knocked around, we were struggling to maintain speed. We are a 37 foot catamaran and seemed to have slightly better control than him. We began to pull slowly away from him even though he followed our every turn. Eventually we lost sight of him and he disappeared from the radar when he was over 5 miles away. We then went to the opposite tack in an attempt to further elude him. Roughly two hours later we again spotted him coming directly at us from the windward side. As before we did everything possible to increase our speed and were able to slowly pull away from him. We maintained speed for the next 24 hours and never saw him again.

Shelly Storves & Richard Derowitsch on Sandpiper