Constellation’s dramatic adventure

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written an update. I guess not a lot has been happening in my world of sailing… Until Dave (for those who missed it, Dave is the second owner of Constellation since I sailed into Australia almost exactly two years ago) decided to head off across the Tasman sea from Melbourne, for Opua, NZ.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get very far. The whole story involves hitting the EPIRB, being rescued by a Japanese freighter, Constellation being towed alongside said merchant vessel, pulling her cleats and going adrift, Dave being picked up by the water police, and a local fisherman salvaging Constellation and requesting a tidy ransom for her return… Read on for the full story from Dave.

This has all just unfolded over the last few days… I went down to see Dave near Wilson’s Prom and see how he was going. Shaken, but otherwise physically fine. Constellation is being held by the fishermen, and Dave is in negotiations to come to an agreement on a reasonable salvage fee. There is a short article in the news about the retrieval here.

Constellation has sustained quite a lot of damage, all inflicted by being towed along the Japanese grain ship, and subsequent salvage. It breaks my heart to see her like this, having traveled with me for so many thousands of nautical miles, across two oceans, and even across America to 10,000ft above sea level, atop a sketchy trailer. She is a true battle ship, and thankfully will live to see another day. Another ocean. Another adventure. But right now she lays alongside an old fishing vessel, as the privateers negotiate with Dave and his understandably emotional and shaken headspace.

Read the full account from Dave himself on what happened here.

Dave and I before his departure

There is other damage including broken spreaders, most cleats being pulled off the deck, etc… But I think you get the idea, and I don’t really like dwelling on the photos that much.

RESCUE NOTES

AUSTRALIA-SOUTHEAST COAST.
BASS STRAIT.
DISTRESS SIGNAL RECEIVED ON 406 MHZ FROM 26 FOOT
S/V CONSTELLATION, RED HULL, ONE PERSON ON BOARD,
IN 39-10S 146-48E AT 060727Z NOV. VESSELS IN
VICINITY REQUESTED TO KEEP A SHARP LOOKOUT,
ASSIST IF POSSIBLE. REPORTS TO RCC AUSTRALIA,
TELEX: 7162025, PHONE: 612 6230 6811,
FAX: 612 6230 6868, E-MAIL: RCCAUS@AMSA.GOV.AU.
(060825Z NOV 2011)

ABANDONMENT NOTES

AUSTRALIA-SOUTHEAST COAST.
BASS STRAIT.
1. DERELICT EIGHT METER S/V CONSTELLATION
ADRIFT IN 39-06S 146-41E AT 061244Z.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 091345Z NOV.
(061343Z NOV 2011)

7 comments

  1. Hate to see such a beautiful boat beaten up like this, hopefully she’ll be restored to her former glory soon.

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  3. I think it is incredible that you have been able to keep in touch with the boat and the new owner. I have enjoyed following your past journey with the Constellation, but I am saddened to see her demise. I hoping that things work out for the best and the vessel can return to her prime. 

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