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In the last few weeks we have made several contacts from the Patagonia region. The most recent one is Somira Sao, a new friend on Facebook. She and her husband James, along with their 3 small children (6, 4 and 2), are presently, for lack of a better word, shipwrecked in Puerto Williams, Chile, a spot that we’re planning to visit. It’s interesting to me that if we had not set our sights on sailing to Chile, we might never have heard of this family’s story. Perhaps we were meant to find out about it though?

Puerto Williams, Isla Navarino, Chile. A dismasted Anasazi Girl on the forward left.
The photos in this post are all Copyright © Somira Sao.

I learned from their blog that in March 2014, on a non-stop, east-bound passage attempt from Auckland to Lorient, they dismasted their vessel 21 days out of Auckland, approximately 300 nm West of Diego Ramirez Islands. According to Somira and James, their boat, Anasazi Girl, performed perfectly – doing what she was designed & built to do – she kept their family safe.  Three days after losing their rig, with assistance from the Armada de Chile, both their family and vessel were brought safely into port.

From their blog:

We had no insurance nor have the funds (100,000 Euros) to make a complete replacement of our losses.

Though lacking in funds, we are fortunately strong in spirt and rich in friendship. Complicated technical projects are our forte.  As Michael Hennessy reminded us, “If anyone one can deal with this one, you guys can.”

Forty-eight professionals from 12 countries in the marine industry donated their time & intellectual knowledge to help us come up with a safe alternative solution.  The challenge is complicated due to the high righting moment of the vessel and the remote location in which there is a complete lack of marine services and supplies.

After searching worldwide, Bart from NZ Rigging remembered an aluminum wing section that could still be at Buzz Ballenger’s shop in Watsonville, California. The tube was originally shipped from New Zealand and was damaged in transit.

It was still there after 12 years.  The usable section turned out to be 15.2 meters, the same luff length of a Class 40 main cut off at the first reef.  (An explanation of this technical solution and the people who helped us to follow. Stay tuned.)

For approximately 30,000 USD, we will have a workable solution to finish our circumnavigation. This route takes us back into the Southern Ocean, sailing East to meet the SE Trades on the African side of the South Atlantic High and onward to the Equator.

When I heard of their situation, I offered to do what I do best, let people know about their situation through the reach of our blog. I should point out that Somira and James are still working to pay for their boat repairs. Think you can assist, or perhaps know someone else who could possibly help them along their way? If so, please post here or contact them directly. If someone on a boat was in trouble in your anchorage, you’d likely lend a hand, no questions asked. Shouldn’t we all just consider this world to be one big anchorage?

PS: This post was entirely unsolicited. I’d just like to see them helped on their way.

PPS: Check out Somira’s amazing photographs on Tumbler. She is extremely talented!


  1. Mike; They are also being followed on Sailing Anarchy too..thank you for your efforts!

  2. Mike, do you know their paypal address? If they have one, it is not on their blog.


  3. You may already follow these folks, but the blog twice in a lifetime is in Chile and is a great read with lovely pics.

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