I frightened myself half to death earlier today.
Several times a day I log on to the “Yellowbrick” tracking site to check on Daisy’s progress. Those of you that have been following Daisy’s circumnavigation will probably be very familiar with Yellowbrick.
Anyway, this afternoon when I logged on I couldn’t find Daisy! I reopened the page several times, checked on every other boat in the fleet, to make sure the system was working, but still there was no Daisy on the chart.
I knew the four boats she had traveling close to and they all showed up each time I clicked on their names, but when I clicked on Crazy Daisy’s name there was nothing, there was just a big open space where she should have been! I zoomed in, and zoomed out, went back in time to follow her passage trail. Shut the site down and reopened it, but still no Daisy. She had completely disappeared off the radar.
I tried hard not to panic and think the worst. One of the most common disasters befalling boats at sea are gas explosions, because someone forgot to turn off the gas, its something that has always worried me. In the close confines of a boat with all the hatches closed, leaking gas will build up quickly and explosions are very common. I was trying so hard not to think about that. When a boat explodes at sea there’s usually no trace!
For 25 minutes I tried and tried to find Daisy on the chart, I felt so helpless, there was no one I could call, Daisy’s satellite phone was turned off, none of the personal phones on board work at sea, there’s no Internet, none of the other boats were close, the closest had been about 5 miles away, but that had been a few hours ago. There was no one to call and nothing I could do but wait.
I turned off the computer, waited a few minutes then turned it back on, I reopened Yellowbrick, and sure enough all the boats were showing clearly on the chart, but still no Daisy. OK, now I was in a fully fledged panic, major meltdown about to occur, I honestly couldn’t think what to do, I just kept clicking the boat name Crazy Daisy, and praying, searching the screen. Could it be that she was she so close to another boat that it was shielding her from the radar? Was she there but I just wasn’t seeing her? No, there was no sign of her, I was going nuts, this wasn’t happening, I kept telling myself she has to be there, I knew she had to be there, but then why were all the other boats shown so clearly, it didn’t make any sense.
By now I was really frightened, probably more frightened that I have ever been for my family, I felt so helpless, I just couldn’t think what to do, I simply sat staring at the screen trying to think what I should do. Daisy was in the middle of the bloody Indian ocean, for Heavens sake, what could I do?
Another 15 minutes passed, still nothing, I sat like some demented idiot staring mindlessly at the screen, when suddenly out of nowhere she appeared, exactly where she should have been between the other four boats, just popped up as if by magic!
I have no idea what happened, maybe they were changing the batteries, maybe someone accidentally turned off the tracker, maybe a cloud blocked the satellite over daisy! I don’t know whatever it was, I had just had the scariest 45 minutes of my life. Anyone who knows me, or has read my book will be all too familiar with my fear of disasters at sea, I have a very vivid imagination, usually thinking the worst, this time was no exception.
I thought I would feel safer on land than at sea, and I do, but it turns out that all I do now is worry about my family away at sea. It’s really hard being so far away and feeling so completely helpless, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. I just pray that the Yellowbrick keeps working. 🙂