In June 2008 we met Lewis and his 12-yr-old daughter Merritt in the Tuamotu islands of French Polynesia. The mom had returned to the States for a couple of years. The dad was a high school teacher and was home-schooling Merritt. They were on a very old 32-ft Coronado sailboat named S/V Sunshine that had been purchased for only $8,000 in California. Their life was very basic on that old small boat, but they were having a ball cruising.
Last Sept they were caught in the tsunami that struck Samoa. Thought our readers might be interested in reading about their experience. Some people in Singapore visited us recently and brought us a bunch of sailing magazines. One was the Feb 2010 issue of Latitudes and Attitudes magazine. Lats and Atts had printed a story submitted by Merritt in their Sea Urchins section---articles written by children who are cruising. That magazine article got Bill to search out the following articles which were printed in their US hometown newspaper.
It is heartbreaking to read their story. The absolute worst part is the looters. We wish the family all the best in whatever direction life takes them after this terrible loss.