We were saddened to learn that S/V Airwego was lost on a reef in Samoa. We were just casual acquaintances of Mike and Cindy on S/V Airwego and have not had contact with them in over a year. But as cruisers and fellow sailors, our thoughts go out to them. How horrible to lose your home!
S/V Airwego was following S/V Charisma (an Amel Mango owned by our friends Alan and Kristen) through a narrow pass through reef. Charisma made it through the pass without incident, but Airwego apparently clipped the side of the pass. The ocean swell and breaking waves put their boat up onto the reef. This was during low tide. As the tide came in the boat was holed and it filled with water. Long story short: they saved as much as they could from the boat. A tug was sent out to pump out the diesel to reduce environmental damage.
Mike and Cindy were en route to Hawaii on their return to the USA. We feel their loss and wish them the best on whatever course life takes them now.
This makes 6 boats that we have known personally that have been lost since we transited the South Pacific in 2008. One went down in a hurricane; one filled with water and sank enroute between New Zealand and Fiji last May; one was lost in the tsunami in Samoa last fall (spring south of the equator); and three were lost on reefs. Plus, we know of 3 other boats that were lost on reefs; but we did not personally know the owners. Doesn't that seem like an awfully high number of cruising yachts lost in just one ocean in 18 months!
I will be so very glad when we transit the Suez Canal and leave most of the reefs behind us for awhile.