THE ENTIRE CREW of Cap Capricorn had been called to emergency stations for our rescue. They welcomed us onboard with warm clothing, hot drinks and food.
They told us the ship had responded immediately to the alert from Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Wellington. We were on their course from Long Beach, California to Auckland, New Zealand, and they had seen no other ships on that route. We were lucky.
Their seamanship to locate the raft and manoeuvre the huge ship to get us onboard was faultless. They gave us individual cabins and access to the whole ship. We practically lived on the bridge until we berthed in Auckland.
Of course, we discussed if we could have done anything differently. We don’t think so. It could have been fatal to try to extinguish the fire. We had time to grab only the epirb, life jackets and grab bag. We will never know what caused the fire.
For days after the our rescue I suffered sore ribs from the paddling and some post-traumatic stress, particularly difficulty in concentrating, was evident for a couple of weeks.
Will I make another ocean passage? Probably not, but mostly because of my age; I am 70-plus. I still own Cezanne, a Townson 40, and will continue coastal cruising.