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    Re: The mystery of the Queensland version of the Marie Celeste.
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2007 May 05, 13:31 -0700

    Gary wrote:
    Certainly plausable. I also have a personal anecdote. While sailing in the Bahamas many years ago we managed to go aground on a sand bar 4 miles east of Treasure Cay in, according the chart, 7 feet of water. It was overcast and just as the sun came out illuminating the water around us as a light green we came to a gentle stop. I sent some of the crew overboard ( we had 7 people) and they walked around the boat in about 4 and a half feet. They discovered that the deepest water was the way we came in. With most of the crew overboard to lighten the boat and to push we kedged off without trouble. But, I stayed aboard to run the engine with some others to handle lines. You would think if that cat went aground that someone would have stayed aboard to run the engines too. (BTW when I discussed this with the locals I was told that a recent hurricane had moved a lot of the sand around and that the chart had not been updated.  If the sun had been out we could have seen the color of th
    e water and avoided it but just bad luck.)
    PF wrote:
    Here's a link to what may be the last word on this mystery:
    And a personal anecdote. We were sailing back from Lord Howe. Well, we
    would have liked to have been sailing, but there wasn't enough wind.
    It was, on the other hand, a lovely warm day, the sea was blue and
    inviting, the bottom of it about 4,000 metres away.
    So we went for a swim. Furled the headsail, but left the main up - it
    was too much work to get it down and then up again on this big boat so
    we left it up, even when motoring. If nothing else it stabilised the
    boat; we were less tossed around by the swell.
    So we eased the boom right out, effectively taking all the driving
    power out of this sail. We also left at least one person on-board at
    all times. Plus we ran a number of lines from the stern, including one
    attached by both ends to the boat, thus forming a bight enclosing our
    swimming pen.
    The (appropriately enough) deep blue water was speckled with white
    spots that we assumed were plankton. But I noticed that although the
    boat, from aboard, seemed to be hardly moving, once in the water it
    became clear that it was moving about as fast as I could comfortably
    swim. Of course it was easy to grab one of the lines and get towed, or
    pull myself back to the boat.
    It was a sobering experience. We were very careful to wear PFDs and to
    remain attached to the boat with lifelines; always at night and in
    rough weather. And to organise watches of two, so we could keep an eye
    on each other.

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