Logos, Puerto Montt, Chile
Just after midnight on January 5th 1988 Kathy woke me to tell me we had run aground. We lived on the small ship, Logos with another 110+ people, in our small but cosy cabin. Typical of Kathy, she made it homely and being Christmas and New Year, it was filled with goodies and seasonal decorations.
We were at the very tip of South America and knowing it was going to be a rough voyage, I told her to go back to sleep. But she was right! Within minutes there was a bang on the door telling us to muster at our life boat station with our life-jackets. Due to professional miss judgement by the pilot and our captain, we ran onto some large submerged rocks. Over the next four hours we monitored the intake of water at the same time, the crew tried to reverse off the rock. I was “The Book Fair Manager” and so went down into the holds to check how the books were doing. We picked up those that had fallen and placed back on the shelves, all the time watching if water was coming in. Why pick up books when you know the ship has been punctured!
The Logos was a solid little vessel that was doubled hulled due to her original function up in Greenland. People ask “were you scared” but in truth I dont think many of us were once we realised we were stuck on the rock. We were sailing from Ushuaia, Terra del Fuego, along the Beagle Channel. The views were spectacular of snow caped jagged mountains and glaciers.
I will never forget seeing the power of water under pressure. Whilst there were crew on water watch on the lower deck of the hold, water started to come in at the higher level. There was a disused sonar trunk about 3 feet sq that we had as a small office. Many years earlier a steel plate was welded into the shaft forming the floor for the office. To my amazement the water was like a blow torch opening up the weld lines, just like a tin can would open. As the water came in faster and faster the 5 degree list began to increase. Tom and Maggie Dyer, a couple from San Diego, were onboard with the two children, Tommy (2) Joshua (few months). Tom was the 1st Officer and had asked me several months before to help Maggie with Tommy when we had life boat drills. When the abandon ship signal came, 6 short and one prolonged ringing of the bell, we mustered up on the deck. By then the ship was moving and being pounded onto the rocks. The intake of water was causing us to list more and more to port. I found it increasingly hard to hold Tommy with the large life jacket and the heavy wooden benches were starting to move from one side of the deck to the other. Seeing Maggie also struggle with Joshua I shouted to my assistant, Ricardo, to come and hold Joshua but to first remove his life jacket as I had done. It was the only way to securely hold the kids.
Abandon Ship! Mark- red arrow
Well its a long story but we all got off the ship without injury. A couple of days later we were flown to Punta Arenas were to our great surprise and joy, Kathy discovered she was pregnant with Akila.
I suppose the main lesson I leant from that, due to the fact that we left all our possessions, including our wedding photos, was that “things don’t matter, people do”.