The Bounty went down off Cape Hatteras early this morning/16 crew were picked up from life rafts by the coast guard, 2 are still missing/presumably afloat with life jackets and cold water survival gear - may they be found!! With Hurricane Sandy, of course, conditions are rough and difficult.
Beautiful ship - this is very sad - am holding the two lost in my heart with well wishes.
Sorry to hear one of the missing crew members was found dead, hope they find the Captain alive.
Strange time for a sailing ship to be at sea, knowing how rough the weather was going to be.
The decision is never an easy one: large ships actually take a WORSE pounding in harbor or at dock, and stand a much much worse chance of making it through. Big ships get pounded up in harbor (waves are shorter duration and higher) and often break loose and are hurled ashore.
At the time this VERY experienced captain made the decision to put to sea, the NAVY was also sending its large ships out.
The storm at the time was slower moving, and much smaller - when it strengthened and moved North faster, the chance to outrun it and slip past was impossible. The Bounty went down NOT because the ship broke up, and not because she was not fit to ride out the weather, but because her engine failed and there was no generator/way to run the pump (she was a WOOD vessel, built to period specs, not the steel hulls you see with most square rigs, today) and the water over took her.
We sailed for your honeymoon on a Windjammer in the British Virgin Islands - and she had a SPECIALLY BUILT mooring in deep water - of a tonnage of concrete sufficient to hold her - there would be no such facility in the harbor, and the battering taken in close water would have caused possibly catastrophic damage.
This is very very sad. And a loss of a national treasure: the only other ship (we know of) from this era is the Rose, which starred in Master and Commander - and is now docked safely at the San Diego Maritime Museum.
Bounty is memorialized, not only in the movie for which she was built, but in the first Pirates of the Caribbean (she looks goth, painted black!) and in Turner film's GORGEOUS version of Treasure Island with Charlton Heston, and in Yellowbeard. You can also see a view of her decks in Don's painting, Never a Dull Moment - as he placed that scene on the Bounty. We had been planning to visit her again in St Pete - sadly not to be.
Most of the crew and the captain are well known to the pirate community, so we had e mails pouring in all day yesterday. We've now seen statements by many other captains respecting the decision to put to sea as the wisest choice, but that it went wrong due to engine failure.
I am grateful to the US Coast Guard for the rescue of the survivors under such conditions.
There is a fund raising for the families of the two lost, and for the crew, who lost everything with the ship.
An interesting article on the Bounty, showing some of her features.
Thanks for posting the article, Annette. I too a look. Can't bear it. Makes me tear up.