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Eclipse's Perfect Storm - the finale

Eclipse found by fishermen!

That's the good news. The bad news comes in several parts.

First is that it's in a bit of a mess! It's incredible what 10 weeks at sea can do. The second part is that when it was found by tuna fisherman on April 5th Eclipse was 1000 miles from the nearest land (Acapulco), 1800 miles from Ecuador (where the fishermen are based), 2200 miles from Panama and over 1100 miles from where we abandoned it.

In other words, Eclipse is in the middle of the Pacific!

Even worse, and as we feared, the tuna fishermen were not the first to find Eclipse. The first "salvors" took the engine, all the electronics, mainsail, boom and who knows what else. So it would cost thousands in materials alone to get it back to a sailable state. But at least it is still upright and appears to be floating on its marks so cannot be leaking.

Unfortunately during subsequent emails and telephone calls to the fishermen's agent we learnt that the vessel that found Eclipse was, at nearly 300ft long, no fishing boat, but rather a fishing ship. We also learnt that it cost USD28,000 a day to run and that they estimated that salvaging and towing Eclipse would waste them at least two days of fishing. So it would cost a minimum of USD56,000 to tow Eclipse back to Ecuador.

After adding in a reasonable salvage fee, it was clearly uneconomic for these fishermen to save Eclipse. The problem is that Eclipse was found over a thousand miles from land. The Pacific is a big place, it doesn't look far on a map, but in comparison the 2000 mile towing distance back to Ecuador (the fishermen's home port and thus the cheapest/simplest destination) is like making a complete circumnavigation of Great Britain, or sailing from Trinidad to New York, or La Paz to Vancouver.

Clearly no one would tow a boat that sort of distance without a substantial reward.

So reluctantly we agreed with the fishermen that Eclipse should be left floating ready for the next person to find it. So if you know anyone who wants to try to bring it to shore for us, the approximate position is 5N 110W. But bear in mind Eclipse is missing all sails, engine, electronics, boom, all running rigging and much else. We can give you the name of the fishing agent in Panama if you are serious about looking for it, but in reality, we assume Eclipse will continue to be a safe haven for seabirds for some time to come.

We have contacted a Pacific current drift expert who told us that he expected it to take about 2 years for Eclipse to reach the Philippines or Japan, providing it doesn't hit land before then of course.