The Lost Weekend of Rimas

Categories Supplemental Thoughts

I didn’t get to sail this weekend, but I spent a lot of time following (and not following) Rimas.

I’ve written about Rimas before (here and here), and have been closely following his latest misadventure. He originally said on Facebook that he was headed for Alaska:

May. 4, 2017 Hilo, Hawaii. My dream to sail from Hilo, Hawaii to SouthEast Alaska one of the most beautiful place in America. Scenery a it’s incredible for photography . I want to return, about 4,000 miles voyage. Jean coming from San Francisco to help prepare boat for the voyage. Need main sail if some can donate main sail than would be very nice. My plan to leave the end of this month from Hilo to Alaska. Always welcome one brave sailor. This is ambiguous agenda.

By May, 31, when we got the first ping on his DeLorme, he was already 250 miles due south of Hawaii, ambiguously heading directly away from Alaska. He happily drifted south at a smooth 1-3kts, but started talking about American Samoa when he was as far as 700 (statute) miles out.

Aloha. Light wiind its sunny. I have today for breakfast dry bananas with tea. 700 miles to go to samoa islands i dont know wish yet

July 9, 2017 19:10:15 GMT
7.839°S, 163.6776°W
Course: 224° at 1.35kts

The pings poured in, counting down, 700 miles, 600 miles, 450 miles, 350 miles, 280 miles, 123 miles, 96 miles, 50 miles 44 miles, 38 miles…

American Samoa had been good to Rimas the last time he was there, and it was clear that he was excited to arrive, but then we all watched him sail right by.

2017_07_30_samoa

Good morning. I called on the radio many times no answer now iam thinking tto sailing to austrlia i called this morng agin but nothing happens

July 20, 2017 19:16:45 GMT
14.6183°S, 170.8565°W
Course: 225° at 2.30kts

Rather than sailing into the port, he simply called on the radio for a tow, since he is incapable of sailing to or from a harbor. Maybe he was out of range for his handheld VHF, or maybe someone remembered the derelict that he left there, but no one came to his assistance and he drifted by. Rimas mentioned Australia in that post, but I think even he knew that that would be really far away. He soon started talking about Western Samoa, and even briefly seemed to turn as if he was personally in control of his boat’s direction, but he was already too far south by then and started sailing west/southwest toward Fiji while reminding people of his lack of food.

The biggest problem i have with food. To. Fiji islands 541 miles to go i finaly i made disition is best to fixing boats best intenatinal ports

July 23, 2017 02:55:45 GMT
14.998°S, 172.781°W
Course: 245° at 2.68kts

He supposedly left with six months of food seven-ish weeks before, but no one knows how much of that was just cocktail garnishes. The days ticked by and he crept toward Fiji, surprising many with the apparent intentionality of his course. Sailing to Fiji presents many problems, however.

2017_07_30_fijiChart2
Click for Interactive Map

Rimas was entering a patch of the South Pacific that is not wide-open water as one might imagine, but instead filled with many low-lying atolls and jagged coral reefs. No one is exactly sure what Rimas is carrying for navigation this time around, but it’s historically been limited: no paper charts, cheesy electronic maps not unlike a hiker’s GPS, and scant battery power to use the electronic charts. From what I understand, many of the charts for this area aren’t that great under the best of circumstances; a lot of them are based on the British Admiralty Charts from ages ago. Rimas continued to ramble on semi-coherently about book deals and month-old soup. He then posted this message:

I i would like to soy good night. From my boat island lamolamo 154 miles but nneed for to to turn to southwest i do not want i a continue more to to the west

July 28, 2017 06:15:45 GMT
15.8466°S, 177.2158°W
Course: 256° at 2.96kts

…and then nothing.

 

Silence.

 

The first day, people thought that maybe it had been “claudy” and he couldn’t charge the batteries on the DeLorme. People on sailinganarchy were pulling up wind and weather for the area, trying to figure out the sea conditions and what might have happened to him.

The second day, there was a lot more conjecture about the possibility of his demise.

After 62 hours with no communications, he popped back up, once again wasting his batteries asking for a tow well outside of the range of his radio.

I am trying to call fiji coat guard no answer on the radio no main sails jib damagf

July 30, 2017 20:18:15 GMT
16.2897°S, 179.6562°W
Course: 259° at 2.31kts

He somehow missed all of the reefs and got to within 30 or so miles of one of the main islands of Fiji.

2017_07_30_fiji

It was quite a roller coaster. One minute, I was lamenting his incompetence, then I thought maybe he was dead and was forced to contemplate Rimas Adrift as some sort of epitaph, then right back to being irritated about how he can’t maintain, outfit, or sail a boat…more begging and relying on others. What a crazy drama. If you’re not already following along, I would encourage you to check out Rimas Adrift and see where this guy ends up next:

https://sailingfortuitous.com/rimas/

I’ll leave you with this:

I am standing near mast and very lloud hello seagal hello seagal. Because i am lonely and crying its horizon clear only sond of waves hearing so peacefully

July 13, 2017 03:58:45 GMT
9.3221°S, 165.3152°W
Course: 217° at 2.58kts

 

“Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment.”


10 thoughts on “The Lost Weekend of Rimas

  1. My Rimasese is a little rusty, but in his latest post am I reading that there is something wrong with the tiller?

    1. “No consros tilles too damhgehere mondaz just curret pushing boat very not cllearo where end up”

      Like the bible, it’s open to interpretation. I got it as “No control, tiller too damaged here Monday. Just current pushing boat. Not very clear where I’ll end up.”

  2. There is a book in this saga. Time will tell whether it is a tragedy or a story of hope, dumb luck and perseverance. One would think that at some point, the will to survive will not be enough to save Rimas, but he has proven us all wrong before.

    1. Hey BG, good to hear from you. I agree about the book. It came up briefly on Sailing Anarchy and I got shot down…they think it’s too niche a subject. I wasn’t thinking that it would be a NYT Best Seller, but I think it’s a story that should be written down (by someone fluent in English.)

  3. Hey Chip. Thanks to you for all of this. It helps so much when explaining to others the doings of the Rimas. Keep it up. Here’s hoping it all comes to a happy end. Until then, I’ll sit here on my couch waiting to be surprised by what the little wayward guy does next. Cheers!

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