A BOLO (be on the look out for) alert three weeks ago advised of a boat overdue from Puerto Rico, headed for St. Augustine. Ellipsis, a Westsail 32, had survived Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and was headed home with its owner, a friend and a dog. Two days later, the boat was found, washed up on the north beach of Elbow Cay.
The two on board and the dog walked off the boat traumatized but uninjured. The boat had crashed its way over the Elbow Reef – the owner said it felt like they’d hit every rock out there — and was a total loss.
Massive cracks on both sides of its hull. The boat had run out of fuel. With no power, there was no operational navigational equipment. Anchoring was attempted, but both anchors were lost.
As much as could be was removed from the boat was salvaged, including the engine.
Her remains were to be hauled out to sea and sunk. She was moved closer to the low water line and turned seaward.
But she’d taken on so much water that she was too heavy to be towed.
Before pumps could be effective, the weather had deteriorated. Days of thirty plus winds brought wicked high waves. Last Sunday morning, even at low tide, waves were crashing over her hull.
A night of pounding waves – aided by a supermoon high tide – brought down the mast and tore the boat apart. This is what was left by morning.
Debris covered the beach.
Twenty-four hours later, the sea had reclaimed the boat.
Except for debris. Which volunteers helped collect for removal. Endless pieces of wood, fiberglass, foam, and stuff.
Including the cabin top, separated from her hull — a quarter of a mile up the beach.