#wolfhound – You can't put a good boat down. Here she is. The lost one. The Irish Swan 48 Wolfhound, doing better on her own than she did with a crew writes W M Nixon.
Nine weeks after she was abandoned in a storm 70 miles north of Bermuda, her crew taken off safely by the Greek ship Tetien Trader, Wolfhound floats on all alone, now 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.
Afloat.ie reader Martin Butler sent the unique photo at the weekend confounding early news reports the craft had sunk.
Going her own way, she's getting near the wide Sargasso Sea, where she might drift for eternity unless somebody brings her in. Highly likely, now that this remarkable pic has gone viral. All things considered, she's looking very well. Her upper boot-top is still showing, so there can't be that much water down below. But we can't tell if her hull is still intact, as she was starboard-side-on for the rescue. So there could well be impact damage away from the camera's eye.
Miraculously, her tall carbon mast is still standing, even though the forestay has broken from the stemhead - you can see it wrapped round the shrouds. And the backstay has also gone, so only the checkstay is holding the rig fore-and-ft. If the checkstay goes, then the mast is likely to break, with the risk of its splintered pieces holing the hull. Meanwhile her mainsail, lying as it was dropped, seems all of a piece. She's a tough old bird. Whoever can get the mostest there the fastest is going to get one very gallant boat. She may be plastic, but Wolfhound has a heart of oak.
Her upper boot-top is still showing, so there can't be that much water down below
And how can she be found again, now that the ship that took the pic has moved on? Let's hope that somebody thought to chuck a mobile phone into her cockpit. It could give a signal, however weak, for a long time - long enough to find her again and put a crew aboard to sail her up to Bermuda, or across to the Azores
Read WM Nixon's full account of the rescue of Wolfhound's crew out now in the Spring issue of Afloat at all good news agents nationwide