A Wife Left Suddenly Alone
Just last season, American Randy Schneider of the Canadian-built Gozzard 44 Procyon (who assisted via sat phone during the Louis Honeycutt crisis; see "From Bad to Worse: Anatomy of a Shipwreck," March 2007) had a serious medical emergency on his way to French Polynesia while 14 days out of the Galápagos. He was immediately put in touch via SSB with Tom Walker, M.D., on the catamaran Quantum Leap, who also just happened to be transiting the area. (See "Wild Guards Ride the Rescue," January 2008.) Day after day, Randy and Doc Tom consulted until it was decided that the steadily deteriorating Randy should be taken off Procyon for proper care of his obstructed bowel. This was arranged almost immediately. A nearby 600-foot container ship stopped, and Randy was soon recovering in its sick bay, cared for (by another lucky chance) by a passenger/doctor. This left Randy's wife, Sheri Schneider, all alone with 800 miles to go aboard Procyon. With nearby Endangered Species, Wind Pony, Aqua Magic, Necessity, and Wind Bird all helping out every step of the way-and a recovered Randy there to greet her at the end-Sheri completed the passage with no problem.
"I had complete confidence in the boat," Sheri said later, and then joked, "I knew I was the weak link!"