Summary of “My Father’s SOS-From the Middle of the Sea”

Dad was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on his way from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to the Marquesas Islands, 26 days into a single-handed, 2,780-mile crossing that was to be the first major leg of a lifelong dream: sailing around the world.
About two hours later, Dad followed up with this message to John: “Apparently, I’ve been spared.” A few minutes after that, at 6:54, he messaged Mom: “Hugewind pirates left. I’m fine. Talklater.” He said he’d sent out an SOS and an alert from his EPIRB, an emergency device that transmits a satellite signal to rescuers when a boat is in distress.
At 7:54, shortly after sunrise where Dad was, he wrote Mom: “Message me as soon as u can. I’m really shaken.” Then he tried John again: “Very scarey. Thought I would not see day.” For Dad, sunrise meant nearly 13 hours of sitting in humid 80-degree weather in the doldrums-an area near the equator with fickle conditions that leave sailors becalmed one minute, huddled in squalls the next, and then scrambling to catch a big gust of wind.
Dad, who had learned to sail in California, sold a boat he owned-a 31-foot Mariner ketch called Cortez-and bought an old Spanish-style house in the San Fernando Valley, where Tim and I grew up and where Mom still lives.
At 8:48, Tim wrote: “Satellite shows nearest boat is many many miles away. This isn’t just a lack of sleep right?” At 9:08, with no new message from Dad, Tim begged: “Hit SOS please.”
Another question loomed: Had anything at all happened to him? Dad said he’d sent EPIRB and SOS signals, but he hadn’t.
Finally, on June 13, two weeks after my dad’s last communication, the unidentified boat was close enough that the Coast Guard deployed a plane from Hawaii.
It’s the checkout point for boats departing Mexico in the Nayarit region, 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta by car, and the last place Dad docked before setting out to sea.

The orginal article.