This American Life: Call for Help

I'm late getting on board, but I've finally had the chance to listen to This American Life's recent episode, Call for Help. In the prologue and the first segment, they share the story of the Kaufman family, recently rescued from the Pacific en route to the Marquesas with their two young children. More than a few friends have asked for our two cents as we plan a similar voyage.

I definitely felt the suspense of their experience gnawing at me while I listened. The water intake, the broken satellite phone, the rash, the compromised radio equipment…..enough to turn Bluebeard gray. Horrifying.

But so is much of life, isn't it? 

The moments when Eric and Charlotte spoke about the loss of their home were particularly wrenching. It made me think of the families that recently lost their home in the Washington mudslide, and the families that lose their homes due to bankruptcy when a relative, even an infant, becomes ill.  I'm often surprised by how fleeting the sense of security at 'home' can be when the universe is so unpredictable, on land or at sea.

Seems so morbid! I suppose its nothing new that disaster is a part of adventure.

So then, are we deterred? No, this is not the first such story we've heard. Negative experiences  are well documented throughout the sailing community, I find.

Are we nervous? Heck yes! Which is why my favorite part of the story is the success of the EPIRB system (we have multiple, for the record). 

Would we take our own children to sea? This is a bridge that we have yet to approach.

The New York Times had an interesting article that came out at the time, and you can find updates from the Kaufman clan on their blog.

[Image via 24.media, original artist unknown].

Corinne Dolci1 Comment