View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Tuesday 23 June

It's nearly 11.30pm, and the day is practically done. It was a bright and sunny day, but the first occurrence of our summer pests, the midges, has left me scratching all day. The mercury nudged up to 19C in the afternoon, although cloud and wind made it feel rather cool at times.

There is no indication as to the fate of the two crew missing from the yacht Actuel, found adrift some 700 miles southeast of its last reported position. Apparently, its sail was torn and partly furled as well as reefed, indicating that the weather may have been stormy. Loose items were lying to one side of the vessel. She did not carry the legally required emergency position beacon, which activates when immersed in water or rolled over, which might have happened. Thoughts go out to the relatives of the missing; experienced yachtsmen Gaétan de la Goublaye, 62 and his friend Denis Guilmin, 47.

Locally, there will be a radio debate on Friday about the Sunday sailings. Judging by the furious exchange of views in the local news website, this could be interesting. If you can be bothered, the debate is carried live on Isles FM ( from 1700 BST, that's 1200 EDT in the US.

Missing yacht found - but empty

The yacht "Actuel", which was reported missing last week has been spotted empty, some 400 miles west of the Azores in mid Atlantic. The craft set forth from St-Pierre-Miquelon (Canada) and had not been heard of for several weeks. The fate of its crew is unknown, but they are missing, presumed dead.

With thanks to DearMissMermaid over in Tortola for supplying this sad update.