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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lost at Sea

Queen Mary strikes the HMS Curacoa
Diorama on Ebay*

I'm reading The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, a fine story about a bumbling reporter in a small Newfoundland town. In Chapter 9, he pays a visit to the harbor master who has a large painting in his office of the Queen Mary running down the HMS Curacoa during WW2. Well, that's a bit of a horror story, but did it really happen? This is a novel, after all. Turns out, that yes, it is a true story.

 The Queen Mary leaving the King George V drydock on 3 May 1947, after repairs to her bow, which sustained damage from her collision with HMS Curacoa.

Then this morning I come across this story:
Manfred Fritz Bajorat's yacht Sajo (Barobo Police)

Manfred Fritz Bajorat went sailing. About a year ago he apparently had a heart attack and died. His boat drifted around in the ocean for a year before anyone noticed.
    There are couple of points I'd like to make. One is that if you are out in a boat and you are anywhere near where there might be big ships, you need to keep an eye out for these big bruisers if you don't want to end up like the Curacoa. On the other hand, Manfred hasn't been paying any attention at all for the last year and he didn't get clobbered.
    The other thing is that all those stories about people who go on grand adventures are told by people who came back. You never, well almost never, hear about the ones who died on the way. It's a real fluke that we heard about Manfred. If his boat had sunk, for any number of reasons, we wouldn't have heard anything.

*The Ebay listing for the diorama expired some time ago. Yesterday, however, the Ebay listing was still visible. I didn't have enough reason to make a post of it then. Then this morning the story about the German sailor pops up and now I do, so I go looking for the Ebay listing and it's gone. The only reason we have a picture is that Google hasn't caught up yet.

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