Survival's Revival

Two years ago Survival trimaran Amerindian museum was badly damaged after hitting a reef in St Vincent. We repaired her best we could under financial, and sandspit location difficult circumstances.

We finally returned Survival to the water by building a sledge under her, made out of an old lorry chassis with supporting wings, then with twenty wooden electricity poles donated by the government of ST.VINCENT laid diagonally side by side on the soft sand ,a large front loader tractor with another 15 foot long pole tied in its buckets teeth, slowly pushed us back to our wanted wet environment.


Clive onboard his ship Survival

Unfortunately our newly made fibreglass bottom has, hairline seep cracks, which invalidate us from filling our water, and diesel tanks, consequently we now have 4--50 gallon plastic drums, donated by local supermarket tied on deck. Our next stop en-route to UK. was the island of BEQUIA, where we made an exhibition at local mariners haunt {the porthole restaurant} We also made a video thank you film for SVG-TV, and opened Survival Amerindian Museum to visitation by local and yachties.

As it was Bequia race week we had a good turnout. During our weeks stay I also had the saddening and frustrating job of filming, and photographing the slaughter of a baby, and mother whale. First harpoon baby then when mother comes to save her off spring, she gets it in the gut.

The sea turned a deep colour of red a sickening back ground for such a dreadful Seacide Crime perpetrated by a legal degree of worlds lawmakers!! Our next destination was the furthest S. East island we could reach before crossing the Atlantic but because my financial resources had run dry, I had omitted to build, and attach two new keels. This would enable Survival to point further in to the predominant N. Easterly winds, so as a second alternative we headed back south to the American controlled island of Puerto Rico. "En-route we hit high waves of approx. 10 feet, our motor was of no use, because the shaft coupling, shock absorber disintegrated due to excess vibration. Caused by a mis-balanced and too large propeller.

note: the only one I could afford and find in S.V.G.. Which was what I tried to explain to the US fighter pilot as he dived so low on us, he almost hit our mast, I suppose his threatening gesture was out of anger, fear, or frustration at our lack of obedience, as we did not obey his hand signal to turn around, eventually he came so close in his deafening war machine, I understood his signal to turn on my VHF radio, he then ordered us to change our course from 360 to 180 degrees!! which we tried to do, but due to big waves, strong, winds, and damage weakened rigging we caused the chainplate holding the side mast stay to rip out of the weakened fibreglass causing a severe crack in wing bulkhead on the port-side, so I turned back to original course of 360 degrees, thus putting wind back on safe side. Next morning I heard voices on radio saying to hunter 1 that planned naval exercises. Cancelled.

As we cleared the bad weather of the Anegado passage" we were visited by a USA aircraft carrier which crossed our bow wishing us a good voyage on our course to Puerto-Rico. On arrival we had to make several attempts to enter the harbour of Ponce, almost hitting the entrance reef due to our, no motor, and injured sailing capacity.

Two days later we were shocked by the local TV news broadcast that they had found a large 3 metre long unexploded winged bomb on local beach. Apparently a group of children found it while playing, as they saw it drift ashore. We deduce that the US boys lost their bommy wommy during a military practice exercise on Vieques target practice island. Survival could have been blown-away forever!!!.

On trying to check in, the USA. Immigration officials refused to give us an entry visa because of their paranoia created out of the 9-11 attack and because my 1st and 2second mates are with Brazilian passports!!. Confined aboard, we repaired, and filed our over size propeller down from 16inch diameter to 14inch. Before leaving P/R we helped an American couple to salvage their belongings off their 38ft yacht which was 1/2 sunk and laying on the same reef which we narrowly escaped from. {photo} the couple spent a week on board Survival recovering from their shipwreck shock.

After 3 days back at sea trying once again to go N. East, now with a broken gearbox, due to excess vibration, and almost no headway made, I changed course back to north. 6 days later we dropped anchor in same location I did twenty years before, in front of FLAMINGO HOTEL BONAIRE. The same venue where I took out dive charters, and gave regular talk shows on how to preserve the corals, I also taught the terrible consequences of spear-fishing, and collecting black-coral, at that time 1978 the Bonaire had a black-coral jewelry workshop.

The book we had on board {the cruising guide to Caribbean 1982} also recommended that same anchorage, but apparently, I committed a grave sin. Within 1/2 hour I was hooked up, and pulled to the town's central pier by a government tugboat, where I was angrily accused of unlawful anchoring. 4 weeks later, after hundreds of visitors had been on board Survival, we were ordered to move to a costly mooring buoy. As I did not have ready cash. Note:- credit cards not accepted, nor personal cheques, to pay in advance for all the time we expected to stay in Bonaire, because anchoring is prohibited I did not move off the mooring buoy, consequently that very same day whilst I was ashore fulfilling a dentist appointment, Survival was rammed by the manager of the mooring buoy controllers together with two armed guards in a 15ft long wooden boat with 85hp motor causing expensive damage to Survival, and to my photo, and filming equipment which was knocked off the inner shelf into sea-water on hull floor we immediately reported incident to police and to the island governors secretary but due to their negative reaction we decided it was most certainly time to leave Bonaire.

We sailed downwind to next island of Curacao. Since arrival we have done many TV news, and interviews on channel 11 about our {sea-cide protection work}. We have also shown parts of our Oscar nominated film RAONI on TV, and made an exhibition and film show night at "SARIFUNDYS marina. Soon we hope to try again to reach UK. We now have a new propeller, and reinforced fibreglass bulkhead.

We hope to make a big exhibition soon in LONDON to raise cash to overhaul Survival and continue building the Survival Ecological Amerindian Museum}in BRAZIL.

Captain Clive Kelly





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