If you’ve read The Life of Pi, the thought of being stranded in the black of night in the middle of the ocean is an absolute nightmare. This was the exact situation that two women found themselves in on a recent sailing adventure that was meant to be short and sweet. However, they weren’t alone. Each woman brought their precious dog along for the ride. But this was just the beginning of this strange tale. Things were about to get much scarier and seem a little more hopeless. Spoiler alert- the pups are just fine!
Honolulu To Tahiti
On May 3, 2017, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava prepared for a three-week journey from Honolulu to Tahiti aboard a sturdy yacht, The Sea Nymph. Accompanying them was their two dogs, Zeus and Valentine. Appel set out with hopes of finding a job in organic farming. Fuiava only had self-discovery on her mind. Neither had any previous sailing experience. Within hours of leaving shore, the women were hit with an unexpected storm cell that shook them all to the core.
The storm knocked out their steerage system, veering them completely off course. These two women, friends for only a few months, had entered a situation they were not prepared for. Fortunately, they prepped for one emergency element. They packed a year’s worth of food for the four of them. This would quickly prove to be a wise decision.
USS Ashland To The Rescue!
A month passed. Then, another month- until five months crept by. The women’s families notified authorities of their disappearances. Finally, in October of 2017, a crew of Taiwanese fisherman appeared on the skyline. These were the most comforting faces Appel and Fuiava saw in quite a while. The fisherman notified the U.S. Coast Guard based in Guam, and the USS Ashland headed towards the Sea Nymph for a long-awaited rescue. All four sailors were safely pulled off of the boat. They were 1,000 miles off of the Japanese coast.
As soon as the pair hit land, they began to tell stories about their misadventure. Appel claimed that during their time at sea, a group of tiger sharks teaching their children to hunt attacked their yacht by throwing themselves against the hull of the ship. She described a few sharks as 30 feet or larger. Although a terrifying thought, experts began to speak out against her claims.
George Burgess, a shark expert from The Florida Museum of Natural History, shook his head when hearing their story. He stated that tiger sharks are not social animals and would not travel in groups. Furthermore, they do not teach their young to hunt and do not grow anywhere near 30 feet. Other naysayers voiced their opinions as well. Many noted that The National Weather Service reported no storms for the date of the alleged incident.
The most suspicious bit of information was the determination of the distress signal on the yacht. The rescue device was still intact. When questioned about why it was not utilized, both women admitted that they did not feel as if they were in enough danger to signal for help. If dogs could talk, we think they’d disagree.
In the end, we’ll probably never know what happened to Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava during their fateful sailing trip into the Pacific.
If you think this story is bizarre, wait until you hear about what happened to Amy Bradley after she disappeared from a cruise ship in the 90’s and was never seen again until her parents were sent photos of her years later…