Jennifer and Corrie Schutte reek of diesel when they see their “Wilson Street” for the last time. With every meter the yacht drifts out of the slipstream of the tanker into the open sea, it becomes the plaything of the hurricane. The spray whips horizontally across the sea, robbing the view. Shortly afterwards the boat with the unusual name disappeared, swallowed by a grey backdrop of rough seas, 90 nautical miles northeast of Malta.
Jennifer and Corrie – she 61 years old, he 68 – stand on the bridge of “Team Osprey”, the tanker under Maltese flag that rescued them from distress at sea. Exhausted and tired, soaking wet from the waves that rolled over the Sun Odyssey 40.3 like a steam roller over a gravel road. It is September 16th, the day on which the Australians lost their boat but were given a new life. And all Jennifer thinks about at that moment is the smell of diesel that stubbornly sticks to her soaked clothes.
Abandoned and lost: the Wilson Street © Private
“Excuse me, we stink,” she says to the Filipino captain, who had the shipwrecked people brought to the bridge, as soon as they had climbed the slippery rope ladder up the 15 meter-high side of the ship. And that in gusts of over 80 knots. Too much has happened in the past hours for the two Australians to be able to put their thoughts in order.
Disaster of biblical proportions
11:43 a.m. is the last photo taken by a crew member of the abandoned Wilson Street. A lifebuoy is floating behind the boat in troubled sea, you can still see the line of the liferaft that failed. The end of a decade-long dream, destroyed by a hurricane – the Medicane “Ianos”. The Mediterranean hurricane will hit Greece three days later and claim several lives. Local media speak of a “catastrophe of biblical proportions”.
Corrie has been an avid sailor since childhood. The dream of sailing around the world has haunted his mind since he could think. In his mid-20s he builds his first own boat. He still has to finish the hull of the steel yacht, then the money runs out. In Jennifer Corrie he finds a woman who shares his passion for sailing. They have three children and live in Perth on the west coast of Australia.
Jennifer and Corrie can't wait to sail again © Jim Furness
Corrie is a consultant for mining companies. He works in Finland, Mongolia and Indonesia, in Vietnam and Venezuela and many African countries. The more countries he gets to know, the bigger his dream becomes to explore the world on a sailboat. At the latest when he retires and the children are out of the house. But shortly before his retirement he gets an offer from Panama. For two years the couple moves to Central America. But after that, the couple decides, it should finally start.