Kiwi expat Forfar Petrie has just said how good the sailing conditions are when a loud and trembling squeak echoes on his yacht.
Someone shouted what we hit.
This is our first idea, "he told the Herald a day after being dramatically rescued at sea by Auckland's Westpac rescue helicopter.
On his way to Tonga, Terry and his wife Sally drifted about 400 nautical miles from New Zealand.
For the past four years he has lived on board-deep in the Pacific Ocean, away from help.
Two other crew members, Anabelle and Dan Davies, are also on board.
Terry looks for signs of impact on a 14-meter-long yacht.
But they don't play anything.
Instead, the support holding the mast was broken, allowing the mast to tilt to one side.
Worried that the mast would break and tear the hull, Terry may carry a life raft and allow the crew to drift away with little chance of rescue.
They improvise with ropes and then return to New Zealand.
For three days, their masts have been hung by a thread, accompanied by their lives.
Yesterday, they fought with strong winds and waves and limped to the Great Barrier Reef within 90 km kilometers until the mast finally reached out when diesel ran out.
When it swings wildly from the sideto-
Petrie made a call for help and ordered his crew to pile into the life raft.
Rescue helicopter workers work on their extreme edge, capturing the dramatic footage of their rescue of four sailors from the ocean around noon yesterday.
Terry and his crew have been struggling for three days.
"When this happens, you don't have time to feel scared or vulnerable," he said . ".
But when he landed safely on the tarmac and spoke to his sons, tears spilled and he said, "I really get very emotional . ".
The dramatic rescue marks the devastating end of the couple's dream retirement for themselves.
The couple, originally from New Zealand, raised a family in Ballina, north of New South Wales. Petrie worked as a nurse in the intensive care unit and his wife Sally as a physical therapist.
But in 2012, the couple bought their favorite French MV Squander.
Before sailing four years ago, they made the Masthead Cutter, and since then they have been living on board, sailing on the Australian coastline, and visiting Vanuatu and New kaledonia.
For the past six months, they have been meeting relatives in New Zealand and preparing for a tense voyage to Tonga.
The splurge shape is "better" than when couples buy it ".
They spent tens of thousands of dollars on it and checked their rigging before leaving Opua Island in June 9.
Ironically, the rigging will fail in just three days.
Later in the afternoon of June 12, a steel rod connected the metal plate at the bottom of the mast to the superstructure on board, causing the mast to tilt and cracks on the deck.
At that moment, the only luck the crew had in the next few days.
"The wind is falling right away and it starts to rain and the Sea is getting calm," said picri . ".
This gives Petrie and his crew the opportunity to connect the ropes to the mast and run under the ship to create tension to hold the mast in place.
This is life-saving luck.
"If this is worse than what we are now, we will lose the mast.
"There is a very real possibility in terms of the type of mast . . . . . . The foot of the mast can clear the deck and remove the life raft.
"They now have to rely on diesel engines and light sails to move to New Zealand and to the Bay of Islands again for safety reasons.
The breeze and ocean are expected.
But when the affected yacht tried to drive west, they encountered a headwind of 30 to 40 knots, 3-
Almost every night, four metres and a storm hit them.
These dark clouds will come.
"You see them in the moonlight, and then suddenly you are broken," said Terry . ".
Their damaged rigging and strong waves prevented them from making good progress.
On the third day, they turned off the car and saved the last diesel for the emergency drill.
The whole team is excellent, said Terry.
Wife Sally managed to get everyone to eat hot meals, although the conditions made it almost impossible to walk on board.
"I can tell you that it's like winning a lottery ticket outside," he said . ".
Under the deck, the boat creaked and moaned with trembling.
No one sleeps and blinks.
Throughout the ordeal, Terry has been in contact with the maritime rescue company.
Coordinator of New Zealand to advise and advise them.
On Saturday night, they told him that a container ship MV Maersk Tauranga was able to put extra fuel on them to enable them to travel all the way to New Zealand.
At eight o'clock A. M. yesterday, the captain of the giant container ship-"with incredible sailing technology "--
Shut down his ship and successfully unloaded 160 litres of fuel.
But the last car of fuel was floating on a wooden tray, proving the failure of the spender.
Terry had just tied it to the back of his yacht and when the mast trembled and eventually gave way, the rope broke and he wanted to know what to do.
On the rough seas, swing a metre in each direction, no one can save it this time.
Four sailors crowded into the life raft at nine.
30 yesterday morning.
Three hours later, when the container ships circled nearby, they were pulled down from the water.
Terry thanked many rescue workers involved in saving their lives.
In waitianga, they were overwhelmed by the support of the yacht community that family and friends met during their trip.
Photos and their most precious items have all been lost by their yacht and now people think the yacht is drifting at sea.
Terry and his wife have only the wet clothes they have worn in the last four days.
"We don't even have a toothbrush," he said . "
"But at least we have our own lives.