It’s a Wednesday in early May, 2017. Jennifer Appel, Tasha Fuiava and two dogs – Valentine and Zeus – set sail from Honolulu on their yacht, Sea Nymph. They’re heading for Tahiti on a trip that should take a little under three weeks. But they’re quickly caught in a severe storm that damages the boat. The two women are now adrift in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Appel, 47 when the adventure started, and Fuiava, who was 27, had first encountered each other just months before they embarked on their sea voyage. Appel had some sailing experience, experience, although that included wrecking an earlier yacht, the FSOW, off the coast of Hawaii. Fuiava’s sailing experience could be summed up in one word: zero.
In fact, Appel, from Texas and once a landscape gardener, and Fuiava, a security guard from Samoa, and had decided to sail to Tahiti together mere days after their first meeting. Appel apparently had plans to move into organic farming on one of the islands of French Polynesia. Fuiava, meanwhile, was simply looking for some adventure.