A few days ago we received the sad news that experienced ocean sailor and regular Ocean Navigator contributor Ned Cabot, 69, had died at sea off the southwest coast of Newfoundland. Cabot and two crewmembers were on the last leg of a trip from Norway back to Cabot's home base in Boston aboard his boat, Cielita, a J46 (seen below in Scotland).
Reportedly sailing in gale-force conditions on Saturday, Sept. 1, Cabot was in the cockpit along with another crewmember, who was at the helm. According to reports a large wave knocked down the sloop. The helmsman and Cabot were thrown into the sea but the helmsman was able to regain the cockpit. Cabot, however, was washed away from the boat. His crewmembers attempted to get a line to Cabot but were unable to do so. During the knockdown, Cielita's steering was damaged and the crew was unable to steer the sloop toward Cabot. They alerted the Canadian Coast Guard which began a search using aircraft. The search efforts were unsuccessful in locating Cabot by nightfall on Saturday. Cabot's body was recovered by the Canadian Coast Guard on Sunday after the search resumed.
Cabot had worked as a surgeon in Boston at Brigham & Women's Hospital and also taught at Harvard Medical School. He retired seven years ago and devoted time to his passion for ocean voyaging. An active member of the Cruising Club of America (CCA), Cabot sailed Cielita on numerous trips in the North Atlantic, including Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and east into the Baltic Sea to Russia. Ned wrote detailed, informative stories about the various legs of these voyages and we were excited to publish many of them in Ocean Navigator (see this piece on the communications gear aboard Cielita). His voyaging acumen and passion for sailing will be sorely missed by the readers of Ocean Navigator, his fellow CCA members and voyagers everywhere.