Irish farewell

• Adventurer Cody Howdeshell will plunge into the heart of the Indian Ocean to find whiskey and a lost  boat. Photo by Charlie Bray

A LOCAL sailor and a merchant marine from North Carolina have teamed up to salvage a cask of whiskey floating 1300 nautical miles off the coast of Fremantle.

During last year’s Golden Globe Race, Irish skipper Gregor McGuckin was forced to abandon his yacht as it sank and joined the litany of shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean.

It was a strong warning that the seas are not to be messed with, but one that adventurers Cody Howdeshell and Andrew Dunn have chosen to ignore.

The two sailors and their crew will embark on a month-long expedition 1300 nautical miles west of Fremantle to salvage the yacht and its precious cargo – a cask of famous seven-year-old Irish whiskey from Glendalough.

Mr Howdeshell touched down in Perth last month with the clothes on his back and a crazy idea. Hanging around Fremantle’s Sailing Club for long enough, he was introduced at a barbecue to Dr Dunn, who shared the American’s enthusiasm for the boozy treasure hunt.

Dr Dunn proved to be quite a useful asset to the operation – he owned a boat.

Now the two are gearing up, ready to throw themselves at Poseidon’s mercy.

Mr Howdeshell is confident they won’t suffer the same fate as the Irish skipper last year.

“You’ve got to realise that Gregor [McGuckin] was out there by himself. We’ve got a bigger boat, bigger crew and better equipment” Mr Howdeshell explains. “Is there a risk? Yes. But is a life with zero risk fun? No.”

Mr Howdeshell estimates the rescue mission will cost about $20,000, double the value of the whiskey.

If you want to help the boys get the yacht and booze back, donate at http://www.gofundme.com/salvage-mcguckin039s-yacht-and-whiskey

by CHARLIE BRAY

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