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DaveandVanessa 04-20-2013 07:03 PM

Looking for Solebay
My Dad, Charles Balme is on a solo sailing trip from the Canary Islands to New York City. He is sailing on his Contessa 26 ft sailboat named Solebay. He left the Canary Islands on March 26, 2013 headed for New York city, potentially by way of the Virgin Islands.

He has not checked in since Saturday Apr 13th 2013. His communication protocol is to check in every 3 days using Spotcheck. He has now missed two check ins and our family is concerned for his safety and whereabouts. He is only equipped with a VHF radio, so we do not have another way of contacting him. Neither theSpotcheck (since April13th) nor EPIRB have beaconed in the last week.

We need your help!! If you have seen him or his boat, please email us at or call me, David Balme at 1 613 744-4734 (Canada). If you are still in, or will be soon in the vicinity of his last known projected route we would be grateful for any attempts made to contact him by VHF radio. See and below for more details.

Boat Watch Incident Report

Canadian S/V Solebay, single handed vessel en route from the Canary Islands to New York, USA has not signalled its position since April 13, 2013.

Vessel description:

26ft Contessa sailing vessel, blue hull, blue bimini and weather cloths, sloop, aft cockpit, wind vane and wind generator. A website with a photo Solebay can be found at


VHF radio only. Vessel also equipped with an EPIRB and a SPOTCHECK position signalling device. The SPOTCHECK last reported at 17:58 GMT, April 13 2013 with an "I am OK" tag line. The reported position was Latitude 24° 9'12.42"N Longitude 38°55'4.04"W

Itinerary and anticipated ETA

Solebay departed Lanzarotte, Canary Islands on March 26, 2013 en route for New York, USA, potentially via the Virgin Islands or Bermuda. The captain hoped to complete the voyage in 30-35 days with a projected ETA in New York of early May. Last known position Latitude 24° 9'12.42"N Longitude 38°55'4.04"W


Solebay is crewed soley by its captain, Charles Balme, male, aged 72. A photo of Charles can be viewed at

Reason for incident report and request for assistance:

The predeparture agreed protocol was for a SPOTCHECK to be sent every 3 days. Solebay has now missed two check ins and Charles' Balme's family is looking for confirmation of his well being and whereabouts. The SPOTCHECK successfully reported on March 29, 30, April 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13th, indicating steady progress towards its destination. It is noted that the vessel checked in more frequently than anticipated early in the voyage and twice on April 4th.

Messages to be directed to Charles Balme by Cruisernets or vessels willing to assist:

Your SPOTCHECK has not successfuly transmitted since Saturday April 13th.
Your Canada based family is looking for confirmation of your well being.

Questions for Charles Balme
Do you require immediate assistance?
Have you suffered a medical emergency?
Is your vessel operational? By motor? By sail?
Are you capable of continuing your voyage?
Are your emergency signalling devices operational?
Do you wish the Coast Guard to be contacted for a rescue?
Do you have sufficient water, food and medical supplies to continue
Do you have a projected date for landfall?
Where is your intended landfall?

Contact points for response to this request:

David Balme of Ottawa Ontario Canada, at
telephone numbers work: 819 776-6066 extn 225, residence 613 744-4734

JohnT 04-20-2013 08:23 PM

Hi David,

Just to let you know, I have passed this information on to the MMSN net to let all Maritime moble vessels to be on the look out for your father.

You should also be in touch with the Canadian Coast Guard to list your non-reporting information so they can notify shipping in the area to be on the lookout for Solebay.


DaveandVanessa 04-20-2013 08:32 PM

response to John T
Thank you very much for passing the notice along.

I have contacted the Canadian Coast Guard and the Joint Coordination Rescue Centre (Halifax) as well as Heb Hilgenberg in Mississauga with the details.

I am told that Spotcheck can eat up batteries, so I hope that is the worst at play here.


JohnT 04-20-2013 08:38 PM

David, yes, those little Spotcheck units do chew batteries and lets hope that is the problem. Please keep us updated as to what happens.


lenseman 04-23-2013 01:03 AM

UPDATE: Vessel checked in via SPOTCHECK on 22 APR 2013

International Boat Watch Network - (Archives - 2013)


anilkumar 05-01-2013 11:41 AM

this information is very crucial to me as i was looking for it for longer time

Auzzee 05-01-2013 03:36 PM

Hi Anil, when are you planning on cruising out of Delhi?

haiqu 05-03-2013 09:17 AM

Unlikely, it's 750km inland. :-)

Auzzee 05-03-2013 08:14 PM


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