Throwback Thursday. "Frank Dye Crosses The Norwegian Sea In Wayfarer Dinghy"



Frank dye

The film above documents Frank Dye's second major sea passage, a Norwegian Sea crossing from Scotland to Aalesund, Norway, Dye and his crew, Bill Brockbank, narrowly survived four capsizes and a broken mast during a Force 9 storm. In Ocean–Crossing Wayfarer (1977), written with his wife Margaret, Dye recalled the scene: "It was impossible to look into the wind. It was screaming and the tops of the waves were blown completely away, feeling like hail. Within our limited vision the whole sea seemed to be smoking. Just to see such seas break away on the beam was frightening – 25ft of solid water, with another 12ft of overhanging crest above it. It was only a matter of time before we got one aboard."

When the inevitable happened, both men hauled on the warps, frantically trying to pull Wanderer through the crest: "She rose gallantly, but it was an impossible position: she seemed to be rising at 60 degrees and there was still a 15ft crest curling above us. Down it came and we were driven bodily under. With ears roaring under immense pressure, and swallowing water, I fought back to the surface, only to find Wanderer was lying bottom up."

After three more capsizes, Dye reflected: "Possibly we were the only people alive to have taken an open dinghy through a Force 9 gale, but we felt no elation, just a reaction of wetness, coldness and extreme tiredness." The pair recovered the mast from the sea, made a jury rig and went on to make landfall in Norway without further incident.