Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava touched foot on dry land for the first time since May over the weekend, and as they got their land legs back, they thanked those who'd rescued them after five months lost at sea. The women, who endured sharks and storms while drifting in the Pacific after their boat's motor and mast failed, spoke Sunday at a press conference in Okinawa, Japan, offering gratitude to the crew of the US Navy ship that rescued them Wednesday. "The crew of the USS Ashland saved our lives," Appel said, praising the Navy members' "attention to detail" for making sure they had things like toothbrushes and glow sticks for their dogs, Zeus and Valentine, so they could spot them more easily as they wandered the ship.
The Hawaiian women confess they hadn't properly prepared for their ill-fated trip—Fuiava notes she'd never sailed before—except for the glut of food they brought along on the advice of expert sailors. "They said pack every square inch of your boat with food, and if you think you need a month, pack six months, because you have no idea what could possibly happen out there," Appel says, per the Guardian. Despite their experience, both women are open to taking to the open waters again. "I absolutely understand why certain people fall in love with the sea," Appel told reporters in a conference call, per People. "It isn't a thing. It's an emotion, and it feels you, and you feel it."