UNDATED (CNN) -- The search is on for a schooner missing off the coast of New Zealand. The captain of the boat is an experienced sailor.
David Dyche sailed the high seas on the 85-year-old schooner the Nina for decades. Now him, his wife their teenage son and four others are missing maybe lost at sea. David's sister Cherie Martinez says, "It's been a real rollercoaster; a very tough time."
David's Dyche's sister says the Nina left New Zealand for Australia on June 3 for a 12, day 1200 mile journey across the Tasman Sea. later that day, a member of the schooner's crew named Evi Nemeth called a meteorologist by satellite phone saying the winds were 60 miles per hour the waves 18 feet high asked where could they go to get away from it. The meteorologist advised they head south and brace for a storm. The next day he got a text message "Any update 4 Nina? Evi". Martinez says, "My mom, she got an overseas phone call then she heard her name and kind of cut out and she didn't think anything of it at the time she said that's David trying to call me again."
Martinez believes David's experience and the seaworthiness of the Nina will keep them alive. She says, "As we always say, the Nina always comes back to port. She might get disabled but she always comes back to port."
Dyche's son Dave is due to start college next month. A few days before they set out David Dyche posted about his son on Facebook. "I am not prepared for seeing him leave. But I do have an inner peace that says, all is well."