Christopher Maffei, the handsome gentleman who absconded with his two small children last week in a stolen yacht and started sailing down the California coast, has spoken out from prison via the Chronicle. He says as soon as he started sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge he thought about going back. "I knew I'd gone crazy by stealing the boat," he admits, "but not about taking my kids."
Maffei, 43, is alleging that the children, ages 2 and 3, were somehow not safe with their mother, and he's also saying he was upset about not getting to see them often enough. Maffei and the baby mama, Jennifer Hippon, 37, had never married and had no formal custody arrangement, though he sometimes took the kids on trips and took them out while Hippon was at work. Now, naturally, Hippon has filed for a restraining order and for full custody with no visitation.
The fun began when Maffei went to Hippon's home and "scooped up" the children on September 4. He says the children ran into his arms, and he then drove across the Bay with no immediate thought of kidnapping them, he says. But later that afternoon, feeling he'd been denied access to them, he went to a grocery store, purchased a ten-day supply of diapers and rations, and drove to a marina in Alameda where he'd been "shopping" for a boat earlier that week. He put the kids on board the 41-foot Unleashed, and took off. It wasn't until he stopped to ask a fisherman if he could buy some fuel outside the Golden Gate that authorities got tipped off where he was heading.
Maffei was stopped by the Coast Guard three days later and taken into custody. Though he's charged with child endangerment, kidnapping, and theft, he insists the kids were never in danger, and had fun on the boat, sleeping, drinking Nesquik, and playing on the deck -- with life preservers of course.
He'll be back in court to enter a plea on Monday.