Engine failure inside the reef!

We visited one of the Gambier islands within the atoll reef and to anchor there you have to do some eye-ball navigation through other reefs. It’s slightly scary when these large coral ‘bommies’ rise out of nowhere. You need nerves of steel and a good communication system from the lookout on the bow, to the helm, to navigate through successfully.

We managed to get through and anchored on lovely white sand in front of the small island.

When we came to leave though it was nearly a disaster. I lifted the anchor as normal and Russell started navigating our route back out when suddenly I got the hand signals and shouts for drop the anchor NOW! I followed the instructions albeit slightly confused as I had just raised 40m+ of chain and cleaned the anchor. It turns out the engine had failed, so we were drifting into the coral with no way of direction, potential disaster and very scary. Luckily I must have found the last patch of sand to drop the anchor in and we spent a nervous next hour as Russell inspected the engine, cleaned and changed o-rings till it finally started again. Phew! Not a good time for engine failure!! To add insult to injury the winch stopped working too as we started to sail. Definitely one of those days!

I must add that the island was delightful, a grand total of six residents who beautifully look after their homes, gardens and a rather large old church.

The locals were very friendly and we traded wine and tinned meat for fresh fruit and salad. The lychees and guava they picked from their trees were amazing and so delicious. I think we will be going back there again soon. The supply boat arrives on the island once a month and we have a barrel of diesel ordered on it, so we aren’t venturing too far until the boat arrives which is due around the 24th Dec. Guess what we want for Christmas then!! We will be having a low key Christmas but will have fun anyway! We hope you have a great time too. Now I just need to see if the WiFi is strong enough to upload and send this…🤞🤞🤞Merry Christmas 🎄 💕⛵️⚓️🏝😎🎄💕⛵️🐬🐚🥽🐠🐟🎁

5 thoughts on “Engine failure inside the reef!

  1. Wow what a stunning island! Gosh you have had some trials and tribulations but well worth it by the looks of things! Wishing you a lovely Christmas and you certainly chose a good year to go as Christmas here is very dull this year! Much love heynes brigade and a special hug and kiss to Hugo from Lara xx

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    1. Thank you and lots of love and hugs to Lara too. I have tried to send some postcards from here but the WiFi is too rubbish to cope 😳. Hope the Christmas card arrived okay instead!! Merry Christmas

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  2. Gosh sounds like an interesting moment on the reef! The island does look beautiful, absolutely idyllic in fact. We’re wishing you all a lovely but low key Christmas out there surrounded by stunning scenery. No doubt you’ve heard all our news over here in the UK, not great! So many are having very low key Christmases. Hoping for a better & brighter 2021.

    Love the Nocks xx

    On Mon, 21 Dec 2020, 20:36 Halls Aboard – Sailing Kathryn del Fuego, wrote:

    > kh617 posted: ” We visited one of the Gambier islands within the atoll > reef and to anchor there you have to do some eye-ball navigation through > other reefs. It’s slightly scary when these large coral ‘bommies’ rise out > of nowhere. You need nerves of steel and a good com” >

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  3. Thanks for another great blog update. What an amazing adventure you are all having in beautiful surroundings. Enjoy and keep safe. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas. Graham and Judith on Island Girl, Cascais

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