New Crew, Engine & Anchor.
being in Puerto Ayora for six weeks we decided it was time to leave. Adrianna &
Daniella had a plane to catch in Isla Isabella about 50 Nm from here and Shelly,
who had taken some extra time to be here for another two weeks, also wanted to
see something new. So, off to Isabella we go with our new Crewmates. In the
official papers for clearing out at the 'Capitania' I labeled Shelly as the
ships cook and Adrianna and Daniella as maids. This has no practically meaning
but boy is it fun to see the faces of the officials when they learn that me and
Darryl in our small ship of 29 foot have our own cook and personal maids.
In addition to the
usual shopping for water and normal maintenance, we had an engine to fix. The
engine had been idle for five weeks now and we had almost given up on it. It was
time to get some professional help. I went to a car dealership and asked for the
best mechanic that they had, and the best one I got. I got to ride in his car (see pic.) and thought to myself that if he can keep this car running it should be no
problem for him to fix my engine. He worked systematically
and fast, just the way I like it. After about two hours the top was taken off
and boy was it ever dirty in there. A new seal had to be ordered from the
mainland but to make a long story short I think we can conclude with the fault
being too much carbon on/around the vents and a timing flaw in the ignition
system. (285$ total).
We had just begun talking about how to get the anchors up (we were using both
front and stern anchors) when one morning the stern one was gone!. I was walking
on the pier when I noticed the boat floating in an awkward position and
therefore not surprised at all when Darryl came in with the dingy and told me
that the stern anchor was gone. Time to scuba. I suited
up and with what was left of the rope in my right hand I swam on the bottom
stretching the rope as far as I could until I found the other torn off end. The
other end was lying under a newly arrived boats anchor chain?. They had tossed
their front anchor on top of our rope and it had gnawed it off. (*£% Idiots!!!) After six weeks in the sand
the anchor had dug itself so far down that even after twenty minutes of digging
with my fingers and nails I had to give up, the sand was just too hard and it
was too deep down. When I was digging I swirled up sand and could not see a foot,
just feel so I went back up. We waved down a taxi boat with a 40 Hp engine and
after giving it full throttle 4 or 5 times it came loose. Finally...
Retrieving the front anchor with all its dirty chain went much smoother. Darryl
pulled it up inch by inch and cleaned as he went. Then when it was pointing
straight down he waited and let the waves lift the boat and anchor before
pulling in another inch. This procedure was repeated until it was almost loose
and I could put the newly repaired engine in gear and drive it out of the sand.
We were ready to sail again...
Since we were not
sure if we could make the 50 Nm in daylight, we had decided to do a night sail.
This would be good for our new crewmates too because then they could sleep and
the possibility of having sick people on board was eliminated. The wind was
strong all night long and we only pulled out a little bit of sail. In the end we
actually had to turn around for an hour or so to slow us down even more. As
usual we did not buy any charts and arriving on Isabella with all its reefs and
big swells in the night was something we were not prepared to do. After a
perfect setting of the anchor and one or more anchor-dram's we noticed that we
were not alone. For the first time in what feels like ages we met other cruisers
who were just as late for the pacific season as us. There was a French solo
sailor and a South African man with his girlfriend. I am sure we will bump into
them again in the pacific somewhere. When it comes to meeting people you have
met before the world is not as big as one would think.
sail is about 3000 Nm or about 4500 kilometers. Driving a car day and night one
could probably do this in three days but with our maximum speed being somewhere
around 8 km/h it will take us from 25 to 30 days depending on how tough we are.
We don't like to race but this is a long stretch so maybe we will have to speed
up a bit. I am not sure when we set off but it will have to bee soon because I
want to be on land again on my birthday which is Oct. 12. For sure there will be
one or two more letters before we go so don't stop checking out the webpage.
If anyone has a request for pictures or stories/explainations on something
please feel free to drop us a line :-)
Kjell O. Stave.