Tuesday, 2 June 2015

3rd June - near disaster - Beware the buoys of Waisai!

Wednesday 3rd June 2015

Well I think my last few words regarding our plans for today indicated that we would be lolling about on 2XS, secure on our big fat mooring.  The very biggest fattest mooring we have ever been on, in fact.  I had swum around and inspected the connections to The Deep and was very impressed with the big fat chain and the big fat rope.

Last night there was quite a big storm.  Serious wind, a bit of rain.  Bang crash, went the mooring against the hull.   BANG and CRASH.  We sort of slept through this; nothing much we could do to cushion the sound, really.  At a bit before 4am Pete got up to turn the alarm on…just in case… He had only just switched it on when WHEEEE WHEEE, off it went, accompanied by even louder BANG and CRASH.  I leapt out to join him and found him gunning the engines and heading for…well not for the hills, but for the open sea.

For light relief…a close-up of one of the giant dolphins under construction
Pete thought our poor little rope had broken off.  But in fact, our poor little rope is still intact, if rather twisted and frayed after a ghastly night.  What broke was the rope attached to the chain on the actual mooring. 

So we spent the early hours of today slowly cruising around, reliving the horrid moment when Pete realised we were loose and crashing onto the reef.  It would only have been a matter of minutes and we would have been completely wrecked on the harsh unforgiving land.

The mooring stayed firmly attached, banging and crashing occasionally, moving from the outside to the inside of the starboard hull.

We had been given a waypoint inside The Duckpond, by Suzi and Dave (SV Sidewinder – so much useful information we got from them!)  As soon as it was daylight we headed towards the co-ordinates they had given us, and found, to our surprise, a small floating pontoon, with a few boats tied up.

When we got closer…yes,we could see his arms!
We could see a man in a white singlet, busily signaling to us.  The problem was…it was still quite dark and we couldn’t see his arms at all, only his bright singlet.  As we got closer we could see he was pointing this way and that, with the occasional very complex direction which involved holding his arms in a sort of arabesque above his head, which didn’t mean anything to us at all.

But…we got in and tied up, with much help from the very friendly denizens of the pontoon.  Nobody spoke English at all, but we all got by with lots of smiles, and a bit of Bahasa.  And a chocolate biscuit for young David…

We are going to stay here tonight – I think that is what David’s kindly father indicated, in a mixture of Papuan, Bahasa and English…Pete has disappeared, surrounded by helpers, to find out a bit more.  I am sitting in the cabin drinking coffee and shuddering faintly…

Beware the buoys of Waisai!


  1. Oh dear, what a fright that must have been. Thank goodness Pete woke up in time. So pleased you are both ok and the adventure continues. AMx

  2. Oh No - shipwreck, desert island, footprints in the sand. No this is taking it TOO FAR!