Hi there! We did manage to sail to the island of Malolo Sunday afternoon and spent two nights anchored in a little beautiful bay near Wadigi, after a bit of unexpected excitement. We are now in Musket Cove, safely anchored with quite a few of our cruising friends from last year and we will spend the rest of the week here.
We learned a huge lesson Sunday at dusk, when we hit a reef on our way to Wadigi, much too late in the day for good visibility and even with the help of the sonar at the helm, it happened so suddenly that we couldn't stop in time. Luckily we had some tide coming up and some help from three Fiji fishermen who were close by when we hit. They helped us place our stern anchor far enough away from Sidewinder to help kedge us off as the tide came up.
To add to the calamity, as dark came, the extra dinghy line fell into the water, and when we turned on the engine and began backing up, it got caught in the prop. Api and David took turns diving, one holding the light and one cutting at the tight extra strong line and after about 30 minutes, SUCCESS ! Welcome to the life of cruising one more time! Mel, driving the fishing panga, led us to the bay where they help manage their resort and they left us securely anchored. The crescent moon, billions of stars, calm water and quiet filled the night. We were in shock, humbled, and grateful.
Yesterday was a day of rest and reflection. We did manage to scrape the nose of the bottom of the keel down to the fiber glass but the rest is okay; I think we are quite lucky. Unfortunately, after putting the one year old outboard motor on Worm to go the the resort and thank everyone for their help, the engine started but will not stay idling. David spent the rest of the day cleaning everything but it still does not work. Last night we tried to send a message to all by way of sailmail, but it, too, didn't work, so David, again, tore into redoing the antenna this morning, and still, no propagation. PHEW!
I am feeling a bit non-productive and over-whelmed, myself, and, again, am in awe of David's tenacity when it comes to problem solving. He is a bit discouraged by the results this time, but there is a mechanic here who might be able to help us tomorrow and we shall see if the SSB and sailmail do work tomorrow. Luckily we have a great internet connection here. Aren't you glad?! We will try to patch the keel while in the water here, and we vow never to approach a new area without good visibility again. Duh! Oh yes, it is so nice to be able to dive into the water, once again. Life is good. Love, Suzi and David