Monday 26 June 2017
It’s been another big day and it’s hard to imagine what has been packed into the last 24 hours.
The yacht rescue continued in a fashion all night with the German yacht needing to pump water from their boat through the night by use of our pump and portable generator; we’d put it across onto their deck around 11:00pm for them to operate as needed.
They remained rafted up to us through the night and due to the roll of the sea at anchor it became necessary to add several more spring lines and winch them in tight to eliminate the risk of damage as the upper section of their mast and rigging came very close to ours as their roll increased.
Come morning, it was time to better assess the damage and it became clear that the back of the boat has come down hard on rocks or coral thereby pushing it up through the bottom of the boat bending the very strong 100mm solid stainless steel vertical rudder shaft like a banana and opening up a half metre gaping hole through which you could see the big blue.
Attempts were made to stuff things into the cavity from inside and out (by diving over the back) but all to no avail
A group of local fishermen then approached us in their dugout canoes and made the suggestion that “maybe now while the tide is up, you might like to beach the boat on her side on the soft sand – the tide will go out and you can fix”
They went onto explain that a previous yacht that hit that, or a very similar, rock did this successfully.
We took their advice, these guys know boats and the ways of the water – and with the aid of our two dinghies as tug boats we deliberately drove a yacht onto a sandy beach, going against all my natural instincts.
It was a big attraction for the locals and at lunchtime the whole school turned out, pulling on lines to stabilise the boats movements as the sea receded.
That’s the sea showing through the crack in the bottom of the boat as we lay on the sand at low tide
Again – a long story short- Gerry, Daniel and I, using a veritable Bunnings-worth of hardware from Chimere’s workshop, Aqua-epoxied, ply-wooded, screwed, builders-bogged and expander-foamed the stern compartment of the boat around the offending hole.
Just as she was beached, we un-beached her on the rising tide, again with the aid of a large number of locals.
As the sea returned and our repairs were seriously put to the test it was pleasing to see that only a tiny flow of water was seen seeping under some fast drying epoxy.
And this is a shot of the repairs with her fully floated
After helping the Germans re-anchor with instructions to call us on the radio in the event of further problems … after all we offer a 24 hour guarantee on all our boat repair and salvage jobs, we got a call from Martin asking whether the movie night was still on up in the community hall; the fact that the portable generator was still on the yacht started to raise questions
“Yes, no problems, we are heading back to Chimere now and will pick up the projector and computer”
So it was that about an hour and a half later we presented our movie night to the community to a packed house. And what movie would you naturally show on the island of Tanna… the movie called Tanna of course
You can just make out a couple of the 100 or more heads in front of us in the community hall to view our screening of the film Tanna
Here we were in the shadow of the featured volcano with extras from the movie actually in the audience… one of whom was Chief Johnson who’d come out the boat for tea the other day who actually had a speaking part plying the role… of a chief
By then I was tired enough to sleep on concrete… more tomorrow
Smooth seas, fair breeze and Tanna on Tanna
And this is how we left them tonight bobbing on her anchor… and if you look closely that is an Aussie flag being waved by our two new best German friends. (Yes we have a few of them on Chimere too)