As we motored out of Bonbonon yesterday morning I was thinking, ” Oh, I forgot to update the blog that we are leaving!” Well, no problem, now I can kill two birds with one stone; we left, the gear broke, we are back.
We left at 8.30 yesterday morning, a fine, sunny day with little wind, just what we wanted. To get to Surigao in this season is hard, usually; there is a strong wind against you and a strong current too, up to 3 knots. So the depression which is passing north of us gave us a good weather window, and we scrambled to catch it. We checked out, finished our stocking up and I started a little garden of tomato plants, parsley, coriander, baby leaves and green onions in plant pots. Our yogurt was getting good and strong, my bean sprouts were sprouting, my bread was rising; what could go wrong?
Getting out of the current took us all morning, but as we ate lunch gradually we started to pick up speed, and we started to dare to hope that the current would split around Siquijor, a big island just east of Negros, and give us a break. By 3 o’clock things looked good, the wind which had sprung up against us had died down, the sea was glassy and smooth and the current had calmed down too. Then, disaster! The engine revs suddenly jumped and the speed dropped. A quick look was enough to see that our plans had been scuppered; the gear coupling, a huge thing made of steel, had sheared through. Why? How? Who knows.
The offending part!
The wind had died down, the current started to sweep us off round Mindenao, but we had a solution; our dinghy outboard! Oren tied it to the side of Chasamba and pushed us at about 1.6 knots in the right direction! After a while wind came up too, and eventually we managed to get back to Bonbonon at 1am, tired but relieved. We anchored outside and slept extremely well, then got up in the morning and Oren towed us in through the entrance. Now we are moored and Oren has taken the offending part to be welded.
As Oren says, there is good in everything; we were lucky not to have chosen the opposite direction to sail round Mindenao, since we wouldn’t have been able to get back to Negros from there. We were lucky not to have gotten further; try fixing something like that in Papua New Guinea, on a little island! So, plan B will be put into action when he gets back, or tomorrow probably, and we will try again.
Oren towing Chasamba.