What a disaster. Slade is on the radio, radioing all boats in Nanumea to find an alternator belt. So far we have been extremely unlucky, all our spare belts are a size to big. The belts are perfect fit for our old alternator but since the alternator crapped itself we have had to istall our brand new spare. That’s where our problems begin.
The new alternator is the exact replacement we need but for some reason it takes a different size belt, a size that we don’t have ! With no alternator we have no engine, with no engine we have no fridge and no way of getting out that dangerous reef pass. We have started to lose what little food we had in the fridge due to the shear heat we have here, we are running very very low on food. We have the basics rice and flour and not much else.
While Slade worried about the alternator, I decided to take the girls ashore to find some non perishable food. I was very lucky to stumble across a lady who kindly invited us in to her home. She fed us water and milo, then gave us a gift of Tuna to take home with us. We left with a 4kg tub of tuna and my spirits slightly lifted.
When I got back to the boat Slade had pulled it apart, I found some space on the floor to lie AK down for her nap and plucked up the courage to ask why the boat was in such a state. The alternator situation was looking grim.
These are our options. 1) we have no options, instead we have big problems. We have no engine and there are no spare belts that will fit. The current in the pass is too strong and unpredictable to sail through and would be too dangerouse to be towed through. The current in the pass can hit 6knots and the turbulance will easily push the boat onto the reef. The pass is a mere 20m wide wich leaves no room for error and is very shallow, our boat seeing 0.4m clearance at high tide. That leaves us stranded, which would be fine since the place is beautiful and very protected, but it has no fresh water on the island and no fresh fruit and vegetables. With our water tanks less then half full, the lack of fresh water is a very serious problem. Food is also now a problem as we have eaten all our supplies and are now eating basics like savoury rice and bread. The tuna we received today, an absolute god send but with out a fridge we will now have to eat 4kg of tuna for dinner, which I am guessing will not be a problem since we have been starving for the last 3 days.
To get a belt mailed to us would take well over a month. If all this stress wasn’t enough we received bad news from home that Slades father was in ICU after heart surgery. To have something go wrong to a family member while this far away from anywhere is every cruisers worst nightmare.
This last bit of news is the straw that broke the camels back. The last few weeks have been tough. We got slammed by weather from the tropical depression, wrapped the prop twice with our fishing line, one being in the middle of the ocean wich left us drifting an engineless, had the huge stress of the MAYDAY that came through, lost the fridge, lost the engine again and now bad news from home. I have been so emotionally drained over the past 5 months that all this left me feeling depressed.
For the next 2 hours I sat squashed in between engine parts and mess, in the only spot I could find big enough for me to sit. I sat quietly feeling like the world was crushing my family for taking a risk and having the courage to take on the ocean. My Dad sent several messages telling me to keep my chin up and stay positive but this time I couldn’t, all I could think about was why the world was against us.