Saturday August 14 (cont.)

We anchored next to Parlay and Ocelot. Niew Views soon joined us but the anchorage was very rolly and getting worse. Lea and I had a scout around in the dinghy and found a quieter spot so went back to Gemini Lady and moved. Niew Views were worried that they had caused us to move. Naturally we told them they smelt bad so we had to go.

About 1445 we got a message from Viannica that Pacific Lilly had run aground on the channel entrance and assistance was required. We had heard no Pan Pan or distress message. 3 dinghies,with all the men from the anchored boats zoomed down, but it was too late to pull her off. The tide was falling and already the stern was 2 feet out of the water when we arrived. We loaded the anchor and chain into New Views dinghy and laid it out back into the deep water to assist in the re float. Other efforts were directed at removing rocks under the port side that may damage the hull. Attempts to prop the hull upright failed. We all agreed to return at 2130 for what we hoped would be an easy re float.

Sundowners on Ocelot where there was much discussion on how Pacific Lilly had managed to run aground and why it was 45 minutes after the grounding that we got the call for assistance. John from Ocelot had set up a copy of OpenCPN with all the Kap files on their computer. However, apparently this was not operating properly and normal charting packages are known not to be accurate. I had overheard Viannica and Pacific Lilly nattering away on VHF Channel 16 about Pacific Lilly's problems getting OpenCPN to work the night before. I called them and asked them to move to another channel. Google Earth files or not, the visibility at 1400 hours was perfect with bright sunny skies.

At 2130 1 dinghy and 4 of us blokes went down to give assistance. Viannica had been anchored nearby and Graeme and Hillary were already with Rob and Audrey on Pacific Lilly giving support and assistance. When we arrived Pacific Lilly had been ok on her side all afternoon but in the last 15 minutes had begun to take on water through the scuppers and deck seams. Rob had a pump running and was busy trying to seal up the scuppers and the deck seams with sikaflex. Peter and Graeme began bailing over the Bulwarks, I looked after the pump keeping the exit hose free of kinks. Both the bailing and the pumping were a losing battle as the tide rose. Because of the water getting into the bilge the rising tide could not float the hull. None of us carried portable high volume bilge pumps and long lengths of hose. The raw water intake from main engine or genset were not available because the vessels main engine was keel cooled and the genset air cooled. Probably a mute point as it appeared that the deck seam at the gunwhale was flexing open considerably with the wave action and I believe it unlikely we could have beaten or staunched the inflow of water. The vessel needed to be lifted vertical and propped up before being pumped out. That was beyond our means. By 10.45 the waves were making it dangerous so the call was made to abandon ship. So sad and disappointing for Rob who had worked very hard for a solid 9 hours in the water and out to preserve his ship.

To make matters worse the dinghies from Viannica and Pacific Lilly had broken free and disappeared. All 8 of us plus Pacific Lilly's valuables piled into Ocelot's, fortunately, large dinghy. On the way back we had a stroke of luck and found the missing dinghies. They were half full of water, drifting in the channel. We worked out that the wave surge had filled them and then the heavy weight snapped the painter. After safely delivering our passengers to Viannica we headed back to our respective boats in a very somber mood. Without specialist salvage equipment Pacific Lilly was lost.

We agreed to all go down at first light and salvage what we could.

Sunday August 16

Back at Pacific Lilly the water had flooded through half the deck and floor inside, leaving a slippery slick of diesel. We all went about removing valuable electronics, dive gear, solar panels, radios while Rob and Audrey got what they could of their clothes and personal stuff off. Unfortunately a lot of stuff had been immersed in a seawater, diesel cocktail. We worked hard for 3 hours until the rising tide and waves made it too dangerous.

With dinghies loaded we made our way back to Viannica and deposited all the stuff on her deck. There was nothing more we do there until tomorrow mornings low tide.

Lea and I recalled a conversation with our friend Troy off Mirool. He chose his Clansman 30 specifically because she was designed to refloat before the gunwhales go under water. Something to bear in mind if purchasing a mono.

Life goes on and we enjoyed a great snorkel over the nearby reef with John and Sue from Ocelot. Lots of good coral and small fish. There had been lots of fish activity around the boats and we had seen many big fish leaping in pursuit of a feed. Sue thought she had heard an explosion the day before. We though the practice of dynamite fishing had been banned but apparently it still goes on. According to Sue the reef is in better shape than it was last time they were here in 2006.

Afternoon visit to Reverie to install Google Earth Kap files and OpenCPN and do a load of washing in their machine. We are really missing ours. My email conversation with the Dometic technician has given me some info and I think it is the PCB that has gone not the motor. The original problem was probably caused by worn out shock absorbers. To check the PCB I will need to uninstall the machine. That will be fun as it is sealed into the bathroom wall with silicone glue. For some reason I keep putting off that job.

Sundowners on the sand spit.

With Whisky from Parlay presiding.

Lea happy again now as all the washing from our guests has been done. However, Lea ( cast iron guts personified) may be coming down with case of Bali Belly.

Monday August 17

Indonesia is celebrating 70 years of independence. Our planed continued salvage work was cancelled at the request of the owners. They were concerned it was too dangerous with all the deck surfaces coated with diesel.

Lea wanted to move on as there was good wind forecast. However, Ray and Shauna off Parlay thought we should have a sports day in celebration of Indonesian Independence. Sounded like a great idea to cheer everybody up. It was agreed that we would all meet ashore mid afternoon.

Lea with Shauna off Parlay

Kallili was passing by and heard of the planned events so came in and joined us. Marathon Lady came back from Sagu Bay after having her dinghy oar stolen.

Lea successfully baked 2 loaves of bread in the BBQ

We all met on the Sand Spit and the games began. 3 nice young Indonesian men from the nearby village joined us for the fun and activities. We played Bocchi, dwarf throwing ( that was great fun ), frisby and ball throwing, a horse race with our boat mascots (we took Mrs Chippy) and finally a game of continuous cricket.

Haven't done it for years but I can still throw a Frisbee.

Spectacular setting
Brian and Maree off New Views. Winners of the dwarf throwing competition.

Shauna had baked a couple of Pizzas We had taken in the SUP's so people could have a go. The Indo guys were sports naturals with great hand eye coordination and they learnt all the activities very quickly.

Another larger exuberant group of locals arrived by boat with their Indo flag and took over the island. These young people were very different to our 3 quiet and polite young men; much louder and pushy. Still very friendly and wanting photos with us all but they scared little Heidi off Kalili and had to be told sternly to back off by Lloyd.

Ours dinghies were closely surveyed and our hats picked up and tried on. Our 3 young men were uncomfortable with the new arrivals too and said their goodbyes. Graeme off New Views managed to get the message across that Pacific Lilly held lots of Diesel (Solar) and that they were welcome to take it. They were off in a flash.

We all retreated to Gemini Lady for drinks and nibbles our spirits much revived. I set up OpenCPN and Kap files for Kalili and Marathon Lady. A great evening.

News came in from Poppycat in response to our text re Pacific Lilly. They too had hit a bommie with a rudder. Hull cracked and leaking. With help from Cattiva and Pedro 3 managed to beach her and effect temporary repairs. Slight leak remains but all ok. Jerry admitted it was a wake up call. You can't let your vigilance slip for a moment around these waters.

Lea's has Bali Belly in earnest. A novel experience for her!

Tuesday August 18

Mass exodus this morning with everyone leaving. Our anchor was just up when a distress message came in from Viannica. She was aground on the reef and needed immediate assistance. We headed of straight away. I radioed them to get the dinghy in the water with a long rope attached to the topping lift while Lea checked the tide times. Fortunately the tide had just begun to rise. Another panicky call from Viannica and I repeated my instructions. It got through this time and they acknowledged. I also called Graeme on New Views to come down in his dinghy, but he was already onto it and launching his dinghy.

As we approached Lea saw a boiling of water under the stern of Vianica as she obviously applied full throttle and shot clear of the reef. No serious damage but again the question. How did it happen? There were 8 eyeballs onboard. Was anybody in control, paying attention and watching as the anchor came free?

Lea into the Imodium now.

Turned around and got under way. Put the line out just for fun and within 5 minutes hooked a nice big Spanish Mack. ( lazerpro 190 blue strikes again)

Filleted it all up and just as I finished we were close to a local fishing boat so we waved him over and gave him the frame. He grinned from ear to ear and gave us the thumbs up and headed for home.

The watermaker worked the whole way and we even put an extra 40 litres in the jerry cans.