Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Maunie is injured, and we feel terrible

Like every anchorage, we approached the muddy bottom of Suva harbour with care, particularly with the weather we've been having recently. However we re-anchored here ten days ago after re-fueling and have happily sat through 20+ knots of wind, so were absolutely confident that our anchor was securely dug in. The anchor is rated for a 50ft boat and we had 50m of chain out in only 7m of water depth (usually we'd go for 35m).

So this morning as the wind dropped we felt totally happy to leave Maunie for a couple of hours to go shopping and get some lunch ashore. What we didn't expect was a sudden rain squall in our absence which caused the wind to change direction by 60 degrees and blow at 25 knots, but only briefly. It was enough to 'un-set' the anchor, however, and then it ploughed though the soft mud until our lovely boat hit something hard - a big steel mooring buoy with a commercial tug attached, a hundred metres behind.

Thank goodness our friends Carl and Linda on Navara spotted Maunie moving and raced over in the dinghy; Lester and Lisa on Obsession joined them a minute or two later. We always leave the keys in the ignition so, thankfully, Carl was able to start the engine and motor Maunie clear before the expensive Windpilot steering gear was damaged. Unfortunately the metal buoy had already done damage to both sides of her shiny hull.

The buoy which collected Maunie
Ouch - steel beats fibreglass

The starboard side took the worst of it
The first we knew of all this was as we climbed out of the taxi from our shopping trip and were met by Carl; it was so shocking to hear that Maunie had been hurt. The amazing crews of Obsession and Navara had moved her to a mooring, with the help of the Yacht Club boatman, and we can't thank them enough for saving her from really serious damage. Thankfully we found that the red paint left by the buoy could be polished off but some serious scratches remain, some of them revealing the original blue hull colour:

The good news is that there is no serious damage so the cosmetic wounds will have to be addressed when we get to NZ. The bad news is that our insurance has a £1000 excess whilst we are out of NZ waters, so today has been an expensive as well as upsetting day.

And it's still bloody raining here!!!!

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