I was off watch and woke to hear the engine being shut off. I listened for the sheets to be released and the mainsail raised, but only heard silence, not good at 4.40am. We were drifting with a fouled propeller, with Neil sitting in the cockpit locating the fishing boats on radar. The pitch black predawn and an oily black sea surrounded us, and we decided to wait the few hours till dawn before diving under the boat.
The PowerDive Hooker was set up on the aft deck. Neil donned a pair of leather gloves and armed with a very sharp knife he dove overboard. Five minutes later he hoisted up a floating fishing net that he cut from around the propeller. We were on our way again....
Exactly two hours later the engine came to a screeching stop again, but this time we could see the culprit. We were trailing 6 metre loops of thick rope, which also wrapped around the propeller. Fortunately we had the hooker set up, so Neil went for his second swim in the Malacca Straits, off Pangkor Island, Malaysia.
Strikes and Boom
|Just like this!|
We searched the radar looking for an escape route but the storm was traveling with us and growing in momentum, so we decided to turn tail and run away. The rain pounded down and with each lightning strike it illuminated the white-out conditions that surrounded us. We were not having much fun, but were relieved that we had an escape plan. After 3 hours the storm moved out to sea and we turned back to our original heading. Neil went to bed, and for the next few hours I watched the storm angrily boom and flash out towards Sumatra.
The Great Escape
|At the Shade Tree Cafe, Penang|
Crystal Blues is now berthed in Rebak Marina, Langkawi. Neil has flown to India for work for the next two weeks. Ley has been challenged to stock the boat with all things duty free in his absence.