(Written Wednesday 18th on return to Dutch)
At about 2200 last night something happened to something… now this is definitely one of the more worrisome problems there could be- when you don't know what is wrong with what!!!
The wind had died and it was time to engage Ernie the Engine, we turned him on, he choked and spluttered- I think we woke him from a deep sleep- into action, put some revs on and we just didn't seem to get going as quick as we should have. Back in to neutral and tried again and there was a funny screeching metal sound and things just weren't right, seemed like maybe the prop wasn't opening and working properly, maybe… could it be kelp??? Barnacles?? Ernie just been stubborn???
We made the decision to head back the 14 hours to Dutch where we have made some friends and contacts who may be able to help- Nome being un an unknown quantity at this stage. And, furthermore, if we couldn't get our not-sure-exactly-what-the-problem-is problem solved there it would be daft to go any further North with an engine/ prop problem, and we might be daft but not that daft!!!
So we are now back in Dutch- who knows, maybe I am destined to stay here forever and become a king crab fishergirl after all!!! Big A spoke to John who installed Ernie in Oz and he thinks it is almost (almost) certainly the gearbox and we have a diver organised first thing to make sure that all is well with the prop and wee B's bott in general… so things should become clearer tomorrow about organising a new gearbox etc etc and time-wise how long that might take.
All in all its definitely been the right call to come back- we know our way around and where to get bits and pieces from here and its even better to have a likely solution!!! We have a great spot in the small boat harbour and there is always plenty of things on the jobs list- and we might get a chance to send Kimbra to the museum too now!!!
The Bering Sea, itself, wasn't too mean to us for the past 28 hours, bit bumpy round good old Cape Cheerful, but otherwise bit grey, then a bit sunny and a bit greyer and colder and back to Cape C this morning and fogtastic again!!! And then it drizzled all day on our way back, today was definitely not a day to choose to go out sailing!!!
I guess, being on land for a bit is good news for anyone reading as they will get lots of daily wordage from us!! In the meantime, that's it!!!
Lots of love
Ps I have the best new socks – they are knee length and stripey and have multicoloured and have toes too!!!
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