Gambier III

Did we have any eye brow raising moments in the Gambiers? Well there were a couple.

We did have a Tsunami warning. This ironically was just after my sweet bro had posted a blog for me and in true younger brother style, decided to post a cheeky eye catching title which included the word tsunami.😀  

I recall the cause being an earthquake emanating from islands near-ish to New Zealand. There is a warning system in place across the Pacific which alerts locations of potential arrival times of a tsunami wave and a predicted height. The earthquake took place around 9am in the morning and the arrival time for Gambier was predicted for something like 4.04pm with a potential wave height of 30cm. The information was surprisingly precise. 

We were anchored out on the reef by ourselves off a moto called Kouaku. The anchor was well dug in around 8m, in a sand patch. We knew there was potential for a wave surge as we’d had emails from various people including my brother!

Around 3.30pm, I turned on the depth sounder to record depths at 5 minute intervals. By 4.30pm there was no significant change and I was bored so we made the executive decision we were all okay and went for a walk on the beach. 

Nothing untoward transpired. Gambier is surrounded by an outer reef so if there was any surge, either it had dissipated by the time it reached us or the reef itself flattened the water.

Still that was our first Tsunami warming. And if I’m honest, it wasn’t something I’d ever thought about before.

We also had a corroded engine part which allowed sea water to come from the outside of the boat, into the inside of the boat. This is not a good thing! Sea water should always remain outside. It’s one of the ways to keep a boat and it’s crew happy and floating. 

We had a mad 45 minutes working out where the water was coming from with some much appreciated help from friends in the anchorage. Thankfully the corroded piece was identified and with sea cocks closed, Dave was able to engineer a plate which solved the problem the next day. 

And this section is for you techy boaty people. The bracket which supports our meaty 250 amp alternator cracked meaning we had to revert to using the 65 amp one. This is the equivalent of having to drink supermarket own brand tea bags instead of twinings earl grey, ie, unsatisfying.  

The bracket is made of stainless steel and is at least 10mm thick so we were pretty surprised to see it had fractured. We were motoring across the lagoon dodging pearl farm buoys when a horrible rattly noise grinds out from the engine bay. Well that too has had a fix, with a temporary splint made and bolted through. Fingers crossed it holds till we get to the land of welding, which may well be Tahiti. We couldn’t find anyone in Gambier who could or would weld stainless. 

That’s probably it for Gambier. We’re back in the Tuamotos. Well that’s not strictly true. The boat and Dave are in Fakarava in the Tuamotus. I hopped on a plane yesterday and am actually in Tahiti. Back tomorrow after a little city break with ‘the girls’ and an awful lot of shopping for boat things. 

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