Safely anchored, Gan
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 1 Jun 2019 23:57
Safely anchored, Gan
At ten to eight we were on final approach to head through the Gan Passage between Willingili Island and Gan.
Gan Island on our left.
Looking back we can see why cutting the corner from the south would not be a good idea. The waves were crashing over the reef.
It has been great to see the main up and yay, the sun feels warm.
The channel was about sixteen metres deep but within seconds we were in thirty-five metres. I had been radioing for some time saying Gan Port Control, Gan Harbour Control, Addu PC, Addu HC to gain permission to enter but to no avail, we hoped Coastguard could see us on the AIS. Not sure where to anchor I found a sandy beach and Bear told me it would shelve at about twenty-five metres. I kept going and going as Bear dropped the main but no shelving, to the point I could see the reef clearly. Just then a small ferry boat came up alongside and pointed to where we should go. A gap appeared between Gan and Fedu islands with the causeway quite clearly at the back of the small anchorage.
Bear went forward as lookout as I kept the reef markers to our right, down to one point six metres below but soon back up to two and a bit. Two yachts were anchored, off this afternoon heading for the Seychelles.
Tucked in and anchored at nine thirty, time for breakfast and wait for the authorities. Always comical to look like Beez is on dry land and not sitting on the blue stuff.
Over a cup of tea I did our journey analysis. Wind and current made us have to tack a lot, like real sailors, in other words so much zig-zagging.......Mmmm. The two hundred and ninety-seven mile trip took seventy-two and a half hours, engine on for seventy to aid steerage and adverse current. Somehow we managed to average four point one knots. Our speed went from zero to nine point two knots and wind speed went from four to thirty nine point two knots. The conservatory was down for a total of two hours. Broken bolt to alternator, terrible leak in the electrickery cupboard, Bear with a head injury and me with a throbbing, swollen ankle.
This trip went straight in at number four worst journeys behind last day crossing Biscay, day three en route to New Zealand and the last few miles getting in to West Palm Beach.
We watched in fascination as a small boat came in and once she was tied to her mooring buoy the owner climbed down onto what looked like a big piece of sponge and pulled himself to shore. What a great idea, saves all that bailing out of a dinghy. Late afternoon all the various departments came, two on board while two stayed on their launch. Bit worried as I handed the Passports across the water after what happened when Bear drowned mine off The Iles des Saintes but all was well and carefully returned. The team were fantastic, friendly and very supportive of all our woes and knew the severity of some of the squalls we had endured. We cannot thank each of them enough.
We enjoyed our first evening simply sitting still after more than two weeks of being jiggled and rolling. We saw many fruit bats, not massive but quite a big wingspan, and seem to fly happily about during daylight, busily crossing the anchorage. The evening Call to Prayer was gorgeous, the Imam has a wonderful voice.
Away to our right, looking from left to right and out to the big, deep anchorage in the middle of the atoll, loving the bat who photo-bombed. Bear made it to half past nine, I only hung on half an hour more. We both slept very soundly until seven thirty.
ALL IN ALL SO PLEASED TO BE HERE
NICE SHELTERED LITTLE ANCHORAGE, AT LONG LAST