A difficult couple of days.

Tue 11 Jul 2023 03:09
16 50.76S. 144 41.82W
Tahanea atoll 

Just when we thought we’d got Moonshiner right…….

The 24v alternator has failed. This was old and we reused from the old engine. We’re charging fine with solar and wind and have the generator so isn’t a big drama. Just more expense in Tahiti for a new one. 

We left Raroia the day before yesterday after a few glorious days. Pushed the ‘up’ button on the windless and nothing. After a bit of investigation it was obvious a wire connection was corroded though. 30 mins later and a new terminal and the chain is noisily banging into the locker. Feeling pleased with ourselves we got out of the channel with 6 knots behind us and on our way.

Regular 35 knot squalls kept things pretty spicy overnight but we weren’t in a hurry so with just a prevented double reefed main we felt very comfortable 


A horrible noise from the steering gear had me up on deck in a flash. Something was clearly amiss. My fear the main steering cables or rudder stock as the helm felt horrendous. Katie came up and helped investigate and it became clear the gears had stopped in the autohelm drive unit. A little bit of relief that the boat and helm was ok but then realisation the the bloody autohelm had failed again and we were back to hand steering. We only had a 100 miles to go but was still a rough night doing about 2 hrs on/off. 

Arriving in Tahanea felt like relief rather than a pleasure but we’ve actually had another couple of great days with amazing diving and come good winging as well. Katie did a drift dive in the pass while I wing foiled trying to get onto some of the swells rolling up the channel. So life was good again, a little background annoyance that we had to hand steer the remaining 250 miles to Tahiti and 1st possible spares but we were good

Until this morning. 

Katie was doing a bit of a check around the boat and discovered that both D1 shrouds have broken wires. This is really serious. If they fail we loose the mast and whole rig. We’ve spent the morning on the phone to riggers back home and in Tahiti. The consensus is that we’re safe to sail conservatively to Tahiti (we have no choice!) a rigger there will be able to replace them. Should be fine but just a bit worrying how/why they have failed. We had a brand new set of standing rigging last summer! They are all still brand new. 

It is another Thank God we’ve got Starlink moment so another big up to Ryan for sorting it for us. 

We’re going to leave for another atoll tomorrow night and break the passage to Tahiti as mush as possible to avoid too much night helming.