It was all going much too well...

Sun 29 Oct 2023 18:38
Location 21:21.783S 176:20.903E

SOG: 7.1kn
COG: 205T
Wind Speed: 1.9kn
Wind Dir: 171T

Up until last night everything was going well, the passage had been slow, but uneventful which is how I like it.
Well it all changed last night….
Firstly the wind dropped to 2 knots, which was a little irritating but not a disaster - I needed to charge the batteries so i turned on the engine and we started motoring towards our destination. However after about 30 minutes I heard the engine alarm go off and when I checked all sorts of warning lights were flashing. I quickly switched off the engine and we were trying to sail in little wind.

About 10 minutes later we got hit by a massive squall - lots of wind (28kn gusts); torrential rain; zero visibility….and we had full sails up. Well we very quickly reefed the mainsail and swapped from the genoa to the staysail, which wasn’t easy to do in those conditions. We continued sailing for about 30 minutes and we were beginning to feel comfortable again when the wind switched off again. This time there was absolutely no wind at all.

I looked at the engine and immediately saw that the fan belt had broken and needed replacement. Fortunately I had a spare fan belt, but trying to fit it whilst rolling around in the waves which were the legacy from the squall was not a job for the night time. We ended up bobbing around going nowhere for about 3 hours whilst we waited for the dawn. At daybreak I got out the tools and attacked the task. As with most things on boat engines the fan belt is pretty inaccessible and to fit it you really need to be a dwarf with 2m long arms, but after a bit of a struggle and lots of cursing i finally managed.

We are now back on track and motoring towards our destination.