How quickly things can change! We are safe and sound at Debut Island now but on the last night of our passage there we had a couple of dramas, the first being the great difficulty we had slowing Bali Hai down which we had to do so we didn’t arrive in the depths of the night.
Even with all the modern technology in the world it is very difficult to close with land at night and we would do anything to avoid doing so.
Eventually we managed to get her to slow down – we were plodding along nicely and all was going well with an expected arrival time of first light.
I had been on first shift as normal and had been asleep for less than an hour when I heard the dreaded words
“Dot please wake up now I think we are tangled in fishing nets”.
I scrambled on deck bleary eyed and shone the torch towards the stern. Sure enough, we could see contraptions on each side of the boat roughly square shaped and about 1.5 x 1.5 metres – made from bamboo and what looked like old plastic sugar sacks and each of them bound to the other with rope which was stuck under Bali Hai’s hull.
The boat was well and truly caught in this contraption which turned out to be a couple of fish traps! The fishing boats launch a number of these – around four or five at a time – all linked together on lines. Some of them seem to be attached to the fishing boat while others appear to float free.
It was pitch black – no moon, not even a hint of dawn. We had no idea how to get out of the traps without getting yet more entangled.
After a few minutes of deliberation Jonathan decided the only way to get free was to turn on the engine and “gun it” with the hope that the rope cutter on the propellor shaft would cut through any rope that was holding us in the trap.
So that’s what we did!
We pushed forward with the engine on full throttle and suddenly there was a loud “bang” and we were free! It was such a relief. The boat sailed on and appeared not to have any major damage but the propellor certainly sounded a bit dodgy!
As we continued our journey to Debut Island we were super vigilant that we didn’t do the same thing again.
I managed to have a couple more hours of sleep and when I woke again day was just dawning and we could see land ahead – Indonesia here we come!