Cameron and Brent’s delivery to Fiji

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Brent Dewhurst writes a short account of a delivery trip to Fiji. It includes incidents which he glosses over in typical style, but would have many people dramatising as an inspirational book. All in a day’s work… (well 7.5 in fact).

I was asked to help deliver a Beneteau 47.3 to Fiji from Whangarei. They also needed another crew, so I thought Cameron (Hodges) will be up for this too.

There were 12 yachts leaving the same day we left. Marsden Cove at 8.30 having cleared customs.

Gusting 35 and cloudy, it was SW.25 by the time we were off Cape Brett, some more genoa out.

At times we were down to 2 reefs and a furled Genoa with a 3-metre sea behind us. With 6 yachts in sight, it made for good racing, or were we meant to be cruising?

Day 2 & 3 were similar but with a squid making its way into the cockpit overnight, Day 4 & 5 involved motor sailing, catching a 20 Pound Tuna which made for good eating.

Day 6; involved a few dramas. While sailing along the call goes out that the bilges are full of water, after lifting the floorboards, it was discovered the prop shaft had fallen out and was resting against the rudder. This is 1 hour before sunset. So down with the sails, rope out the back for a swimmer to grab.  Then a rope for side to side to hold the prop in, a swimmer pushing the shaft in, we reconnected the shaft and we were off again.

Day 7; we discovered a diesel bug in the tank which stops the engine, so we can’t charge the batteries, still have jerry cans of fuel left so we rig up a hose to go direct from jerry can to filter, so we were motoring again. The same day the chart plotter screen went blank, with data still going through the instruments  we can still plot our position on the paper charts which we had been doing from the start of the journey, and Cam putting his sextant to good use.

We motored through the reef just on dusk and tied up to the quarantine buoy at 20.30 hours 7.5 days later and 1150 miles. The water temperature is now 28 C. Two days later back home for the Winter series/Navy Cup.

Cam Hodges on the helm

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