As we made our way down from Montserrat, we started the engine to get past the island which was creating a wind shadow. Five minutes in our engine seized. Unable to start her up again we tried to keep positive and sailed our way to Guadeloupe. After a fantastic night of sailing the wind died down 5 miles from Basseterre. These last 5miles took us, a patience testing, 8 hrs after which we finally managed to pick up a buoy under sail. Exhausted and fed up we made our way to land and treated ourselves to a huge steak...mmm.
The reality of our seized engine only really hit the following day. I can't remember the last time I felt that sad. Our dream had fallen apart.
We spent the next two weeks hanging around Basseterre dealing with our insurance and hoping that they would help us cover the damage. They wouldn't.
Digesting all our options we finally decided that the best thing to do would be to head down to Trinidad. The idea of hanging around a frequent hurricane zone didn't appeal to us. Sadly, Robyn decided that perhaps it would be better for her to return to New York and spend some time with family while Janneman helped us get down to Trinidad. It was incredibly sad saying goodbye to Robyn, we had such an awesome time together and really weren't ready for the her to leave... Until the Med :)
With low spirits we prepped Melody for the three day sail. It was all a little nerve wracking knowing we would have to enter the often windless Gulf of Praia and get up to Chaguaramas with no engine. We knew that the three days could easily turn into a week.
The next couple of posts will be on our journey down to Trinidad, our road trip around the North coast, Janneman leaving to join Robyn in New York and Wilhelm pretty much dismantling the entire engine, only to discover that the engine isn't actually seized. What a huge relief! The clutch plate had broken, a common occurrence apparently, and a piece of metal had fallen and jammed the fly wheel preventing the engine from turning. We ordered the part from the States, which arrived over the weekend and now it's just putting it back together again.
I guess life's not so bad in the Caribbean...