What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Finally we left Langkawi in Malaysia after working on Yana de Lys for two years. It was kinda late in the sailing season for a sailing trip to Thailand. Were we too impatient? Was Yana ready? What could possibly go wrong?

Stranded in paradise on our sailing trip: the view from our anchorage at Ko Muk
Stranded in paradise: the view from our anchorage at Ko Muk

Sailing to Phuket in easy stages

We were going to sail to Phuket in easy stages, with safe anchorages planned along the way in case the weather hit the fan.

Well it wasn’t the weather which hit the fan it was the drive shaft.

After two nights of blissful anchorages, I was thinking this is why we have a boat. That two years of hard work was worth it after all. Perky the engine was purring and I felt I could trust her to motor all 120 NM (nautical miles) if we ended up with no wind to help us.

When a sailing trip goes wrong, it can go very, very wrong

Then  at around 9 am on Day 3 of our tropical island sailing trip, 20 NM north of Taratao Island the drive shaft  snapped, right at the end where it meets the gearbox. No way we could jury rig a fix on board, alone in the water.

This is where the drive shaft broke on our sailing trip
Drive shaft before the disaster

Sailing into the wind

We started sailing north in about 3 knots of wind (from the north!). We tacked for three or four hours between Ko Phetra and Ko Tului Noi making less one than mile progress.  Then the wind picked up but it was still pretty well in the direction we wanted to go until we began heading for Ko Talebong.

Passing rocky outcrops in the dark

It was hairy passing those rocky outcrops at the SW end of Ko Talebong, close hauled in the moonless dark. But we finally made it to a safe anchorage at Ko Muk by 11 pm, despite the fact the only night sailing we’d ever done was in our TAFE Yachtmaster courses and we’d never anchored without using the engine before.

What is it they say about cruising sailing trips being 99% boredom and 1% panic? Click To Tweet

You can read more about how this sailing trip got better, then got worse, and how we finally made it to Phuket six weeks later, in the Stranded in Paradise blogs.

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Penny

I'm a sailing traveller floating around South East Asia on my boat Yana de Lys. I spend as much time as I can exploring the back streets and pretending to act like a local. I work as a Digital Nomad, blogging, editing and copywriting. Feel free to contact me if you need a hand with your writing project. Malaysia: 60 11 1441 5196 Australia: 61 411 220 592 and 08 6102 5141 au.linkedin.com/in/pennywest penny@sailingtravelblog.com

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