We wrote briefly back on March 26th of David Devlin’s departure for Australia aboard his sailing vessel Yarramundi. His journey is to take almost a year and cover some 6,000 nautical miles. Over the past two months, David has sailed to Hachijojima, Ogasawara, Saipan, Guam and others, and is now about a 1,600 nautical miles south of Tokyo at Faraulep. It is there, however, at Faraulep that Yarramundi hit a coral outcrop (a bommie) and cracked her hull at the hull-skeg joint. (A skeg is usually an extension of the hull placed in front of the rudder to both protect and provide a mount for the rudder.)
David and crew have worked tirelessly getting the inflow of water under control. They dove on the hull and eventually reduced the leak by using underwater epoxy putty and sealant. They managed to reduce the gushing-in to a trickle and are now dealing with a liter of water every four hours, so the crack is well under control and posses no immediate risk to Yarramundi. Another problem, however, is this fix is purely temporary and will not withstand the rigors of open ocean sailing, especially at this time of year when seas are typically 4-6 feet high. David must effect repairs on the island strong enough to resist the forces of the sea and then sail the boat at reduced speeds for a week or so to a hual-out facility over 1,000 kilometers away. To do this, he has ordered a repair kit from Guam, but here Yarramundi and crew have hit yet another barrier. It seems the inter-island boat will not arrive until June 14th and they just missed getting the kit on a missionary flight to a nearby island. An airdrop is out of the question because of the high costs.
So David has enlisted the help of his friends in identifying alternative means of getting the repair kit to him on Faraulep. TSPS has posted a request for help to the most popular cruising website on the planet and received wonderful responses from sailors around the globe. They’ve offered temporary fixes learned from suffering similar problems such as melting polystyrene in gasoline to get polyester resin, and through-bolting the skeg to both sides of the hull using flat metal bars. We’re passing on this information to George Leaning who is in contact with David.
Those who know David are completely confident he will successfully pull himself out of the difficulties he is in. He is very resourceful and patient, and the crew has the skills necessary to make the repairs at Faraulep. And to be honest, if you’re going to have these sorts of problems, a paradise island in the Pacific is as good a place as any to have them.
We wish David the best of luck and look forward to news of Yarramundi raising Guam or some other such port in the near future.
You can keep up on what’s happening aboard Yarramundi at David’s blog.