Historic Vessel Vega goes AGROUND on the sprawling reefs of Nila

The entrance to Pulau Nila’s anchorage is a maze of reefs that twist and turn with little apparent rhyme or reason. Our electronic charts were completely useless for details and the detailed 2010 charts we had from the Indonesian Hydrographic service were so far off that they showed 15-20 meters of water where we were hard aground and completely failed to show any of the reefs that surrounded us at all. We had managed to work our way into the anchorage and put down an anchor but it began to drag rather than setting. So up it came and we reset it again but with the same results. Mind you it was not easy getting that anchor up without the aid of our anchor winch. It takes time and in that small space there simply was not enough of that. Try as I would to keep us positioned in the deeper water we drifted off to the port side and were soon on the reef.

By then we had three of our friends from the island on board helping out but we went aground with the tide falling and managed to sit there through the whole cycle until the next high tide using our booms for stands and with an anchor out from the masthead. That tide was much less than the day time tide and it was only at the very last seconds of the high tide that we managed to break free and haul off on our stern kedge anchors into the deeper water. Meggi made a few good pictures of us high and dry, but they were about halfway through the falling tide. At the lowest of the tide, Jo polished the prop and we checked a few things that needed looking at. All very useful but I can think of better ways of doing them. Ones that are not so embarrassing for the skipper.

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