Do you know when it’s time to quit?
When we think of cruising, we often conjure up images of remote idylls set among turquoise seas and white-sand desert islands. A bit like the nameless atoll where we found ourselves anchored in eastern Sulawesi.
Our route out of the atoll was simple: head east in 15m of water through the channel, and then turn to starboard to head south into the Molucca Sea where the water drops to 4000m.
From our earlier forecast, we knew the weather would be squally. But conditions quickly worsened.
The wind angle was too tight to sail in the direction we needed to take, and we struggled to prevent the sails from backing.
Bearing away to sail would have taken us towards the next atoll, where it was too deep to anchor outside and too shallow to enter. Tacking eastwards would have put us on a lee shore with those building waves coming at us.
Thinking that perhaps we could motor sail for an hour or so to clear the hazards, we continued to slog south.
We decided to tack, turned off the engine and sailed westwards…
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