we killed our engine dead

We killed our engine dead

When you’re in a narrow channel with reefs all around and the engine stops dead, what do you do? It happened to us while sailing remote Sulawesi.

we killed our engine dead
Kora Kora deep lagoon

The world falls out of your body when the engine judders to a violent halt. What the hell caused it, and what can you do about it? We talk through what happened to us and how we resolved the problem in episode 317 (link below).

we killed our engine dead
Badly-fouled prop, did we damage the shaft?

We really didn’t want it to happen again, so for the rest of the passage we took extra care to see what was ahead. One of us went to the bow to ensure SY Esper didn’t scoop up any more nets or bags.

we killed our engine dead
Sun behind the horizon in Kora Kora
The journey so far

In February 2022, after two years of lockdown in Kota Kinabalu, we left the shores of Sabah to embark on a 1232 nautical mile journey. We followed the 2020 passage along the east coast, accompanied by ESSCOM (the Malaysian naval security force). At Sandakan, we made an emergency stop where we replaced a deck fitting, before rounding the eastern cape. Our journey took us through the beautiful national marine park around Semporna and then towards the border between Borneo and Indonesian Kalimantan.

We killed our engine dead

Once we’d departed Malaysia there was no turning back, and yet there were entry issues before finally quaranteeing in Nunakan. The port island of Tarakan was a joy but the journey south was hard work against all the prevailing currents. It was made up for by the stunning Derawan archipelago, including unspoiled Maratua.

We killed our engine dead
Morning blue skies, but no wind

We made the 150-mile crossing over the top of the Makassar Strait with favourable currents and even some wind, a rarity in these equatorial waters. We made landfall in Tolitoli and found friends for life. We started to fall in love with the beautiful island that is Sulawesi.

Our journey across the top of Sulawesi was plagued with daily squalls hitting 50kts and an engine issue in Gorontalo. But this part of the world has some of the most stunning coastlines we’d ever seen.

After 2,282km and at anchor in the Lembeh Strait, we realised that our adventure around Sulawesi and beyond had only just begun.

More all about the full route and how we got out of a dangerous situation in the video…

If you like our content and would like to support us, we will give you ad-free access to our videos before they go live to the public, discounts in our shop, access to Jamie’s iconic full-res photographs, and supporter-only blog posts. Click our ugly mugs for more info!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top