Thursday, November 25, 2010

South Pacific Survey 16th July 1951,Aitutaki

Made plans for refuelling and went down to Aitutaki Township to go out with the whale boat a distance of some 14 miles through rather tricky channels between coral heads and the wind freshening all the ways.

It usually takes, according to Harrington, 1 hour and 10 minutes to do the journey but we were still a few miles away when the bilge pump broke down and the engine started to get covered with water from the leaking seams and what seas were coming over the head.
Nice situation to be in and contemplated striking a coral head and getting wrecked in the lagoon with all this aviation fuel around.

However, we made it by dint of perserverance and finally refuelled and plodded off home cold and wet but the aircraft is now ready for any work that may be required.

The billets are very close to the reef here and the old man sea roars away all night on the lagoon and reef and the coconut palms give an exaggerated idea of wind strength. We sleep with a blanket and sheet here, it being much colder here than Samoa or Papeete.

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