Blue Marble’s dreamy cruise across the South Pacific came to an abrupt halt this week when she broke loose from a mooring and gounded on a reef in Niue. Photo Courtesy Blue Marble, story courtesy of Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC.
From what we can gather, Norwegian marine biologist Erlend Hovland, 32, and his seven young crew have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the South Pacific this season, having the done the Pacific Puddle Jump from Panama via the Galapagos several months ago. Their luck changed this week, however, when their Fountaine-Pajot 46 cat Blue Marble broke loose from a commercial mooring off the tiny island-nation of Niue while Hovland and his mates were ashore.
The cat was soon hard aground on a reef that skirts the shoreline. By the time the crew returned, there was no chance of motoring off under her own power or with a tow from the ship’s dinghy. Amazingly, though, Blue Marble was pulled free — despite substantial structural damage — by a commercial vessel, and was later lifted onto a concrete wharf by a huge crane.
The problem now, however, is what to do with her. While not a total loss, she appears to need major hull repairs before she can sail on to a larger port for a more permanent fix, and there is no appropriate boatyard at Niue (which lies halfway between the Cook Islands and Vava’u, Tonga). But the big cat’s hull apparently was insured.
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