Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni set sail from their home on Mono Island for New Georgia Island back on September 3rd, the two expected the 124-mile trip to be routine. They had made this trip dozens of times.
Suddenly bad weather turned their routine trip became an epic survival tale! "When the bad weather came, it was bad, but it was worse and became scary when the GPS died," Nanjikana explained. "We couldn't see where we were going and so we just decided to stop the engine and wait, to save fuel."
For nine days, the sailors survived on a bag of oranges they’d packed for the trip. After the oranges ran out, they had to get inventive, eating coconuts they found floating along and drinking rainwater they collected in a tarp. We survived "on rainwater and coconuts and our faith," Nanjikana says.
On their 27th day at sea, they spotted an island in the distance and two days later they were able to flag down a local boat. "It was then that we shouted and continually waved our hands to the fisherman,” Nanjikana recalls. “He saw us and paddled towards us." And they were glad to be rescued, but surprised when they found out that they were 300 miles from where they started — in the opposite direction. When asked about how the trip was, Nanjikana stayed positive saying, "I guess it was a nice break from everything. It gave me time to build my relationship with God".