Thursday, March 1, 2018

Leg 3 - Heading to the promised land - Day 8

I think I've said this before... Offshore sailing is mostly moments of mundane activity with very quick moments of adrenalin thrown in just often enough to make sure you know how small you really are in the big ocean.
Yesterday afternoon through to tonight we have floated or motored in 3 meter swells of a very long period. Pretty comfortable. Its a good thing because we all needed copious amounts of down time due to the day before.
Yesterday I ended the post after describing my underwater water ski with a dive knife in my teeth to free a 12 inch line wrapped on the prop while fighting off great white sharks... Ok maybe it wasn't that dramatic but I'm writing the blog so poetic licence is mine alone. Anyway, after that event we got the boat moving again and sailed close hauled in very uncomfortable seas. Even Nadine was getting tired of the motion by nightfall so we tacked off and headed west then east at big sailing angles to try to get a better ride in the waves. Halfway through Karina's midnight watch I woke up to a loud bang and pretty big vibration. As usual I was in the cockpit before being fully awake knowing that something had broken. Now the task was to sort out what was wrong before more things went wrong. Karina was already trying to puzzle out what had broken and was shining her headlamp around the boat. We discovered the jib furling line had broken and the sail had unfurled to it's full size. Not good in 15 to 20 knots up wind. Karina headed the boat down wind and then we somehow managed to furl the sail by hand turning the drum. Surprisingly there was only one moment when I thought I would lose my grip and have the whole sail fly out again. With the jib now under control we flopped in the cockpit to consider what the next step was.
Both of us were pretty sacked from the day and Im not sure either of us could have done simple math if asked. Nadine was especially tired after making all the Naan bread and slept, snoring loudly through the whole ordeal. We measured the pieces of line that we had and discovered that none were the correct length or diameter for the furler. The line that broke was our spare but the original line was not quiet chafed all the way through from the trip to the Galapagos so we went to pull it out of the locker. It wasn't there. We both remembered thinking it had been put in a good accessible spot in case we needed to revert back to it but neither could remember where that was. You'd think that in a boat with the square footage the size of most peoples living rooms things can't go far. Well 2 hours later and 3 full unpackings of all the gear out of the lazerarete later Karina found it in the nice accessible spot behind a cover panel... As these things always go, this was done in the dark with the boat rolling rail to rail and a cold sea running down both sides. In spite of tearing apart the aft, forward and salon cabins Nadine still managed to remain unconscious.
Having finally found the line we realized we would need daylight and some possible outside internet assistance to fix it and jury rigged a much shorter line so we could get under way again.
The next morning after some much needed dead down time we all assembled in the cockpit to review our options for repairing the line. Given the squally conditions and upcoming gails we were expecting we really needed a simple way to control the jib without going on the foredeck. Upon inspection we noticed that only 4 12 core lines were cut and the outside braid only halfway chafed through. To fix it we melted and stuck the 4 core lines back together and then Nadine spent the next 4 hours darning both the core and cover until it looked like new. Netiher Karina or I went to a high school where the darning socks course was a prerequisite. Luckily Nadine is just a few years older than us, when things were fixed rather than thrown out and knew quite a few stitches that were applicable. We tested it on a winch and it seems to hold so we are now happily using it again.
Flash forward to today where Nadine made crepes for breakfast and upside down banana caramel muffins for dessert tonight and you can see we are back into the mundane.
In the interest of saving my marriage, this post contains no foreshadowing, forward looking statements or any comment on what the future might hold.

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