Total miles sailed so far=9193 NM.
Miles sailed last 3-days=455NM.
Distance left to go to Cape of Good Hope=789NM
Top speed so far=12.3=New Record
THE REST OF THE STORY:
Position: Latitude 47*22’S. Longitude 06*44’W
Weather: Wind=35-45kts West.
A day of “kick ass” weather, and it was midmorning, and I was below decks, when suddenly the stay sail started luffing and banging up on deck. Once I was into my foulies and boots I ventured out on deck, and it was immediately obvious what was wrong. The wire pennant at the bottom of the staysail had parted and the sail was flopping its way up the stay. I grabbed a 1/2″ piece of line and crawled forward, replacing the pennant with the line and re tensioning the sail, an easy fix.
It was also obvious that the Sailors Run was now over powered, so I tied in the second reef in the Main sail. I now felt confident that I had the right sail configuration for the weather that was coming our way.
In the early afternoon I was reading below decks when “Suddenly” Sailors Run turned up into the weather, this indicating a steering problem.
I scrambled into my foulies once again and leaped top side. I gazed at the wheel and seen it was moving with the rudder a good sign, but the steering lines from the wind vane were all slack. A quick look over the stern reveals that one of the knots had popped off the servo rudder disabling the steering.
I hurry below to get my trusty piece of coat-hanger that I use to fish the steering line out of the wind vane. It is after closing the boat up and as I turn to go aft, that Sailors Run is engulfed by a very large breaking wave, and I grab on to two stays for the mizzen mast and hang on.
I’m waste deep as the wave washes over the cockpit filling it, and my boots at the same time. “Holy Shit”. I hadn’t clipped in yet as I wanted to be clipped in at the stern of the boat, to be able to hang off the back and repair the steering vane. I was very fortunate that I had seen the wave just before it broke, and I hung on for dear life as my feet were washed clear of the deck for just a second or two.
Fortunately I was able to retie the stopper knot in the line before being engulfed by another wave.
The weather has deteriorated to where it is has been blowing consistently at 35-45 kts and the seas are running up to twenty feet high.
I get below and ring my socks out putting on a dry pair and drain the water from my boots.
Evening comes and the gale rages on, and now I’m trying to get some sleep in my berth, suddenly I hear the roar of a breaking wave, and Sailors Run is engulfed by a huge breaking wave and I’m sprayed with a blast of “icy salt” in my berth. The spray had managed to squirt from under the butterfly hatch.
I immediately grab my pillow jerking the pillow case off of it, and hang the wet portions of my bedding out over the side of the lee cloth to drip on the already wet cabin sole.
Fortunately I keep the computer in a plastic bag, strapped on the chart table.
Position: Latitude 46*57’S. Longitude 003*28’W
Weather: Wind=15-40kts West.
Thank god the winds are abating now down to 25kts and the waves are also dropping. I go top side to shake out a reef in the “new Lee” mainsail and am very disappointed to see that three of the slides on the mainsail have actually bent because they are so “cheap” and thin that they popped out of the sail track on the mast and are permanently useless. This means I must now replace them with spares that I have.
During the shaking of the reef out I discover yet something else and a shadow of dread engulfs me.
The new goose neck I had fabricated in Mazatlan,Mexico is cracking and threatening to fail. There are two cracks in the end fitting of the boom that they made. One at the top eye hole where the connection bolt drops through and another about 1/3rd of the way up one side of the two inch plating that is welded to the axel that the boom swings on.
I spend about an hour brain storming this one and another hour trying to fabricate a reinforcement strap, but in the end I decide “screw it” I will baby it as long as it lasts and when it blows apart I can only hope I don’t get the boom in the “nuts”, as I’m pretty sure I will with the way things have been going so far.
When it breaks I will simply remove the boom and grind a sharp point on it and strap it on deck just in case I ever hit a whale and it attacks the Sailors Run, then I will harpoon the “Son-of-a-bitch”.
Without the boom I will just free fly the foot of the main from the sheet block on the main traveler. I should be able to fly the main full out on all points of sail except hard to weather where it will have to have one reef in it, due to the length of the foot of the sail. “Problem Resolved”.
Position: Latitude 46*59’S. Longitude 000*46’W
Weather: Wind W.10-30kts.
Today finds us running before a gale out of the west blowing 35-50 kts and rugged seas to 20+ feet, under stay sail alone making over 6-kts most of the time
What has happened, a high pressure system to the north and on the 40 degree’s latitude has intensified and is moving east over the top of me.
I have installed the second hatch board after taking in some water through the louvered doors in the companion way. The seas are very steep and hammering in over our stern at times, other than occasional wild surf down a wave the ride is pretty good.
Rocketing along on a “Kick Ass” ride. The Jefe’