April 27, 2011

Rudderless in the South Pacific

Hey folks--it's a bit soon for an update but we wanted to stave the flow of concerned emails to our Sailmail address. At this point we need to hold that address clear for communication with Port Officials, weather (bring it on Jamie, please let us know we're going to see a reduction in these seas), or other specific advice or information. We have requested unlimited minutes with Sailmail--and when those come through we'll communicate further--but at this point well wishes are best shared on our blog...

As it stands we have lost our leeward rudder. It appears to have broken off at the repair point. I think I'd like a refund... Our windward rudder can hold a basic course but we are in >2m steep and somewhat confused beam seas. We've tried to balance things as best we can by motoring slowly and putting out a fraction of our jib, which slows our progress to about 6 knots, but our main goal is to minimize the pressure on our remaining rudder--it simply isn't designed to steer independently in these conditions.

We've had advice from fellow cruisers and the Marquesan port officials (who we are in regular contact with and who are fully informed of our situation) that we should change our destination goal and head instead to Nuka Hiva--the harbour there being much more open and better protected and our options for repair being a bit better (search away Jamie-but we are going to require stainless fabrication). The problem with our new destination is we can't make it by nightfall tomorrow, so we're looking at another night at sea. Which totally blows my guess of a passage of 18 days 14 hours from La Cruz...

We're all slowly getting our heads around the current scenario (I've developed a splitting headache, but I've also continued on with home schooling and helped Maia to make a pizza crust.) But it's really less than ideal. At least it didn't happen in a storm or at 3am, which is really a huge improvement over our normal emergencies. It also didn't happen last week when we were in some gnarly weather. We still have 180 miles to get through though--but our destination looks rather divine.

We'll do our best to update frequently until we are safely in port--but many things can keep us from communicating in a timely fashion.
Thanks for all the well wishes though. They mean a lot to us.

S 8 36
W 137
Steering 253m

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Steve said...

Good luck! You've got at least one Mormon in Utah praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! That's not the news we were hoping for. We are sending good sailing vibes to you guys. Be safe, x Lor., Moshe & Danielle