November 1, 2011

Green Flash on the way to Oz-Day 3

So last week sometime--maybe while we were sighting dugong, or perhaps just before we headed out to dive the Coolidge--Evan commented that when we got to Australia it was time to end-for-end the halyards and sheets. They've been in use for years and are starting to show signs of wear. Swapping them end-for-end would increase their longevity. It was a great idea. And when the genoa halyard broke during Evan's night watch on our first night out I couldn't help but admire how accurate his observation was...

We got the sail under control and lowered into the cockpit and stuffed into a locker--ending what had been a brilliant sail. Then I hooked up the running backstays and we unfurled our little staysail. The little sail didn't do badly in the light winds--and while we weren't making 7+ knots anymore--we were still sailing.

Maia and I hoisted Evan up the mast with the spinnaker halyard in the relatively calm seas the next morning. Calling himself a human pinata he gave Maia a home schooling lesson on motion as the top of the mast swung through a big arc. From the top of the mast he dropped a weighted messenger line down. He listened to it clang its way down and when the noise stopped we assumed it was down. So we lowered Evan--only to discovered the messenger was stuck somewhere in the mast and we were back to square one.

But we were still making 5-6 knots in gorgeous flat conditions. We had a relaxing day--had a nice BBQ for dinner and watched the sun set in a green flash. At around 4am though the wind dropped even further and we fired up the motor.

The weather report is promising more of the same for the next 3-4 days. So we decided that we need to get the genoa back up. So after changing the spinnaker halyard (can't fool us twice) we'll hoist the genoa on it. This means we can't furl and if we need to shorten sail we'll need to drop it. Very old school. But it should give us an extra knot or so of boat speed. Something we dearly want for this passage.

17 46 S
164 26 E
800 miles to Bundaberg

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

No comments: