Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 17 Roundup

July 23, 2012, 1926 UTC
09 21.310 S, 130 18.278 W
Day 17

Hello, friends. Greetings from the morning of Day 17. As we were warned, long passages are a bit of a roller coaster ride - sometimes everything is great, the sun is shining, the fish are biting, and you are blistering along at 9 knots. And sometimes, everyone is turning into Jack Nicholson at the end of the Shining, and you wonder if full complement of Papillon is going to arrive at the other end.

Here is a brief overview of the past week:

Day 7: A winner! With the main and mizzen spinnakers flying, we were making great time. Erik caught a mahi-mahi for dinner. A great meal to end a great day.

Night of Day 7: Worst. Night. Ever. In short: tack ring tore out of main spinnaker. Repaired. Tack pennant blew on main spinnaker => snap shackle failed on mizzen backstay (in only 10 knots of wind) => mizzen mast bent forward like a bendy straw. Stabilized the mizzen. Skied a halyard. Yelling ensued.

Day 9 - A pod 20-30 dolphins swam with the boat for about half an hour. It was the absolute highlight of the passage. I will post a video when we reach the Marquesas, and you will all cry with jealousy.

Day 10 - The once-again-repaired main spinnaker tore itself apart completely. We are now without a light-wind sail. We are getting by sailing wing-in-wing (main out one side, jib poled out the other.) This is rolly, slow, and less than ideal.

Day 11- Freighter Forest Kishu kindly agrees not to run us down in the middle of the night.

Day 12 - The One That Got Away. Erik hooked a huge fish, fought it for ages, then lost it when the hook chafed through the leader cable at the eye.

Day 15 - Erik caught a tuna for dinner. Good, but not as good as the mahi-mahi. We are now very picky about our fish. I can no longer tell the difference between Velveeta and Roquefort, but fish we know.

Day 16 - The freighter Manon passed by in - you guessed it - the middle of the night. Thankfully, collision was not imminent.

Every Darn Day - Erik travels up and down the main mast hanging and adjusting chafe gear. Because stuff on a boat likes to break other stuff on a boat! Yours truly mans the winch handle, and is developing overly-muscular arms. The girls and I spent a morning making new baggywrinkle, but we didn't have enough old line aboard to make as much as we'd like. Hopefully we've covered the worst of it.

We should reach Fatu Hiva in a few days. We'll take a more serious look at the mizzen, then move on to Nuku Hiva. Wish us some boring, routine sailing between here and there.

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Anonymous said...

You fellows lead such an exciting life.

Good luck on your fishing expedition!
Love Grannie

Kate said...

Too much excitement. Hope the boat repairs go well and more dolphins come to visit.

Love Kate