Ailsa Blog 8

Ailsa at Sea
Richard Kennedy
Tue 4 Dec 2012 14:34

Position: 16:25.698N 29:34.172


Captains log; Stardate 2012-12-04 – 14:00 UTC


The beauty of this is that every day is a new experience - at least for us. So for example I am on watch last night. It is dark – no moon – and I am drifting in and out of the twilight zone when suddenly there is a thud and a thrashing around my feet in the cockpit. For a moment I thought I was about to do hand to hand combat with a Klingon until I found my torch and identified a flying fish. After a slippery few minutes I managed to catch it and dispatch it back into the blue. It turns out this morning that there are several on the deck. Clearly their sonar is not as well developed as the bat!

Another new experience we had yesterday was me being hauled up the forestay to fix new sheets to the genoa (sail in front of the mast for land lubbers). Clearly there is a lesson here for sail makers. For those sporty types whose genoa has a foot around deck level, no problem. For those like us with a high cut genoa, mega problem if the sheet goes. After four days of down wind sailing with pole out it was clear that the knot holding the sheet to the clew of the genoa was chafed through 50%. Now whether furled or pulled out the clew was out of reach and dropping the sail was not really an option in a F6 and heavy sea. Hence me being hauled up the forestay to clip on new sheets. So far so good. Question for CME points: why are sheets so called? Answers not on a post card.

My lesson of the month for readers of Practical Boat Owner is somewhat more fundamental. When doing a poo with a big swell running make sure you remove pants and trousers completely. The rationale for this manoeuvre is that once you stand up from the throne to complete your business if said pants and trousers are around the ankles and the boat suddenly roles you have nowhere to go but flat on your face. This is not a technique taught at Star Fleet command; obviously Captain Kirk did not need to go to the loo.

Now everyone has their personal demon(s). Mine is turning into a following sea to effect a change in sail plan or reef the main. This we did yesterday and when Shelley had her George Clooney moment (think about that one) with 4 m swell and 26 knots wind. Well buoyancy is a wonderful thing and everything was tickety boo.

As we head out West more thrills and spills are certainly guaranteed....m_IMG_1520preparation