Ailsa Blog 11 - Happy Campers

Ailsa at Sea
Richard Kennedy
Sun 9 Dec 2012 10:59

Position: 12:47.993N 40:41.862W


Captains log; Stardate 2012-12-09 – 10:30 UTC


It strikes me that sailors are rarely “happy campers”. There are many possible reasons for this but the most obvious culprit is their wind – of the meteorological variety that is. Wind and sailing go hand in glove. No wind, no sailing; too much wind, challenging sailing and possibility of breakages; too little wind, equally challenging sailing and still the possibility of breakages. Rarely is there the “perfect wind” and if there is the “perfect wind” it is usually in the wrong direction.

For the past two days despite best efforts to navigate round the “hole” we have had too little wind. Let me give you a sense of this experience. When there is too little wind, particularly when you are running down wind to get to our destination , the boat has a strong tendency to roll from side to side. As the boat rolls what little wind there is doesn’t get to the sail which collapses. As the boat rolls the other way the wind fills the sail which causes a rather loud “snap”. This in turn shakes the mast. At the same time this collapsing and filling of the sail causes the boom to twist and heave placing what appear to be considerable forces on the goose neck. Meanwhile inside the cabin with every roll backwards and forwards anything which is not fastened down slides back and force – clank – clonk, clank – clonk...

The boat and crew can only tolerate so much of this and eventually our will broke and we resorted to engine power to get some relief. Well clearly the Sailing God, Ainslyeus, was not pleased. Four hours of motoring and the engine power started to decrease........

Nothing for it but another round of pole dancing. Once again the pole mysteriously flew out of its bracket and once again the ever reliable right hand went  down catching the pole low in the gully. Now we are back to our down wind rig and plodding steadily along. On a positive note today the gribs (wind) look better.

With regard to the engine. What are our options? Beam down Scotty; phone a friend? Call the AA??

We will keep you posted