Mid-Atlantic Marmite Mayhem
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Thu 1 Dec 2011 23:11
16:21.2N 048:07.6W 2136 miles covered
Andrea says it was temporary insanity brought on by giving me Marmite on toast for breakfast. I just wanted to experiment with using the mainsail and Parasailor at the same time (which had never worked well in the past), to see if we could get a bit of extra speed. Anyway, after some heated debate I got my way and we hoisted the mainsail, at which point the Parasailor span itself into a complete tangle around the forestay. Not the best result. We then had to coax the Parasailor down with the snuffer, drop it onto the trampoline, bring down the mainsail (with Ian and Estella sitting on the Parasailor to keep it down and getting very wet in the process), and then rehoist a now sodden Parasailor. Two hours later I was the most unpopular person on the boat.
Anyway, things brightened up when Andrea declared a "Caribbean evening" and we had Cajun rice and bananas in rum.
We had just finished our meal when the squall struck. There was no radar warning because the squall did not start raining until a mile before it hit us, and the radar only detects rain. I did not want to bring the Parasailor down in a hurry, in what was already 25 knot winds, so decided to ride it out. I was questioning whether that was the right decision when the wind hit 36 knots, with Anastasia going along at 16 knots. Fortunately the wind went no higher, the sail held up and we came through it unscathed.
So we are sitting down gathering our breath and there is a loud shrieking sound. The bilge alarm. Water in the starboard engine room. Had the stress of the squall ruptured something? Andrea went down to investigate (finger still not allowing me to do things) and found a leaking fresh water filter. Not a big problem, just a coincidence that the squall hit us exactly the same number of days after the start as it took the leak to fill the bilge to the point where the automatic pump turned on and triggered the alarm. You wouldn't believe it in a movie script.
Not the most relaxing of days.