Good winds but confused seas
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sat 10 Mar 2012 06:42
8:11.1S 106:30.5W 1129 miles covered
We have had good winds all day, but confused seas that have been throwing Anastasia about a bit. This has been causing the spinnaker to collapse sometimes and then re-inflate with a crash as the load suddenly comes back on the lines. It only happens about once an hour when we get hit by a rogue wave, but it always sounds bad. We are cruising at around 10 miles an hour, which is equivalent to running both engines flat out, at 220 horsepower. That means that each of the three spinnaker lines is supplying power equivalent to that of a small car. Big forces are involved, especially when the line goes slack and tightens again.
Andrea had a scare when she was wiping down an instrument console near one of the lines, and the line went slack and caught on her neck. She just had time to push it off before it tightened again, but it was a scary moment and not nice thinking what could have happened. We now have a no-go zone anywhere within reach of the line.
Anyway, everyone is OK and Andrea cheered up after a glass of wine with dinner, which was moussaka with broccoli and a tomato and papaya salsa followed by cheesecake made from home-made yoghurt. Nothing frozen, all made from scratch. I am constantly amazed that she can produce any kind of meal in these conditions, never mind such gourmet creations.
We had another sobering moment at the evening radio net rollcall because one boat, Samsara, has developed a crack in the rudder stock. Samsara is carrying a couple with their two young daughters (Samantha and Sarah). The problem is a serious one because in these conditions the rudder is under huge loads, trying to keep a 20 ton boat going in a straight line when the waves want otherwise. If the crack develops to the point where the rudder is being wrenched back and forth by each wave then it is in danger of being ripped off, leaving a large hole in the bottom of the boat, with no option but to abandon ship. Lee on Samsara is attempting to shore up the crack with fiberglass. Let's hope he can fix it enough to make it safe. The good news is that Samsara is in the middle of the fleet and only about 50 miles from one of the boats following, so help is a few hours away if they need it. It is a serious but fortunately not life threatening situation.
But it does all make me stop and think about our own condition and how we are totally dependent on Anastasia holding together to get us the rest of the way. As I typed that last sentence she turned on some floor lights that will not turn on by the switch, but that she turns on every few days, seemingly at random. Is that her way of telling me not to worry?