Up the mast again

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sun 16 Mar 2014 00:47
Overnight the wind died completely and we woke to millpond calm.  We are anchored about a mile from the town and the only noise to be heard was a dog barking faintly in the distance.  When he stopped barking it became, in Andrea’s words, “so quiet it hurt your ears”.
Anyway, there was no excuse to delay the mainsail repairs, so up the mast I went again.  This time I took a camera to get some photos while I was up there.  It turned out that a bolt had sheared off behind the slider, preventing it from moving up or down.  I had to take the slider apart to get to the bolt.  We now have a working mainsail, but there are actually three bolts sheared off at the top of the mast track, so we can’t go higher than reef 1 until the bolts are replaced.  The old ones will need drilling out first.
Max came by, with his mother and a big bag of lobsters, but we had to say we had had enough lobster.
In the afternoon we worked on a rudder bearing.  It was quite tight when we left Fort Pierce and it was getting tighter and tighter each day we sailed.  Recently it was squealing every time the rudder was moved.  I was worried the extra load would break the steering linkage or the autohelm, so we needed to fix it.  Unfortunately the bearing was now holding so tight that removing it required someone to be in the water wiggling the rudder.   I needed to be working on the rudder bearing in the engine room, so Andrea bravely volunteered and jumped into the water.  Well, actually she took about five minutes to get in and I am not sure which was squealing the most, the rudder or Andrea.  Anyway she did a fine job, going in five times and getting rather cold in the process, but the bearing has been replaced and now there are no squeals to be heard.
Me up the mast
Andrea down below, posing on the trampoline.  (She said it was too cold for a bikini.)
Hawksbill Cay from the air
We had a Floridian delicacy, “lobster mac”, for dinner