An Adventurous Beginning - 147nm - 26hrs - 16.3.2013, 19hrs

Sun 17 Mar 2013 02:54
6:24.1103N 80:55.957W
An Adventurous Beginning
147nm (through the water) or 183 nm (over ground) - 26 hours

We never caught a strong enough signal around Isla del Rey, Las Perlas or Punta Mala, so the pictures I had wanted to post with previous blog will just have to wait til we get to the Galapagos.
But apart from that, the sail started really nice. Once around the Southern point of Isla del Rey, we set the spinnaker and had a fast and rather smooth sail. Despite the rather workful day, everybody was in a cheery mood, finally on the way! Just my splitting headache was a drawback, so I volunteered to take the 2nd night shift and withdrew to my cabin to get a good rest. And that helped.
When Steve woke me up at midnight, I felt better again and enjoyed the night shift. It was a rather dark night, the wind was blowing with about 22 knots from aft, and we were running with the big screecher with up to 9.5 knots flying threw the waves. However, we hadn't had much chance to fly that 3 year old spinnaker so far. The sailmaker must had gotten his measures wrong, cause despite Michael ordering the same thing from the same guy, he ended up with a much bigger version. And not having flewn it a lot, Michael wasn't sure how much it could take. Unfortunately, that gave him a rather restless night and he kept poking his head into the cockpit and adjusting us a bit more downwind, reducing the apparent wind. He really didn't want to risk more than 15 knots apparent wind. Anyway, we made good ways and had a smooth sail during the whole night. Well, kind of smooth as the waves were pushing us from the starboard stern around and not only I kept waking up several times. It seemed had just sunken into a deep sleep, when I heard a loud shout on the deck. First, I thought we finally caught a fish!
Unfortunately, that was not the reason and it became clear to me very quickly, when I saw the colorful spinnaker flying down over my hatch.
The huge sail had almost entirely fallen into the water, and it took all four of us to get it out and hold it down, as the wind was still blowing quite a bit. Fortunately, it was already light and quickly we saw what happened: The halyard (das Fall) broke and the entire spinnaker came crushing down. Once secured, we continued with the genoa, as the wind was still too strong for the screecher, and tried to get some more sleep. Later, wind and waves had dropped a bit, and I offered to ride up the mast in the bosun chair to feed a new halyard through the mast. We had done that before - at a calm anchorage - but for whatever which reasons, this time it turned out to be an extremely tricky job. During the 4 rides up, I must have spent about 3 hours high above the seas. Usually, I don't mind - in the contrary, I actually quite enjoy the view and the experience, and obviously don't share the guys aversion for the ballbusting bosun chair...
But I needed at least one hand, often two, to keep myself from banging around, and as all uncommon activities, my muscles started complaining after a while.
We finally succeeded with the operation, when Steve finally saw the line hanging inside the mast and Michael drove Andromeda in slaloms in order to move it into the right position for Steve to pull it out of its outlet in the mast. Prior to that, Michael had even drilled out the outlet plate this time.
Unfortunately, the wind kept dropping during the afternoon and we got headed. So now we're motorsailing with the main very close to the wind.
The 1.5 to 2 knots current also reduced itself to half a knot, so unfortunately, our second day we'll most likely not bring us as far as the glorious first one.
Shame, cause according to the weather forecast, we should have had wind at least for 2-3 days, and the spinnaker is all ready for operation again.
Well, that's sailing life, I guess.

And now, finally, after another rather exhausting day, the lovely smell from the galley indicates I should come to an ending now, as dinner will be ready soon!

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