29th June – A Different Sort of Day
hurried first aid on Percy yesterday afternoon didn’t really cut it. By about tea time yesterday the
spinnaker tape had pulled off the rip and we’d got the foot long tear back. So, we pulled Percy down, hoisted the
mainsail, boomed out the yankee and went on our way having decided to delay
attempting a better repair job until the next morning. It’s not an easy job because Parasailor
material is very light and slippery.
So, sewing machines have a bit of a challenge – particularly when not in
the hands of professional sailmakers in a nice stable sail loft.
morning we hove to after breakfast and used the hot knife to cut away all the
frayed bits around the tear and to seal the edges. That left us with a neat(ish) hole about
a foot long and an inch wide running across the panel. We put one strip of 50mm spinnaker tape
along the length of the hole on each side of the sail to hold everything in the
right position, two further strips each side butted up against each other on top
of that and a further strip each side down the middle, on top of that lot, to
cover the butt joint. So, 8 strips
in all. Carol then deployed the
sewing machine to zigzag sew around the whole patch and down the exposed edges
of the top strips. Come what may, a
permanent job will need to be done by a sailmaker but we hope that the repair
we’ve done will hold out until we find one of those. The repair took a couple of hours to do –
what with heaving to, digging stuff out of lockers, doing the job, re-stowing
and all that - and we then got underway again under mainsail and poled out
yankee feeling a bit too idle to faff about deploying Percy once more. There’s been enough wind for it not to
make that much difference and we’re still making better than 7 knots by and
large. But, it’s a bit more rolly
and we’ll probably have Percy out of his bag again first thing tomorrow
the first time we’ve seen how effective our spreader chafe guards are. They are, of course, only of consequence
when the mainsail is up, the wind is well abaft the beam and the mainsheet is
therefore well enough eased to bring the forward face of the mainsail into
contact with the spreaders. We’d
rather kicked ourselves for deploying from the UK
without a pack or so of the charcoal grey foam pipe insulation tubes that you
can buy for practically nothing at B&Q, or wherever, to prevent your pipes
from freezing in the attic.
Enquiring about such things in Las Palmas
and the Caribbean, having explained what we used them for in the
UK, had left us dealing with some
rather bemused hardware shop assistants.
Oddly enough, freezing water pipes in the attic were not things they
encountered much. However, we did
manage to get hold of plenty of those tubes that you see people using to flop
about in swimming pools. They are
about 1.5m long and 70mm diameter.
They might even be UV resistant and generally more resilient than pipe
insulation. And, we got them in a
fetching shade of blue that Mrs D was prepared to allow was a close enough match
to the colour of Swan coachroof trim lines. Having split them down the middle and
cut them to length we taped them onto the backs of the spreaders with gaffer
tape before we left Cartagena. That really didn’t work. The tape rapidly became unstuck and
Arnamentia just as rapidly resembled a ship in mourning – lots of raggedy bits
blowing in the wind. Next we tried
the biggest, thickest cable ties we could find and fitted them in the Galapagos Islands.
That seems to work just fine. Anyway, a couple of pictures will
be worth about 2,000 words.
We’ve just finished dinner and we thought it might be worth your seeing
the sort of 5 star service available aboard this fine vessel. Here we have today’s chef; Chris. He is dressed as is de rigueur whilst
performing such duties aboard. We
do try to maintain certain critical standards no matter how tough life
gets. He is serving up dinner in
the stainless steel dog bowls (for security reasons that’s how we describe them
although, of course, they are actually silver. That’s just between you and us,
obviously). Each has a non-slip
rubber band around the base and we use them for most meals on passage. These are nothing short of
brilliant. Heel all you must –
these babies are going nowhere you don’t want. Neither is your scoff. Even Woody – the Austin pooch but not a
celebrated sea dog – would feel at home.
And, they stack brilliantly in tight stowage. All in all, that’s a lot of stuff we
Here Woody – come and get it
Well, we’ve seen more dolphins since the last report and we’ve been
visited twice by a pair of albatrosses.
They must have been married – they seemed to be arguing a lot. So, signs of approaching land we
We now have around 600NM to run. The radio chat we had this evening with
a US yacht west of the Marquesas and around 250NM south of us indicated that
he’d sailed into an hole in the wind and had been motoring all day. Don’t want that really but it has long
looked a little light around there.