Friday 29th June - A Different Sort of Day

Jon & Carol Dutton
Sat 30 Jun 2012 05:09

6:49.07S 129:02.54W

Friday 29th June – A Different Sort of Day

The 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.

This 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 morning.

It’s 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 like.


                                                                        Here Woody – come and get it         

What else?  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 guess. 

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.  Here’s hoping.