Astra Log Day 5 - Sail Repair

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Fri 30 Nov 2007 16:51

Friday 30.11.07


The good news is that we are going like a train. Good winds all night, we made 169 miles
which is about 30 better than the previous 24 hours, so we are very happy about
that.  Five days in, we think we have finally learnt to navigate effectively downwind.  Too fast for sensible fishing, the reel keeps clicking, but no, it’s just another wave we’re surfing down.


The bad news is, according to our weather forecast, we are heading for becalmed conditions in about three days, so need to work out what to do about it.


Weather is fantastic - we are soaking up the rays. Just those wispy little tradewind clouds. Our latitude is now 21 degrees north which is slightly south of the latitude of Muscat. We are seeing flying fish (which always seem to be going the other way – do they know something we don’t?).


Now, I’m sorry to report that mutiny has broken out on board. This is over a running repair on the genoa, which is rubbing a bit against the pulpit rail at the bow. First, the crew’s case, by Nicky:


JP delegated the job of genoa repair to the crew, he provided us with 3M 5200 fast cure glue and glue gun, and a rather ridiculous sail patch. JP then disappeared. The repair team and film crew took their positions on the foredeck to conduct the procedure with frankly unsuitable materials for the conditions.  We were rolling around, the genoa occasionally flogging when larger waves came by, white sticky stuff went everywhere. The glue needed several hours on a stationary sail to come anywhere near drying. Ash and I were positioned either side of the sail, with equal amounts of glue stuck to us when suddenly a large wave caused the sail to back wind knocking Ash flying backwards across the deck, narrowly missing the film crew. After a few minutes the sail patch flew gaily off into the distance. With more glue on the pulpit than on the sail, we decided there was no option but to administer duck tape and withdraw. JP was called to the scene to be reprimanded for requesting us to conduct  (remainder censored – Ed.).

Now, skipper Jeremy defends himself:

Well it seemed like a good idea... the genoa is gently chafing itself on the pulpit, so we need to add a sacrificial patch. “Easy” or POP for those that know what that means. So having provided the crew with training materials (great book by Dan Neri on Sail Repair) copious choice of sailcloth, tools and glue… and like all good skippers, not wanting to interfere or be too bossy - because I am always told off about that!! - I retired to make the salad for lunch (orange and fennel, appreciated by all, delicious..) anyway shortly afterwards, I was summoned to the foredeck for a sever b-ll-ck-ng. Apparently this very simple task is beyond the limited capabilities of...(remainder censored – Ed.).


(see photo gallery for several pictures of the event, )


So there you have it. Will the rebels be keelhauled or must the skipper walk the plank? Answers on a postcard please to:

Yacht Astra,

21º44.6N, 28º41.5W,

Atlantic Ocean,

The World, etc


Beats Friday morning in the office.

Till anon.


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