ARC Day 10 - The odd trial and tribulation

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Wed 1 Dec 2010 10:07

Position           14:05.90N 30:42.90W

Date                2359 UTC Tuesday 30 November 2010


Is this a ridge or a trough; I am not sure but I know that whatever it is it does not contain wind.  Motor south for the trades was the forlorn cry, remembering that our diesel is finite.  The possibility of some wind during the night encouraged the unfurling and furling of the Genoa in the dark.  Somewhere in the process of this an arm stopping the top of the furler gear rotating unscrewed and crashed to the deck from the top of the mast. Fortunately this was found later.  Shortly after this a second crash announced that the second arm had parted company, this went overboard, and  was followed by a realisation that the top of the genoa was no longer attached to the halyard, it having parted.  All of this of course took place in the early hours of the morning.  We motored on with the genoa furled and useless and awaited daylight.


The first stage of recovery was to unfurl and drop the genoa to the deck and involved the Skipper, Mate and a great deal of heavy sail on the foredeck; we are both developing good upper body muscles.  Unfortunately at this stage I did not realise the function of the arms that we had lost and we had not got any spares anyway.  This resulted in a second halyard parting at the top of the mast.  Fortunately I then found one of the arms on the deck. Having now only one halyard left that could be used to hoist a foresail we secured the genoa to the deck and requested advice from Amel –the wonders of a satphone.  They explained that the furler would not work without the arms in place as it would otherwise cut through the halyards; we had already adequately demonstrated that! They suggested securing the genoa to the top of the mast by sending someone up with it.  This was not really practical so I set about working out how to utilise the existing arm as a pattern to manufacture a second arm from materials on board.  Providentially we had some stainless steel bar of the correct diameter leftover from fitting security grills and with the aid of an angle grinder I was able to fabricate something that I hope will get us to St Lucia.  The photograph shows the cockpit with workbench and skipper in action with the angle grinder:



Meanwhile in between winding up genoas, the Mate is not tall enough to reach the genoa track so has to do the winching, securing sails and acting as a very good No2 on the toolkit Elizabeth found time to do some more baking; here she is demonstrating her wares.  Banana cake, thank you Elspeth for the Bananarama recipe, and the wedge shaped fruit cake from yesterday.



Catering notes – Salmon and avocado salad for lunch, the last of our very ripe avocados, and boeuf bourgionne for dinner.