Cape Town to St Helena Day 7 - Happy hour and we have a main sail again

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Thu 26 Jan 2017 02:54

Position                    23:15.93 S 002:46.96 E

Date                          2359 (UTC+2) Wednesday 25 January 2017

Distance run             in 24hrs 141nm over the ground, 134nm through the water

Passage total            1052nm over the ground, 996nm through the water

Distance to go          656nm

Planned distance      Cape Town to St Helena 1697nm


This was not the best of days in terms of distance covered, the average speed being under 6 knots.  However, for most of the day we did not have a mainsail, it was in the cockpit, and when the sail was repaired we lost an hour motoring gently into the wind whilst we hauled it back up and sorted it out.



The sail maker at work


We may not use the sewing machine very often but when we have required it, it has been invaluable.  Two of the main horizontal seams in the main had started to part, one by 30 cms and one by 50cms.  It is fortunate that we got the sail down before the damage went all the way across the sail and that the actual material was undamaged, just the stitching.  This made the repair much more straight forward.


Hoisting a main in 15 knots of wind and a 2.5 metre swell is fun.  Making just 1 to 2 knots directly into the wind and swell helps but there is still a great deal of flapping of sails and hanging on by crew required as the boat pitches and rolls.  As we have a roller furling main the sail must be completely raised and the pulled out along the boom before you can roll it away. This whole procedure puts a new meaning on the term “Happy Hour”.