Sunday Supplement

Sun 21 Nov 2021 13:20
20:59N 24:08W heading 225 at 5-6knots in flat calm grey seas, grey sky, but warm. Northern Englandish, perhaps like Morecambe Bay, after/if the climate has gone crazy. Provided they don't have bright ideas to fix everything first, which they probably will, just like the Great Manure Crisis of 1894 which fretted that London streets would be several feet deep in horse manure by the middle of the following century. Just after the middle of the following century all was fine and world leaders were saying Hey let's go to the Moon! Anyway.

James is monitoring the weather and says it's very good that I have swapped crew for diesel; each crew is worth perhaps two days motoring by his calculations. He forecasts no useful transat wind (so nothing for crew to do, really) for almost a week yet, although maybe I can catch some NNE wind on Tuesday and get below 15N and head west sooner once below 15N.

At the moment, 15N 30W is almost 500 miles south west from here. That's four days at this rubbishy 5knot miserly-motoring speed, which makes Thursday morning. So, with a bit of wind assistance, late Weds or early Thursday is doable.

For others in LP, James sez that after next weekend the westerly trades fill in nicely and from next Monday 29th they can all leave LP and pretty much sail direct to the carib. Mind you, it's warmer down here in the tropics than in slightly-cold LP, so I have no regrets that I set off (too) early.

Meanwhile ... I've slightly busted the lovely new topping lift (rope that holds up the boom) that Wes in Lanzarote spliced and fitted for me, darnit. The topping lift goes from the back end of the boom all the way to the top of the mast and over a pulley and back down the mast. It's frayed part way up and the braided sheathing has come apart. That's my fault not slackening the topping lift once the sail is up, dang. This must be the third time I've wrecked it now, or fourth.

Fortunately I have a whole reel of new rope (also courtesy of Wes) as standby/replacement. I'll have to sew the new rope to the end of the old at the mast end, then pull the old rope through with the new from the boom end so the knackered rope doesn't try go throught the masthead pulley wheel, which it won't. Then once all the new rope is through, climb up to the boom and replace the knot, new one for old, or at least undo, redo and tighten the shackle at the boom end.

I was part way through the first bit of this task when I consider that this boom climbing 3m above the deck and/or well over a metre off the end of the hardtop is a touch iffy whilst solo. Hm. And it has kinda absolutely GOT to work - having no topping lift means no more sailing, or at least no downwind sailing as I won't be able to brace the mast from behind. Hm. So on second thoughts... I'll leave the old rope up until I get to an anchorage and then do it. Bit less flaky, really. The old one still has the main strength of the rope core so it'll be fine as is. Just not long term. Safety first on Mojo.

I had a third risk assessment a bit later - I'd do the job even with just one other person to watch and hold stuff. So it can wait, really. Yeah. Washing the fenders is gonna be a safer job.

Then a bit later I had a fourth discussion about this, because the net result of the above is not actually doing anything at all, just saying Oh it'll be fine. Pah! I wouldn't be happy as crew if a skipper took that option, not really. Just leaving it up there obviously lightly busted like that isn't very good at all.

So okay, How about I drag down the middle of the line (but leaving the ends still in place) using the extra 10m line length Wes has left there (probably deliberately, knowing this would happen again...) and Have A Look? So I did that...and it's not too bad! I dragged/shuffled the braided parts towards the braid break in the middle (it had worn itself at the third reef pulley point) and bodged them with electrtical insulation tape wound round and round. The rope core is fine, and that's where the strength is, mainly.

I consulted a book of knots, and a sheepshank comes close to what I need but i think you need the able to use both ends to effect the knot. Not sure. Not many of those knots are much use when the ends inaccessible. So whatever I kinda isolated the problem part of the rope with a massive figure of eight knot on a bight, bit bodgy but actually all fine.

Once pulled back up the whole knot appears as a possibly-intentional baggywrinkle, maybe, and at least it might remind me to loosen the topping lift in future. AND it simulataneously saves the nicer rope supplied by Wes and at least 300bucks in new line. Hurrah!

Ok I'll go wash the fenders now.