23 June

Elemiah's Atlantic Adventure
Ian Cole and Rosemary Bointon
Fri 4 Jul 2008 12:55
We motored until getting on for 10.00am. The weather was lovely, warm and sunny. The wind gradually rose and so we decided to take in a reef - this eases the pressure on the steering which can get very heavy. We put in the first reef. Then we thought we should put in a second reef. As we did so, the pin on the shackle keeping the topping lift attached to the end of the boom decided to throw itself into the ocean. The weight of the pulley at the other end meant that the end went soaring up into the sky until the pinless shackle and the rope with it had ascended to the top of the mast.

Curtis was an absolute hero and went up the mast in the bosun's chair to retrieve it. Roger and Ian pulled him up and he brought the topping lift down again. The topping lift itself could be managed without but we were worried about the end of the line with its shackle swinging about, damaging the wind vane for example. (A topping lift keeps up the end of the boom when the sails are down so that the boom does not clatter around on the decks.)

Ian made some phone calls to John at Covey and we managed to solve the problem of the squeaking bowsprit. As the jib filled with wind, it was pulling the bowsprit to one side and it was rubbing against the caprail - which is so beautifully varnished that we could not allow anything to mar its shine. It was all a question of tightening something - which Roger and Curtis duly did and the squeaking stopped. Not before Hannah as helmsman had got both of them drenched by arranging for a couple of waves to wash over them.

Roger and Ian also tried to adjust the steering to stop it being so heavy. This involved scrabbling about in the bilges under the cockpit. They saw where the relevant nut was but Roger was unsure about which way it should be adjusted, so after all the excavating under the drogue, everything was put back in its place. He did discover and fix a little leak in the drain pipe for the cockpit and so he fixed that whilst he was down there.

We saw a school of dolphins charging around in circles leaping out of the water but they did not come to see us. They seemed to be busy rounding up fish for their dinner.

Curtis did a lovely dinner of fajitas. We all got too much sun, especially Hannah.

Rosemary and Ian