Friday, 20th March, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Fri 20 Mar 2015 22:55
Noon Position: 8.58S 124.01W

Daily run: 86 miles

The wind began to fail us in the second half of the night. The slatting back and forth of the mainsail and the genoa was painful to the soul. Engine power was called for, but with a fishing net round it, motoring was not an option till the propeller was cleared. As soon as it was daylight, we prepared for a dive under the boat. The genoa was taken in, the helm put to leeward and the Hydrovane disabled. Luna Quest had come to a stop in the 8 knots of wind. Julia insisted that I wore a harness and roped me to the boat. I donned my snorkelling gear and entered the water down the swim ladder from the back platform. The swell and waves were not conducive to my investigation and served me dollops of water down my snorkel. I was amazed to see the little ship completely overgrown with an upside down garden, but could see nothing on the propeller other than luscious growth and sea life. I was satisfied that the propeller’s reluctance to spin smoothly was due to the exuberant sea life on the anti foul. I always thought anti fould was meant to deter sea life…

Back on board, we put the engine on and gently motored forward on 1400 revs giving us just 4 knots with lots of rumbling noises from the propeller. We considered our sailing options in the 6 knots of wind. The 11am roll call indicated light winds everywhere and even from the Northeast and North instead of from the traditional southeast trade winds area. We decided on the parasailor and without stopping the engine, we had it up by lunch time with one tack attached to the forestay (with a special device that fits round the rolled up genoa) and the other brought back to the cockpit. What a fantastic sight to see it unfold and giving Luna Quest a lift up. After lunch we changed the set of the sail by bringing both poles out and leading the sheets through the pole ends. That made a huge difference. The sail no longer flayed from left to right as the swell rocked the boat, but stood steady and ready to help change direction of the boat by merely being tweaked from side to side.