Wednesday, 16th September, 2015
W. Eric Faber
Wed 16 Sep 2015 06:59
Daily run: 148 logged miles
The good news today is that Julia has recovered. Everything seems to be functioning normally again. In the early afternoon the wind returned to sailable conditions and the parasailor stood firmly in the SE 10 knot wind. As forecast the wind began to increase slowly and build to more than 14 knots. Yachts ahead warned us of unlit fishing buoys and boats; plotting their coordinates meant that we had to have more south in our course. The parasailor was already at its limit for broad reaching and the extra south in our course would mean that it provided no benefit over conventional sails and also would make the boat quite unmaneuvrable. We decided therefore to take it down for the night and deploy our conventional mainsail and genoa. We had considerable difficulty in taking it down as the wind battled to keep the sail filled while I used all my strength to pull the sock down over it. I nearly gave in to nature’s forces, but then reflected that there was no alternative. I took every opportunity in the slightest lull to pull the sock down further and inch by inch we won the battle. At last we had the sail tamed and dumped through the fore hatch. The wind soon rose to 18 knots and there would have been no way to get the sail down then. I thanked my lucky stars that we had persisted in taking it down. All night and today we have run with the wind on the port quarter with the genoa poled out to port.
As we are at the back of the fleet, we have decided not to stop at Christmas Island (48-hour stopover), but to head straight for Cocos Keeling. We might have had to stop at Christmas Island if we were in need of fuel and water, but we have plenty of both to see us through to Cocos Keeling, where we can have a longer break to explore the atoll.