Life of Pi, sans tiger.

Wed 27 Mar 2013 12:34
Wednesday 27th March 2013
Position 27:28S 12:39E
Calm sea, alive with a huge shoal of jellyfish, the sky blue, and bathed in warmish sunshine; Liszt's Hungarian fantasy on the ipod. So easy to forget that there is b----- a-- wind, and so we are going nowhere! No wind forecast until Friday, so 'get used to it'!
Mixed fortunes yesterday, the wind continued to drop after the gale on Sunday night, and so I was able to tack out to sea, away from the costal shipping lanes. Decided to tackle the mast ascent before breakfast, but retired at the first crosstrees: the violent rocking would surely throw me out and over the side. Conditions had improved by the afternoon, and with the sails sheeted in hard I was able to lie across the wind, making the boat more stable. And I got to the top. Lovely ocean views (yes, big and blue!), but I was hanging on for dear life and assessing the damage. Managed to tape the VHF antenna back into position, and the See Me antenna is wobbly in its bracket, but should survive for a while. the masthead lamp has been shattered, but the base seems undamaged, and so a new one should bolt in in due course. I have soldered LED bulbs into the 'downstairs' navigation lights, so I am legal again, and not exhausting my batteries.
The bad news is that the port upper cross tree has been damaged: bent downwards so that it no longer has the necessary angulation between the cap shroud and the mast. What a good job I resolved to get to the top on the second attempt. I have effected what I hope will be a satisfactory temporary fix by joining a strong spectra rope between the masthead and the cap shroud direcly beneath the cross tree. Tightening the rope pulls the crosstree upwards into a better position. You may imagine that this was not an easy task: amazing what you can achieve when needs must. Without this fix the mast would have crumpled when the sails were hoisted and working hard on port tack. Lucky indeed that Sunday's gale was from dead astern.
Absolutely knackered after that, so it was wonderful to have a clear ocean around me last night.
French friends have invaded St Helena, water temp there is up to 25 degrees, so something to look forward to. Don't know if it is possible to courier stuff out to St Helena (anyone help?). My friend in Plymouth will have a crosstree, but the anchorage in St Helena may be too rolly to fit it!