Downwind Sail

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Sat 15 Nov 2008 04:19
36:24.29N 03:00.48W
Friday 14 November 08, Days Run 138NM
We had the unresolved problem with the Genoa to deal with you will recall. We first tried to hoist a strop up the headsail foil tol try and engage the furling ring and dislodge it. This was not an easy job as we had to pass the strop round the still stuck and flogging headsail. We were able to make contact with the furling ring but could not apply enough pressure to move it. Plan B was to hoist Richard up the mast in the bosun's chair. This was done in a busy shipping lane but relatively calm seas with a F3 E'ly breeze. Richard made an excellent job of hanging on to the forestay while trying to clear the problem. However he still could not dislodge the furling gear and we had to settle for unshackling the head of the sail which at least allowed this to be lowered. We cannot use the headsails until we have this fixed, hopefully in Gibralter. Once we had Richard safely back on deck we hoisted the No2 Gennaker which was supplied for this trip by local, sailmakers Owen Sails. This initially gave us around 5knots boatspeed in 8knots of true breeze. However this breeze dropped off around 21:00hrs and we had to motor for 3 hours until we had sufficient breeze to sail again. Thankfully we have around F3-4 from the East which is giving us a good sail at around 7knots although we have had a maximum speed of 9.5knots earlier.
So we have a lengthy jobs list as we head to Gibralter where our ETA will also be a little later due to our problems above. We should be tied up by late evening all going well, currently we have 116NM to run.
We are in amongst some heavy shipping as we approach the narrows at Gib, we had 20 ships on the AIS screen earlier which has a range of 32NM. We passed Almerimar marina earlier today although we were some 20NM off the coast of Spain. This is where Flyer was berthed for 3 weeks in Oct 2006 following her trip South from Oban so I have a strong feeling of dejavu!