Sunshine and Calm Seas!

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Fri 12 Jun 2009 14:50
37:08.212N 10:22.500E

Friday 29 May, Days Run 157NM

Saturday 30 May, Days Run 134NM

Friday morning found Flyer still under engine with less than 5 knots of N'ly breeze. The calm seas were a contrast to the big seas of the previous 24hours and allowed some recovery time for both crew and boat! The fridge had packed in which was none too handy considering the amount of food stored there and the daytime temperature being around 29 Deg C. This was traced to the power supply connection which had  been immersed in bilge water. The connections were replaced and the unit was soon back in service.

The forward cabin dry powder extinguisher had discharged having had a sailbag fall on top of it creating a fair old mess which was cleaned up.

The cockpit displays for the log, echosounder and wind direction had also packed up which I suspected was due to loss of a common power supply. The main log was still working which along with the GPS made navigatiuon easy. I was never too comfortable approaching landfall after this as there was no reassurance that we had the charted depth under the keel. Losing the wind input also meant we could not set the autohelm to nav wind when we were sailing which also meant a much closer watch had to be kept on the sails and the course.

Checking round the deck fittings I found that the port lower shroud had 1 wire strand broken, this to add to the starboard lower which had already been reported in the same condition on arrival at Gibraltar. This of course meant we would have to nurse the rig through any strong blows that came our way.

In the afternoon we manged to recover the genoa furling swivel which was lodged up the headsail foil. This involved sending a strop with an uphaul and downhaul up the foil and eventually after several attempts securing a loop round the swivel by tightening a timber hitch from deck. I was really impressed that this worked as the last time  I was in this position I had to hoist Richard aloft..

We hoisted the genoa to test the repair in the light breeze and it held firm.

We did briefly hoist the No 1 gennaker in the evening but then had to resort to engine power once more. Just as well we were carrying an additional 120litres of diesel!

Saturday morning gave us a F3-4 El'y breeze so we began sailing once again close hauled with full sail set. We did put a couple of furls in the genoa just to protect the repaired section.

We had been keeping at least 20NM offshore to keep clear of fishing boats and floats but now found we were heading to clear Cape Blanc in Tunisia. We passed within a few hundred yards of the coastline in the afternoon and saw a rowing boat and some locals ashore. The wind continued to rise to F5 and we soon had a reef in the main and some more rolls in the genoa.

We still had over 200NM to reach our stopover destination of Malta which was a very long beat to windward!

Our onboard meals had been high quality with Zoe and Mick producing the goods every day. now with Flyer on her ear and bouncing around it was Skip's turn go below to rustle up some quick tuna and pasta to keep the crew's strength up.