Las Palmas Arrival - Day 7

Donald Macdonald
Fri 6 Nov 2020 16:24
We arrived Las Palmas at 11.30 after a night without much sleep.
Since the previous update not everything went to plan with the weather. The wind backed as predicted but the strength was incorrect with 6 knots from aft quarter and remanents of the swell so only able to move along at 2-3 knots. As you have guessed engine went on for 5 hours. Eventually the wind did come although with more south than needed. 8pm we were going along well in a F4 , sometimes increasing considerably with squalls coming through so a rapid reef or 2 in the out again. At 1am all the same resting in cockpit whilst Harold working at his best. The wind started to increase and back, excellent. Put a reef in then enjoying a Rich Tea biscuits with coffee heard an unusual bang from stern. Looked around nothing could be seen wrong, back to the biscuits and thinking of a 2nd reef another bang. Problem identified the 'U' holding the block for check stay had given way. Getting windier and seas getting exciting we needed the check stay operating. Could now see shipping that was not a problem could be. Priorities, priorities, only me as John on his beauty sleep. Check stay brought forward fitting for spinnaker blocks but would not be able to use rope clutch so main winch used.
Night continued to get windier so time for 3rd reef now operator error had riding turn on main halyard so unable to release. Cross winch solved that, now it was blowing 30 knots horizontal (warm) rain and John was coming on watch. Saw I was a little busy went back down into cabin as no way past me. All sorted, now Harold could not cope with the seas too well so took control. For rest of night hand steered with any sleeps. At day break wind got even more ferocious and we were just 25 miles from destination. Opted to drop main and sail on jib alone at 35 AWA worked really well as was better handling and speed with mainsail. 
Leg took 6 days 2.5 hours. 901.5 nm over the ground with 968.6 through the water.
Poole to Las Palmas total 11 days 12 hours. Over ground distance 1802.9 nm
Dinner tonight in the pub