20:24.402N 87:01.322W Isla Cozumel
Was I unimpressed with my life yesterday? Oh yes. I was thinking of turning right and going 2000 miles to Trinidad. In the morning Stan and Lynn came over and we looked at the genoa, which I had got down at 0530 that morning when the wind was down to 15/16 knots. The sail was badly ripped, next to where I had repaired thus confirming the UV damage was much worse than I had hoped. The sail had been in the bag and ready for the sail maker last Easter, but he had gone back to Italy and by the time he returned I wanted to leave and I didn’t want to be told that it was beyond repair and in need of a new sail. There is so much to repair I think I need a new sail, I can use the canvas from this one to make covers for my diesel cans.
I had got the spare sail out, which I hoped was going to fit, but it was 18” too long for the furler track. Cutting off the bottom was not an option, which only left cutting off at the top and re-sewing the head on lower down. Great deliberation went into where to cut, I could live with a bit short <that is what bits of rope are for>, but I could not do the work and find it was even a little bit long.
We cut off the top 18” and I undid the edging and then cut the top of the sail diagonally to reduce the bulk at the top. I was then left to sew it all back together. The sail was very thick, at least 4 layers of canvas, so I made the holes a couple at a time with a hammer and awl on a piece of wood and used pliers to pull the needle through. I sewed the edging back on to the new diagonal shape, and sewed the new top of the leech line in, this was good, but it had taken two hours. I moved on to the head of the sail which had to be attached with enough strength to take the strain of pulling the sail up the track. At 5 I asked Stan to come over with a couple of spare needles, I had broken most of my needles and one point, but mostly I was very tired. There was not far to go and so Stan made the holes, using the palm, which I had not thought of. It is too big for me and not adjustable, it will have to be made adjustable.
It was after 6 and dark, but a full moon, by the time it was ready to try.
The sail went up and furled quite easily, amazing. We had to use a twisted shackle at the foot, luckily I had one; actually I had two, but one needs attention with a vice. We unfurled, checked the halyard tension and re-furled. Thank you. I tried the handset on the indoor radio and it worked again, strange, but again, thank you. Lynn had sent over some food and I was able to tidy up, just about every locker in the boat was open for something, before I went to bed.
Happy birthday, sister, Helena. I tried the sail in daylight and it looked ok at the top. I have the old sail in a bag, not as small as it should be, so it won’t fit back in the transom, but I am happy to share the bathroom with it for now. Everything is tidy, but I am tired and my hands hurt a lot.
We were moving today if the wind went to at least ENE, 80 degrees plus, otherwise it is not worth leaving to try to get NE. This gave me the morning to recover, but the afternoon wind direction was still not favourable, so we wait for tomorrow – which will be 2 weeks since checking out of Belize and still not checked into Mexico.
0700 left the anchorage and set off on what I was prepared for an overnight trip. It was nearly 50 miles to a possible anchorage on Isla Cozumel. I was nervous about the replacement genoa, but it worked well, although I left the last part furled. I am having to change the settings on the windvane to account for the new canopy and arch, but they are worth it. It was a lovely sail and I managed to get up to over 7 knots, but that was with up to 2 knots of current assisting me. I was anchored by 1730, fed and showered and very happy to be sitting still. This is the quietest anchorage we have been in and if the wind direction holds we are protected by the island.