fear of the dark......
Kirsty and Lee's Excellent Adventure
Thu 13 Dec 2012 18:17
it seems no matter how nice the day,.. the nights we get pounded........so two days ago ok weather that night we had a monster squall. yesterday we had bad weather so last night it was downright miserable. In the dark you just dont see whats coming!!! We were forced on a detour north by SE winds, swell and winds too strong to reach against (30 kts) which has added 7 hours onto the journey. at about 4am all hell broke loose as a squall turned the wind direction on its head and we started south again but under rain like we have never seen The decks were under 1/2 inch of water at all times (fresh water!!!) and we were just getting ready to abandon ‘steady eddie;’ to steer on its own and go below when I noticed after a big wave hit us that the wind generator had broken free of its mountings. It was about to send 10 kg of propeller smashing down onto the deck which would have killed ‘steadie eddie’ and taken out the GPS Ariel. Me and Steve held onto it by hand while we used ropes string muscle will power swearing ...everything we could to stop it coming down while 12 foot swell threw the boat around. We ran under bare poles to get some motion to counteract the swell and managed to get several bits of string onto it to steady it and stop it swaying from side to side. We needed to stop it spinning in case it came down and hurt one of us.....we really needed Jimmy and his notorious fishing rod but didnt have it ..its amazing what you think of.... I picked up the heaving line (a light floating line used to rescue a man overboard) and threw it at the blades..,... job done in an instant 4 metres of line gently wrapped itself around the blades and they stopped. Kirsty was down below passing up tools and doing her best to keep on top of the gallons of rainwater pouring through the hatch while it was open. I ordered all down below for tea and a rest, sent Kirsty to bed who had been on shift for 4 hours already before the squall, me and steve sat and drank tea and waited for first light to go up get the boat moving and see what could be done. I turned on the donk and tried to get the hell out of the rain as the wind had ceased. I have never seen a sea like it.....12 ft waves, quite calm and glassy all overlapping in different directions it was a bit uncomfortable but in the distance I glimpsed blue sky and went for it....
we fixed the generator .... with screws jubilee clips, gaffer tape and a big thick cable tie!!! Eddie you wouldnt approve!!! We have spent all day today drying out clothes and cushions....in beautiful blue sky and a great force 4 beam reach wind ....what a difference its been.... its touch and go if we can stay ahead of the weather but we are going for it. If we can get through tonight then we reckon its light winds and lots of motoring to the finish......
we know its not the passage we wanted or were sold on!! the mythical trade winds that always blow force 4 from the east but it is the ocean...and in some strange sense having it difficult makes it more rewarding. That said before any parents or friends get worried.... we are quite safe..Jon Jon is not a comfortable boat in huge swell but we have only taken 4 big waves over the deck in 2000 miles of roughish weather. The ability to leave steady eddie the hydrovane to steer and go down below shut the hatches drink tea and eat cake while knowing you are perfectly safe is amazing and we love this little boat. ...that said I just had to stop writing this for 30 minutes as all instruments failed. Had to disconnect them all....found the culprit the charger for the laptop!!!! better conserve battery till I get it fixed. Adios