Lilli Mae - On the way to Mo'Bay - Thursday 1st December
Thu 1 Dec 2022 20:07
Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well?
We had not planned a blog today but this afternoon we had major operation to fix the head sail sheets.
Since we have been at sea we have been doing rig checks. I would be dishonest to say they have been regular. However when done they have been thorough! This is to make sure that everything on the rig is tight, not broken and generally that all the running rigging (ropes) are in tact. On long journeys it is critical to regularly check the rig; because of our large sail area and the loads on the rig, any failures can be catastrophic. The whole crew walk around the deck looking at key points and we use the binoculars to look up to the top of the mast and at the rigging that is a long way from the deck. Any bits of broken metal, nuts, bolts, clips or pins on the deck need to be examined and understood
Over the last week we noticed some chaffing on the headsail sheets (ropes). We examined them quite a few times (with and without the binoculars) and convinced ourselves that the chafe was “not that bad”. Today as part adjusting the rig we had another discussion and decided we need to slow down to have a closer look.
This picture shows the sections of the sheet that we cut off and remade. You can see that we were pretty close to a failure.
It was quite an operation to get it fixed which involved us hoisting Mike up the forestay whist trying to keep the boat moving. We were able to keep the boat moving at about 4-5 knots for about and hour and a half whilst we retrieved the sheets, got the ends on to the deck and cut off and repaired the damage.
It was a great Lilli Mae team effort getting it done. And well done Mike!
Right now we are in position 15 deg 22’ North, 041 deg 56’ West which is 1100 nm from St Lucia. Now we have fixed the sheet and avoided this potential failure, we are speeding along with our twin headsail configuration at 7-8 knots in 10-12 knots of wind coming from the East-South-East. We are still trying to head south to avoid this no wind zone but we are not sure we will be able to.
We are now getting a few squalls appearing but we will tell you about these another time maybe tomorrow or Saturday. We are just preparing dinner and get set-up for our night watches. Beef Stefado for dinner tonight! A crew favourite.
All the best.
Crew aboard Lilli Mae