Nyaminyami II Blog Sunday 01.12.13 - 1600hrs
By Chris Haworth.
1700hrs yesterday (Saturday) having sailed in 30/40knots all day (with torrential rain, like a series of ‘line squalls’) with a sea that had become quite big, and after making excellent progress (8/9 kts from 0000 onwards), the Genoa ripped from leech to luff about 1/3rd from top plus the Main leech ripped vertically on back ‘tape’ and at lowest reefing point. Main down – Genoa furled to about 40%. Crew a bit disappointed about that!!!! On reflection (20:20 hind sight a wonderful thing!) we were probably pushing too hard and as that strength of breeze had not been forecast we kept thinking it was going to moderate (no point getting any more sail down!) – should have either Taken down main earlier (it only has two reefing points) and sailed under reduced Genoa alone or gone for storm jib earlier! Typically 2 hours later the sky cleared just a few heavy showers remaining 20/25kts. Forgot to mention half way through the Drama the solar panels ripped off the roof of the spray hood – recovered successfully and now stowed!
Graham has blamed the whole scenario on global warming!
However all reflected that it wasn’t really a serious incident, in the context of it all, we are all still on board (!) nobody hurt - we are healthy and happy with a ‘good story to tell’ (and as my great friend john hickey would say the latter is what life is all about!).
Fra immediately set about a recovery plan. We have set the Genoa furled at 40% with the storm jib inside it on a ‘bob stay’ – old fashioned schooner style..but without the main! Cant point very well but, we have had 18/22 kts all night, veering slowly from the SW to the NW – making about 6 kts bt speed, which I reckon is pretty good. We would ‘normally’ have tacked by now but winds are very light to the S & SW of us so currently heading NNW positioning ourselves for next weather system, which should start to arrive in 24 hrs, winds then slowly veering to the NE = Kite up and head for St. Lucia – who needs a main sail anyway? Meantime Team are trying to dry main in situ and effect a repair – but sail is wet – can’t get it off boom easily and boat is still rolling a lot in a disturbed sea left by the strong winds.
Last night, having got settled we enjoyed fillet steak fresh veg and potatoes (with a little Dijon mustard), followed by fruit and coffee. Jane ‘threw up’ half way through (its rough!) ...which was a shame especially as she had cooked it all ... but on the bright side there was more for the rest of us! Poor old Jane has been suffering a bit with the sea sickness – but hopefully the next 24hrs will bring calmer conditions – I think she would like to head for the 5 Kts stuff!
Over dinner we discussed how we all came to want to sail the pond and Francis told me of his & Karens trips on Niaminiami and the wonderful times they shared together on the boat – I did not know Karen but there is clearly lots of her in the boat and I have a sneak feeling she is ‘with us’, along for the ride.
We commenced the watch system about 1030 with Graham at the helm until 0030 (Sunday) he and I discussed ‘bucket lists’ he is thinking a final London Marathon in 18 months as his swansong to Marathon running at the age of 70! He is also planning a bike from John O’Groats to Lands End with daughter Molly..... when she gets time!! (Molly, advice from an old coot (me), grab it while you can do it together!) - As a great friend once said to me (Whit) you never regret the things you do in life... only the things you don’t! – which I have found to be true, in my experience. I am thinking a bike ride from Vancouver to Mexico and would love to sail from the UK to Cape Town to see my godmother, followed by a nip through the southern ocean to Hobart, Tasmania (Jules how about half way round the world?).
I took over at 0030 ish until about 0530 relieved by Fra. A clear starry night and it was the night sky which drew ones attention and imagination to-night. The scale of it is incredible/unfathomable. I mused to myself that when the early European mariner explorers set off over this very ocean not knowing where they were going, how, or if, they were coming back – it would be a bit like us heading off into outer space...The Final Frontier...(or perhaps there is another one beyond?), I was also joined in the cockpit tonight by the living – Close Family and friends all got their oar in - how blessed am I to be loved by you and to be able to love you.. Thank you! Exotic though it may sound I don’t think I Fancy that final frontier ....I couldn’t, wouldn’t want to leave you all behind - unless you were coming or I was sure I could return! No regrets on that one whit!
As I write this blog it is a beautiful day 20kts sunshine sea and good company – life is good! – The boys are busy on deck trying to repair the main sail...They think I’m turning into a computer geek...better go and help!
Love to All from Me, Fra, Graham & Jane.