Limping along

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Tue 4 Mar 2014 17:18
I feel depressed having to think about the events of the last 24 hours. All
was going well, we were making good progress and Sussanne had just appeared
for her watch at 9 last night when there was a bang, and we looked up to see
a gaping hole in the head sail. It had almost split in two. We managed to
get it furled away and then sat in the cockpit stunned. Our main source of
power had gone. An option was to pull out the storm jib, tiny in comparison,
but it would be better than nothing. Out it came, bright orange, perfect to
be seen in a force 10 storm, but a bit flamboyant in 12 knots of wind . We
went about setting it up in the dark on the rolling deck and we began to
limp along at 3 knots through the night. What we needed was a storm to get
us moving.
I came back on watch at 6 in the morning and Sussanne joined me at 7 and we
talked about our options. Our cruising chute, the huge red white and blue
sail we use for light downwind sailing was still in the bag, but the winds
weren't ideal. Not really coming from behind us and at 14 knots, at the top
end of when we would use it. But we needed to make progress so out it came
and trimmed tight we were again zooming along. By 10 we were all in the
cockpit drinking a cup of tea when there was a terrific boom and the whole
cruising chute exploded into shreds. Oliver's first thought he told me later
was 'My God, were going to be stranded'. We dropped down the halyard and
stuffed the remains into its bag. We still have 1200 miles to go and only
have fuel for the engine for about 600 miles. We have no options left. It's
going to be slow.