Pole dancing

08:18.171S 123:47.143W
Wednesday 15th May 2013
Distance run so far:   1886
Distance run Day 14:  152
Total distance run:     2038 nmiles
Another milestone (not sure they have those at sea!) passed yesterday evening as we logged 2000 nmiles and have less than 1000 left to go.
The horrid weather conditions of the last few days seem to be passing, and we are left with rather larger seas than we would like, but they should also gradually subside.  The wind has also not been doing its thing properly - South East Trades generally blow from the South East, not the North East.  Holding the desired course has been tricky. Yesterday we decided we needed to run dead downwind under the twin headsails and because of the roll, we would need both the poles up to hold the sails out.  One was already up, so we donned harnesses, clipped on and ventured onto the foredeck to put up the other.  That was fun.  These aluminium poles are 4 metres long and 100mm in diameter.They are fixed on one end to the mast, the other end has to be hoisted by a rope.  Before it is hoisted, two more ropes have to be attached to its end to hold it down fore and aft.  Then the sheet (the rope that controls the sail) has to be passed through its jaws.  And all this on a wet deck that is bouncing around every which way and with both hands gainfully employed and not available for holding on.  So a nifty bit of footwork is needed to keep upright, and more importantly on the deck, hence the new deifinition of pole dancing.
So, some fancy footwork later we had got it up, and got back to the cockpit to find that the wind had picked up and so we didn't need them as we ran downwind under main only for a while.  Never mind, we said, we'll need them later when the wind drops a bit.
Ha!  By that time the wind had changed yet again, and now we needed to sail on a broad reach on a starboard tack (main and headsail out to port).  So, off we went onto the foredeck once more and did a bit more pole dancing taking down the port pole.  Back to the cockpit - guess what?  Yep, the wind had changed again and now we needed to be on a port tack (main and headsail out to starboard).  I will not type what was said as we once again took our partners for the third pole dance of the day as we took down the starboard pole.
Phew!  Who needs gym visits and keep fit classes?  Eventually we had the sails out where we needed them and were sailing along nicely on a port tack, which, by the way, was what we had been doing before all the dancing and wind changing began....
Port pole in-situ - plus laundry on the guardrail!