Location Report - Margaret Bay/Cape Grenville > today's challenge...and latest on crocs

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Mon 25 Jun 2012 10:41
11 57.578 S 143 12.496 E
Note: Please check order of blog posts; I seem to be having problems getting the posts to go through via sat phone...this may be a duplicate

VERY FAST, yet comfortable sail today all the way...did over 48 miles in 5.5 hours!...averaging 8.7 kts!

Had a technical problem just as we were going to turn into the anchorage: the outhaul line braided cover parted from the spectra core due to progressive wear over the years since it was installed as a replacement in 2007 when the original outhaul line had the same failure. That 2007 failure happened under strong winds of 30 kts + as we were heading south from Istanbul through the Dardenelles right by Galipoli. It was quite a "fire drill" that time....this time it was more "routine". I just turned Sea Mist towards open water with the wind behind us and went about the "fix" which is not easy but is quite doable. Until you effect the fix, you have to accept that you are continuing to sail with a fully deployed main sail....good thing open water laid ahead! I knew that I had about 12 nm before I would run into a problem with land being in my way....and I was able to slow the boat down to about 7 kts with just the main out....so time was on our side.

You have to strip all the braided cover off the spectra core so that it is possible to furl the mainsail back into the mast. Stripping the braided cover is relatively simple as you just progressively pull the cover down the length of the line until it has all come off the end of the core. The problem is how to hold the spectra core towards the boom from the failure point at the coach-roof mounted Lewmar rope clutch....with all that fource of a fully deployed main and 20 kts apparent wind against it.

I knew what had to be done to solve the problem but I needed to find a loose jam cleat in my stowed spare parts and insert it such that it would "bite" and retain the spectra core between the rope clutch and the fairlead block mounted on the coach roof. That done, I could then get the damaged line clear of the electric sheet winch and begin the stripping process.....as soon as the braided cover was completely removed from the rope clutch to the free end, we were then able to wrap the bare spectra core on the sheet winch....take the pressure off the jury rigged jam cleat arrangement....removed the jam cleat and then furled the main......and most importantly!!!! > then turned Sea Mist around 180 degrees to head back to the anchorage that we had passed....a distance of some 2.5 nm back.

So, after some lunch, it was time to replace the failed line; without an out-haul, you can not deploy your main sail from its furled in-mast cavity. I retrieved from our "spares" the temporary, no-stretch line that I had bought in a nearby port in Turkey back in 2007.....and, of course, had never disposed of it.... after I purchased a proper line further along the route of the EMYR (Eastern Meditteranean Yacht Rally) in which we were participating at the time of that first failure. The line does the job.... but it is a terrible line to handle as it kinks badly as it passes, under strain, around a winch....but we are very happy sailors to have the spare line on-board.....there certainly would be no where to find one until Darwin and we would likely have to have the required line shipped to Darwin as you would not find such a high-tech line available in Darwin's marine outlets...at least that is my expectation as to what would be in stock there. Job done....now just have to sou
rce a new "proper" high tech line when we get a chance so that this kinky temporary one can go back to being stowed for some future emergency.

Just before dark, I was doing a few jobs up on deck when I heard a strange cry from a sea-bird. I looked in the direction of the sound and there, staring at me, under the circling bird, was a great big crocodile. It must have been 15 to 18 feet long. It was off to the side of Sea Mist about one boat length (which would be 17 meters or 56 feet). It just floated there looking right eyeball to eyeball with me....I called to Cheryl to have her see and bring her camera up to capture the evil one...but by the time she arrived on-deck, the crocodoodle had decided to dive under....never to be seen again before dark settled in. After all, we are in crocodile country!!...but it is a bit disarming, nevertheless, when one sees one up-close-and-personal.

An early start tomorrow as we need to cover 71 nm to the next anchorage; wind strength and direction is forecast to be the same as today...so if that actually is the case, we should have another good sailing day....inside the reef so no big swells and the wind behind us slightly to starboard with a True Wind Speed of about 20 kts. We shall see...and report.....cheers, the Seamisters