Finally, another Update

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Sun 20 Oct 2013 12:58
12:27.61S 025:03.02W
1213z 20/10
A few days have passed, been trapped somewhere between sailing, sleeping and working, so sitting at the laptop hasn't been an attractive, nor particularly high, priority.
First day (2 days ago?) was perfect ocean sailing day. Clear skies, smooth seas and quite consistent 12-18kn ESE wind so with both jibs and still 1 reef in the main we charged along for 12 hours at 8.5kn avg. It's been strong and stormy since then. Haven't seen the genoa for a couple of days now so plodding along with staysail and reefed main in winds varying from 12-25kn and from ENE to SSE, with gusts to 30kn. Although the ground swell still not big, the seas are confused with significant wind chop on top of the swell coming from multiple directions.
Have just had to change course to S as we have a small tear on the leach of the main at the head of the 2nd reef point. So down to 3 reefs now to hide the tear inside the furl until conditions become suitable to go up and repair it. And bore off a bit so the smaller sails can work better and less pounding into the swells.
So I always thought that in-mast furling had only one advantage - you save money on a boom bag. But quickly and easily hiding a torn leach has proved useful in this situation. Although if we had the m,ain lowered on a halyard the leach would be at deck level and easily repairable in the lazy jack bag. I do hope we get some calmer seas and wind soon as we need the extra main, repairing it aloft (it's between the top and middle spreader) sounds like it'll be a bit of a bruisathon.
Just had a lone shark cruising along about 10m off our quarter. Always an eerie feeling. I noticed all who rushed on deck to have a look didn't have their tethers on - a good time to stay attached to the boat I would have thought!