Half Way

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Sat 18 May 2013 00:39
12:51.68N 097:24.36E
18/5 0700LT
22kn SW, seas lumpy
SOG 9.5kn
Well the Lampi Island passage detour never quite eventuated. Only about 5 miles out and on course, much storm activity to windward started appearing on the RADAR so decided to head upwind to leave as much sea room as possible if we needed to run off. Good choice as it turned out! A few unthreatening squalls passed over us and then a very dark menacing one started to build. This travelled from 8 nm away to on top of us within minutes. When 4-5nm out we started furling the genny in preparation - half way finished, the 30kn squall bombed us, the resulting flog as we wrapped up the rest of the genny tore away a few metres of the leach thread (that had been sun-damaged from her time laid up in Singapore) and gave the appearance that the sail had been shredded.
A wild 2 hour ride with reefed main and fill mizzen at 12+ knots downhill in gale force winds and blinding torrential rain was fun for the two of us sailors on board, however Aimee pefrormed beyond her pay-grade (actually she's free) and managed to pass us coffees and toasties. Rog was nowhere to be seen and was possibly in the fetal position on his bunk. He says he slept through it, but unless he bedded down on the floor beforehand I do doubt it.
The storms passed by mid morning and we hoisted the No1 staysail for an hour or two of decent, although slower without genny, sailing. After my daily minute or two of sleep, Luke woke me due to no wind and need to start engines. So underwya with just one engine on fast idle and favourable current it was a perfect opportunity to inspect damage to the jib. Dumped on the foredeck we see no tears in the dacron or sunbrella, just a few metres of stitching had gone, so in a mad rush as evening storms were started to brew around us we got the sewing machine setup on the foredeck and within and hour the jib was fixed (but perhaps not prettily) and hoisted and furled! Just in time for evening snacks and G&T's.
The lack of wind persisted through the night so gentle motoring only. Just on dawn this morning storms started up again, but well porepared this time I took advantage of the 25kn with half a jib out and the mizzen to truck downhill at 10+kn.
The on-again-off-again winds have been a bit frustrating, from record breaking speeds to slow motorised crawling.
200nm remain to the river mouth, should arrive late Sunday.
Will start fishing in ernest today as we are travelling near the shelf and have had good success here in th epast with tuna.