For the second night in a row, sleep was rudely
interrupted by a spinnaker issue. This time, we got a wrap in the chute which
billowed out into a perfect sphere, tied around the genoa. In a hurried foredeck
conference, the options were quickly discussed: snuff the spinnaker for good and
change to the main and poled out gib; untangle the spinnaker, then rehoist
Although we'd been making up some badly needed
miles during the nightly blow, it was felt that a tired crew would not be able
to cling on to the tiller for a three hour watch and steer us up and down waves
with the kite billowing out before us. With a lot of tugging and barely muffled
nautical curses, we managed to snuff the beast, but not lower it on the halyard.
Until, with a mighty tug, William succeeded in liberating both the spinnaker
halyard and the block which supports it on the top of the mast.
We realised later that we'd over hoisted the
spinnaker, jammed the all important block at the masthead and broken a shackle.
Thus it was with a certain heroism that Graham volunteered over breakfast to
'have a look and see what's going on up there'. After half an hour of
preparation, he emerged from the cabin with boots, trousers and a shirt stuffed
with cushions, a towel wrapped around his head and the bosun's chair strapped to
his midriff. In a look that was part postmistress, part Maharajah of Spinakah,
Graham had padded up and was ready for action.
In the event, he nimbly went aloft, clinging to the
mast like a koala bear for support (photos were taken). It took a few minutes to
reshackle the block in place and check that all was well for future spinnaker
use, before he redescended, yawing from side to side in the swell, like a
metronome on a pianotop. Even from the top of the mast there is no sign of oter
boats; nor much sign of wind, which continues to elude us, in spite of the
weather files' promises of reasonable tradewinds.
We've slipped into a pattern of gently frying in
the cockpit during the day, bobbing to and fro like a great white, delinquent
top. The homemade 'bimini' goes up like a slightly wonky swan unfolding its
wings at around 10am to keep the worst of the sun off. Then, as supper time
dawns and the drinks appear on deck for 'happy hour', a modest breeze gets up.
This turns into a good 12-15 knot blow by the early hours, before slackening off
towards dawn. There seems little rhyme or reason to it. If these are the trade
winds, no wonder the global economy is in trouble.
In other news, Will prepared a glorious cocktail
for drinks last night - loosely based on a caipirinha. Despite mutters of
'sacrilege' from Graham, a good splash of his 25-year old rum mixed with lime
juice, pineapple juice and sugar makes a pretty refreshing drink.
The fruit appears to be lasting well, with
tomatoes, apples, courgettes, onions and cabbages still thoroughly intact. We
have another helping of wahoo to cook tonight, but otherwise there's not much to
do except snooze and read; waiting for the wind.
I'd better download the weather forecast now,
although it's increasingly seeming like a practical joke by weather forecasters,
rather than useful meteorology. It is, in technical terms,