Plodding South

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 23 Oct 2009 14:27
Position: 08 35.6 N 025 22.0 W
Course: South by west 5 knots
Wind: East, gentle breeze
Weather: Partly cloudy, very warm, humid
Day's Run: 90 miles

So far so good. Yesterday evening we approached heavy clouds, lightning and rain squalls with calms in between. I thought it a good opportunity during one of the calms to change the newer heavy weight headsail for an older lighter jib. The new jib had been up for almost two years and was showing some signs of chafe on the leach where it passes over the spreaders. The problem is not so much from tacking as from light airs and calms when the boat rolls and the sail drags over the spreader ends (which are protected with anti-chafe gear I should add) on a near constant basis. As we should be approaching the doldrums about now and expect periods of calms interspersed with variable winds it seems a good idea to let the old jib take some wear and conserve the newer heavier jib for when it is needed further south. Last night we had a few hours of light winds so I dropped the mainsail and left the jib (old) up. At about 2 a.m. the breeze had freshened sufficiently to raise the mainsail which has been up since. This morning I have been busy with sail needles, palms and thread repairing the chafe to the heavy jib's leach. It sure is heavy weight fabric, once the repairs were complete it was a devil's own job getting it folded into some semblance of neatness and small enough to stow on deck for awhile. I shall have to throw a piece of canvas over it later to protect it from the sun.

For now we have a steady breeze from the east which has us beam reaching at close to six knots.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

hot . . . rest . . zzzzzzz.