Lazarette Larks

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 7 Dec 2009 17:04

Noon Position: 31 05.8 S 048 42.3 W
Course: Southwest. Speed: 6 knots
Wind: Southeast F4 - moderate breeze
Weather: Overcast, warm
Day’s Run: 95 nm

Shortly after completing yesterday’s blog entry I had another look at the wind vane struts, they were still working loose, I decided I had to bite the bullet, while conditions weren’t perfect they were OK, so I opened up the lazarette, pulled most everything out and crawled into the very cramped space, vice-grips in hand (that third pair of hands so handy to the single hander), clamped them to the nut securing the strut, made like Houdini to crawl out (good thing I am a small build), tightened the bolt on the outside, crawled back into the lazarette, removed the vice-grips, crawled out and started to re-stow everything. I had all but one item to return to the lazarette with only a few dribbles of water sloshing in when just at that moment a large wave broke over the bow, swept down the side deck and poured into the hatch. Beaudy! I stared in disbelief for a few moments, shook my head, then emptied everything out again, crawled back in, sponged out the water and tried again. Second time I was lucky and managed to get everything back in and the hatch secured before another wave came along. I put an extra lashing on the broken strut and am now a lot more relaxed about the wind vane making it to Uruguay still attached to Sylph.

The wind has pretty much conformed to expectations (amazing!). At 22.00 it went calm such that I had to drop the slatting sails and drift for a few hours, while Sylph adopted a most uncomfortable motion, rolling and pitching in the small confused sea that remained. At 3 this morning I roused from my slumber, the motion had changed and I could hear some wind. I got up, looked at the multi-purpose national emblem/wind indicator on the backstay - south about 12 knots and freshening. I hoisted sail, starting with one reef to be comfortable. Since then we have shaken the reef out, the wind has backed into the southeast and we are close reaching in a flurry of spray at close to seven knots. Might be time to reef down again shortly. It’s weather fax time, maybe this will be of some help.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

It’s the quarter berth for me, the skipper has a towel hanging over a handrail which cuts down on the light and makes for quite a cozy little daytime nook. Its only disadvantage is it can be a little difficult to get in and out of, but I find if squawk loud and long enough a helping hand (not a pair of vice-grips thank you, and no undignified smirks please) soon arrives. I think I shall just . . . Zzzzzz.