Hello Hilo - Almost

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 22 Feb 2016 18:01
0700 Position: 19 48.4 N 154 54.0 W
Course: West sou' west Speed: 3.5 knots
Wind: North west, F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: North west 2 meter
Weather: overcast, , mild
Day's run (19 hrs): 70 nm

No sooner had I finished posting yesterday's blog when Sylph plunged into a couple of heavy seas. I immediately knew that this would put a much greater strain on the damaged headsail and went straight out on deck. Sure enough, not only had the seam opened up from luff to leech, the sail cloth had torn across several panels. As I hauled the sail down the old fabric tore even further in my hands and I knew that the sail had made its last stand. I cannot complain. It was an old sail that has been living on borrowed time and has gotten me through some difficult straights. It was too ragged to attempt to fold so I dragged it all in (half of it was dragging in the water by the time I had got it down) and bundled it up and tied it down on the foredeck. When we get into port I might salvage some material out of it for sail repair material, but otherwise I expect the rest of it will end up in a dumpster.
Once the foredeck was cleared of the old sail I dragged the #3 headsail and the staysail out from the bowels of the quarterberth. It is quite amazing the difference a headsail makes to the performance of a sailing boat. Without anything up in her fore triangle Sylph simply hobby horsed, making almost as much leeway as headway, but once the #3 was up she started making about three knots. The staysail helped a little, and brought her speed up another half knot. So since we have changed over to Sylph's cutter mode we have chugged along comfortably, though as anticipated probably a good knot and a half slower than if we had a full genoa drawing. Not to worry, three odd knots will do and if the wind holds we should make Hilo sometime in the early afternoon.


We are not quite into Hilo yet. I expect to be at anchor around ten this morning and then it is likely to take up much of the day clearing in and sorting quarantine out for RC. So I thought I would post this before we got in to let you know that, barring last minute unmentionable possibilities, we have made it to Hawaii. I will try to post report later today to confirm arrival, otherwise will post tomorrow.

All is well.