And Slower

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 17 May 2016 01:43
Noon Position: 23 03.7 S 170 13.4 E
Course: South West Speed: 3 knots
Wind: East Sou’ East F2-3: light to gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: South East 1 meters
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 80 nm

We are ending up south of where I would prefer to be; because the wind has
been so light, I have endeavoured to keep the sails full and drawing by
staying on a beam reach. If I want to make more west and less southing we
would need to run squarer to the breeze, which in turn means the apparent
breeze falls, our speed drops, we roll a little more and, with very little
pressure in the sails, the sails begin to slat – wear and tear, enough to
bring tears to an old salt’s eyes, salty enough.

I had a minor problem with the lower mainsail batten yesterday afternoon;
its forward end had popped out of its holder. I undid the lashing and
refitted it but it popped out again almost immediately, with the first roll.
I looked at the sail more closely and from its wrinkles it appeared that the
batten was shorter than it should have been. I could see no obvious breaks
in the batten so I lowered the mainsail to its second reef point so I could
get to the batten, withdrew it and discovered the problem. I had repaired
the batten previously with a scarf joint (the carpenters will understand)
but the joint had come apart. I repaired it again with some epoxy glue
reinforced with two small screws and lots of gaffer tape. Hopefully the
repair will last longer than the previous one, which, by the way, lasted
pretty well all things considered.

We have had a quiet night. The wind has been light but steady, and while we
have ended up further south than I would have liked, at least the sails have
been kept full and quiet – long may they remains so, for the quieter they
are, the longer they will be.

All is well.