Yankee Up and Drawing

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 22 May 2016 02:31
Noon Position: 27 07.5 S 163 50.3 E
Course: West Sou’ West Speed: 5 knots
Wind: Sou’ Sou’ East, F4: moderate breeze
Sea: moderate Swell: South West 2 meters
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s run: 81 nm

Overnight we plugged along into the building seas under the reefed mainsail and the diminutive staysail. It wasn’t really enough sail for the wind conditions but we averaged close to four knots in roughly the right direction, so I was content. This morning we had a lull in the breeze so I wasted no time in getting the derelict genoa down and the hardy yankee up in its place. Sylph is now under her ‘cutter’ rig and doing very nicely, making good six knots in the gusts and five in the lulls. Much better!

Meanwhile, Sylph has experienced quite a bad leak in the fore-hatch which the seas constantly crashing over the bows has made very evident. I put a bucket under the worst drip, a tarp over the bedding and towels to catch the remainder of the drips, but this morning I was disappointed to find that my effort to minimise the amount of salt water that made its way through to the foam mattress beneath has been largely to no avail. Pondering the defunct genoa on the foredeck, contemplating how I was going to fold and stow it, it occurred to me to drape the bulk of it over the forehatch and perhaps that way prevent the ingress of water into the forepeak. At least it might serve some final useful function before I deliver it back to North Sails for a post-mortem. I really have had a bad run with genoas over the last several years. This is my third headsail in eight years, whereas the headsail before that lasted me close to ten years.

Comparing our track with that from 2011, I find that we are pretty close to where we were on midday the 15th of June. Since meeting up with our track from the 10th of June, we have fallen behind the pace we set then by about a day and a half, but I am hoping that we might pick it up a bit over the next few days. This time round we have a bit of a handicap in not having a genoa, but we still have our windvane rudder – touch wood.

All is well.