Day Seven - Repairs in Rocky Bay
Tue 21 Dec 2021 12:23
At anchor Rocky Bay
Wind: W, F4 (gusty) Sea: calm
Weather: mostly cloudy, cool
Day's Run: 66 nm
Yesterday afternoon I was about ready to give up. Too many things had gone wrong which indicated to me that my preparation for the months ahead was lacking. Added to this the problem with my hand and my level of fatigue, I thought the prudent thing to do was to abandon the voyage, at least for this season.
At 2030 I joined Mark and Wayne for our usual radio sked. Both were quite understanding of my situation and sympathetic to my plight. I felt better for the conversation and decided to see how I felt after a good night's sleep. To this end we pushed on under a scrap of jib making good six plus knots before the gale force winds. At 2230 we managed to get some shelter under the lee of Whale Head and were able to come further onto the wind and beam onto the sea without fear of being knocked down by a breaking wave. At 0037, with great relief, I dropped anchor in eight meters of water in the shelter of Rocky Bay, Tasmania.
After a good night's sleep, arising at 1000 I had breakfast and got to work assessing the damage and making repairs. The pushpit rail is now straightened and the reinforcing braces have been tightened. The solar panels have had their securing brackets replaced with some new brackets that I made up out of some 3 mm flat aluminium bar I had on board, though I think the actual cause of the failure was that one of the lashings that holds the solar panels at a horizontal attitude had come undone. This allowed the leeward panel to flip up and create a great deal of windage, the force of which was too much for the existing thinner aluminium brackets. My postmortem assessment is that the load the panel then placed on the pushpit was what caused the pushpit to bend. So I think a key lesson here is to check that the lashings are properly secured on a regular basis, especially prior to any heavy weather.
The other rail that was bent was the port cockpit rail which I believe happened when the mainsail gybed. I am guessing that the sheet must have caught on it as it went through. I have tried to straighten it out but am not able to budge it, which is actually good. I figure that it is therefore still more than strong enough and the slight bend is merely a cosmetic issue.
The other important consideration is of course my wounded hand. Here I am pleased to say that none of the stitches were torn yesterday and it still looks to be healing okay. Talking to Mark and Wayne on the radio sked this evening, the consensus is that I should allow it to heal as much as possible before setting sail again. I was thinking of getting underway again tomorrow afternoon but now, on reflection, will stay put until at least Thursday morning.
All is well.