Las Palmas towards St Lucia - into week 3

Wed 7 Dec 2005 13:05
Tamarisk Web Diary Wed 7th December
At last - we've less than a thousand miles to go. We got down to triple figures in the early hours of this morning.
Less happily, we're having to slow down after a bolt broke in part of the rigging. It's the bolt that holds down the starboard aft lower shroud. There are two bolts. One is holding fast. We've wired the shroud onto the nearby midships cleat and backed it all up with the spare jib halyard. It all looks pretty robust but we're still going to reduce sail area to avoid unnecessary stress. It was gusting 25 last night and showed no sign of further problems.
It happened just after we'd put in a reef for the night and were settling down for supper. The bolt that's sheared looks as if it might have been partly gone before.
A similar problem happened to our friends on Windharp when they did this trip a few years ago. There are plenty more wires holding the mast up.   
We also caught a fishing net round the tow generator that took some clearing. Later, we found the tow generator had lost one of its blades. If that was a fish, it must have been a big one. We've fitted the spare. 
We had a half-way party a couple of days ago. Penny made pancakes. We're now getting visits from Tropic Birds with fabulous long spikey tails. It's still very hot. Some of the biggest boats have finished. The winds aren't giving us much more than five knots but we still hope to get in around Wednesday 14th. There are still a few boats behind us. 
Anna and Eddie being very patient. Same can't quite be said for the rest of the crew.