Underway towards St Lucia - and surprise surprise! 13:37N 061:11W

Sue & Alan
Fri 7 Feb 2014 17:05
A memorable evening ashore in Wallilbalou where we participated in some local nosh whilst a lively local bunch of guys entertained the eaters with Caribbean-style music. Needless to say the rum punches went down a treat!!! Nevertheless we were back on board and in bed soon after 10 o'clock. We know how to entertain ourselves big style! This morning, despite the handicap of bad-heads, Sue & I were up just after sunrise (just after six) to relieve a strangled palm tree of the bowline in our shore-line (the long-line having one end attached to our stern cleat and t'other to a palm tree) RIB secured to davits and mooring buoy given new lease for freedom. Then initially underway on donk for an expected 'longer than usual' daysail towards St Lucia. Being on the lee-side of St Vincent for first dozen miles we were right to expect variable winds from time to time so we prepared for this. At times we lost the wind all together needing a little donk to make progress. As we began to clear St Vi
ncent we were given a real dose of things to come. Now sailing close-hauled on jibsl & 2-reefed mainsl the wind increased above 35kn, we're now doing over 9kn close-hauled, then we go over 10kn. This is now a bit much so me announces "I'm bearing us away" and as I eased the mainsheet and brought the yacht to a broad reach she steadied and became safely manageable once again. This being my preference to seeing the yacht trying rounding-up to wind and with me straining at the excessive weather-helm and in a situation like this I don't wish to explain 'why' if questioned. As the wind settles to about 25kn I'm able to resume our intended course and bring-in the mainsheet again. We're now sailing under control and making a comfortable 8kn having quite an energetic sail, for the next half hour or so then, suddenly, it's surprise, surprise time again!
The head of our jibsl has a tape-ring, which fastens to a snap-shackle on our head-swivel, which has a snap-shackle which fastens to our jibsl halyard. When we attach the tape-ring to the head-swivel we pull the sail up on the halyard. All of a sudden, without nitice being served, I can see two flapping tapes attached to our head-swivel and our jibsl flapping in the wind like a giant wet sock as it starts making it's way down towards the deck. Of course, it can't go all the way and it can do a lot of damage! Pointing into wind to reduce the risk of damage, donk on, mainsheet tight, lifejackets on please. Sue takes the wheel whilst Ray & I bring jibsl sail down completely and secure it to the deck, making use of spare bits of string which I keep handy as you do and fasten the sail, like a crumpled giant sausage skin, along it's length to one of our jack-stays. We're now on the donk + 2 reefed mainsl whilst we complete this daysail. We should be able to find a sailmaker/repairer when w
e get to St Lucia. Unfortunately it looks like the working-end of our jibsl halyard, now loose, has come off it's mast-track, which means an extra trip up the mast for me to run the halyard down the mast again. Fortunately, our jibsl doesn't appear to have damaged itself and the initial failure seems to be limited to the two tapes parting company with the head of the sail. I am thinking this is probably the result of the stitching being UV damaged because that stitching is not protected by UV strip. If the sailmaker/repairer can re-stitch our UV strips on our jibsl & genoa I'll get the whole lot done in one go. Maybe this means us being in St Lucia little longer than first planned? We'll see.
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 07/02/2014 16:52 UT our position was 13°42'N 061°09'W