The Marquasas AKA The Agony & The Ecstasy 08:56:61S 140:09:79W Another missing Blog!

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Sat 5 Apr 2008 21:42

Yet again it seems Mailasail have let us down!! Here is the blog sent last Thursday!




We are currently in Daniels Bay on Nuku Hiva. This is a stunning and dramatic bay and is close to the site of the worlds third largest water fall.


The scenery here is very dramatic and it is truly Pacific Island life.


However, shortly after I sent the last Blog up date we had something of a catastrophe. We were passing by the south west corner of Ua Huka, about 3nm offshore, goose winging along with 12 to 15knots of easterly breeze when…………


The wind sprang up to 35knots and veered through 45 degrees with absolutely no warning. The main sail promptly gybed, but was held in check by the stout prevent we press into service when ever we are down wind sailing. This is connected from the aft end of the boom to a strong fitting fixing point on the toe cap, approximately half way between the midships cleat and the bow.  


Needless to say we were doing every thing we could to extract ourselves from this predicament when Murphy and all his mates came along to help. A large rogue wave crashed into the windward side beam and promptly threw the boat broadside onto the 35 knot breeze. The forces were so strong at this point that a stainless steel rod, about 4mm in diameter in a Lewmar block on the prevented failed. The boom just took off and crashed to the leeward side. Taking out everything in its path. First to go was the Bimini. The main sheet was slack when the preventer failed and so managed to wrap itself around one of the uprights. As you can see from the picture below, the bimini did not enjoy the experience. It is wrecked. Quite remarkably, I was at the wheel at the time and was untouched. So the Gods were definitely looking after me that morning.  




As we had been using the staysail to steady us whilst goose winging, the port side running back stay was in place. This took the full force of the boom. The deck fitting was destroyed and the spectra line cut through. As far as we can tell the mast fitting is still intact.


The good news was that this stopped the boom from crashing into the lower shrouds and taking down the mast. The Vang fitting to the boom tore out and the stainless steel fish plate sheered. The boom is deformed and the goose neck and associated fittings severely damaged.  The main sail is also damaged, but we think not too badly. Oh and the hydraulic to the motor in the aft of the boom are leaking.


The up shot of all of this is that the boom and all associated fitting will need to be replaced. 


The insurance company (Admiral Marine) have been very supportive, have appointed a marine surveyor in the UK, and with the help of Blue Water Rallies found an expert rigger in Tahiti. He is flying to Nuku Hiva in the morning to conduct a full rig check to ensure that the rig is safe for us to sail (with foresails only) the 800 or so NM to Papeete.


The big worry now is how long it will take Leisure Furl to fabricate a new boom and ship it from New Zealand to Tahiti. We are due there on the 21st April and we are REALLY hoping they can get out to us there by then.


Meanwhile it is business as usual!!


Up with the French….courtesy flag. We are now in French Polynesia. Quite bizarre to see these macho Polynesian men with fully tattooed bodies……….speaking French.




The scenery here is stupendous.



On our first full day here we joined several other Ralliers and went for a 4 X 4 ride around the island to visit Tiki sites and play tourist for the day.  Thoroughly enjoyable and I will post the full story and pictures of this and some of the other fun we have been having in the next blog entry.


As for the passage. Well it was 3,107nm. We did it at an average of 169nm per day and an average speed of 6.9 knots. The best days run was 191nm. We hit over 10 knots quite a few times and we are now getting quite good at getting the best out of what is a very heavily laden boat. So, though I say so myself, it was pretty bloody impressive performance by Zipadedoda and her crew! Shame about the crash gybe!!!