26 June

Elemiah's Atlantic Adventure
Ian Cole and Rosemary Bointon
Fri 4 Jul 2008 13:03
Today was a really good day. The wind and waves have moderated and we took the opportunity to put up our angel. This is our beautiful gennaker - you can see the design on one of the webpages. It took some sorting out, getting all the right ropes in the right places and we were distracted by a visit from a playful school of dolphins. There were about a dozen of them - clearly the whole family was out in force and they played beneath the boat for well over half an hour. They were smaller than the dolphins we saw, a soft brown underneath with long beak like snouts. We will have to check what kind they were. They have inspired me to think of a story, particularly for Grace and Angus about Dolly the Dolphin and I will send it separately.

The gennaker looks really fabulous and makes a lot of difference to the speed. The wind direction has changed and Elemiah was not keen on a dead run so we tacked down wind, sailing first to the south of our course and then to the north. This was really exciting: the first time that we had been on starboard tack since we left Canada, now some 800 miles away.

We spotted a couple of problems: the staysail had a tiny tear in it which Hannah cleverly repaired for us. The runners on the foot of the mizzen had started to come away from the sail. I had noticed this when it was very windy but that was not the time to do anything about it. So Curtis and I hung out of the back of the boat and tied the mizzen to the outhaul in a different way so that the load was taken completely along the foot of the sail and not up vertically except through the leach line. It took a lot of balancing, but was successful. We will need to get the runners re-stitched in Horta if possible.

We finished off a happy day with a meal of sweet sour chicken.

Rosemary and Ian