The Dolphins are back

Fri 1 Dec 2023 18:45
12:21.572N 57:42.812W

246 miles to and I am laying here on the bow in the shade of the spinnaker, now affectionately known as Big Blue, I can see the repairs are holding up well. 


Yesterday the Dolphins finally turned up and swam with us for a while, enjoying the pressure waves on the bows and just generally showing off. We have only had three dolphin encounters on this trip and all in the last few days, where have they been? We were expecting to see lots more like we did in 2017.  What a shot, captured by Dicky. 


There is a little WhatsApp group for the ARC+ which Dicky signed up for in Las Palmas and now gets daily updates from the other boats. It seems a lot of coloured sails have gone to the great sail graveyard! Some during the day but several during the night, which come under the category of “we were hit by a squall and didn’t  manage to get it down in time”! Our friends behind us got hit by several squalls last night with winds over 30 knots! Fortunately they didn’t have their parasailor up. We’ve been lucky with the squalls far and only seen 23knots, but still stand by our policy of not flying coloured sails at night. This picture is from our neighbour’s boat 


Our bent batten car has now developed into a broken batten car and is rubbing on the mast. To avoid damaging the mast we will have to sail with two or three reefs in the mainsail to keep the broken item in the sail bag not under load. 

The damaged one looks like this, 


It should look like this ! 


Sailing with two reefs in does slow us down but it does protect us from the squalls. 

This is a “jammer” or “clutch” when it’s open like this the rope can flow in or out of it. 


When it’s closed like this, the rope can only flow in (from right to left in this photo)


Clutches are used to keep the load on a line and allow that line to be removed from the winch so the winch can then be used on a different line.


In this picture above you can see the starboard set up, the winch on the left can be used for two lines, the main sheet and main halyard. The winch on the right has three jammers for reef 1, reef 2 and the man aloft line, it is also used for the spinnaker tack, which is loaded on it now.


There is only one winch on the port side which has four jammers, in this picture it loaded the spinnaker sheet.


All jammers are clearly labelled to hopefully prevent misunderstandings and accidents!


Who set the Atlantic on fire ?!