Day 12 - The Boom of Canon Fire

Mon 28 Nov 2022 19:20
14:18.5N 056:51.5W
Average speed 6.75Kts    Trip: 1,905Inm      Wind: ENE 4/5       Dist to go: 268nm
Dinner was excellent.  Hector  surpassed himself again, but only to let Skips down later.  But I get ahead of myself.
It was 7:20pm, Iain was on watch and steering the boat; we had all just retired to our bunks when there was a loud boom like canon fire and a yell from the helm.  Within a minute we had all put on life jackets and were on deck.  Iain was pointing to where the Yankee should be!
The Yankee sheet had snapped. It was flying out in front of the boat and the broken sheet was in the water. It was a good job that we had rigged an aft leading preventer on the pole just for this type of incident so that the spinnaker pole was held in position by the forward leading pole downhaul and the aft leading pole preventer thus stopping the pole swinging out of control and hitting the forestay when the sheet parted. We quickly recovered the sheet and attempted to furl the Yankee but it wouldn't move.  Skips went on the foredeck and discovered that the lazy sheet had wrapped itself around the forestay and was jammed solid.  The Yankee was still flogging in front of the boat so he attached the loose sheet to a cleat and instructed us to cut the stopper knot off the port sheet.  At the merest touch from the knife the rope parted with another whip crack and skips was able to un-tangle the port sheet from the forestay.  He then led the port sheet down the starboard side and we were able to get the sail under control and furl it away.
Next job was to dip the pole and reattach the remaining Yankee sheet to the pole on the starboard side.  All went well and soon we had unfurled the Yankee and were back on our way.  A great team effort but not what we were expecting after a pleasant Sunday dinner.  with three sails set, whisker and spinnaker pole rigged and preventers on all the sails the fore deck and cockpit are a Cat's Craddle of sheets, lines and guys!
The excitement must have been too much for He Sleeps a Lot, Rip Van Winkle, Hector.  He missed getting up for not one but two watches during the night.  Skips had to resort the sounding the alarm and throwing things from his position at the wheel to the rest of us sleeping in the bow.
Morning came, the broken sheet had to be fixed.  Hector, asleep again was woken by Skips and informed that he needed to climb about 15 feet up the forestay and reattach the broken sheet.  He was told not to worry as we would all be watching him to make sure he didn't fall.  While Hector was mentally preparing for this task assigned to him for missing two watches; Skips donned a light jacket, jumped in the bosons' chair and while Iain winched on the spinnaker halyard, Stuart skinned up the forestay and attached the broken sheet.
The rest of the day has been pretty boring after all that.  Paul and Hector have been taking sun-sights with a Sextant but are still none the wiser about where we are or where we are going.  We also tried to re-calibrate and re-activate the Auto helm again but George has definitely given up.
Dinner tonight is Meatballs again. yeah!
As to where we are heading, we still don't know.  Either Port St. Charles, Barbados before dark on Tuesday night or Bequia Wednesday lunchtime.