Yesterday turned out worse than a bad day ! Yet, it had started well. At
noon, we were reporting a 160 miles day, and we were settling down for
lunch, happy to be sailing at more than 6 knots in light winds with the
Between two bites, I looked up through the main cabin hatch, and . . .
no gennaker to be seen. We rushed outside to find the halyard on deck
and the gennaker underneath the boat !
It took us two hours to recover the gennaker gently without damaging
anything, then try and rig up a halyard without going up the mast, which
I would not like to see any of us do because of the constant rolling.
What we do, we put a block at the end of the spare genoa halyard and
then pass another halyard into that block to be used with the gennaker.
This way, the halyard would not pull sideways out of the fixed block of
the genoa halyard, which would most certainly cut the halyard.
All that being done, we set up the gennaker again. Unfortunately, by
that time, the wind has gone away and left us with a light breeze that
can push us only at 4 knots or less. And as the night progresses, things
get worse and with the rolling caused by the indian ocean swell both
sails are flapping furiously and the sheets whipping on deck quite
strongly. Eventually, the gennaker sheet found its way across the
coaming of the cockpit on the starboard side and took with it two covers
of the vents going into the engine compartment. As long as we receive
the seas from the port side, no sweat. But if it were from the other
side, we could have a lot of water going into the engine compartment. We
wll have to figure out some kind of emergency repairs to enable us to
get to Mauritius as dry as we can.
Also, while Olivier and I were dancing frantically on the foredeck to
recover the gennaker, we must have stepped heavily on the forward hatch
and the lens has cracked from side to side. This could very quickly make
the forward cabin very wet. Another emergency repair to figure out.
Today, the wind is still missing on the roll call. And I am told that we
might have to wait until Tuesday to get some. We have more than 100
hours of motoring in fuel capacity, but I don't expect to find any fuel
in the Cocos. so we have to manage it carefully.
By the way, I almost forgot the good news. Today at noon, we were past
the mid point between Darwin and Cocos, and this in one week. We deserve
a pat in the back since we had been told that the trip would take 16
days. Well. we are not there yet !
But we can hope.