FROM 1-30. To abeam Cape Leeuwin

Nov 27, 2005 - 2355hrs UTC

2355hrs 27 Nov 2005 UTC 46’31”S 104’06”E Ref 594

A little story of error and silliness: A couple of days ago, I noticed an area of chafe on one of the spinnaker topping lifts which are 6mm spectra. The pole was up, so couldn’t fix immediately but filed in sludgepot at back of mind to do asap – quite an important, life preserving fix – not comfortable to have  a pole drop on your head, and keeping it out of the water on the drop is a squeezy one too. We took the poles off this morning, sorted the alternator belt, burred my finger nastily in the alternator fan and Pete went to bed. Engine running, watermaker on, so bottles to monitor. Thought bubble appears in comic strip that deputises for my mind “Thinks:… fix topping lift!” so – retrieve a piece of spare 6mm spectra from bin, looks long enough, cut one end square with sharp knife, cut end of topping lift square ditto. The technique is then to sew the ends together with sailmakers twine and use the old topping lift to pull the new one through the jammer on the coachroof, the turning blocks on deck, into the mast slot, up the inside of the mast, out through the sheave near the top spreader (a bit delicate and needs a bit of care to ensure no snags) and back to the deck where the new end can be tied to the snap shackle and bob’s yer nunc. Keep old one for similar jobs. All the time monitoring water bottles, battery levels…distractions everywhere.

So… get sailmaking kit and try to thread small needle with twine. Hard enough when you don’t need glasses and the world is not gyrating…Usually what happens is that the twine fibres spread and wont go thro the eye or one of the three twisted elements gets stuck on the wrong side of the eye and bunches up – you name it, it all happened, but eventually got the thing threaded and sewed happily away – sent the line up the mast – too short – bugger. Leave it there and start all over again with much longer piece, same problem with the needle but this time a bit more cunning – smeared the end of the twine with vaseline and it worked – sort of. Sewed away happily, undid the jammer to send line up the mast – funny – nothing happening. Silly old fart sewed new line onto end of a reefing line – same colour, definitely not the topper. Once again, bob’s not yer nunc. Very cold fingers by this time – cut it all off again, found the right line, re-threaded the needle and sewed away happily and this time got it right. Planning is Everything – execution exposes the duffers to the ridicule of their peers.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Gale warning cancelled – bummer – we’ve slowed down a bit, still trying to stay south in the wind, full main and cutdown, broad reaching in heavy residual swell and about 15 kts. Now masses of kelp and other sea weed. We saw a seal basking with one square flipper up front and round one at the back. He heard us coming and rolled over and dived. Also some dolphin and the birds are back. Wonder where they go

This is my dud watch – because of the need to pull in faxes, talk to Mal and try and contact sailmail, I don’t get to bed from 0600 to 0900, and work the two watches either side – 9 hours straight – gets a bit weary making sometimes, but we do get our daily Con in the middle – now past 105E so GMT+7, so Con at 1000 gmt.

Much later and 5 more sail changes – very cold again, tomorrow looks interesting with big trough from low in central Oz just ahead – SW winds, perhaps?

Comments are closed.