In the messy swell of last night the winds started to abate from that storm and started dropping off to 25 knots from the South then 20 knots and when it started showing 15 knots and I was still with 3 reefs in the main I got so frustrated at the low speeds and decided to do something about it.
As you may remember, I noticed that my no 2 reefing line was chafed through on the cover making it likely that it would snap if I used it. At the time that I was trying to use it the winds were still above 25 knots so the boat was trucking along still at 7 knots even with 3 reefs in the main. When my boat speed dropped to below 4 knots I needed to do something about it. At the time the winds were still too heavy to have the main up with only one reef.
So it was at 2am this morning I found myself on a cold dark deck lashing the no 2 reefing Kringle to the boom. The required that I trip the sail in so tight that it was close enough for me to reach the boom. In 20 knots of wind with the water rushing past, clipped on I was leaning out over the rails and stretched up to my awesome full height of 5 foot 2 only just reaching the boom. I got the lashing on and secured while the boat still had the third reef in to make things a bit easier. Once completed I shook out to reef 2 following normal procedure but instead of leaving the load on the clutch in the boom I transferred that load to my lashing at the back of the boom. At least that was my intention until I noticed something silly...
In my sleepy state I had lashed down reef 1's kringle instead of reef 2's kringle... Bugger. I was too tired to bother putting in reef 3 again just so that I could change the lashing only to shake it out again straight after. It takes quite a bit of energy to shake out the reefs as there is simply so much sail to winch up……. putting them in is far easier.
Instead I winched in the sail again so that it was in the middle of the boat and undid the lashing on the wrong kringle and slightly hanging out of the boat I lashed the right kringle. This was no easy task. In the messy sea way I needed to wedge my arm under the main sheet to keep my balance and make sure that the boat remained the only floating object for thousands of miles….. Success…. I transferred the pressure of the line over to my new lashing on the right reefing point and wondered to myself why I didn’t think of this earlier…… like in the daylight Following that and given that it was past 2am I crawled into bed.
The winds kept easing and by midday I was able to shake out to reef 1 and start making my replacement reefing line for the chafed reef 2. Job completed. I also got to work on the genset. I was unable to get it to work initially. By listening to how it started it sounded exactly like what happened last time with the wire breaking off the solenoid but when I crawled into the back of the boat to look the wires were intact. I then thought that I might have a sticky solenoid and gently tapped it with my knife. I went back into the main cabin to test it. No joy. It still wasn’t working.
As that was the extent of my mechanical skills I used my phone a friend card again and called Chris from SLRfor some support. Once he was on the line I fired up the genset again just so he could listen to the sounds and what do you know it worked... So, it looks like my solenoid was sticking and it just took more than one go to get it running again... I will remember that one for next time.
I have also had some trouble with my water maker. While I am in a fix it kind of mood I had a go at trying to get that up and running. After some poking around I noticed that one of the valves for the salt water intake was half off... This must have been just enough for it not to get the water through. Relief at another easy fix. I did have enough water to finish the trip with however it is nice to know that Idon’t need to be on water rations for the next 8 weeks...
And now it is nearing midnight my time and I have 5-7 knots of wind coming from the S to SE as it shifts around. I have the No 1 Jib out for the light weather but I still have that one reef in the main as the winds will hopefully fill in through the night. I am expecting the winds to veer to the west and fill in towards the early morning but for now the boat is making a grand speed of 4 knots. At least the swell is down so I am not rolling all over the place.
Well, it’s off to bed for me, as I expect that I will be up and down quite a bit throughout the night tonight.