Well I do apologies for not writing a blog yesterday. It was another very long day at sea where I found myself putting my sewing skills to the test. I am not a sewing kind of person so for me to have spent the hours necessary to stitch up my sails for the jury rig was a very tedious and trying process however after several hours I had succeeded in having a jib with a luff length that would fit my new mast.
Instead of cutting down my sails I decided to fold over the top section of the jib and sew in a new halyard attachment point. It was the sewing of the webbing that I used to make the halyard attachment point that was the slow part. I decided on 2 separate sections of webbing sewing in just in case the winds built and the first one pulled out. This way I wasn’t at risk of the sail coming down and the halyard staying at the top of the mast. The very last thing I would like to be doing is having to climb my jury-rigged mast to retrieve a halyard... So, taking the extra care would hopefully save me some pain in the future.
This part of the process went okay but I then decided to add a fiberglass batten to the top of the sail. I effectively now had a square topped jib so I was trying to give it some support by adding the batten however it was quite the effort to manoeuvre the sail and batten inside my tiny cabin to get it to sit right. There was a trough passing through outside so it was cold and wet conditions and I really wasn’t in the mood for sitting in the rain for hours so inside the cabin was the only other option. After some amazing manoeuvring on my part I finally got the batten and sail in a position where I could sew in the batten for the top of the sail. This took a little bit more time but eventually I had a working sail... It looked a bit funny and the batten didn’t really help much but at a pinch it would work and get me out of trouble.
I hoisted the jib in the morning and then set to work on my storm trysail. This proved easier as I didn’t need to sew in a webbing to attach the halyard to. There were eyes in the sail so I was able to use one of those, In the end I only really needed to fold the that sail down to size and add the batten to help it hold its shape. When I hoisted this sail around lunch time the boat took off... Only joking.... I was still ambling along and I figured that I would be going very slow if it was with these sails along and the lighter weather... But Climate Action Now is officially a sail boat again so that is something to be proud of.
Although it was only an hour later when I walked on deck and found the trysail sitting in a pile at the bottom of the mast... Bummer. Turns out that my knot tying skills need a little polishing as the bow line that I tied in the spectra line (a notoriously slippery line) decided to untie its self. This presented me with a sail on the deck and the halyard up the top of the mast. Exactly what I did not want. Not good. Luckily for me I was using the reef 2 line as the Main halyard and when the mast snapped, not only was I able to save the reef 2 line, but also the reef 3 line so after adjusting my foot strop to fit the new halyard height it was a simple matter of re-hoisting the sail again, this time it stayed up. (Mum - If you are like me, you probably have not got a clue what she is talking about, but somehow she got it done!)
Also today I topped my day tank up with the last of my good fuel (the fuel from my trip) Tomorrow, I will need to use the fuel that was kindly given to me by M/V Far Eastern Mercury. The only problem is that the fuel is a different colour. We are not 100% sure that it is actually going to work in my engine... Only time will tell. After a strategy meeting with my engineer Chris we decided to use all the good fuel first, getting as close to Cape Town as possible. We then use the other cargo ship fuel, so if the engine conks out because the filters are clogging up then there is going to be little that can be done about it. I will be needing to sail the rest of the way, slowly.
Currently I am just under 300nm away so if the fuel works I should be making land fall sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Yippy……. Oh, all the things I can have when I get there. Hot showers, hot chips, hot anything after all that cold... A double bed... more hot showers... clean hair... real conversation. I can only say that I am a touch excited and would like to thank everyone for all your amazing support and all the local contacts for my arrival.
Most of you will remember 'we' (my family and I) have put everything we have into getting Climate Action Now to the start line in Albany and in-fact we are still just paying off the final invoices from the last re-fit. So, it was a bit scary thinking about arriving in Cape Town with absolutely no money and a really long list of repairs and maintenance jobs in order to get Climate Action Now sailing again.
I would like to take the to opportunity to thank the people who have been making donations at my website. I just want to make sure you understand that it is hugely appreciated. I am not sure where I would be without them. These donations, along with many other amazing offers of support for when I arrive, are going a long way in helping me move forward past that bump (of Everest proportions) in the road.
Hopefully (should the boat be ok) I can get back out on the water and finish my (slightly altered) record attempt. I continue to be inspired by how amazing the human race can be.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
Note from Mum - If you see the tracker stop, or go really slow, this will most likely mean the fuel is a problem and the engine has stopped, so don't be alarmed.