Monday, February 1, 2016

Five Days Out, Maybe Six...

Depending on how much wind we have coming tomorrow and Wednesday we should be in St. Lucia Saturday night or Sunday morning the sixth or seventh. This east to east southeast trade just keeps blowing 15-25 knots day after day. And with it, day after day after day comes this mixed easterly and and northerly swell which has us rolling about half way viscously day after day after day. The roll got old after a couple days. After a couple weeks its starting to get almost funny, almost. But we're making reasonable time considering we're not doing anything to really go fast. We've got the 150% genoa poled out to starboard and that's all it takes to be well powered up. More would get us a little faster and a lot more trouble and we are, after all, "airline pilots". A well known acronym for "lazy".

In general things have gone very well. Dan has kept us well fed. The man actually seems to like cooking on the boat. Whatta guy! Booth does most of the clean up. Norton and I provide moral support.

The boat is keeping the ocean on the outside like a good boat should but we have broken a few things. The fridge seemed to be running more and more continuously, a bad sign, and then pretty much stopped cooling despite the non-stop operation. Almost certainly we developed a coolant leak. We shut it down a couple days ago and have been eating everything that might have needed refrigeration.

A few nights ago in brisk conditions and lots of roll we were with running the main up and got an inadvertent slam jibe despite the preventer we always have rigged. On the almost immediate slam jibe back the broken preventer caught the solar panels mounted on the dodger and ripped them off along with mashing up the dodger rails and canvas pretty well. This looked worse than it proved to be and in these events I'm always just happy that no one got hurt. The boom smashing around in the night could easily kill somebody and I believe the crew now has the proper "respect" for what can happen.

A Hydrovane tube sleeve slipped out of place. Probably because I didn't re-mount it properly three years ago in Marmais so we've been using the autopilot to steer. This rough sea should begin to calm down today and get reasonably flat tomorrow and the plan is get the solar panels and the Hydrovane back in action when we can work in better conditions. The dodger canvas will be repaired in St. Lucia. We've broken several hundred dollars worth of snatch blocks used on preventers and those will be replaced as well.

Booth has been trailing a hand line and has caught two nice Mahi Mahi so far. Great eating fresh Mahi! We had a small Humpback whale trailing us like a dolphin for an hour or so yesterday. We had very large pods of dolphins a few days ago. We've had Storm Petrels, a Booby, some Fairy Terns and some other nondescript Petrels around occasionally. All good company.

So wish us luck for the rest of the passage. I'll mix in some photos when we get to some fast internet.

Love to all,
Bill, Bill, Booth and Dan

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