Monday, July 09, 2007

Saturday 7th July

At Sea

6 38.542 S
129 16.565 W (at Midnight)

It wasn’t until the very last watch that Gerry was finally able to identify the glow, which had turned into a light and then several lights; it was a tuna fishing boat, all the way out here! It came within 3 miles of us and then turned away again. At 05.30hrs the wind began to die on us and was now down to 5 knots, we were wallowing about and even unfurling the jib and taking the reef out of the main didn’t help much – it just meant that we flapped a great expanse of sail around. Sun rise, which is getting later due to the fact that we haven’t altered our clocks yet, was very similar to yesterday – a blood red sky to the East. I’m not particularly superstitious but I wondered if the wind was going to be our “problem of the day” or if I would be hauled out of bed again at night for a minor problem. The 07.00hrs radio schedule showed that all of us had experienced a similar night and we were all now in very light winds even though we are over 200 miles away from the nearest boat, Y Not. Our day was quite mundane, we made water (the water maker was no problem as we were just ghosting along in flat calm water), read our books and played “guess that tune”, at one point I jokingly suggested that it was time to play “I spy”, Gerry retorted with the fact that we have already “I spied” just about everything that there is around us – the boredom is definitely setting in! Just as I was preparing lunch Gerry yelled that there was a stationary boat on the horizon; it took us a while but eventually we got to within 3 miles of it – yet another fishing boat – 2 in one day must mean we are getting close to civilization. The day had progressed slowly and around 14.00hrs Gerry decided to try the spinnaker to see if that would move us along any faster. It went up after a bit of a struggle and a few bad words, but failed to improve our overall speed. We played with it for a while and finally got fed up with it collapsing and we had just decided to put it away and go back to the flapping main and jib when the red sky warning thing eventuated. To cut a long story short the spinnaker halyard broke and instantly the spinnaker was in the water. We had no other sails up so we were floundering around going nowhere. We rapidly hauled the wet sail on board accompanied by much cursing and swearing, started the motor, turned into wind and hoisted the main sail. Back on course we then tried to stuff the wet spinnaker into its bag – not so easy but we made it. Once it was packed away we returned to the cockpit to recover, have a drink and think ourselves lucky – we were safe; no injuries, the sail didn’t get wrapped around the rudder or prop and it happened in daylight with both of us on deck. Dale and Lorie we know you will appreciate the tale having been there yourselves. Hopefully this was to be our last misfortune for the day. We had dinner and began our night watches with the jib poled out to one side and the main out the other, goose winging it, this way we were moving through the water at about 5.5 knots which at least is forward progress.



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