Happiness after crap.
Finally, things come to place to offer me a little time to give you news. In aviation, we often repeat pilots how to prioritize tasks in the cockpit: aviate, navigate, communicate. First, it ensures that fly, then it arranges to go in the right direction and finally, when the flight parameters are correct, come communications. It is a bit what happened for us in the last days. Here is a return back.
It is a beautiful day for sailing which begins. Although we at the close, the wind is reasonable and we can start some work. The first is to extend a rope that I bought in St-Martin and is therefore approximately 10 feet too short for the reel. (I had yet requested 75’…) There are two solutions to tackle the problem: a rabouttage with “electrical tape” or properly link the two ropes through a splice. Serge, who took a course takes the second approach and I settle for learning. When opening the ropes, we discover that there are 8 strands. Usually, one learns to make splices with 3 Strand, the level of complexity is much bigger with eight. It starts even in the work. I try to find my tools to splice but I can’t find them after searching in the boat. No matter, it will be at hand. After several hours where we could appreciate all the patience and the quality of Serge worries, we now have a rope with a perfect length.
The wind Meanwhile continues to increase. It is now blowing at 25 knots, and night falls. During the quarter of Serge, a gigantic 16 miles in diameter grain arrives at our position. It is threatening with flashes… Our worst-case scenario for this trip is to be trashing all the electronics on Board (including the autopilot) by a Flash. Luckily, there’s a kind of ‘tunnel’ that allows us to sneak us in the Middle without being in the danger zone. Serge therefore sneaks us inside and my goal is to out when I notes of his shift. 4 hours I entangled. I go quickly or slowly, this grain of the curse remains above the boat flushing copiously and blowing of the winds of 30-35 knots (in the nose, course!). Wanting to flee as quickly as possible (8 knots), I break a listening to the Genoese. (Raguage on the shrouds)… Serge and Carl fall me and it decides to take the cape (maneuver to stop the boat with sails removed) and wait the grain, I collapse into bed while my teammates take over. After approximately 1.5 h at the cape in the opposite direction from where we want to go, wind decreases significantly, on the radar grain finally recedes it is now 4 miles. When we are near to leave grain has mysteriously disappeared. We leave therefore in the right direction. The wind is about 15 knots. An hour later the wind re rises to 25 knots and grain seems to rebuild into 2 sections of 2 miles each. The left is not on our route but the right seems en route from collision with us. It therefore undertakes in a race to sow grain. A third arrives as reinforcements and grown the second. When it is 2 miles we change a bit our Cape Town and 30 minutes later the portion closest to us disappears from the radar. It seems that we have won, we have managed to get out and repair broken during the night listening.
Wind down and our sport’s agenda is avoidance of grains (storms). It goes well and quickly, is in an area where it has virtually no wind (5 knots) in waves of 2 – 3 m. It is stir the coconut as if we were in a washing machine. Our only way forward is to use our engine. It will be turned almost 13 hours, which increases our total consumption since the departure to 132 liters (over 800).
Early afternoon, note the rope that allows us to take the 1st reef is broken, and that any reference mechanism is lost in the boom. This is a repair that we are not going to perform, so we use the rope from the 3rd ris as required. End of the day, to prepare us for the advertised tailwind, we are lowering code 0 on the bridge to install the Monstre.Il is a huge sail (200 m 2) which allows us to move forward in the same direction as the wind. What’s next was a fine demonstration that life is punctuated by the Ying and the Yang.
The change of sail needed spending the time the front of the boat. While I was on the front balcony, four grey flashes spend in the water. Dolphins! It was accompanied by beautiful small dolphins a few minutes. I tell myself that it is surely bodes well for the future, but it was actually only the good moment of the day.
To fit the monster, it uses the same halyard (rope) that the code 0. However, it becomes clear: there are so many twists in the rope that it would not be possible. A solution comes to mind: and if I rode in the mast to remove the towers in mind, I take the liberty of the halyard to climb. However, I perhaps underestimated the strength needed to stand 75′ in the air in waves of 10’… When the vessel rolled, I was like a doll of rags that were pitched at the end of a stick. I clung to the mast with all my strength, and only once, in the downhill, I was ejected. Fortunately, I dampened my impact on the mat with my legs, but I was at the end of my strength. I had to get off at the most quickly…
At the top I had nevertheless managed to arrange the rope and allow the monster to be in position. But the lack of wind coupled with the waves, sailing came becoming entangled around the staysail and radar. I unfortunately tore a small piece on the radar… I made the decision about down the sail on the bridge. Night fell, and I could not resign myself to run the motor to advance to 5 knots overnight. While Serge was preparing steaks, I made the decision we were going to make a second attempt to hoist the monster after dinner.
Serge had put a lot of effort to prepare a great meal, but it turned out that the meat was either not very fresh, or St-Martin steers have a flesh to taste of sock. One after another, we resigned to move our pieces of meat overboard, to the great pleasure, we believe, of sharks that follow us. (We have well given them offering a carcass of swordfish in the day 2!)
Second attempt to hoist the monster. This time, the halyard is so twisted that we have difficulty in the back. After an hour to work at the end of our forces was abandoned again. We prepare so the great sailing and the jib to road during the night. Our evolving slowly, but at least go at sailing… It lies ultimately at 11:30. It was a difficult day and we are all well tanned…
Seven time. Me and Serge are already on deck preparing our strategy of the morning. Objective, the problem of twists on the halyard rope. After 2 hours of hard work, we can do a little better but we realize that the rotation is now steeped in rope. Need to change if we want to solve the problem once for all. To overcome this problem, I remove a piece that is used precisely to avoid that the rope kink. Now, being addressed to prepare the monster…
Our two attempts failed the previous day had for effect to entangle our sail in his bag. If during our attempt to hoist it just something is not perfect, then it may break or fight long with sailing. It therefore wants at any price it is well planning our manoeuvre and that everything is perfect. For verification, we place the monster in the boat and three, we can adjust everything that was wrong. Now, it is ready to be released. This third attempt will be good and our reward will be to see this beautiful sail black and orange propel us at record speeds. I’ve seen go 9.7 knots on the loch we queue averaged over 8 knots in 15 knots of wind at 100 degrees. It is 30-40% faster than the other day! The turbo enabled, the crew can relax a bit. Finally almost, because it broke a rope not long after we had fortune to repair.
However, our greatest happiness of the day is elsewhere. We were finally able to take a shower, an extraordinary happiness after 3 days of hard work. We are now all beautiful, shaved and ready to receive the sirens who wish to turn up! Our mount is such a Ferrari of the seas, so it should attract them! 🙂 The music is also heard on board for the first time, then the morale is good.
In all beauty!