ALMOST TO THE EQUATOR


Current Time: 2:55 AM

Current Position: South 2 degrees 43 minutes, West 29 degrees 12 minutes.

Hi, Everyone.

Wind is steady, although not too strong – mostly 5 to 8. Seas a bit bumpy, so it’s rocking the boat a bit. Oh – we just got to 11 knots on the wind. That’s good. The boat always smoothes out the bumps, the faster she goes. There are times when she’s so fast, even on the swells, that she just skims the water and there is no rocking and rolling at all.

Thank goodness the rain stopped – at least for now. There are more storms in the forecast, according to Matthew – we’ll probably see some on Tuesday. The moon is rising, a half moon. It’s partly obscured by clouds tonight, but when it is exposed, it lights up the sails and the boat quite beautifully.

I think I need to mention that the albatross left as dawn was breaking. He did leave some “gifts,” but a heavy downpour, which is what we had almost all night long, washed it away. No visitors tonight, not even the freeloaders.

Major victory for the captain today. He managed to get all of the Code Zero halyard out of the mast.

When that Code Zero halyard broke (remember a halyard is a line that pulls up the sail, which goes into the mast through a hole in the mast and up to the top, where it comes out and attaches to the sail), he couldn’t pull the entire line out of the mast. It jammed somewhere inside the mast when it fell. There’s a lot of line involved, as you would guess, since it has to go all the way up to the top of the mast, and there are other lines in there – halyards for the jib and main sails, the topping lift – which is a line that holds up the aft end of the boom when the sail isn’t hoisted, the lazy jacks (which hold up the sail cover on each side of the boom), etc.

Here’s his description:

It finally dawned on me with the use of a mirror I could look up the mast and maybe see what was going on. The little dental mirror in the corner of my toolbox was a little awkward, but good enough. The difficulty was getting adequate lighting in there. I used a Pedtzel head lamp clamped to part of a clothespin, and got light in there, but it wasn’t as much as I really needed for daylight viewing. Nighttime would have been better, but nighttime means continuous downpour, water spots all over the mirror, and being soaked to the bone, so I waited until I had reasonable daytime conditions.

I saw enough that I was fairly convinced the line was jammed behind the main halyard, with one part on one side and one part on the other, as the main halyard passed close to something else (not sure what). In any case, I felt confident enough to pull on what I had, to give it a good pull. The intervening time [between the time the sail fell and now] and shaking of the rig had loosened things up, so instead of a solid jam, I was able to pull it through. So now the old halyard is out of the mast.

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