Well that was a BFU!
The first opportunity to launch a spinnaker and it did not go well! For some reason the port spin haylard outer covering has cut away and bunched up exposing the internal core and rendering the line useless. For the next several hours TST worked to figure out the source of the problem and a solution that is both workable long term and safe. The solution came from the most experienced member of the crew, Gunnar, in a pair of external halyards, one down each side of the mast, and two turning blocks at the mast head strapped above the exit point of the old halyards. Needless to say much speed and many miles were lost in the preparation and execution of the work-around but we got it rigged and we soon had a spinnaker billowing before us as we resumed the task at hand towards Maui.
As Keturah stated: Twisted Halyards Incite Reduced Travel; Expensive, Even Now, or from Don: Two Halyards In Ruins, Two Extra External Now
The winds are off our starboard back quarter pretty consistently with a strength of 8 to 20 knots. We are achieving good boat speeds of 9 to 12 knots. With a rolling sea state of short, shallow cresting waves. The big ones haven’t set up yet so surfing down the waves isn’t happening but we know they will come.
Looking around the inner cabin of the boat the term “low hanging fruit” came to mind as I see swinging hammocks of oranges, apples, grapefruit and veggies. There must be somewhere near 70 or 80 oranges, about the same for apples, 20 or so grapefruit and a 3 foot long hammock stuffed with lettuce, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers and kiwi’s. The fresh produce has been wonderful on board. Many of the crew are eating an orange every morning and it’s not uncommon for someone to eat a kiwi straight – skin and all. The plumbs and grapes are disappearing quickly as well. We all know the need to keep our bodies hydrated and energized and the importance of fresh produce isn’t lost on anyone.
We’re starting to think about having showers as well. The growing stench below decks can no longer be blamed on the rotting fruit (there is none!). Our fresh water maker is working well and skipper John is confident we can have showers, something we all are looking forward to. Managing personal hygiene isn’t difficult it’s just we have limited our clothing quantity so as to reduce weight. The plan is to have everyone get “ripe” at about the same rate so no one particular individual can be singled out. It’s a good plan and there certainly will be a rush to the front of the line for the shower once the water is ready.
A little about the crew. There are 10 of us on board; three from Alberta, six from B.C. and one from Bellingham, Washington. Dave, Don and Tim are from the Edmonton area, Mort, Gunnar, Mike, Dan Steve and Brian hail from the Vancouver area and Keturah lives in Bellingham. There is a great deal of sailing depth and experience in this crew with everyone a talented driver not afraid to do what’s necessary behind the wheel in whatever conditions are present. There will be a combined total of about 24 Vic-Maui crossings with this crew once this one is complete and many tens of thousands of blue water sailing miles worth of experience. This crossing alone adds 2308 nautical miles and at least 300 hours to each sailors resume and experience bank. If you were not confident in your blue water driving skills before this race, you certainly will be after it!