From: Guy Jones <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 3:58:28 PM
Subject: Day Four
Day four began as brought an end to the constant diet of days with winds in the 20+ knot range. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the knot meter constantly showing in the high sevens-and low eight range. I enjoyed the fact that we did 177 nautical miles on the third day for a total of 510 miles in three days. All of that was great. I was however, tired of mopping up water in the quarter berth with an absorber, I was tired of having to have two people to remove the grilled fish from the stove, I was tired of having both of us fall in the galley and having Nina with a black and blue on her backside the size of a softball. By the way, I fell just as hard, but there was little evidence of same injury. Go figure. Yes, I was overall glad Ken that your forecast was correct. Winds were ENE at 18 knots, the seas were 2-4 feet and confused which was in my opinion was a strong indications that the sea state would improve. We still had an unnecessary triple reefed in the main but with a full Yankee and staysail Footloose was still doing about 7.5 knots offset by a one knot adverse current and our course over ground or COG steadied up on 175 degrees magnetic heading for home.
Normally after my 2-6 AM watch is completed, I immediately get in my bunk and sleep for 60-90 minutes. Then I am up and it is at this time that I send Ken our status update. I do not sleep at all ever during the day so on balance I sleep about five hours a day when we are offshore. But on the fourth day I woke up and it was 8:30 AM. I smiled a bit, a little surprised because I knew my body was telling me it is all but done. So at about 8:30 AM, I sent this message to Ken.
“S 28.4, E 175.1, ENE 15-18 (lovely), 2-4, even better, cloudy with no precipitation in last 24 hours. COG 175 mag, SOG 6.5 knots (1 knot adverse current)”. I added a comment at the very end that was as follows.
“It is always great to have you onboard. People always ask why I do not download weather data and my response is I have Ken on board whenever Footloose is seriously moving.
Yes, things were so upbeat that morning, Nina made my favorite breakfast and that was poached eggs, with blue cheese and a small portion of fish from the previous night and a glass of cranberry juice. Life was good and more water was in the forecast but this time it was in the form of a shower (personal type) even if the sump had to be drained by hand.
Less we get ahead of ourselves, the passage was not over with 550 nautical miles remaining and we still had to repair the main such that we could shake the reef out. We waited until midday such that Nina could get a well deserved rest and I could come up with a plan that would work this time and I did. Nina would remain in the cockpit as a safety measure and I would go forward but this time instead of removing the track, I would remove the mainsail guide that is just below the track. I was very concerned that the bolt would be corroded like the small screw in the sail track but to my surprise it came out without undue force. Once the slide was removed, we then furled the main back onto the furler mandrel. I was very concern that we would further rip the sail tape in this process because of the force that would be required but we did not. Then came the surprises. The first surprise was that there were two tapped holes in the mast for the guide. I must assume this failure had happened before. Second, We broke a batten instead of ripping further the sail tape because the sail scoped forward on the furler as we were bringing the sail down and the batten got caught on the mast. The broken batten broke though the batten pocket but no other damage was done. We originally thought about removing the broken batten but then decided to leave it in the pocket, as it could no further damage. Then I had to reassemble the feeder onto the mast and align the feeder with the sail track. This was a bit difficult with one hand and with the presence of two tapped holes virtually over lapping each other and it took a bit of time. It would have been infinitely easier with two people but I was determined to have Nina remain in the cockpit for safety. After several attempts the track was aligned with the feeder, the feeder was securely bolted onto the mast and the head of the mainsail hand feed back into the feeder and then the track. It was easy up to the second batten but with a screwdriver I forced the damaged section of the sail tape into the feeder and the electric winch did the rest, it was done. We had a fully functioning main that was fully deployed and we were go to go.
That night we had had dinner for the first time in the cockpit this passage. It was in keeping with the day, we had asparagus, carrots, pan seared tuna and a salad.
Fair winds All