Bodgering and Big Wind

Day 39 
Noon Position: 35 58S 119 42W

Course/Speed: SE/SSE 6 – 7

Wind: N 11 – 15

Sail: Twins, poled out full

Bar: 1027 (wow)

Sea: N 6 SW 8

Sky: Overcast, drizzle all night

Cabin Temp: 79

Water Temp: 66 (big drop)
Miles last 24-hours: 151

Miles since departure: 5100

“Bodacious” (a hybrid of “bold” and “audacious”) is in my dictionary but “bodger” is not; so I feel free to define it as a repair done with whatever is at hand. “Whatever,” it should be noted, never includes the right tools or the right parts.
I’ve had two such jobs awaiting a change in the weather. 

The first has been beckoning since the doldrums when a main sail batten sleeve pin let go. The stainless steel pin held the plastic sleeve to the plastic batten car on the mast and has gone unrepaired this last month because the main has been employed every hour (reminder: reaching on port tack). To be fair, I also wasn’t sure what to do. And I had to get over mourning my failure to bring any spares for the main. 
But now that we’ve got wind on port quarter, the task of propelling the boat is up to the most beautiful twin headsails. So, today I had at.

In the entire month of cogitating on this exercise, nothing more clever came to mind than lashing the sleeve to the car. The pin still had the bite of three threads and wasn’t entirely useless, so I re-installed it, drilled two nicely rounded holes in the sleeve and lashed all to the batten car. Having done that guarantees the main won’t be called on for a month.

Both the twins and the main were newly-made by HOOD sailmakers and delivered just before departure. The main has had a trying month, so I was gratified upon inspection today to find that, up close, it looks (and better, feels) absolutely bomb proof. No sign of wear though it took a beating in the doldrums and was reefed and un-reefed in the trades more times than I can count.  

The other job involved the repeated parting of Lt. Wattsy’s downhaul lanyard. This repair involves hanging myself over the stern up to my torso; thus, I’ve been keen to get this permanently righted before wave action means a dunking in very cold water.

The idea came from Dustin Fox of Fox Marine in Richmond, who suggested lashing the low friction ring to the entire Watt and Sea blade and only throwing a few loops through the lanyard hole so as to keep the larger lashing from migrating. This should have the effect of nullifying the chafe at the lanyard hole that caused the other installation to fail. Done. I’ve only 20 hours on Wattsy since the repair, but so far it hasn’t budged.

It’s good to get these two jobs knocked out now because we’re on the cusp of our first dust-up. There’s a recurring, fast moving low cutting down from the northwest whose punch will be 30 – 35 knot winds plus gusts. I thought it would pass below us, but our time over the last three days has been good, and it appears our reward will be that we’re going to get clocked after dark (always after dark) on Friday. 

Having cleared that low, we’ll be in the roaring 40s, where that much wind can be had for lunch money; so, I’ve not done anything to attempt a dodge. 

Steady as she goes down and to the left…

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