February 6, 2019
Noon Position: 46 38S 153 55E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExE 4
Wind(t/tws): Waffling between 15 and 45 degrees 5 – 9
Sea(t/ft): SW 5+ E, NE 2
10ths Cloud Cover: 5
Bar(mb): 1031+, finally topped out, I think
Cabin Temp(f): 70
Water Temp(f): 58 (wow, warm)!
Relative Humidity(%): 48 (wow, dry!)
Sail: #1 and Main, close hauled
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 98 (poorest day since the doldrums)
Miles since departure: 17,392
Avg. Miles/Day: 139
Days since Cape Horn: 68
Miles since Cape Horn: 9,753
Avg. Miles/Day: 143
Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 2 23
Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 221 24
Avg. Long./Day: 3.26
First off, thank you to Robin Sodaro at HOOD in Sausalito for quick responses to my I-need-repair-ideas email. I came to the table with some bodges that would likely have worked fine, but Robin’s solutions were much cleaner. More on which in a moment.
There are only two crew members who work harder than the skipper. One is Monte, who plies his trade 24/7. The other is the #2 genoa, which is almost always flying. Exceptions are very light air, in which case it’s the #1 or the spinnaker, or very strong winds, in which case … well, nope, it’s still the #2 then as well.
For heavy stuff, Mo has a perfectly good, tiny staysail, and I had HOOD rush-order a more classically-cut storm jib between voyages. Neither has been up during this Figure 8 2.0. All the tough weather has fallen to a very tightly rolled #2.
So, the math: last year’s Figure 8 Voyage 1.0, at roughly 25,000 miles, was a solid six months of sailing, during which the #2 flew (a guess) 80% of the time. During the first 17,000 miles and four months of the Figure 8 2.0, his work has been nearly constant.
I was reminded how tough the sail is when I had it down on deck yesterday and was trying to fold it. The triple stitching on every panel and the triple reinforcement at the “reef” points make the sail incredibly stiff, even now. Folding is a wrestling match.
That said, and given the miles, I am not surprised the sail needs some care. I could, however, wish this fix was easier.
My Idea: I don’t have any one-inch webbing aboard, so my first thought was to use the soldering torch (with the pin-head attachement) to burn small holes in the clew reinforcement (there is so much reinforcement I’d NEVER get a needle through with a palm; likely not even a jack hammer) and then lace the ring to the sail with Lash-It (twine-sized Dyneema line).
Yes, Robin is still speaking to me after I put that solution on the table.
Robin’s Idea: Randall, you DO have one-inch webbing aboard in the form of sail ties. Cut sail ties to the length of old webbing. No, don’t use a solder torch (what a mess!), instead use a hand drill to ream out small holes in the reinforcement. Then sew the sail-tie straps over the old webbing.
Not yesterday, though. That was all about dousing and launching. I bunged the poorly-bagged sail in the anchor locker at sundown and called it a day.
Today, the sail has been properly folded and brought into the cabin.
Wind is light and variable–anywhere from north to east. We’re being driven south and into the heart of some upcoming nasty weather. So, today I’ve concentrated on sailing…