Crank a Winch Day

March 7, 2019

Day 154

Noon Position: 47 29S  115 21W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ESE 6

Wind(t/tws): NW 14 – 17

Sea(t/ft): NW 5

Sky: High haze

10ths Cloud Cover: 5

Bar(mb): 1005+, slowly rising

Cabin Temp(f): 63

Water Temp(f): 50

Relative Humidity(%): 68

Sail: Twins poled out

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 141

Miles since departure: 21,151

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Days since Cape Horn: 97

Miles since Cape Horn: 13,510

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 27

Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 314 11

Avg. Long./Day: 3.24

It’s good sailing today, but I wouldn’t mind just one type of breeze for a while; I mean, a man likes to do other things than crank a winch.

Slowly, and over the course of the day, wind has gone form W to N, but not evenly nor in one movement, but rather in fits and starts. North a bit, then back west; then north a bit more; nine knots and then nineteen. Twins poled out; twins down; twins out again; then big genoa and main on port tack; suddenly, the rail is in the water; so, big sail down and working jib out. Now we do seven knots. Great. Then the rail is in the water again and Mo takes off sideways; so, another reef in the main and a tuck in the jib. The wind drops to twelve.

Worse: this is all set to reverse. By morning, wind will be south.

Not sure when I’m going to get sleep tonight.

When flying the starboard pole this morning, my jury rig parted.

Some months ago, the latch mechanism that holds the pole to the rail car began to let go at inopportune moments. Just when I was heaving skyward, for example. Investigation showed that the latch receptor had worn down on both poles. I bolted the lock mechanism into the locked position. No effect.

Options for a jury rig are limited as the attachment needs to allow for at least 180 degrees of rotation. So, after thinking it through for a few days, I did the simplest thing. I tied a single loop of Dyneema twine between the pole and the car; the loop is loose enough to allow the pole its natural rotation and yet tight enough to keep the two units connected (single loop because the existing holes allowed exactly that).

One finally chafed through today and the pole came crashing down like a felled tree. Light wind, so no other breakage (to gear or sailor’s head). Jury rig back in place, but with a chafe-check schedule.

I’ve made the turn towards Cape Horn. Bearing: 107 true. 1802 miles.

One Comment on “Crank a Winch Day

  1. Randall – from your tracker it appears you are set to cross your track at the Cape soon. A big accomplishment and congratulations

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