Fine Weather for Eye Splices

October 29, 2018

Day 25

Noon Position: 11 16S 131 47W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SSE+ 6

Wind(t/tws): E- 13

Sea(t/ft): E 3

Sky: Clear, utterly

10ths Cloud Cover: 0

Bar(mb): 1016, rising

Cabin Temp(f): 86

Water Temp(f): 81 (Still!)

Relative Humidity(%): 63

Sail: #2 genoa and main, close reach. Likely go to #1 soon. Wind really tailing off.

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

Miles since departure: 3,272

Avg. Miles/Day: 131

An idyllic day. Wind has softened and the sea has gone down. I’ve eased sheets and now we slide along at a respectable but unhurried pace over a big blue marble, utterly devoid of thumping drops off wave crests or spray in the face or anything remotely related to harship, not to mention birds, flying fish, sea mammals, or anything else except Mo and me.

Just sky and sea–and Mo and me plying quietly a world of our own.

I wax because beating into the trades is a little like being put into a barrel and rolled down an unevenly built, infinitely long stair case. You get used to the barrel after a while and you appreciate going fast, but it’s not ever comfortable.

Among other things, Mo is now a more even platform for chores.

I’m slowly working through the Southern Ocean prep list. Today, eye splices in the new genoa pole topnlift lines. All Mo’s running rigging was new when I departed on the Figure 8 a year ago. Since then it has all made a circumnavigation without a single failure. Granted, some lines took more punishment than others, but the only two I’m out-and-out replacing are the the headsail furling lines and the genoa pole topnlift lines.

The furling lines, especially the #2, spend a great deal of time reefed in the south, i.e. under load but moving slightly as the sail pressurizes and depressurizes while riding waves and taking gusts. Both were pretty chafed up and taped up by the time we got back to San Francisco. A furling line failure in a gale could be the end of the sail; so, those were renewed before departure.

The topnlift lines suffered from owner abuse as I learned how to balance the genoa poles in heavy weather. Early on I tended to run the lines too taught, asking them to maintain pole positioning rather than relying on the sail to do that. So, there’s been a fair bit of chafe at the line mast entry point when the poles are deployed. Owner abuse has been corrected but as these lines also second as storm jib halyards on Mo, and would disappear forever inside the mast if they parted, it’s better to replace and be safe.

So, today, eye splices in those lines for their snap shackles. It’s a splice that’s just complicated enough to look like a disaster a moment before the hat trick that turns it into a neat loop. Not sure my friend Kevin, head rigger over at KKMI, would approve; the cover around the eye is a little baggy, but then he’s not here to shake his head and mutter, “rookie mistake, Reeves. Rookie mistake.”

Now, if I could only remember to insert the damned snap shackle at the one and only opportune moment!

7 Comments on “Fine Weather for Eye Splices

  1. I May not know, for sure, as much as you may want to head ses for the “horn”, there looks like rough weather way before, stay west.

  2. What a beautiful eye splice! If only it had the shackle in it. Bummer! but don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Been there, done that and you have a lot of time to do it again not that that makes you feel any better about it.

  3. Love it, Randall!!! You are so funny! Those shackles are so slippery, and they get away from you before you know it!!! Someday, when you get home from the FIGURE 8, check out the YouTube video by New England Ropes of Andy Wall “Taking the Mystery Out of Double Braid Splicing” Enjoy the lovely days at sea!! We are all right there with you!

Leave a Reply