Day Four to Chagos – breakage and a fix!…..
29 September 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)
The miles are clicking away, but overall this passage has been fairly slow. We\’ll most likely do around 155 miles today. I always do my planning on around 170 miles/day. The reason is squalls. We get 20-22 knots for several hours, then a line of squalls come by and the wind is 9-15 OR 27-28. So we must sail accordingly. Overall, we\’ve kept the amount of sail we carry down in case a big squall line blows hard and would then otherwise stress the sails and rig.
Speaking of which. We went to reef the main (make is smaller) in expectation of the above conditions. Fortunately we decided to do this well before dark. When we were taking in the first reef, the down reef control line just snapped in two! This would be a potential disaster as without this line we cannot adjust the size of the main sail and as you know, we\’re along way from the marine chandlery. Also fortunately, I could reach the roller drum and knew how to replace the line. Good fortune has us having at least two line up for the job of the correct diameter and length.
I used a spectra line we used to use for a former main preventer system and we began the minor surgery. First, we removed the 10\” diameter cover off the roller drum mounted about 7 feet up the mast where the boom connects. It\’s this high as the deck in front of the mast is where we have to access the plate. Carefully removing the four screws and cover, we exposed the line wrapped around the furling drum. I then counted 29 wraps of the line around the drum as I removed it. Nikki and I fed the new line in place, threaded it back through the leads and rope clutch and we were back in business. The furling system has a lock on the drum which I normally do not use. I will use it from now on to remove the stress on the furling line. It also held the boom mandrel in place which enabled me to swap out the lines. All done within an hour and before dark. We then finished taking in the reef we\’d started to test it; all worked well.
Currently, it\’s 6:45 a.m. local time and we\’ve about 890 nm to go. A squall is coming by and the wind is shifted to the east (temporarily) and has dropped to 12 knots. Rain\’s a commin\’!
As I send this blog to be posted, I\’ll be picking up our GRIB weather file from saildocs. This file is a a computer generated map of the expected wind and sea conditions for up to 5 days ahead. It\’s usually quite accurate in the open ocean. It often under estimates the wind speeds by 2-5 knots.
Position report will be posted in about an hour. We\’ll be half way this time tomorrow, now expecting an approximately 10 day passage.
KIT, Scott and of course, sleeping Nikki