Monday, January 10, 2011

Things break

Passage to Barbados, day 13. On a boat something is always breaking. When you're in port or cruising the coast, it's annoying. On a passage it's that plus challenging. Can you fix or replace it? Can you rig a temporary repair? Can you work around it? Is it something you can continue on without?

We've been pretty lucky this passage, and breakage has been minor. First, the boom vang broke, but John was able to fix it. Then the boom bale (an attachment to the boom) where the boom vang and preventer connect broke. That can't be fixed underway, but there's another bale at the end of the boom, and John jerry rigged a combination preventer and boom vang of sorts to it. It makes jibing more cumbersome, but it works quite well. A flying fish knocked our American flag off the back of the boat one night. Bummer! It was brand new, and I'd just put it out after we turned off the engine leaving Mindelo. The old flag is now flying from the radar pole, and I like it there, but we need another new one. When we tried to lower our Cape Verde courtesy flag, we discovered that the flag halyard was fouled. John fixed that. On our five-day tack after we quit zigzagging, we discovered that our new jib sheet was chafed halfway through due to a malfunction in the fairlead. John hasn't been able to fix that, so we've been avoiding bringing the jib to starboard. We did turn the sheet around, though, so we can use it for short periods if we need to on our approach to the anchorage.

We hope that nothing else comes up in the last hundred or so miles before our landfall.

Day 13 stats: 161 nm (6.7 knot average) bearing 274 degrees. Our position at 1500 UTC was 13°16.976'N, 057°01.785'W. All is well aboard Solstice. As of this morning Orinoco hadn't reached St. Lucia, but he was really close. The tear in his genoa was slowing him down.

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