A relatively peaceful night although I couldn’t stop worrying about the new mast coming down, don’t know why because when I was on deck setting it up it I wasn’t worried and all the lines are way stronger than needed for the small forces involved, I guess it’s just human nature to worry. I did manage to think of a couple of minor improvements and made them this morning, moving the port and starboard stays aft a bit so that the back stays are not really needed.
On raising the mast, the trickiest part of yesterday, I had to have the port and starboard stays roughly in line with the heel of the mast and relatively tight before trying to raise the mast to stop it swinging around to port and starboard as the mast came up. I also had to guess how much back stay to have loose to ensure I got it up far enough to control it but not too loose either in case of losing control. As it turned out I was a little conservative with my estimates so the mast only came up to about 30 degrees from the horizontal, which was fine but only just. This was because, bearing in mind Katharine’s worries about me doing something stupid and falling overboard, I had put a harness on and attached myself to the handrail on the coachroof. Having got the mast to 30 degrees which I’d done with the jib halyard, to be, with one end made fast up forward and me pulling on the other, ( I had to keep my foot on the mast foot to keep it in position rather than sliding forward as I pulled the halyard) I then wanted to put it on the anchor windlass to hold it and to tension it a little more before loosening off some backstay and raising it further. I had to hold quite a bit of tension on the rope as I wiggled my self on my bottom up forward to the windlass, having nearly got to a position where I could transfer the rope to the windlass, my safety line came tight. I pulled it as hard as possible and just managed to get a couple of inches which allowed me to put the rope on the windlass and tighten it up but it was quite close and I’d have been annoyed if I’d lost it all just because of the safety line.
This morning I gybed onto the starboard gybe and we’re now making about 065 degrees and still about 3 to 3.5 knots. The wind is 20 knots or so and due to be 25 to 30 later so I’ll not try to add any more sail at the moment.
Meantime I’m reading, thinking through food and menus etc. I’m ashamed to say that I threw out some mince. It was a couple of weeks past it’s use by date but I’d put it in the ice cube compartment of the fridge so it had nearly frozen but not quite. I had thought it was beef mince and had it been I’d probably been happy judging it on looks feel and smell, unfortunately it was turkey mince and I’m not so familiar with turkey and worried that it might have similar propensities for food poisoning as chicken, so I waved good bye to my potential curry and dumped it. I’ve a polish smoked sausage casserole in the pressure cooker but after that no fresh meat. I do. Have a couple of big salamis and plenty of tins of stuff so am not going to go hungry.
I saw a ship yesterday, a car carrier, crossing my bow, it hadn’t come up on the chart plotter which is connected to my AIS. This is annoying, my AIS is new, I replaced it on the Saturday before we sailed, in fact it interrupted a lovely lunch that Nancy, Lucy and Tessa had brought up because I needed to get it going before leaving, but it’s always seemed to be a bit hit and miss on displaying information or rather transmitting it on the network so that I can see it on the chart plotter, ipad etc. I can see it on the unit itself but that is hidden under my bunk (the previous one had no display it was just a black box and relied on chartplotters and so on to display it’s information). I think it’s a job to put on the list to move it up to the chart table where it’s easier to see. I found in Plymouth that if it wasn’t displaying then turning it off and on again re set it and it then did display again but it’s easy in Plymouth to know when it’s displaying because there are hundreds of targets, out here there are virtually none.
News of other competitors:
All crews ok but heavy weather has been taking its toll on the yachts.
Ertan is currently heading for Flores in the Azores to make repairs after Lazy Otter was knocked down three times in high winds and big seas. Ertan has lost self-steering gear and spray hood.
AJ Wanderlust has a torn main sail, broken inner forestay and ingress of water when heading upwind. Charlene and Bobby are heading downwind until a break in the weather allows them to make repairs.
No news from Guido recently but hopefully Hannah of Cowes is making good progress after the strong headwinds experienced after their restart.