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Freya retiring, hurt

I’m sad to say that Freya and myself are retiring from the NOSTAR.

At around 1400 this afternoon, just as we’d passed the half way distance to Newport, I was going up on deck and there was a bit of a bang and the mast fell over the starboard side.

I had a fairly hectic half hour or so salvaging the boom and some ropes and letting the rigging go so that the mast wouldn’t cause further damage.

The port lower shroud deck fitting had failed, The tie rod in the cabin looks fine still, there is a break in the steel half way through the deck. I’m not quite sure why the cap shroud couldn’t hold the mast temporarily but maybe the shock load caused a failure of the cap shroud somewhere, in any event it didn’t.

I am perfectly safe there’s no damage to the boat other than one of my deck stanchions is broken.

I’m 600 miles from St Johns and about 1400 from Home. The weather and currents are more favourable for going home and so my plan is to try to make it home. Currently I’m blowing downwind with the vane steering me and we’re doing about 2 and a half knots towards Tighnabruaich.

There’s a bit of a blow coming on tonight along with some seas so I’m not going to try to rig my jury rig at the moment until the weather is calmer and I’ve had more of a chance to think about how to do it. I took the precaution of bringing a laser sail and mast with me which I’m hoping will keep me moving in the right direction once rigged. I also have the spinnaker pole and boom and a selection of sails still aboard for jury rigging.

I have plenty of food, water, fuel and gas and am in no immediate danger. My solar panels are undamaged.

I have rigged the emergency VHF Aerial and have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) should I feel the wish to call for help. This is a little device that communicates via satelite to the coastguard generating a Mayday with my position and the name of the boat, If I set this off I’m likely to have assistance within a short time because this is a busy part of the world shipping wise. If I do this however I’ll have to abandon Freya. Towing is not an option and the quantity of fuel needed to motor is impractical.

Please, no one, think of calling for help on my behalf, I’m not in any danger and can call for help myself should circumstances change or if it looks like my plan is not going to work.

Meanwhile there’s a new brown bird appeared which I’ve yet to identify.

I’ll keep blogging and hope to be home earlier than previously anticipated.



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