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Whales!

Good morning or maybe afternoon with you lot.


We’re still making good progress, I’ve just let out a reef from the mainsail, have had a muesli breakfast and the sun is charging the batteries, we’re now North of Hispaniola the Dominican Republic half.


I’m slightly sunburned, I’d noticed that my tan was a bit farmer like so took my shirt off at around lunch time and thought I’d put up the asymmetric. She had other ideas however and the de snuffing line kept getting wound around the sausage when I hoisted it, there’s still a bit of a swell so we’re rolling around quite a bit. A couple of times I’d thought I’d got it (this needed lowering and re hoisting of the whole thing but I hadn’t, additionally the foot of the sail wouldn’t come out of the snuffer, it just gathers more of itself up inside itself and looks at you with a ‘what you going to do about that then’ sort of expression. The wind had picked up by this time and I gave up and put the thing away, once I’d unrolled the genoa again we were back up to 7 knots, and I was already slightly sunburned on my back.


Later I was sitting in the cockpit writing an e mail when some whales started jumping in the distance. Big chaps - two I think but it could have been more or maybe only the one. The first jump was a sort of back flop, and the next several were just belly flops, big splashes however even from a distance, they must have been about a mile away so I was lucky to have been looking  in that direction when I was. I wouldn’t want one to land in the cockpit!


Towards evening when I was reducing the genoa somewhat the winch I use as a sort of non return valve on the rolling line stopped working, it just turned freely both ways.  As it was quite role-y, I wasn’t sure whether to look at it or manage without it,  I stripped it down and freed it off. But the movement of the boat wasn’t  conducive to a proper service, there are lots of little fiddly bits inside, any of which are easy to lose and all of which are important…………


What a morning!! I’d just gone on deck to see about the sail set up and thought I’d goosewing the genoa, I started to furl it and let the sheet go, and pulled on the furler, it moved a bit then stopped.  The bloody sail had wrapped itself around the forestay, probably with eddies from the main as we were largely down wind, it had made a right fandangle of it and trying to pull it out or furl it just made it worse. It took me all morning and half the afternoon to sort it out. It’s frustrating because with the size of the boat, the clew or corner of the sail where the sheets are attached I can only just not quite reach by standing on  tiptoe on top of the pulpit but it’s a fairly exposed position and I decided not to keep trying  like that. The wind was up and down from 14 to 18 knots and it I nearly unfangled it once  in fact it was unfangled but flapping quite a lot and the sheets were flying free-ish as I’d had to unwrap them, I thought It would be easier if I turned downwind again so that the wind wasn’t in the sail and didn’t the bastard go and do exactly the same thing again putting me back to square one. I’m nearly back to normal now but still have to wind on half a dozen turns onto the furling drum so that she’ll furl properly.


In the middle of it, the pair of whales reappeared, one jumped halfheartedly and the other didn’t bother but I had good sight of them for a bit. I tried to take some photos but suspect that they won’t be that good. Lovely to see them. The sea around them was a deep azure blue in the sun. Lovely.


Right, I’m off to do the furling line as this has become quite long and it (this email program) becomes boring with its disappearing paper trick once the mail is longer then a few lines.


We did 171 miles to Noon and have 383 to go.

I’m wondering what the time is in Cuba, presumably either 5 or 6 hours behind GMT.


Cheers for now

Jock and Yemaya.

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