Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 16th Day

I'm not sure what's the matter with me today but I've felt tense and nervous the whole time. I think it's because of the angles we're trying to sail, with the wind still from nearly behind us and Sapphire wanting to go this way and that rather than settle on a nice steady line. It hasn't been helped by the wind fluctuating from 8 to 14 or 15 knots throughout, 8 being just enough to get us moving and 15 more than enough - this means its hard to know exactly how to set the sails, and where to ask the Hydrovane to steer to. This was the same situation last night as I recall and I ended up with two reefs in the main and a small headsail but still we wandered, though not to the point of accidental jybes, more the other way so the headsail would flap and tug at the sheets angrily. So I didn't sleep all that well either, and that never improves things. Nevertheless we are sailing well and this morning our 24 hour run was 108nm, the best we have recorded for a while.

While reefing the main last night I noticed a small tear , near the mast at one of the slider fittings that holds the sail onto the mast track. That bit of sail was gathered by the reef so didn't need attention immediately, but this morning I found my sail repair kit which included a leather sewing "palm", needles and waxed thread and fixed it. I was secured to the mast by two tethers and it took most of an hour. The slider is not well attached even now but my main concern was to prevent the tear extending. It was only about 2 inches long. Apart from that all is well with dry bilges and lockers. However there has been only a little direct sunshine today, and the southerly wind is not warm so I am wearing my overtrousers again. (spell checker wants to put overt rousers !)

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