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Sweet Dream - Sunday January 19, 2020

All night long the wind crept behind us moving to the east. By morning we could no longer keep up any pretence of following the rhumb line, so at 08:00 we commenced switching the wing on wing rig to the other side to keep the primary wind in the main sail. First we furled the mainsail completely in, then pulled the boom to center, moved the traveller over to the port side, undid the preventer line from the starboard side, rerouted the preventer line along the port side, secured it, and rolled the main out, easing the sheet and simultaneously tightening the preventer until it was in the downwind position. With the main all the way out we discovered that there was a rip in the sail where the stitching had been “ reinforced”. What a bummer! We put on the engine in idle, furled the Genoa, took down the pole, reset the Genoa on the port side without the pole, moved up to an almost “ hove-to” position, using the Genoa to stabilise the boat, we slacked the main so it was laying against the shrouds and spreaders, thus the pressure was off the torn bit near the mast. Captain pulled the edges together and covered the gap with sail tape on both sides. Then we gently furled the mainsail in until the torn part was well inside the mast. All the time we were racing the clock against the ubiquitous morning squall that was bearing down on us. We managed to get the main set, and as we were putting up the pole for the Genoa, the rain hit us. Fortunately, it was a warm, tropical rain, and while it’s a bother to raise the pole, furl the Genoa, and reset it on the starboard side on the pole, in pouring rain, we were very happy at 10:00 when it was all done. The rest of the day went smoothly, the weather moderated, the sun shone, we crossed back into the Western Hemisphere, flying fish were unzipping the water and leaping free to soar over the waves, and at supper time we were treated to a delightful aerial display of fancy flying by a pair of black petrel birds swooping and soaring over the waves. Life is good on the Sweet Dream!


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