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Nutcracker - Log day 7 - These things happen at sea

It's been a day of highs, and lows, and no I'm not talking about the crews
state of mind.

I am pleased to report that the highs are not as a result of the large
quantities of valium taken by the cabin boy, rather they are resulting from
todays extensive use of the sail locker! It began with the cruising chute
and finished with the spinnaker via a gybe en route - in fact, when the
spinnaker went up first time there was near delirium on the foredeck.

The sun was shining, the eggs were scrambling and the wind was blowing - a
superb combination, take my word for it. There had to be a low to follow
such euphoria, and it duly arrived when the skip's favourite hat took the
fast lane from his head to the sea and was lost forever more. I am trying to
look on the bright side though, and seeing it as an offer to the ocean gods,
let's hope they like floral snapbacks.

To cheer me up Tea was then served on the afterdeck, and whilst the sun was
going down, the crew discussed at great length whether it was really
acceptable to support Spurs after 21 years of being a QPR fan (we decided it
probably wasn't) and generally revelled in the beautiful sunset and easy
downwind sailing.

The generator was then switched on to charge the batteries, and if I say
that we've had to start conserving power, it'll
give you an indication of how that went. Just when you think that it was all
going so well...

Anyway, the spinnaker will be up all night, so one way or another that will
help focus the mind!

The Cabin Boy's Nautical Notes

Great news! He's accepted his improved offer and climbed out of the
Lazorette - so here he is!

"The day started well, nautical-wise. The cruising chute got a rare airing,
went up without a problem and flew nicely in 15kts of true wind. Though the
autohelm did occasionally struggle in gust and we shot off at 9knts in a
mini-broach before it got back in charge. Wind was/is NW so right astern,
and cruising chute won't fly deeper than about 150deg on the bow. So took it
down and put up spinnaker.

All went well, had pleasant afternoon, brilliant sunset but then wind built
a bit after dusk. Under 15knts apparent and steering dead downwind, but...

Yes, you can see what's coming. Dark, everyone settling down in preparation
for dinner, and a cry from on deck..s**t - spinnaker's gone.

Burst, big time. Bits flapping everywhere, a small triangle at the pole end
with just a bare length of luff tape connecting it to the rest of the sail,
and a big rip right up the middle. Inevitable wrap (and we have a sock, so
big piece of fibreglass mouth waving around).

Harnesses on, up the foredeck, ease the halyard came down about
10ft, just enough to give the mouth plenty of rope on which to swing, and
got stuck. Much faffing and then pulling from right forward succeeded in
freeing the wrap(s) and down it came.

Terminal I fear. Dropped the pole end to the foredeck, and progressed the
rest of the night under main only - even so doing over 7knts down the
track. Will rig yankee goosewing in the morning.

Oh, and did I mention the generator? On, started to flush through
watermaker, off. Overheated. The same happened on trip back from Palma after
the Oyster Regatta, and that was a destroyed impellor,which I assumed was a
consequence of it being all dried out when the boat spent a couple of months
ashore for the refit. But is shouldn't have gone again. More joy for the

Dad Joke of the Day

'A crèche is something that happens south of Watford' (Steve Butters)

The skip, and a happier cabin boy xx

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