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Susan Ann II - Log day 10 - bye bye spinnaker!

They say crossing an ocean has its highs and lows, well we have certainly had some highs so I guess we were due some bad luck. Our spinnaker exploded today from just below the halyard.

Hayley and I have had an absolute nightmare with our gennaker since we moved on board and attempted to fly it. I told our broker of our plans to sail around the world and he suggested we need a gennaker to cover downwind angles from the beam to 140 ish degrees which will be perfect for a trade wind circuit around the globe. I wanted a sail that Hayley and I can manage on our own so we also opted for a furling system... here lies our problem! All summer we have tried everything from furling beam on, downwind, upwind, tight luff, loose luff, tight sheet, loose sheet, wooling, launching straight out of the bag. We’ve tried down haul, cross hauling it to the windward hull. You name it, we have tried it. We’ve had professional head sail trimmers onboard and all agree (excuse my French) but the sail is Merd!

The issue is, it furls from the bottom up, so the top of the sail stays loose, catches the wind (any breeze at all will unfurl it) and the bottom of the furled sail is bar tight. Then we drop the sail and end up sorting out the mess in our saloon. You have to laugh really. The sail has spent more time in our saloon than it has in the air.

Today was going really well, at last we have made it into the trade winds and we have a steady 15 - 17kts of wind from astern. With the gennaker up we were doing a very comfortable 8kts so 10kts or so apparent wind on the sail. One minute I was tinkering with some rigging at the mast and the next, we were over taking our ‘love to hate’ gennaker on the port side. Nobody panicked, we all sprang to action, released to port sheet and quite easily gathered the sail back onto the foredeck. Actually, it was probably our best retrieval yet! Only we still have the halyard, the swivel and the top 12 inches of the sail dangling from the top of the mast. I’ll have to get up there next time we have a lull in the winds. If anyone knows a decent sail repair guy in St Lucia, please drop your recommendations to: [email protected]

It has taken me a good few hours (and cups of tea) to get over the loss of Jenny (we called our gennaker Jenny obviously) but writing this has actually been therapeutic and I think I could actually crack a grin if I try very hard. The heart breaking thing is, I’m on watch now and we are still doing over 8kts under plain white sails so it wasn’t even an advantage flying it. Oh well, get over it Dave. Tomorrow is another day.

Love from The Daley Adventure. Xx

Ps. Check out our YouTube channel for more gennaker shenanigans.


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