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Mischief - A little bit of Mischief Log 6

Day 13 12 March 2018 Monday. Chafe; first really nice day; Trevor takes stick; Code 0 trashed;

The latter half of last night was actually quite pleasant and we had a lovely sunrise for a change. Trevor let out his fishing lines again and whilst we were setting the pole for the Code 0 we had a bite, but it soon made its escape and turned out to be the sum total for the day. Luckily, whilst on deck we noticed chafe in the zero halyard so dropped the sail and shortened the halyard and re-set.

1100 L/T position: 08 degs 58.6' S 123 degs 10.8' W C: 270 W: SE 17/20 knts Noon to noon run: 169 nm DTR: 930 nm

A sparkling afternoon sailing during which we made contact with the 44' catamaran Libeccio who has lost one of her rudders, just to see if we could offer any assistance. One of their comments was that this was indeed the first really nice day we had had so far on this passage with seas, wind and sun that ought to be typical of most days in these latitudes, not just from day 13! We agreed!

But poor old Trevor came into a bit of stick again on the SSB radio net this afternoon - something about crystal champagne flutes and bottles of bubbly and the fact that he probably wouldn't bother with the flutes as he would guzzle it straight from the bottle; in addition, on the SSB net this morning the introductory statement was "Good morning ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, all sailors and Trevor"! He may get a complex about all these negative vibes, but I somehow doubt it!

2030 a shout from the cockpit and general pandemonium! The Code 0 had split! Rapid easing of sheets and rolling in of sail followed but not without significant further damage being incurred. Dave and I jumped on deck and dropped the sail into the sail locker for review in the morning and we re-set the genoa on the pole again, our last remaining downwind option. We spent an hour or so re-evaluating sail wardrobes for this trip - it was supposed to be predominantly light airs downwind sailing for which the particular sails on board were chosen, yet the moderate conditions have identified a hole in the sail plan. The Code 0 is not man enough for deep downwind sailing in moderate/strong winds and the spinnaker is just too big for anything over light airs, therefore leaving only the 105% genoa which is too small for these conditions but fine for heavy winds. Conundrum!

To cheer us all up I made a paella for tea with chicken and chorizo and plentiful white wine (from a carton - the good stuff) as a cooking medium. It was very rich as a result but quite nice, even if I say so myself! However, the early evening gave us a startling array of stars and for the first time it was relatively warm, not needing a jacket for a change. I also worked out which was the Southern Cross.

Day 14: 13 March 2018 Tuesday. Birthday boy!; a stitch in time saves nine; birthday greetings and disaster; moving West slowly

Trevor's 65th birthday!!

0550 Position: 09 degs 04.1' S 125 degs 33.1' W C: 260 W: SE 15 knts SOG 5/6 knts showing we have slowed down a little since the Code zero had to be taken down and the fact that the wind had dropped a little too doesn't help. Distance to run is now 791 nm on a course of 266.

0830 I stayed on deck to have a look at the Code 0 damage once it was light as we had a plan to stitch in a length of bolt rope along the seam where we thought the split had developed. We unraveled a bit of the sail on deck to reveal the extent of the damage and were dismayed to find a panel had torn thus compromising a technical laminate material which therefore had lost its strength and consequently had ripped along a 4 metre stretch of the luff tape. In other words well beyond our capabilities to effect a repair on board again. We bagged it and stored it with the defunct spinnaker. We are now resigned to sailing with a white sails to Hiva Oa and beyond until we get to a sailmakers. A bit slower but certainly more comfortable which Wendy is appreciating!

Whilst on deck we carried out our daily rig check and lo and behold Dave noticed a seam at the top of the main sail this time that had come unstitched from rubbing on the stay. So we dropped that sail as well and Dave & I tried to apply rip-stop tape but this did not stick so we were left with no choice other than to stitch the thing back together as best we could. Having said that it was a good job, just unlikely to win too many sewing competitions I guess.

So Trevor put the fishing lines out to catch a birthday fish but no luck again today; no-one seems to be bothered with it though, least of all Trevor.

1100 Position: 09 degs 06.2' S 126 degs 02.1' W C: 260 W: SE 13 knts Noon to noon run: 171 nm

We now have a distance to run (DTR) of 763 nm on 266 which assuming an average speed of 5 knots would put us in Hiva Oa on 19th March sometime.

On the SSB net this afternoon there were many birthday greetings and messages for Trevor including: " How is the birthday child?"; "Do they have buses on Hiva Oa as Trev now qualifies for a free bus pass?"; "….Doesn't look a day over 65"; "….Another drain on the national purse as he now gets a pension…" Never mind, we had filet streak on the BBQ with new potatoes and mixed veg plus a bottle of red wine, a very pleasant Merlot. The meal was really nice and Trevor really appreciated it but unfortunately a lot of the red wine ended up on the cockpit floor as the boat rolled and tipped over the glasses - the most serious disaster to visit Mischief since we left the Galapagos! At least Trevor had a full glass which is only right on such an auspicious occasion and to celebrate his pay rise.

We are going into what appears to be a quiet night with a clear sky and falling wind. We have the genoa poled out and full main, the stitching on which appears to be holding up so the boat is stable and moving along West at around 5 knots.

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