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Occhi Indaco - update 25/11

We are already on the fourth day. Finally we have reached the 200 N . The winds are calmer and the seas are more organised. The weather is wonderful and the sun is shining. Crew is still complete, though all with various blue spots covering more or less body parts from stumbling around in the dark and being tossed around by the swells. Everyone has had a shower today and what a wonderful change in odour. One of the guys cabin was really smelly and as the shower did not do the trick we realised that the leeks had gone bad so tonight we will have quiche.

We have changed course and are now heading towards St. Luicia. Although Mindelo Cap Verde has been considered a few times the last couple days for repairs and a massage. Unfortunately Bluejay is moving ahead of us at this point as we lost spinnaker and something is definitely slowing us down … must be someone that has been tampering with the boat so we would not win this rally …

As we have read in the updates from the ARC a few boats have been challenged by the weather, as have we. The first hours in the harbour were amazing, catching the racing spirits. All those boats - what a lovely experience. We had a really good start from Las Palmas, with a fantastic farewell as we left the harbour. The music, the happy and excited people all waving at us.

All the boats were circling around to time the crossing of the starting line perfectly. And then the horn sounded out loud and all set off.

The first few hours at sea where fun even though the weather was tough, the winds and swells picked up, the boat was being thrown around as if it was nothing more than a toy boat. When taking a nap on the couch we were literally thrown of the couch and across the floor. Everyone is now just napping in their own bunks.

We had our first issue around 21:00 hours the first night. A big swell came over us and a wave came through the cockpit with massive amounts of water and it just kept coming, eventually activating a life vest and the MOB sensor. How nice to hear the concerns from boats nearby calling us on VHF- thank you for that guys.

The swell and waves had also loosened the spinnaker which had been attached in its bag near the bow . Of course it went overboard. Pros and cons in very heavy seas… should we try to retrieve it or just continue? We decided to keep things safe, gift it to Neptune and sadly watched it disappear before our eyes.

In the daylight we realised that a traveller car on the main had ripped out and there was now also a small hole in the mainsail, luckily below the 2 reef batten. W. We have now just fixed the car on the mainsail and hoisted the main completely to see how big the damage is. It seems repairable so one more project on the to do list. Right now we have made a quick fix and hopefully when the repair is done it will work so we don’t have to do the crossing with a reefed main sail.

As if that wasn’t enough the stay sail furler mechanism had a bit of a fallout too. 4 mounting bolts stripped and ripped out. So we have had to take the stay sail down and in the process of bending the staysail back on, the connection between the halyard and the rabbit failed and the sail came crushing back down on the deck along with the halyard. We had 2 days without the staysail before we manged to get it to fly again. Luckily we have 3 mountain climbers onboard so even as the boat is swaying and rolling a lot they managed getting up the mast and fixing it. Everything is in place now. What an amazing teamwork. What would an adventure be without a few challenges. Neptun, we’ve had our share, please bless the rest of our crossing.

A few things still remain on the to do list. Our starboard running light stopped working . The traveller on main sheet has a broken bracket and a few others things but those are minor details compared to what we have been through.
What a tremendous change from yesterday till today. Just hanging in there and keeping the boat going and the frustration about things going wrong. Today when so many ends finally come together. Perfect teamwork. We have finally gotten into our watch and daily routine schedule and there was time for yoga and reading. Everything so far has been planing on a short term basis to accommodate issues needing attention. We are planning Thanksgiving dinner for tonight with a nice picture of a turkey some cauliflower gratin and oh yah the leeks that survived. Even with all the chaos on board we have been getting the most amazing food. We have seen a lot of dolphins and flying fish. A squid tried to hitch a ride. This trip is going to be very memorable in so many ways but most important we have all made some new friends for life.

We got a bloody fast boat and it’s practically last because of all these stupid things but what a fantastic team we’ve got. We have never sailed together as a group but what great teamwork - the skipper loves his crew

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