Disaster averted!!!!! This morning we had a problem with the spinnaker
pole. The spinnaker pole allows us to pole out the foresail to catch the
wind when we are running dead before the wind - that is, it is directly
behind us. This is rather crucial as without it we could not aim straight
for St Lucia. The inboard end kept detaching itself from the mast fitting
and falling on people's heads when we gybed or adjusted the sail settings.
Not good! It's a very heavy pole! People's heads are not that strong! At
one time we had to sail without the pole and the best heading we could make
was either towards the Turks and Caicos Islands or Trinidad - neither of
which have I got any wish to go to: I want to go to St Lucia! So ice-man
Nick and I had a close inspection of the pole up forward. Other members of
the crew in the cockpit were muttering it would be down right dangerous to
try to use the pole again. We isolated a defective catch on the inboard end
of the pole - this may all be getting a bit too technical for non-sailors.
Problem - I had no spare replacement catch. But ice-man and I managed to
engineer a solution using various bits of string and a bit of luck and the
pole is now up again and we are aiming straight for St Lucia with about 225
miles to run. Mind you I am not totally confident we shall ever manage to
get the pole down again - so if you see a yacht sailing past the finish line
going west with full sail set; well, that will be us. If we do manage to get
the pole down, then the solution will be fully explained in the book I am
thinking of writing on downwind sailing techniques for the sailing innocent.
Spinnaker pole aside we have had another good 24 hour run with over 200
miles logged. Robert during his night watch managed to average 9.5 nautical
miles in his final hour, an incredible figure which is actually above our
theoretical hull speed. I think it would be small-minded of me to check his
And we have managed to avoid the rain and squalls which other yachts in our
area seem to be experiencing or are promised in the forecasts.
So what appears to be the penultimate day of our voyage. It all seems to
have gone so quickly - I think people are looking forward to getting in.
Here is todays' El Mundo brain-teaser.
Question Number 11.
Alex is always getting himself into trouble. One week his teacher gives him
detention every day after school. As a punishment he is asked to carry 100
heavy sandbags across the athletics track to the long jump pit. After
struggling with the first ten sandbags, Alex has an idea. He realises that
if he puts something into each sandbag it will be lighter to carry. What is
If you are still playing this game, e-mail me (Jonathan) for my attention
your answers at [email protected]
tomorrow after the final question and
a bottle of very fine champagne will be there for the individual who gets
the most correct answers.
As always, have fun.
And as always, our love to those who ashore who matter to Jonathan, Dee,
Robert and Nick.
This mis yacht El Mundo. Ooovvveeeerrrrr aaaaannnnddddd out!