Mischief - A little bit of Mischief Log 4

Day 11 Saturday 10 March 2018 Rock & roll; Squalls; Spinnaker pole makes a break for it; disturbing news from home.

I might just retract that last statement regarding "Embrace and enjoy" the rolling as it really was rocking and rolling last night, not enjoyable at all and you are obliged to embrace it as what choice do you have? Was off watch 3-6 am and didn't sleep a wink. At one point I was resting along the side of the cabin as the boat broached on a wave.

0600 came on watch and almost immediately we rounded up twice in quick succession so put in a reef. Still achieving 7-8 knts but a bit more comfortable although not entirely! The wind seemed to be backing slightly so were headed further downwind on 264 degs.

0900 first squall of the day, 27+ knots true with a deluge of rain. As it was looking really dodgy I stayed on deck next to the wheel just in case the self steering overpowered and got soaked to the skin. The squall passed and was swiftly followed by two more with the accompanying rain and winds up to 32 knots. The boat was screaming along in excess of 11 knots at times. Exciting sailing that's for sure although im not convinced Wendy was feeling the same exhilaration and Trev was in his cabin.

Late morning saw Dave on deck dropping the spinnaker pole to deck level to pole out the genoa and me clipped on and stepping out of the cockpit, when the pole suddenly detached itself from the mast and swung free with Dave holding manfully to the end of it saving it going straight over the side. A little cry of "Help!" and the cavalry arrived to assist hanging onto the pole as it tried its best to make an escape, eventually securing it to the deck. A close thing indeed and if we had lost it the inconvenience would have been immense not to mention the huge cost of a replacement, all down to a little white plastic screw that had come undone holding the top end of the pole onto the mast track. However, we succeeded in poling out the genoa and were then bowling along at 8 knots+ with the boat slightly better balanced and us much relieved!

1210 Position 08 degs 21.1' S 117 degs 21.9' W C: 264 degs W: ESE 18-22 knts Noon to noon run: 184 nm

The distance to run is around 1,270 nm as at noon today so still a considerable distance but we are projecting getting into Hiva Oa around the 18th March; Dave's gestimate, the "Smiley Miley", before we started was for the 20th but we may yet run into lighter winds that may slow our progress a little certainly if it lightens and backs behind us without the spinnaker which lies in tatters in the forward sail locker. We are due to pick up Jean, Trevor's wife in Hiva Oa on the 22nd.

We had two hours sunshine this afternoon but then it clouded over again and threatening clouds developed that thankfully didn't turn into squalls. We hear on the SSB that there are further developing squalls around 120 degs West; we are presently on 118 West, so around 120 nm ahead. Some boats have decided to drop down below 10 degs South to avoid them but our view is its not worth the extra mileage and intend to plough on through with a Great British stiff upper lip, a couple of reefs and Stugerons.

Trevor has not put his fishing lines out today - it was far too wet this morning and couldn't be bothered this afternoon especially as we plan to have spaghetti carbonara for tea which doesn't have fish in it, not in my recipe anyhow. Maybe tomorrow?

We were met by some very disturbing news though this afternoon: France had beaten England in the Six Nations!! Last week it was Scotland. How can this happen? Has Eddie lost his touch? Some in the fleet are now siding with Ireland to beat England as, quote, "Wouldn't it be nice if Ireland won the Six Nations for a change?". No, it wouldn't and so say all of us on Mischief! So there.

Into early evening and the wind remained at around 20 knots under main with a single reef and full poled out genoa. This rig is easily reefed down should the squalls revisit us tonight. Meanwhile we roll on towards our entry to the 'treble digit miler' club of which there are already a few in the fleet. We're coming to get you!!