Its been an eventful day. We had computer problems in the night with the navigation computer. This isn’t essential but its a nice to have, so I swapped the disk over to another computer that we have handy and got things going again. As well as sharing all the navigation and AIS information between all our devices, this computer also handles the satellite link and records our journey.
After that disturbed night, and with such calm conditions, we decided it was time to sort out the bowsprit. I had a shackle that was an appropriate size, so the brains trust gathered at 9am to come up with plan. Thats me and Peter for avoidance of doubt…
The bowsprit has wire stays that go from the forward end down to the bottom of the hulls. This triangulates the forces placed on it by the sail. We cant disconnect these other than at the hulls, which means close to the waterline. Some boats replace these wires with dyneema but then they have chaff issues. So we could not release the far end of the bowsprit but its free to move within the constrained circles.
The bottom rope for the sail goes around a block at the end of the bowsprit and back to the deck. We’d got this tightened up to hold the bowsprit up - but it also acts to pull the bowsprit back onto the pin which mounts it to the boat.
First step, use a spare halyard with a bit of rope wrapped around the bowsprit to take the load vertically. Once that was in place, we slackened off the spinnaker halyard so there was no load horizontally on the pin. Much care was taken in the undoing of that pin (27mm socket). A bit of a fight but it came out (its been out recently, so I knew it wouldn’t be too hard). We were then able to manoeuvre the bowsprit back onto the deck.
The upper stay was quickly reattached with the new shackle, and the rope for the foot of the sail. Then we had to get it back out and in place. Some more changes of the halyard to get a better lift, and the upper stay slackened a lot gave us enough room to get the pin back in. Then everything was tightened and we were good to go!
It took us an hour to get it done, and then we had the screecher back up - and its been great in the light winds today. We’ve had between 4 and 7 knots apparent wind and with 1 engine on 1000rpm and the screecher we’ve been doing 6-7knots consistently. Good progress!
Its been champagne sailing (apart from the engine drone) really today. Blue skies, calm seas, long gentle rolling swell. Its great that Peter gets to see this as well as things like the front on Tuesday. We have this tomorrow and probably Sunday too before the trade winds return and we should have a nice sail into Fiji. Talk has already turned to the first beer…
We tried a bit of fishing today too. Dynamite 2 and Dynamite 6 both getting their hooks wet, but neither got us dinner. I’ll have to put out pink squidie tomorrow - old faithful!
Lunch, for those keeping a track on us, was a nice salad with haloumi and 2 snags from the other night. Mezze platter tomorrow. Only one complaint so far - Dark Choc Banoffe Timtams - what were they thinking???