Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 3, 2007 - Enroute to Beveridge Reef, Day 3

I was on watch around 11pm last night when we got caught in a low, bursting squall. Moments before it hit, I realized that the wind direction was going to shift when it caught us. I was standing at the wheel, ready to adjust our course to keep us from jibing, when the wind swung 60 degrees to starboard. I didn't react fast enough or adjust our course far enough, and we wound up accidentally jibing. As the boom slammed across the boat from starboard to port, I called for Sten's help. He scrambled on deck and grabbed the dive light. Shining the light up at the sail and checking for damage in the rigging, he noted that the running backstay rigged on the port side had stopped the boom's progress. Our preventer line was still attached. We thought it might have broken, but it was simply stretched taught. It might have helped to slow the boom down as it crossed the deck. The supplemental vang, which Sten had repaired after one of the snap shackles broke during the accidental jibe on the sail from Raiatea to Bora Bora two weeks ago, broke again. This time it was the other snapshackle that exploded. As the rain beat down around us, we used the thrust of the main engine to get the boat back on course, and put in the second reef. This morning, in the light of day, Sten noticed that one of the battens in the mainsail had broken during the night, likely when we jibed.
The supplemental vang, before it broke again.

The motor for our AP-26 autopilot, which we finally commissioned in Rangiroa, is so loud that we've been chased from our regular berth in the stern. After this passage, we'll probably switch back to the AP-22. On this passage the off watch person has taken to sleeping in the forward V-berth. It wouldn't be comfortable upwind, but downwind it is okay. It is better than trying to stay on the salon settee, which is an uphill climb on this tack.

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