Year 5 Day 94 Middle Percy Island
04 May 2012 | Anchored At West Bay, Middle Percy Is., AU
Dave/Weather, Rainy And Blustery
By 0600 the sky was light enough to see the other boats anchored near us. So, at that time, we raised the mainsail, weighed anchor and headed out of Pearl Bay. S/V Silver Lining had left about 5 minutes before us so we just followed them out. However, it appeared that they had some minor sail problems so they turned into the wind and adjusted their sails as we sailed by.
By the time we had cleared the bay the winds were ideal for sailing the heading we were making. We had a broad reach with the apparent wind blowing between 8 and 12 knots. With the head sail up, we were making about 6 to 7 knots. The seas were mild, with swells just about 1.5 meters and following. Now this is the way to sail!
Soon, Paul had cleared his sail issues and while about ½ nm behind us, he started slowly gaining on us. They have a 42 foot Fountain Pajot. We had chartered one just like it about 7 years ago in the BVI. At that time, we discovered that it loves the broad reach and is a very fast boat with that angle of attack.
As he got closer, the wind shifted a bit more to the SE and soon we were running with the wind. We threw the headsail over to the port side and started sailing wing and wing. Once we did that, we started putting some distance between us. The Lagoon 440 is very efficient when running in the wing and wing configuration.
By noon we were about a mile ahead of Silver Lining and enjoying the best sailing we had yet encountered in Australia. The skies were blue, the few clouds were big puffy cumulus clouds, the sun was warm life was good!
Of course, you just knew it was just too good to last. Around 1230 the winds eased a bit more to the SE and lightened. Our apparently wind dropped and the sails started flogging. Our speed dropped to 3.5 knots. Darn!
Mary Margaret was at the helm and she called me up with the suggestion that we put up our spinnaker. What a great idea. We have only flown it a few times but the last time we were able to get our boat speed up to about 90% of the wind speed. Unfortunately, after about 6 hours of flying it, the halyard chaffed through because I had not brought the top of the spinnaker close enough to the sheave. When the halyard broke, the whole sail went into the water and getting it back on the boat was a chore. This was during our Galapagos to Marquesas run in 2010.
After a bit of work, I dug the thing out from its sail locker. We attached it and up it went. However, in my excitement, I did not coordinate well with Mary Margaret and she had not yet secured the sheet. The force of the wind in the sail pulled the sheet through her hands and gave her a bit of a rope burn. She was not really happy with me
Soon we had our act together and it was flying just like a kite. However, the wind got squirrely and soon we decided just to bag the whole thing. After a bit of effort, it was back in the sail locker and all we had to show was some rope burns and a rightfully disguised wife. This is what you call a classic "Leu You Idiot!"
We pulled into the West Bay anchorage at Middle Percy Island around 1530. We made what ended up being a 60 nm run in 9.5 hours. Silver Lining joined us about 45 minutes later, safe and sound.