25 July 2010 | Labrador Sea, Canada
On a pleasant day in the Labrador Sea, we were sailing along in a fresh, following breeze, about 40 miles offshore. The sudden noise sounded like a gunshot. It took a few seconds to realize that two of the wires/ropes holding the mainmast up had snapped. The mainmast was wobbling, and very close to crashing down.
We got the mainsail and the main staysail down. Yann climbed the mast and tied the remains of the checkstay in place around the lower spreaders and we tightened it with a winch to stop the mast from wiggling.
With a SE wind, we were able to change course and sail northwest along the coast using sails on the foremast alone. We set course for Cartwright, a major town of 600 people, about 65 miles away.
As night fell, we sailed more slowly, for much of the night under storm jib alone, just poking along at 2.5 knots--a slow enough speed that if we ran into any ice in the darkness and fog, it would not damage the boat. The fog lifted with the dawn, the wind died, and we motored into Cartwright harbor and tied up at the dock.