07 October 2008
Went aloft yesterday to fix the AIS (more on this another time) antenna. Was very pleased that it was the easiest trip aloft I've ever done at sea (the steps on the mast are a great help). Yann, the previous owner, used to go aloft every time he set the fisherman (sail that sets up high, between the two masts, visible in the picture), as it had a roller furling system that jammed. The fisherman no longer has that roller furling system, so has not (yet) required any trips aloft.
In the picture, we are going downwind with fisherman, main staysail (below the fisherman) and two headsails, which are obscured by the fisherman. The mainsail is down to keep the sail area forward, making it easier for the wind vane to steer the boat.
We are getting closer to the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone), or Doldrums as they are also called. The sunny tradewind skies have been replaced more and more by squally, overcast conditions. We are doing a lot of sail changes, as the winds keep changing.