Bookmark and Share
The Repair
Tue Jul 27 0:00:00 EDT 2010, Cartwright, Labrador, Canada

We asked around about lifting equipment in Cartwright. People here are quite helpful, and, being a long way from cities, were used to making do with what is available. There were no cranes in the area, but the town council owned a small excavator. We had a look at the excavator, and it looked capable of lifting the mast, but, before we found the operator, Yann said he could do the repair with just hydraulic jacks.

I borrowed a couple of screw jacks from the local service station and we tied the bottom of the mast to several winches to control its movement. Then, as seen in the picture, Yann raised the mast with the jack and cut the bottom 5cm off. The mast was then lowered into its step, and I started work on replacing the broken shrouds and checkstays and tightening/shortening the other wires.

Tue Jul 27 3:37:27 EDT 2010 | George Ray
Hooray!! Yann is truly a magician. I was thinking it would take two jacks.
Tue Jul 27 14:32:15 EDT 2010 | Steve
Excellent and well done. This is very useful information for future reference.
Tue Jul 27 19:01:46 EDT 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks. It is nice to have the mast back :).

The first test sail went well. We are still in port, sitting out a gale and finishing some jobs aboard.
Fri Jul 30 19:49:23 EDT 2010 | George Conk
I thought it was great when you announce that Yann was coming aboard. But I didn't know how soon he would prove it.
Now perhaps he could help out with the electrical problems on the 6 volt system on my Lyman.....
The Damage
Mon Jul 26 0:00:00 EDT 2010, Cartwright, Labrador, Canada

The picture shows the bottom of the mainmast, where the aluminum has been bent when the mast moved out of the mast step.

The mast has three pairs of shrouds holding it in place against side-to-side motion, the lowers, the intermediates and the uppers. The lower shroud, made of wire, broke. The intermediate and upper shrouds, were made of a synthetic rope rigging material called Dynex Dux that I'd installed in Argentina and Uruguay. Almost immediately after the lower shroud broke (we only heard one bang), the mast bent under the pressure of the sails and the checkstay, which was made of another synthetic rope called Spectra, bent the bolt it attached to the mast with and broke.

The pressure of the sails also came on the intermediate and upper shrouds, however, they stretched, and did not break. The stretching of the intermediate and upper shrouds, meant that the lower shroud, which was wire, and, to a lesser extent, the Spectra checkstay, took more of the load of the sails and broke.

The mast is stepped on deck. I had not unstepped the masts before, so did not know that the mast step is only a 1cm high aluminum plate that fits the bottom of the mast tightly. That small a surface for the step works fine, as long as the mast is held tightly in place by the shrouds and stays. The shroud breaking and the other shrouds stretching allowed the mast to move more than the step could handle, so the mast moved out of the step and got bent while moving.

Mon Jul 26 4:42:24 EDT 2010 | george ray
Is is possible that the only damage is the bent edges shown in the photo and that the mast can be trimmed aprox 1" shorter (perhaps where it sits) and then lowered back onto the base with appropriate rigging adjustments?
Sun Jul 25 0:00:00 EDT 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.

Sun Jul 25 11:37:32 EDT 2010 | George Ray
Glad your ok and Issuma is ok.
Will be interesting to hear the analysis and result of the detailed inspection of the rig that you will likely be doing .....
Sat Jul 24 0:00:00 EDT 2010, Labrador Sea, Canada

Ted (left) and Chris attaching the storm jib on the foredeck as we motor out of the harbor and get ready to set sail.

Wetsuit Test
Wed Jul 21 12:00:00 EDT 2010

While approaching an anchorage in Labrador, a rope went over the side and got caught underneath the boat. The next morning, I dug up my wetsuit and went in to free the rope and scrub the keel--a job I'd been wanting to do for a while but hadn't gotten around to yet.

In the picture, Ted has just passed me down the regulator, and I'm putting it on. The boat has a diving compressor (narghile), which pumps air down a hose to the regulator. This is the first time I tried using the system, and it takes a while to get used to breathing thru the regulator. A heated swimming pool would be an easier place to learn to breathe thru a regulator than a Labrador harbor with icebergs outside, but nothing is perfect :). I used several big shackles as diving weights and was in the water about half an hour (the wetsuit is thicker than most), getting one side of the keel scrubbed. The other side of the keel will wait until next time.

Sat Jul 24 14:53:25 EDT 2010 | George Conk
What is the water temperature there?
Tue Jul 27 17:57:40 EDT 2010 | Richard Hudson
I really don't know what the water temperature is...both thermomters onboard are attached to the boat and I'm not sure there are any nearby buoys to query on the internet. It felt cold :)
Tue Jul 20 12:00:00 EDT 2010

We sailed by a lot of icebergs, whales and dolphins along the coast of Labrador.

Wed Jul 21 18:00:14 EDT 2010 | Dan B
That's an amazing picture!
Fri Jul 23 19:20:19 EDT 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Dan, it is an amazing place.
Thu Aug 5 6:37:39 EDT 2010 | judy james
What a shot! Looks like Gabriela was enjoying the seal life. So much better than NYC!!!
Sun Jul 18 10:00:00 EDT 2010

Abandoned buildings at Hill Harbor, Labrador. This is a very small harbor nestled in the rocky coast--easy to enter with GPS and clear, calm weather. I don't know the history of this particular place at all, and haven't gone ashore yet. I suspect it was one of the many places that were abandoned after seal hunting (for fur) was ended and the numbers of cod fish collapsed. No road, transportation only by boat or across the ice when it freezes over.

Yann Back Onboard
Sat Jul 17 12:00:00 EDT 2010

Yann, who built Issuma in France and sailed her 48,000 miles before selling her to me, joined the the boat in St John's for the summer. Picture was taken along the Labrador coast.

Sat Jul 17 21:09:12 EDT 2010 | george Ray
Hello, Yann!
Hope you will write a few blog entries!
Mirage in Labrador
Fri Jul 16 12:00:00 EDT 2010

The land appears to be elevated above a white layer in this picture. This mirage is the result of warm air over cold water and earth, and is quite common along the rugged, beautiful coast of Labrador, Canada, where we are now. We came in to the Labrador coast to sit out a forecast gale at sea, and have seen many mirages today.

Fri Jul 16 17:27:47 EDT 2010 | george Ray
Coming in to wait out the Wx .... how is Issuma's shallow draft and lifting keel working out? One time I recall you were hesitant to lift the keel at anchor/mooring if there were any significant wind forecast.
Mon Jul 26 19:47:22 EDT 2010 | Richard Hudson
Shallow draft with the lifting keel is working out well.

I don't like being at a dock with the keel raised if there is a stiff crosswind (or the possibility of one) heels much more noticeably with the keel up. Being anchored with the keel up is fine--in any strong wind the boat will end up facing it, so I don't think it could get knocked down.

A tornado landed close to Issuma once in Argentina, while she was tied with two bow lines to shore and two anchors off the stern, cross-wise to the way the wind hit. I was glad I'd lowered the keel earlier because the boat heeled a lot (it was 0300, dark and I don't know how much it heeled, but things were flying all over the place inside the boat).
Looking For Charts
Thu Jul 15 12:00:00 EDT 2010

The charts that are currently being used are stored in the pilothouse on Issuma. Charts for other areas are stored in the bedroom, under the mattress, in strong garbage bags (to keep them dry). Every once in a while, I dig through the garbage bags of charts in the bedroom to find the ones we need next.

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Powered by SailBlogs