More Rigging Work to be Done
06 October 2016 | St Anne, Martinique
Ken keeps his eyes open, and working, when it comes to our boat. He noticed not too long ago that something like amiss awaaay up there at the masthead on the forestay. We've had our concerns, as we have had some halyard wrap. Preventing this has also been in our minds.
While in the dock at Rodney Bay, Ken said he wanted to go up and take a look at the forestay. I counter proposed a jury rig of the GoPro to go up (let's see, a couple of ounces vs Ken's weight). With trial and error, with Ken's idea of mounting it on the swivel of the furler (the sail was already off), we had a very clear view of a forestay in need of replacement.
We checked around Rodney Bay, but there wasn't enough of the cable size we needed, 5/16" or 8mm, for our needs, but we were recommended to go to Martinique for the cable and replacement parts for our reusable Sta-Lock fittings.
There was no problems finding what we needed in Le Marin. The next thing was logistics. We know we can do it ourselves, but that would really require getting alongside a dock, not really an option in Le Marin. So we considered going back to Rodney Bay, a mere 4 hours motor sail away.
Then I proposed the possibility of getting the mast pulled, and doing it that way.... But the quote of 500€ just to pull the mast and put it back up again was insanely ridiculous. The other things that we would like to do to the mast can wait a little more.
We decided to check with the riggers here for a quote. Really, how long could it take them, and it is their bread and butter. It ends up it would take them maybe 3 hours, no problem.
So rather than fretting and worrying, we have an appointment for next Monday morning to get it done. Plus we even get a warranty.
We also have a device to prevent halyard wrap to out into place, so this won't occur again.
Yup, Still Afloat
04 October 2016
Let's see, we decided to stay a bit further north this year, in St Lucia for Hurricane Season, with a thought to run south if a bad storm was threatening.
We've flown back to Canada for a month for a really nice visit.
We've discovered, with Ken's keen observation, and later confirmed with a GoPro camera jury-rig up the furler, that we need to replace our forestay.
We weathered Tropical Storm Matthew on a mooring ball in Le Marin, Martinique. We came out of it just fine, with our prep work being more than enough.
I suppose Matthew is the most exciting part of all of this...
We knew before the storm system even left the African coast that it was one to watch. However, it stayed low, relatively close to the Equator, and headed pretty much due west, and never spun up into a storm until it started edging more north where it could tap into the Earth's spin.
We considered running south, but where? This thing was forecast to stay south, and we could have run into a worse situation. We had hopped up to Martinique to get the parts to replace the forestay, and ended up choosing to stay in a mooring ball at the marina in Le Marin.
The decision to stay on the mooring was based in a number of factors. We knew that the moorings are well maintained. We also know that often damage to boats in storms and squalls are caused by dragging boats on anchors. No matter how solidly you are planted, you are the mercy of the skipper in front of you. The moorings we chose had no anchored boats close enough to us to be a danger with the wind directions we knew to expect.
Wind driven waves can be miserable, and the distance to shore wasn't too far, so the waves would be very manageable.
We could have gone to a dock, but being on the mooring meant that the wind would be on the nose the whole time, making it better for us and the boat.
We used lots of antichafe gear for the lines. Our jib had been already removed in anticipation of the forestay work. We chose to wrap up our mainsail on its boom with line, making it into a sausage. The dinghy was stripped and tied to the side of the boat. We had food. We knew that were ready. With the forecast winds of about 50 knots, we realised that we had seen some winds like that in Toronto in the winter, with our plastic cover. We felt less concerned when we though of those cold windy days.
On the Wednesday, the day began quite overcast. The dinghy was stripped, so I did a water workout before it became too miserable. The rain began in some minor squalls, but by about 2:00 in the afternoon, we knew we were in the middle of it. Facebook posts flew to friends and family to reassure that we were okay. Actually, boredom was the biggest problem! Because of the hills to our east, we were somewhat protected from the storm winds and saw sustained winds of about 35 knots, with gusts around 50. It rained, a lot, as the quite full dinghy attested to the next morning.
By about 9:00 that evening, things were quieting down with just occasional squalls creating strong gusts, and the rain kept falling.
We had never wanted to be on a first name basis with any named storm, and we would have been quite happy to have never been so , however, we really had no idea of where to run to with this one, and we knew we had a safe place to hunker down. We got off lucky.